President Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order in a prescient move to defend America’s national security against Chinese cyber espionage. Invoking his powers under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the president gave the Commerce Department 150 days to devise methods of implementing new rules for American companies that wish to trade with “foreign adversaries” designated as an “unacceptable risk” to U.S. national security.
While not specifically named in the president’s order, the Communist Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei, and some 70 affiliates are expected to be on the Commerce Department’s risk list.
The Trump Administration earlier precluded the U.S. government and its contractors from using Huawei products, for a host of reasons. The Justice Department has issued criminal charges against a top Huawei executive, the company, and several of its many subsidiaries for stealing trade secrets, as well as misleading banks in order to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran. The government further alleges that Huawei stole trade secrets from U.S. companies and competitors. Overall, Huawei is widely believed to engage economic espionage.
No wonder that in 2012, the House Intelligence Committee reported that Huawei and ZTE (China’s second-largest telecommunications company) facilitate the regime’s cyberespionage and should be banned from partnering and trading with American companies.
Given this congressional history, in a rare instance of bipartisanship in Washington, Democrats such as U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) have hailed the president’s executive order as “a needed step,” due to the law in Communist China that mandates such companies must “act as an agent of the state.”
Critically, this cyber espionage threat stems from the potential of ..