Reuters reported yesterday President Donald Trump is set to sign an executive order, which would force American telecoms to ban the use of Huawei telecommunications equipment:
The executive order would invoke the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the United States. The order will direct the Commerce Department, working with other government agencies, to draw up a plan for enforcement, the sources said.
Following up on the reported decision, CityNews reports Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale was asked if Canada would be following steps of our southern ally in similarly banning Huawei from 5G networks.
Goodale didn’t provide any specifics, only to say the Trudeau government is still reviewing a decision to ban Huawei or not.
“We obviously pay careful attention to what our allies are saying and doing,” Goodale said, adding, “Some have expressed views, others have not, we’ll take all of that into account. But we want to make the very best decision for Canada.”
The U.S. wants its allies to follow its lead in banning Huawei, deemed capable of espionage due to its ties to the Chinese government.
“We haven’t taken any final decisions yet,” said Goodale. “We’re weighing all of these factors very carefully to ensure that Canadian interests are properly protected and properly advanced.”
Canada has been embroiled into U.S.-China trade and diplomatic disputes, going back to when Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver, at the request of U.S. authorities for extradition, over allegations of violating sanctions against Iran. Canadians have been detained in China, while local exporters of canola and pork have faced bans in the communist country, moves seen as retaliation against Canada.
Earlier this month, the Huawei CFO asked a Canadian court for a stay of the extradition request, citing her arrest was unlawful. Yesterday, Huawei told the media it was willing to sign “no-spy” agreements with governments, in an attempt to reassure the public the company is safe.
Goodale did not mention any timeline on when a Huawei decision would be made, only to say it would happen before this fall’s national election.
Update May 15, 2019, 2:29PM PDT: Reuters reports President Trump has signed an executive order which “invokes the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president the authority to regulate commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the United States. The order directs the Commerce Department, working with other government agencies, to draw up a plan for enforcement within 150 days,” essentially making it possible for the U.S. to ban American companies from using Huawei equipment.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, said the order will protect the U.S. from “foreign adversaries to the nation’s information and communications technology and services supply chain,” adding, “Under President Trump’s leadership, Americans will be able to trust that our data and infrastructure are secure.”