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Trump Admin Considering Ordering All US 5G Gear Be Made Outside Of China

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Donald Trump’s administration is considering issuing requirements that would mandate all 5G telecommunications equipment installed in the U.S. be manufactured outside China, according to a Monday report in the Wall Street Journal.

 

Spoiler

That would be a significant step above and beyond moves already taken by the White House which is locked in a trade war with China and has begun imposing sanctions on Chinese tech companies on allegations that they pose a security risk (most notably Huawei, the world’s largest manufacturer of telecom equipment).

 

While the U.S. has already effectively banned the use of Chinese telecom gear by American carriers, the Journal writes that U.S. officials have begun inquiring whether other suppliers based outside of China can move their production chains for U.S.-bound gear totally outside the country.

 

That’s a process that could take 'months or years' to kick in, writes the Journal:

 

Quote

A White House executive order last month to restrict some foreign-made networking gear and services due to cybersecurity concerns started a 150-day review of the U.S. telecommunications supply chain.

 

As part of that review, U.S. officials are asking telecom-equipment manufacturers whether they can make and develop U.S.-bound hardware, which includes cellular-tower electronics as well as routers and switches, and software outside of China, the people said.

 

The conversations are in early and informal stages, they said. The executive order calls for a list of proposed rules and regulations by the 150-day deadline, in October; so, any proposals may take months or years to adopt.

 

As the Journal noted, such a requirement would force European companies Nokia Corp. and Ericsson, which currently dominate the sales of equipment to U.S. wireless carriers, to move their operations out of China or potentially lose access to the American market.

 

That could potentially have a bigger impact on the market than any deal to end the ongoing trade standoff, as it may permanently alter the global technology markets—though both Nokia and Ericsson have already started working on plans to pull out of China due to the Trump administration’s escalating trade war tariffs.

 

Members of the 'Five Eyes' anglophone intelligence alliance (including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S.) reportedly agreed last year to collectively work to rein in Huawei, which has been seen as an industry leader in 5G technology and the U.S. has been asserting has ties to Chinese military and state intelligence agencies.

 

U.S. penalties on the company, which are also related to other accusations of trade theft, fraud, and violations of Iran sanctions, have included sweeping measures that effectively prevent it from purchasing any American technology.

 

That’s hit the company hard, with CEO and founder Ren Zhengfei recently stating that it expects to lose around $43 billion in revenue this year and next.

 

Other details in the Journal’s report include that administration sources expect China to be placed on the “foreign adversaries” list created in the original order, as well as that the White House has been in 'informal discussions' with tech firms and other Asian countries over where U.S. companies should relocate.

 

Additionally, the Journal mentioned that there is currently debate over whether to “allow benign parts” in 5G telecom gear “such as power converters and protective cases” to be made in China, as well as whether to allow open source code contributed by Chinese programmers.

 

Source


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There's a wide range of manufactured items I don't think China should be trusted with. These range from any Defense related electronics to high strength hardware to pet treats with a lot of items in between.

Tucker933 likes this

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China has the world by the balls because it has 95% of the world's rare earth minerals to produce electronics and other technologies. It's not possible to have a sustainable market in the west without being insanely expensive due to the rarity of those minerals and the amount of time and money it takes to extract and refine those materials. Making 5G equipment outside of China isn't going to solve the China dependency problem. I don't put much trust in western companies keeping up with the oath of non-Chinese import products (dodging sanctions and embargoes) as they would save a shit ton of money ordering the smaller/cheaper components from China (AKA, made in China/assembled in USA bullshit), which brings up the whole Super Micro and assembly line tampering controversy.


Grumpy UNIX and Cloud Administrator | 90's Boomer

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I've always been of the thought that where infrastructure which is of national importance, I suppose could argue that 5G is, should be where possible manufactured 'in-house' so to speak by the country at hand. Of course, that's not sustainable though. I can't imagine little Lesotho in South Africa suddenly popping up as a telecoms manufacturer so of course, as @Solaris said, China do indeed have us by the balls. It's a necessary evil in my eyes, unless anyone's got any ideas and/or are willing to the pay the price to develop it nationally, I'll keep spending my pounds on Chinese goods. They're welcome to spy on me though, if they like crap memes and dog pictures we're in business. I'm sure we're all spying on one another already anyway so meh. 

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This conundrum goes beyond simply spying on average people, reliance on Chinese manufactured and produced goods threatens a wide array of issues, ranging from national security to the global economy;

An excellent example can bee seen by the power Gazprom has wielded with it's stranglehold; the repeated gas-disputes with Ukraine, the acquisition of Chornomornaftogaz through the annexation of Crimea and now with the European Commission having accepted Gazprom's offer last year ending the antitrust case Grazprom will faced no fines, the concessions offer by Gazprom were already planned as Gazprom was moving to change it's marketing and sales strategy. 

 

What is stopping China from utilizing it's same stranglehold on REE from making demands or utilizing it to cause economic destabilization in other parts of the world? We've already seen this play out on a smaller scale in 2010 when China banned all exports of REE to Japan over territorial disputes.

In terms of national security pertaining to the US & NATO; it would affect our ability to repair and produce newer combat platforms as nearly all our weapons systems laser range finders and designators utilize Nd:YAG lasers, which requires Yttrium and Neodymium, which historically has come from Mountain Pass Mine...which has been operating at minimal capacity and  Leshan Shenghe Rare Earth Co. Mining has a minority, non-voting interest in the mine. 

 

That's just skimming over a minute potential of economic impact and national security implications, this would impact healthcare, industrial services, the scientific community, ect... 

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