US President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order this week excluding US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by companies that pose a risk to national security, paving the way for a ban on doing business with China Huawei, three US officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.
The order, which will not name specific countries or companies, has been considered for more than a year, but has been repeatedly delayed, the sources said, asking not to be named because the preparations remain confidential. They could be delayed again, they said.
The executive order would invoke the International Law on Emergency Economic Powers, which gives the president the authority to regulate trade in response to a national emergency that threatens the United States. The order will direct the Department of Commerce, working with other government agencies, to draft an application plan, the sources said.
If signed, the executive order would come at a delicate time in relations between China and the United States, while the two largest economies of the world accelerate tariffs in a battle over what the United States defines as unfair Chinese trade practices.
Washington believes that the equipment made by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, could be used by the Chinese state to spy. Huawei, who repeatedly denied the allegations, did not immediately comment.
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The Department of the White House and Commerce declined to comment.
The United States has actively pushed other countries not to use them HuaweiThe equipment in the new generation 5G networks that defines "unreliable". In August, Trump signed a bill banning the US government from using equipment from Huawei and another Chinese supplier, ZTE Corp.
In January, US prosecutors charged two Huawei units in the state of Washington that claimed to have conspired to steal T-Mobile US Inc's trade secrets, and even charged Huawei and its financial director with banking and telematic fraud over allegations that the company violated the sanctions against Iran.
In April 2018, the Federal Communications Commission voted to put forward a proposal to prevent the use of funds by a $ 9 billion government fund to purchase equipment or services from companies that pose a threat to network security of communication of the United States.
Federal Communications Commission President Ajit Pai said last week that he is waiting for the Commerce Department to express points of view on how to "define the list of companies" that would be prohibited by the FCC proposal.
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The FCC unanimously voted to deny China Mobile Ltd's offer to provide telecommunications services in the United States last week and said it had reviewed similar previous approvals held by China Unicom and China Telecom Corp.
The problem has taken on new urgency as US wireless carriers seek partners while implementing 5G networks.
While the big wireless companies have already cut the bridges with Huawei, small rural carriers continue to rely on both Huawei and ZTE switches and other equipment because they tend to be cheaper.
The Rural Wireless Association, which represents carriers with less than 100,000 subscribers, estimated that 25% of its members had Huawei or ZTE equipment in their networks, said in an FCC filing in December.
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On Tuesday, US senators launched an alert on allies using Chinese equipment in 5G networks.
The Wall Street Journal reported for the first time in May 2018 that the executive order was being revised. Reuters reported in December that Trump was still assessing the issue of the order and other media reported in February that the order was imminent.
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