back to article Banhammer Republic: Trump declares national emergency, starts ball rolling to boot Huawei out of ALL US networks

President Donald J. Trump today declared yet another national emergency in the US – this one over the threat of unidentified foreign adversaries exploiting vulnerabilities in IT and telecom systems and services. Short on specifics, the freshly signed executive order authorizes the Secretary of Commerce "to prohibit …

  1. veti Silver badge

    "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

    Risk of Russian government running covert misinformation campaigns during US elections: completely acceptable.

    Risk of politically connected US non-profits exchanging coded communications with dubious Russian banks: absolutely fine.

    Risk of overseas company hacking private emails from a political party: dandy.

    Risk of Chinese company showing that their technology is both better and cheaper than that of US competitors: UNACCEPTABLE.

    1. Cxwf

      Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

      [quote]Risk of Russian government running covert misinformation campaigns during US elections: completely acceptable.[/quote]

      This has to be taken in perspective given that our own media runs overt misinformation campaigns during US elections, and also all the rest of the time. What’s another few people lying at you going to add to that?

      Other than that, though, spot on. ;)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

      You comment suggests you would expect reasoned thinking. Those two words are best left in the shed where they can't do any harm.

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

        I'm sure reasoned thinking is involved but it's from the Aijit Pai school of thinking. This has nothing to do with National Security beyond securing a few of the nation's bank accounts.

        I am just wondering when the Jaffa will get round to identifying National Threats in Europe and puuting the thumb screws on us.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

          I am just wondering when the Jaffa will get round to identifying National Threats in Europe

          A boycott of a couple of his golf courses should be enough to do it. Maybe throw in a work-to-rule at one of his hotels, just to really piss him off.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

            A boycott of a couple of his golf courses

            Like the one in Scotland that has (consistently) been in the red since he bought it? Much like casinos, it takes a special sort of failure to lose money on a golf course.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

          "I am just wondering when the Jaffa will get round to identifying National Threats in Europe and puuting the thumb screws on us."

          Economic protectionism worked really well for the US with cars and trucks - the US managed to save the Detroit vehicle industry and almost nobody in the US drives foreign vehicles and the US manufacturers don't require huge subsidies to survive...

          Yes there is sarcasm in that statement and Japan/Europe altered how they sold vehicles to the US to satisfy both sides (i.e. manufacturing/assembly plants within the US versus direct imports) but in the end the decisions were driven by consumers rather than the large companies or politicians.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

          He already is. Pompeo was sent to tell Europe to stop Nordstream 2 to force us to buy expensive US gas that the US can easily cut off.

          The Germany energy minister just said the US was trying to treat Germany as a colony. Welcome to our world.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

        you would expect reasoned thinking

        Unfortunately, reasoned thinking is (generally) built on a sound foundation of proper education. Something that modern western policies seem to have got away from, especially in the US.

        If kids are fed on kneejerk facts and not taught to reason stuff for themselves then they (generally) won't reason soundly.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

      "Risk of Chinese company showing that their technology is both better and cheaper than that of US competitors: UNACCEPTABLE."

      How about:

      Risk of Chinese company showing that their technology is both better and cheaper than that of US competitors: annoying

      Risk of Chinese companies economically dominating their US competitors: UNACCEPTABLE.

      I mean most US companies don't even let other US companies compete with them if they can convince/pay politicians to support their "business requirements".

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

        American companies love the idea of the Free Market right up until they stand to lose a few bucks then they can't get on their knees and begs for government intervention fast enough.

    4. Kez
      Big Brother

      Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

      The real "unacceptable risk" is that, if America's comms infrastructure is replaced with secured Chinese gear, the NSA will lose the ability to spy on US citizens. You know, for "national security".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Headmaster

        Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

        The real other "unacceptable risk" is that, if America's comms infrastructure is replaced with secured Chinese gear, the NSA will lose the some ability to spy on US citizens people around the world. You know, for "national security".

        FTFY.

