The Administration extended an executive order banning U.S. telecoms from using Huawei telecom equipment until at least May 2021. While the renewed order does not specifically name any company, U.S. lawmakers and federal agencies have repeatedly shared their concerns that Chinese telecom vendors like Huawei and ZTE are controlled by the Communist party and pose a national security threat. The companies deny the allegations.
At the same time, the Commerce Department again extended a license allowing U.S. companies to keep doing business with Huawei. The license was set to expire Friday. “The 90-day extension provides an opportunity for users of Huawei devices and telecommunication providers—particularly those in rural U.S. communities—to continue to temporarily operate such devices and existing networks while hastening the transition to alternative suppliers,” said the Commerce Department.
Discussions are on-going in Congress concerning how to compensate rural wireless operators for removing Huawei equipment from their networks and building new ones with safer gear.
The Bureau of Industry and Security within the Commerce Department is also notifying the public that activities authorized in the Temporary General License (TGL) may be revised and possibly eliminated after August 13. “Companies relying on TGL authorizations should begin preparations to determine the specific, quantifiable impact of elimination if they have not done so already. Those companies should be prepared to submit license applications to the Department to determine which, if any, activities will be authorized in the event that their TGL authorization is eliminated,” said the BIS.