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Trump Poised To Ban Huawei Tech With New Executive Order

Huawei Logo at CES

President Trump has signed an executive order that paves the way for the US government to ban technology sales from Chinese vendor Huawei and anyone else it views as a national security threat.

The executive order, published on Wednesday, mentions no countries or companies by name. But it comes as the White House is facing a trade war with China. The Trump administration has also been outspoken in trying to stop adoption of Huawei’s 5G technology over it concerns it’ll lay the groundwork for Chinese state-sponsored espionage.

In issuing the executive order, Trump declared a national emergency over foreign threats attempting to exploit vulnerabilities in the US’s IT and communications infrastructure for spying purposes. He went to claim the “unrestricted acquisition” of technology from companies under the jurisdiction of foreign adversaries only magnifies the dangers.

“This threat exists both in the case of individual acquisitions or uses of such technology or services,” Trump said in the executive order, later adding: “Such openness (in trade) must be balanced by the need to protect our country against critical national security threats.”

The executive order calls for the US Commerce Secretary and Trump’s cabinet to come up with the rules to identify which “countries or person” actually represent foreign adversaries within the next 150 days.

The executive order’s wording is also broad; for instance, it seeks to ban technology sales that pose an “unacceptable risk” to the US’s national security or may cause “sabotage”, without defining the terms. However, the Commerce Secretary can also choose to address any infringing transaction from a foreign adversary by imposing certain rules before a deal takes place.

To help identify the dangers, the executive order requires both the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence to issue reports in the coming weeks outlining the threats to the US’s technology industry.

So far, Huawei hasn’t commented on the executive order. But the company adamantly denies it would ever help the Chinese government engage in cyber espionage. In the UK, Huawei has gone as far to

US officials, on the other hand, are making it a top priority to secure the technology supply chain form potential Chinese tampering. Last week, Trump also raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, and has threatened to impose additional tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports in the coming months.

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