WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Monday declared a national emergency to prohibit US companies from using telecommunications equipment manufactured by companies that allegedly try to spy on the country, which could restrict business with Chinese firms such as Huawei.
The president expressed his decision in an executive order, which is directed against the “foreign adversaries” of the country, but does not specifically name China.
The executive order does not automatically impose restrictions on the purchase of telecommunications equipment, but gives Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross 150 days to establish which companies should be subject to new limitations as they pose a danger to national security.
Specifically, Trump said in the executive order concern about the possibility that foreign companies use their access to companies to steal data or sabotage essential services for the operation of the country, such as the transport network.
Trump proclaimed the order invoking a 1977 law, which gives the president authority to regulate the country’s trade in response to a “national emergency.”
In this regard, the president argued that the interference of firms from rival countries in telecommunications is a “national emergency.”
In a statement, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump’s decision seeks to “protect information and communication services and technology” in the country.
“The president,” he said, “has made it clear that this Administration will do whatever it takes to keep the US safe and prosperous, and to protect the US from foreign adversaries that are exploiting actively and increasingly. the vulnerabilities in the infrastructure and the services of information technology and communications “.
In practice, Trump’s executive order sharpens the battle for control of 5G networks.
Washington leads a global campaign to prevent Chinese companies, such as Huawei, from taking control of 5G networks, which allow surfing the Internet with much more speed and could facilitate the development of autonomous vehicles and techniques to perform surgery by remote control .
In fact, the government has put pressure on the European Union (EU) to impose restrictions on Huawei, which is at the forefront of the development of 5G technology.
Washington fears that Beijing will use Huawei’s 5G networks for espionage, accusations that the Chinese company has categorically denied in the past.
In August, Trump signed a law that prevented US officials from use Huawei equipment and other telecommunications equipment suppliers based in China, such as ZTE, in their work.
In addition, last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned China Mobile, the mobile operator with the most subscribers in China, from accessing the national market for security reasons and announced that it was reviewing the activity of other operators of the Asian giant.
Speaking to the press, an official, who requested anonymity, assured that Trump’s decision is not related to the escalation in the trade war with China.
Last Friday, Washington began to apply a tariff increase of 10% to 25% to Chinese imports worth 200,000 million dollars; to which Beijing answered on Monday with another increase of 10 to 25% in taxes on US imports, valued at 60,000 million dollars.
These commercial tensions have caused concern and doubts about the evolution of the global economy.
In April, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) presented its latest forecasts of global growth, which fell by two tenths of the figure calculated in January, to 3.3% as a result of the effects on the global activity of the trade war with China (EFEUSA)