    5. BobChip
      Coat

      Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

      Note that exactly the same argument could (should?) be used to stop UK Inc buying US made systems. Question is, who do you trust more? China or US? And why.

      Answers to El Reg please, on no more than 50 sheets of A4 .....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

        "Question is, who do you trust more? China or US? And why."

        The US, unequivocally. Not because they are trustworthy, indeed I would expect them to ruthlessly put nation ahead of 'strategic allies' every time, but because I would expect China to go to exactly the same lengths to attain and retain power. The difference is that the US are socially and culturally more closely aligned with the UK, and so I feel more comfortable with a global homogeneity led by America than by China. Call it xenophobic, call it whatever, but that's my honest take, and I expect nations more closely aligned with China take a mirrored view.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

          ...the US are socially and culturally more closely aligned with the UK...

          In some respects, yes. In others, hell no! I'm not cheerleading for China here by any stretch of the imagination, but whislt they are becoming more socially open, with a growing middle class, the USA seems to be becoming increasingly socially conservative, with growing inequality, and a tendency towards theocracy by the back door (offically they have a separation of church and state, but you try and find more than a handful of senior politicians there who aren't openly Christian and don't invoke their deity in their reasons for policy making). Not to mention the highest per-capita prison population in the world (0.72%), with a heavy dose of racial bias added on top (closer to 10% if you're black and male)

          Personally, I'd prefer the middle ground. Some sort of democratic arrangement, with a large healthy economy, where people can practice their religion in the privacy of their own home if they so want, without state interference, without a huge gap between the rich and poor. Maybe somewhere that doesn't try to dominate the rest of the world either militarily or economically.

          1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

            Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

            What - something like a union of countries that have a long history of commonality, such as those in Europe?

            As if!

            /s

          2. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

            re: "they are becoming more socially open"

            The social credit score and its impact on anybody failing to grovel at the feet of China's ruling class strongly suggests that China is not becoming socially open in any form.

            re: "a heavy dose of racial bias"

            Why focus on that and not the significantly greater sexist bias (mirrored in the UK)?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

              Moron

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

          The thing about social and cultural and economic alignment, though, is that it's a shifting target.

          The US and UK are closely aligned because generations of leaders, on both sides, have taken care to keep them that way. If Trump is anything to go by, those days are gone now, and the two will inevitably drift apart. At the same time, China has spent the past 15 years on a major political and economic charm offensive.

          By this time, once-staunch US allies such as Japan and South Korea are already looking thoughtfully at China. If the US can't be trusted to protect them, then they'll need to reach an understanding of some sort there. The Chinese are wooing Australia and New Zealand, Chile and Guatemala, Germany and Italy. They've got the money, and Trump has handed them the initiative.

          Maybe the UK will remain in the US sphere. Maybe the relationship really is special. But I wouldn't take it for granted.

        3. mutin

          Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

          All is very simple. Politics. It is good manner in the EU to hate the US. Media and politicians work hard for that. Simply because US finally wants equality in paying for mutual defense. And avoiding deals with such countries as Iran, China and Russia. Not the first time in human history. US was for some time outside of Europe politics and that started WW2. Finally US spent enormous resources to get Germany and allies down. So, EU wants to be very friendly with the trio of VERY Democratic countries. Fine. But do not ask US to help again if you got in a problem.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

      I use a Huawei device, its the most stable smart/super phone I have ever used.

      Used to be Nokia many years back, then Samsung. S3, S4 and S5 all had freezing and crashing problems after a year or less of life. Battery life was also awful.

      So I moved away from Samsung and went through many different phones, but they all end up the same way by a year and a half of life.

      However, the Huwawei I brough last year in February from China, has never slowed down or lagged in over a year since I have had it, and the battery life is great even though I am a heavy phone user for Films and shows.

      All smartphone companies, except Huawei use Qualacomm tech. Huwawei use their own tech.

      This is the only reason Korean Samsung were not banned. Huwawei was just about to become the number 1 global smartphone company, and conveniently they like ZTE got a trade ban.

