President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday declaring a national emergency over “threats against information and communications technology and services” in the US.
“Today, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order entitled ‘Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services Supply Chain’ as part of his commitment to protecting the information and communications technology and services of our Nation,” the White House said in a statement.
The statement continued: “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 in information and communications technology infrastructure and services in the United States.”
The move by Trump is expected to precede a ban on US firms doing business with the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
The order authorizes the Secretary of Commerce to “prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons,” the statement added.
The US believes the Chinese government is using Huawei’s equipment for espionage. Huawei consistently denies the allegations.
Earlier this year, the Justice Department charged Huawei and its US affiliate with theft of trade secrets conspiracy, attempted theft of trade secrets, seven counts of wire fraud, and one count of obstruction of justice. Prosecutors also charged its chief financial officer with wire fraud and bank fraud and alleged that the company violated sanctions against Iran.
The US is also pushing other countries not to use Huawei’s equipment in 5G networks.