U.S. Blacklists Huawei in Escalating Trade Tension with China
The U.S. government’s disdain for (or fear of?) Huawei—a Chinese telecommunications and smartphone manufacturing firm with close ties to its government—is no big secret. The reasons for that are several fold, but they have only been ratcheted up of late as the U.S. and China have doubled down on their trade war.
This week, the Trump administration hit Huawei with some severe sanctions, and the Commerce Department said that it was adding the firm and 70 other affiliates to its “Entity List,” a move that bands those companies from acquiring components and technology from U.S. firms without the government’s approval. The explanation from Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for the latter move was that the U.S. wanted to “prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine U.S. national security or foreign policy interests.”
Further, the president signed an executive order this week that bars U.S. companies from using telecom equipment made by firms deemed to pose a national security risk. That order didn’t specifically name a specific country or company, but the intent is fairly clear here. That means major telecom companies—and even smaller rural-area companies—could face fines and other possible sanctions if they use Huawei-made equipment in their next-gen 5G networks that are currently being built out.