      Twat Face Trump knows about Googles spying on people through their software, especially for use by US government to spy on other countries. Just because they do it, it does not mean China will through Huwawei.

      China does not invade other countries, USA does. Their primary objective is to be number one with technology.

      My wife is Chinese and my daughter half Chinese. Huwawei is superior, and the lies told by Trump and the US government about China and Huwawei are just that.

      Thanks

  2. GrapeBunch

    Say it ain't so.

    At least all the Canadian franchises are out of the NHL playoffs "by natural means". If any were still there, they might soon be gone by edict. Meanwhile in baseball, nah, no threat.

    1. Reg Reader 1

      Re: Say it ain't so.

      and the Raptors lost game 1 :(

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    National Emergency

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: National Emergency

      I'm wondering if all these "national emergencies" are being declared because they actually are, or is this "attention getting"? I'm not being political, I am actually curious.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: National Emergency

        It's Trump. It ALL about attention getting.

        Honest question: do you NOT know the history of Trump?

      3. Oliver Mayes

        Re: National Emergency

        Declaring a national emergency allows him to ignore and bypass the parts of the government that exist to restrict his power.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: National Emergency

          Wait for the National Emergency that allows him to move his golf balls to a better lie.

          -oh, it appears he already does that, and uses the Secret Service for the purpose. "What did you do today to defend democracy,dear?" "Oh, I lifted the President's balls and moved them nearer the hole."

          1. alwallgbr
            Thumb Up

            Re: National Emergency

            Ooooooooo Matron

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: National Emergency

              No, I wrote "President", not "patient". But the confusion is understandable.

          2. Oliver Mayes

            Re: National Emergency

            And there was the time he played against another golfer and his 10 year old son. Trump lost his ball into a pond and claimed the 10 year olds ball as his own, with his caddy backing him up.

            Utter twat.

            1. WonkoTheSane
              Headmaster

              Re: National Emergency

              Since partially debunked. The son was a 20-something adult.

              Still a twat though.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: National Emergency

        I'm wondering if all these "national emergencies" are being declared because they actually are, or is this "attention getting"?

        Declaring a national emergency also allows a president to do things which he or she would not be normally permitted to do, for good reasons. While the Congress could quash a presidential declaration of an emergency, this is extremely rare and takes time. So it is very far from being just posturing, and is a very real threat to the idea of separation of powers.

        The Wikipedia's list of national emergencies in the US makes for some very amusing reading:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_national_emergencies_in_the_United_States

        1. Julz Silver badge

          Re: National Emergency

          It seems that WWII wasn't a nation emergency.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: National Emergency

            They must have planned better in those days.

          2. Trollslayer Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: National Emergency

            The fifth entry - 12th May 1941.

      5. Bryan Hall

        Re: National Emergency

        FYI Trump is behind Clinton in the total number of these at this point, and about even with Bush and Obama.

        If their software has actually been shown to be coded to forward duplicate packets to a questionable target when triggered (not by normal diagnostic means), this seems quite reasonable for any president to declare a national emergency against.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: National Emergency

          Numbers compared to other PoUS? Technically correct but look at the reasons for them and the fact that he's only had a couple of years to do it!

          I'd like to see you hard evidence of the second point.

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: National Emergency

          "FYI Trump is behind Clinton in the total number of these at this point, and about even with Bush and Obama."

          Blah blah. What are these national emergencies though?

          Obama: flu pandemic, and sanctions against various countries, like Burundi, Russia, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, CAR, etc.

          Trump: sanctions on Nicaragua, then BUILD MY GODDAMN WALL.

          Trump uses executive orders to stop Muslims entering the US, Obama did it to sanction the Yakuza. No obvious comparison.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: National Emergency

          "If their software has actually been shown to be coded to forward duplicate packets to a questionable target when triggered"

          You've got some hard words in there: "if", "actually" and "shown".

    2. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Flame

      Re: National Emergency

      It means HE is the national emergency.

