US presses on with tech import restriction plan - Mobile World Live

US presses on with tech import restriction plan

27 NOV 2019

The US Department of Commerce (DoC) formalised a proposal to allow a senior politician to block purchases of network technology and software from companies deemed to be controlled by other countries.

Under the proposed law, the country’s Secretary of Commerce would be given the power to prohibit or alter transactions related to the supply of information and communications technology on security grounds.

The plan was first outlined in an executive order by US President Donald Trump in May. Following the formal publication of the proposal yesterday (26 November), it will go to a 30-day public consultation before progressing further through the law making process.

Under terms agreed following consultation with other federal authorities, the plan would enable the US commerce secretary to block purchases from a company deemed to have an “undue risk of catastrophic effects on the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure or the digital economy”.

Although the document did not specify which “foreign adversaries” were being targeted, there seems little doubt this is another move in a long-running campaign to prevent purchases from China’s major tech companies including Huawei and ZTE.

In a statement, current Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said the rule would “safeguard the information and communications technology supply chain”.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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