Huawei Ban: Trump Issues Executive Order To Prevent Huawei from U.S. Trade Market
Amid an escalating trade war with Beijing, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order that effectively bars American companies from using telecommunications equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security threat.
While the order did not specifically identify any country or company, the move was widely seen as blocking Chinese telecom equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co from being used in U.S. networks.
According to a White House statement, Trump’s executive order said the actions are necessary to prevent “economic and industrial espionage against the United States and its people and protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services.”
The statement further adds that it gives the secretary of commerce the power to “prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security.”
Shortly after Trump’s executive order, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei and 70 affiliates to its so-called “Entity List” in a move to cut off the Chinese company from American suppliers and ban it from doing business in the U.S.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Trump backed the decision to “prevent American technology from being used by foreign-owned entities in ways that potentially undermine US national security or foreign policy interests.”
Reacting strongly to Trump’s move, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that the country will take measures to protect the interests of Chinese companies. He, however, did not divulge any details as to how China planned to strike back.
“We have noted the US Department of Commerce decision. China always asks its business to comply with laws and regulations in export control and fulfill its international obligations. We always ask them to abide by other country’s laws regulations in their overseas business,” Lu said.
“But we are against other countries’ unilateral sanctions based on domestic law and practices that abuse export control measures. We urge the US to stop such practice and create favorable conditions for business cooperation. China will take necessary measures to safeguard Chinese business’ legitimate rights and interests,” he said.
On enquired whether China would now target U.S. firms in retaliation, Lu said, “as for the foreign firms, so long their operations are lawful, they should not be concerned in international trade, the basis is mutual respect and mutual benefit”.
In a separate statement, Huawei said that “unreasonable restrictions” by the U.S. intruded “upon Huawei’s rights and raise other serious legal issues.” The company denied its products pose a security threat and say it is independent of the Chinese government.
It said Huawei was “ready and willing to engage with the US government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security.”
The telecom giant said restricting Huawei from doing business in the U.S. “will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers.”
During a meeting in London on Tuesday, Huawei’s CEO even said that it was willing to sign “no-spy” agreements with foreign governments to ease concerns over the security of its products and open up a business.