Trump to Restrict Imports of Chinese Tech Producers?

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Trump to Restrict Imports of Chinese Tech Producers?

by Stephen Lendman

Trump is reportedly preparing an executive order to restrict imports of designated Chinese telecom companies like Huawei – on the phony pretext of national security if he goes this far.

What’s in play is wanting US companies to have a leg up over Chinese competitors, especially over high-tech giants like Huawei and ZTE. Huawei is leading the race to roll out 5G technology. The company also refused to install NSA backdoors for intelligence gathering.

The Trump executive order reportedly being prepared would authorize the Commerce Department to decide which imports to restrict or ban – from countries considered US adversaries, notably China.

Washington seeks to marginalize, weaken, contain, and isolate the country, wanting its aim to become an economic, industrial and technological powerhouse undermined.

Trade war is cover for the real issue. Beijing will surely respond with toughness if its companies are unfairly treated by the US and other countries.

Sino/US tensions could escalate in the new year, depending on how far Trump regime hardliners intend pushing China.

They falsely claim equipment produced by Huawei and ZTE can be used to spy on US government and private entities. Both firms deny they’re controlled by Beijing or involved in espionage.

Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei and company chairman Ken Hu strongly denied involvement in any activities intended to harm other countries, Ren saying “Huawei firmly stands on the side of customers when it comes to cyber security and privacy.”

Key is the race for global 5G leadership, the latest state-of-the-art generation of cellular mobile communications, technology business seeks, operating much faster than what’s now available for greater efficiency. 

The US and China are competing for which country will be the leader in this technology that’ll define the next generation of mobile Internet use.

It’s much more than high speed, touted as what can support the next generation of Internet-connected devices infrastructure to smart cities and driverless cars.

It’s part of Trump’s pledge to  “make America great again.” China hopes to a technological world leader. Washington’s aim to prevent it matching or overtaking US firms lies at the heart of economic differences between both countries.

Mobile Internet requires agreed on global standards, 5G specifications agreed on in December. The race is on between Chinese, US, and European firms for who’ll emerge the 5G leader.

According to communications company Rivada Networks’ CEO Declan Ganley, the international race is “about who is going to define and control the model, the architecture, and the agenda of 5G, and why that matters is because 5G is the deep blue ocean of the cyber domain,” adding:

“(T)here is a big strategic play here. It’s more important than shipping lanes and being able to control your own airspace. It’s one of the most important domains that exists.”

Controlling it is what the international race is all about, trillions of dollars of economic value at stake. London-based global information provider IHS Markit estimates $12.3 trillion of global economic output by 2035.

The stakes are huge. Chinese tech giants Huawei and ZTE are major players. Trump regime hardliners fear they’ll win the 5G race over US companies, why an executive order may restrict or ban their imports, perhaps along with sales of US technology able to help them.

America’s trade deficit is a minor issue by comparison, distracting from the major one, China heading toward becoming the world’s largest economy along with becoming a technological powerhouse, what Washington aims to prevent.

Trump’s National Security Council communications spokesman Garrett Marquis wouldn’t confirm if an executive order is in the works targeting Beijing, saying only the following:

“The United States is working across government and with our allies and likeminded partners to mitigate risk in the deployment of 5G and other communications infrastructure.” 

“Communications networks form the backbone of our society and underpin every aspect of modern life. The United States will ensure that our networks are secure and reliable.” 

Sino/US tensions will surely escalate if Trump moves to restrict or ban imports from Huawei and other Chinese tech giants, along with urging other countries to do the same thing.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.