14 March 2019
US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering an executive order in the new year to declare a national emergency that would bar U.S. companies from using China’s Huawei and ZTE telecommunications equipment, according to sources.
This would be the latest step by the Trump administration to cut Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp out of the U.S. market. ZTE and Huawei have both been banned by the US government and their products named as a security threat due to their ties with the Chinese government.
The United States government has asked other countries as well to stop working with the Chinese government and stated that their equipment could be used to spy on Americans. Both Huawei and ZTE did not return requests for comment and had stated in the past that their products are used to spy.
Rural operators in the US are among the biggest customers of Huawei and ZTE, and they can’t afford to rip out the existing Chinese-made equipment without compensation. According to reports, the executive order has been under consideration for more than eight months now, could be issued as early as January 2019. This would direct the Commerce Department to block U.S. companies from buying equipment from foreign telecommunications makers which pose significant national security risks, according to sources.
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying stated that she did not want to comment on the order as it had not been officially confirmed. “It’s best to let facts speak for themselves when it comes to security problems,” Hua said. “Some countries have, without any evidence, and making use of national security, tacitly assumed crimes to politicize, and even obstruct and restrict, normal technology exchange activities,” she added. “This, in reality, is undoubtedly shutting oneself off, rather than being the door to openness, progress and fairness.”