President Donald Trump on Wednesday issued an executive order declaring a national emergency to deal with outside threat to US networks – a measure believed to target Huawei, even though the Chinese telecommunications firm is not mentioned by name.
“Pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, I hereby report that I have issued an Executive Order declaring a national emergency to deal with the threat posed by the unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of 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 foreign adversaries, Trump stated.”
This expands the US-China trade war. ZTE, another Chinese firm, had to shut down temporarily last year following a similar ban which prevented it from using Qualcomm chips and Google software. While Huawei produces its own smartphone chips, it does rely on other US-made parts.
Trump stated that foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services, which store and communicate vast amounts of sensitive information, facilitate the digital economy, and support critical infrastructure and vital emergency services, in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions.
The Executive Order gives the Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with other named officials, the power to prohibit certain transactions that might involve economic and industrial espionage against the US. Prohibited transactions include:
- Transactions involving 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.
- Transactions that pose an undue risk of sabotage to or subversion of the design, integrity, manufacturing, production, distribution, installation, operation, or maintenance of information and communications technology or services in the United States.
- Transactions that pose an undue risk of catastrophic effects on the security or resiliency of United States critical infrastructure or the digital economy of the United States.
- Transactions that pose an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons.
All agencies of the United States Government have been directed to take all appropriate measures within their authority to carry out the provisions of the Executive Order.
Both Huawei and the Chinese government condemned the Trump administration moves.