President Trump’s new Executive Order on imported technology bares sharp teeth at Huawei and other Chinese companies, but it doesn’t have any teeth yet. The actual impact will depend on how the order is implemented over the next 150 days, giving the administration plenty of leverage. That timeline, combined with the wide discretion the order allows — it doesn’t actually mention Huawei or any company by name — gives Trump plenty of leeway. He can use the order as a launchpad for a strict crackdown on suspect tech, or he can use it as a bargaining chip in his larger trade war with China.
But the more cybersecurity gets entangled with protectionism, some experts warned, the less seriously US allies will take American exhortations to keep Chinese tech out of their networks. And what really matters is not how the order impacts the US market — where Huawei is already weak — but the signal it sends to the rest of the world — where the Chinese company has a shot at 5G dominance. This White House’s tendency to sudden reversals that catch its own senior officials by surprise (on nuclear weapons, aircraft carriers, defense spending, Syrian withdrawal, and so on) doesn’t exactly instill confidence abroad.
Read the full article and more in Breaking Defense.