Feds Aren’t Going Out For Chinese on Tuesday

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U.S. government contractors are getting their first look at the Administration’s interim rule banning federal purchases of telecommunications equipment and technology from five Chinese companies, including Huawei and ZTE.

The rule states the ban on Chinese telecom and video surveillance companies is set to go into effect August 13, according to Reuters. It implements a provision of a previous defense policy bill that the president signed into law.

The ban is part of the U.S. push against Huawei, which federal security agencies say uses its gear to spy on our government for the Chinese government and steal intellectual property. Huawei has repeatedly denied the allegations and filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over restrictions in the defense policy bill. In its latest statement, Huawei said it, “continues to challenge the constitutionality of the ban in federal court.” 

Government contractors told Reuters, they’ve been confused about the ban’s scope and what it will mean for their businesses. The first rule implementing the ban was posted on a General Services Administration for contractors. The government will accept comments on the rule for 60 days before it comes to a final version. It will allow agencies some ability to grant waivers through August 13, 2021, for contractors where security is not at issue.

The broader ban, which will apply to contracts with any company that uses equipment from the companies, will take effect in August 2020. That’s because the White House Office of Management and Budget asked Congress in June for two extra years to phase in the ban.

August 9, 2019     

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