WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is issuing an executive order to help protect the United States against foreign adversaries that are taking advantage of technological vulnerabilities to threaten U.S. communications systems.
The order the White House announced Wednesday does not name specific countries or companies, but the administration has been trying to keep allied nations from using equipment from the Chinese tech company Huawei. In August, Trump signed a bill that barred the U.S. government from using equipment from Huawei and China’s ZTE Corp.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement:
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. This Executive Order declares a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States and delegates authority to 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 U.S., which is embroiled in an escalating trade war with China, also has sounded warnings about Huawei’s efforts to expand into Europe. The U.S. worries that China could use Huawei to gain access to private, commercial, or other information that could compromise NATO and allied intelligence operations.