WASHINGTON – The arrest of a prominent Chinese telecommunications executive has driven home why it will be so hard for the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to resolve its deepening conflict with China. The arrest of Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co.'s chief financial officer, has heightened skepticism over the trade truce that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached last weekend in Buenos Aires. Stock markets tumbled Thursday on fears that the 90-day cease-fire won't last, but regained their equilibrium in Europe and Asia on Friday. On Friday, a bail hearing for Meng, who faces possible extradition to the United States after her arrest in Vancouver, British Columbia, last weekend, was adjourned until Monday. Huawei has been a subject of U.S. national security concerns for years and Meng's case echoes well beyond tariffs or market access.
Seemingly out of the blue, Donald Trump weighed in on the future of U.S. wireless technology Thursday morning. I want 5G, and even 6G, technology in the United States as soon as possible. It is far more powerful, faster, and smarter than the current standard. American companies must step up their efforts, or get left behind. There is no reason that we should be lagging behind on.........
Legislation barring the sale of national security-sensitive technology to China has been introduced to the United States Senate by Republican Marco Rubio, in another effort to crack down on the supposed theft of US intellectual property. The proposed Fair Trade with China Enforcement Act would also block government or contractors from buying telecommunications equipment and services from Chinese tech giants ZTE and Huawei. In addition, the draft legislation imposes higher taxes on any income from China being made by US multinational companies, as well as levelling duties and caps on shares held by Chinese investors in US companies that produce goods under the "Made in China 2025" initiative, which aims to catch China up with the US and Germany across robotics, aerospace, and clean-energy cars. "How America responds to the growing threats posed by China is the single most important geopolitical issue of our time, and will define the 21st century," Rubio said when introducing the Bill. The introduction of the Bill follows the heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the director of national intelligence to the Senate Intelligence Committee recommending in February that Americans not use products from Huawei and ZTE.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been advised by the Executive Branch to deny China Mobile entry to the United States telecommunications industry, citing "substantial and unacceptable risk to US law enforcement and foreign intelligence collection". The Executive Branch, which includes the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Defense, State, and Commerce, along with the Offices of Science and Technology Policy and the US Trade Representative, made the recommendation almost seven years after China Mobile International (USA) made the application for a certificate under s214 of the Communications Act. "After significant engagement with China Mobile, concerns about increased risks to US law enforcement and national security interests were unable to be resolved," Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information at the US Department of Commerce David J Redl said. "Therefore, the Executive Branch of the US government, through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration pursuant to its statutory responsibility to coordinate the presentation of views of the Executive Branch to the FCC, recommends that the FCC deny China Mobile's Section 214 license request." A heavily redacted petition [PDF] by the Executive Branch to the FCC pointed out that China Mobile International (USA) is wholly owned by China Mobile Hong Kong, which is 70 percent owned by China Mobile Communications Corporation, which is wholly owned by the People's Republic of China.
United States President Donald Trump is escalating the nation's trade war with China, preparing tariffs on a further $200 billion worth of Chinese imports as the Office of the US Trade Representative proposes 10 percent tariffs across 6,031 Chinese product lines. The office is accepting public submissions on the proposal, with hearings to be held between August 20 and August 23, after which a final decision will be made post-August 31, a senior administration official said. Trump has warned that he could tax up to $550 billion in Chinese products, exceeding the US' total imports from China during 2017. Republican Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch called the announcement on Tuesday "reckless" and untargeted. "We cannot turn a blind eye to China's mercantilist trade practices, but this action falls short of a strategy that will give the administration negotiating leverage with China while maintaining the long-term health and prosperity of the American economy," Hatch argued.