Huawei is not named specifically in the order but is believed to be its prime target
US President Donald Trump has added Huawei to a list of foreign companies banned from buying equipment from American companies.
The move came hours after he signed an executive order barring US companies from using telecommunications equipment made by foreign companies that the US considers a national security risk.
Trump’s administration has been pressuring its allies to ban Huawei from their infrastructure.
A statement from the White House said that the executive order was intended to “protect America from foreign adversaries who are actively and increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology infrastructure and services”.
The Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai welcomed the decision. “Given the threats presented by certain foreign companies’ equipment and services, this is a significant step toward securing America’s networks,” he said.
A Huawei spokesperson responded to the decision saying: “We are the unparalleled leader in 5G development. We are ready and willing to engage with the US government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security.
“Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers. In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei’s rights and raise other serious legal issues.”
Former assistant secretary of commerce for export administration under Barack Obama Kevin Wolf said that Huawei would be the largest business ever subjected to such strict control from the US.
“It’s going to have ripple effects through the entire global telecommunications network because Huawei affiliates all over the planet depend on U.S. content to function and if they can’t get the widget or the part or the software update to keep functioning then those systems go down,” he said.