Trump considering executive action to crack down on Chinese tech: report
The Trump administration is reportedly weighing executive action to crack down on Chinese telecommunications companies in the coming weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. The move follows concerns that the foreign-made technology could be used for espionage.
President Trump’s order could prevent companies that use equipment made by certain foreign manufacturers from doing business with the federal government, sources familiar with the situation told the Journal, though no final decision has been reached.
Legislators are actively seeking to push business away from Chinese telecommunications manufacturers. In January, anonymous lawmakers dissuaded AT&T from acquiring Chinese phone maker Huawei over national security concerns.
Such concerns aren’t new — a 2012 House Intelligence Committee report found both Huawei and competitor ZTE to be national security threats. The committee warned congressional leaders that U.S. companies should be wary of doing business with either Huawei or ZTE.
Both companies have denied the possibility of the Chinese government hacking their products for purposes of espionage.
The executive action would mirror a piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) in January aimed at barring the federal government from contracting with Huawei or ZTE.
The Defense Department is also working to undercut the two companies’ influence in the U.S. The Pentagon announced Wednesday that it had banned the sale of phones by the two firms on military bases, claiming they pose an “unacceptable risk to Department’s personnel, information and mission.”
In a statement, Huawei noted the company’s global reach and denied that China or any other country has compromised the security of their products.
“Huawei’s products are sold in 170 countries worldwide and meet the highest standards of security, privacy and engineering in every country where we operate globally, including the U.S.,” a spokesman said.
“We remain committed to openness and transparency in everything we do and want to be clear that no government has ever asked us to compromise the security or integrity of any of our networks or devices.”
– Updated on May 3.