US President Donald Trump has effectively bannedby signing an Executive Order that declares foreign adversary threats to communications networks, technology, and services a national emergency.
The order, called Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain, prevents foreign involvement in the nation’s carrier networks and comes afterthis week.
“The Executive Order prohibits transactions that involve information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign adversary whenever the Secretary of Commerce determines that a transaction would pose a threat to national security,” the Department of Commerce (DoC) statement said.
The DoC will issue regulations within 150 days.
In judging whether a foreign company’s involvement is a threat to national security, the Secretary of Commerce will consult with the Attorney General; the Secretaries of Defense, Homeland Security, State, and Treasury; the Director of National Intelligence; the United States Trade Representative; the heads of other agencies; the Administrator of General Services; and the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
All of the above will report to the president in a year on whether the order’s actions are sufficient and should continue.
Before then, the Secretary of Commerce is required to submit a report to Congress on the national emergency cited in the order, with the Director of National Intelligence to produce an assessment within 40 days.
The Secretary of Homeland Security is also required to prepare a written evaluation of hardware, software, and services vulnerabilities that could threaten US national security within 80 days.
FCC Chair Ajit Pai welcomed the move, pointing to threats from “certain foreign companies’ equipment and services”.
“Protecting America’s communications networks is vital to our national, economic, and personal security,” Pai said. “This is a significant step toward securing America’s networks.”
The Executive Order follows the US government leveling a 10-count indictment alleging that Huawei conspired to steal intellectual property from T-Mobile and subsequently obstructed justice, in addition to a separate 13-count indictment against the company and its CFO Meng Wanzhou.
The Trump administration has also reportedly been leaning on allies to ban Huawei due to the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government.
The Australian government banned Huawei in August last year.
Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.