President Trump will bar U.S. wireless carriers from using telecom equipment and products from companies that pose a national security risk, according to a report from Reuters.
The president is expected to sign an executive order (EO) invoking the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the ability to regulate aspects of commerce that may pose a security risk to the U.S.
The ban will not name any specific companies, but will direct the U.S. Department of Commerce to draft enforcement rules for it. That would likely include the parameters under which a company can be deemed to pose a national security risk.
During a daily briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, argued the U.S. is engaging in a smear campaign against Chinese companies.
“We urge the United States to stop using the excuse of security issues to unreasonably suppress Chinese companies, and provide a fair, just, non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies carrying out normal investments and operations in the United States,” Geng said, according to the Reuters report.
The EO is the latest development in an ongoing global PR battle between Huawei and the U.S., and follows a federal ban on Huawei equipment established in 2018.
The dispute began in 2012, under the Obama administration, when a Congressional report raised security concerns about the company’s networking equipment. The report detailed that Huawei and ZTE both failed to cooperate with investigators compiling the report, concluding that “Huawei and ZTE cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems.”
The U.S. has recently begun lobbying its allies across the globe to ban Huawei gear from 5G networks. While some countries have followed suit, most European allies have opted instead to tighten security regulations around telecom equipment.