US blacklists Huawei as Trump declares national emergency
The order appears to address White House concerns that equipment from Chinese suppliers such as Huawei could pose a threat to US internet and telecommunications infrastructure.
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The move gives the US Department of Commerce 150 days to draw up new regulations.
In a separate action — soon after Trump signed the order — the commerce department added Huawei and its affiliates to its “entity list” of companies considered to pose a risk to either national security or foreign policy interests.
“The president has made it clear that this administration will do what it takes to keep America safe and prosperous, and to protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities,” a statement from the department said on Wednesday.
‘China’s main export is espionage’
Huawei has long been deemed a threat in US national security circles, with concerns that back doors installed on handsets and network equipment could allow Beijing to spy on Americans. However, officials have yet to present evidence of Huawei equipment in the US or elsewhere being compromised.
The executive order represented “a significant step toward securing America’s networks,” according to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai.
The move was welcomed by Republicans, including Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse. “China’s main export is espionage, and the distinction between the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese ‘private-sector’ businesses like Huawei is imaginary,” Sasse told the Reuters news agency.