In what appears to be the US government’s latest salvo in its war against Huawei, President Trump is reportedly preparing to sign an executive order that would prohibit American firms from using equipment made by foreign telecom companies that pose a ‘security threat’, according to Bloomberg, which sourced its report to administration insiders.
The official who spoke with Bloomberg insisted the order wasn’t intended to single out any country or company, but anybody who has been following the ongoing spat with Huawei should instantly recognize that this simply isn’t true (though, with the trade negotiations at a very delicate impasse, we understand why the administration needs to maintain this pretense). Though Huawei and its fellow Chinese telecoms giant ZTE already face serious restrictions on selling their products in the US, Huawei still maintains a US subsidiary in Texas.
The order, which could be signed as soon as Wednesday, wouldn’t outright ban sales to US entities, but it would grant the Commerce Department more authority to review products and purchases made by firms with connections to adversarial countries (we doubt that’s directed at Ericsson and Sweden).
China’s foreign ministry has already lashed out at the US over reports of the executive order.
“This is neither graceful nor fair,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a news briefing in Beijing. “We urge the U.S. to stop citing security concerns as an excuse to unreasonably suppress Chinese companies and provide a fair and equitable and non-discriminatory environment for