The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the US is set to ban approvals of new telecommunications equipment from China’s Huawei Technologies and ZTE in the United States on national security grounds, according to an agency document.
FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel circulated the proposed ban to the other three commissioners for final approval. Huawei and ZTE would not be able to sell new equipment in the United States without equipment authorizations.
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,” Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement.
The FCC faces a mid-November congressional deadline to act.
In June 2021, FCC voted to advance the plan to ban approvals for equipment in U.S. telecommunications networks from Chinese companies deemed national security threats, including Huawei and ZTE.
Huawei, ZTE, Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology and Zhejiang Dahua are already under covered list for posing a threat to national security under a 2019 law aimed at protecting U.S. communications networks.
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.”
The FCC said in June 2021 it was considering banning all equipment authorizations for all companies on the covered list.
This year, the FCC added Russia’s Kaspersky Lab, China Telecom Americas, China Mobile International USA, Pacific Networks and China Unicom Americas to the covered list.
FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr said in 2021 the FCC had approved more than 3,000 applications from Huawei since 2018.
In 2019, the United States placed Huawei, Hikvision and other firms on its economic blacklist.
In 2020, the FCC designated Huawei and ZTE as national security threats to communications networks – a declaration that barred U.S. companies from tapping an $8.3 billion government fund to purchase equipment from the companies.