The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is preparing to ban imports of new telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE, according to media reports.
Last week, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated the proposed ban to the other three commissioners for final approval, according to media reports.
Under the ban, the Chinese companies cannot sell new equipment in the U.S. without first obtaining authorizations from the US government.
In a statement this week, Rosenworcel said, “The FCC remains committed to protecting our national security by ensuring that untrustworthy communications equipment is not authorized for use within our borders, and we are continuing that work here.”
The FCC faces a mid-November congressional deadline to act.
The FCC voted to advance the plan In June 2021 to ban approvals for equipment in U.S. telecommunications networks from Chinese companies considered national security threats, including Huawei and ZTE.
Meanwhile, Senate Intelligence Committee chair Mark Warner said he was glad to see the FCC “finally take this step to protect our networks and national security,” as reported by Reuters.
In 2021, FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said the commission had approved more than 3,000 applications from Huawei since 2018.
In 2019, the U.S. placed Huawei, Hikvision and other firms on its economic blacklist, while in 2020, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks, which prevented U.S. companies from using $8.3 billion in government funds to purchase equipment from the Chinese companies.
In response to the reports, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said, the FCC “abused state power and maliciously attacked Chinese telecom operators again without factual basis.”
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