    3. adam payne

      Re: National Emergency

      US: I admit it, you are better than I am

      China: So why are you smiling

      US: because I know something you do not, I am not left handed

      China: I'm not left handed either

  4. sgrier23

    Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

    The USA is doing this simply because ian American company - Cisco Systems - are unable to build the 5G kit cheaply enough at ta high enough quality than Huawei can.

    This has nothing to do with security and everything to do with Donald Trump not wanting anyone other than American companies to make the 5G network viable.

    Don't Cisco have a back door into their kit which will allow American authorities to access the infrastructure its placed into?

    Makes you think...

    1. joed

      Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

      "Don't Cisco have a back door into their kit which will allow American authorities to access the infrastructure its placed into?" - Cisco likes to have it both ways. I don't think their contribution to Great Firewall is by accident. And with number of bugs their kit does not require any covert back doors.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

        "And with number of bugs their kit does not require any covert back doors.'

        I'd be willing to bet that those bugs -are- the back doors. A lot of the recent bugs would be the perfect vector for acquiring covert access to a system.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

      Are you sure it's Cisco?

      There's more than one US vendor involved in the mobile telecoms market, and while Cisco would like to be more involved in 5G, there 5G product range is more likely to be adopted by smaller telco's and startups rather than the large incumbants. On the router/switch/other network plumbing side, there is significant vendor choice including SDN/roll your own if you really don't trust the incumbant vendors.

      Other US companies (i.e. Intel, Nokia due to acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent) have a lot to lose as they don't have products ready yet while Qualcomm has a lot to gain because they do have handset products available.

      If the rumours that Cisco will buy Ericsson to get into 5G are ture, then I'd be less sceptical. Based on the current state of 5G, I'd suggest Huawei's progress benefits any Cisco bid by lowering Ericsson's value.

      1. Trollslayer Silver badge

        Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

        There will be other companies on the radio side of the network.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

      Not Cisco. At least the last time I checked they didn't make mobile base stations and antennae, but they do make a lot of their kit in China. What was Bell Labs went into Lucent which went into Alcatel which tied up with Nokia, I think. A long time ago there was also Nortel. Otherwise there is Qualcomm which makes nearly all the modems that goes into phones and also does work for the US military.

      Anyway 5G is just a buzzword. America does have pretty good LTE coverage and Trump only really cares that his fans can keep up to date with his latest conspiracy theories

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

        I avoided muddying the waters with Nortel. They were Canadian and went to Ericsson so they sort of skip the US.

        But given Nortels heavy telco involvement historically, I suspect they just tie Ericsson in on the preferred vendors side of things with existing US telcos.

    4. Reg Reader 1

      Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

      I am not a Trump supporter, but in the case of selling stuff cheaply from developing economies we cannot compete. Many developing nations have very good education systems and can compete on technical developments, obviously. At what point do developed nations stop the bleeding of jobs? Granted the system is screwed and Trump will make it worse not better, but sometimes even his idiocy is a "small step" in the right direction.

      Real steps would require these maga-Corps to bring jobs back to NA, EU, AU and parts of Asia.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

        At what point do developed nations stop the bleeding of jobs?

        At the point where their citizens agree to pay 3x the price for stuff made "at home", or when the staff in those home industries agree to a 60% salary cut to compete with the developing economies.

      2. David 18

        Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

        They could try improving their education (and healthcare) systems.....

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

        If you look at the numbers you'll see that developed economies have lost more jobs to automation than they have to low-wage economies. Where there are job transfers there is usually a return either in the form of demand for something else that the developing economy can't provide, or investment.

        It's only with robots that you don't get any kind of trade.

        Trump's approach is largely a rerun of the unsuccessful protectionism of the 19th century and could be as damaging, though that was popular with large parts of the country,

      4. Crazy Operations Guy

        Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

        China is not a developing country nor is it a developing economy. Unless you also consider the US, Canada and all members of the EU to also be developing nations.

        China is at least as advanced as any other nation on earth and even surpass us in things like energy infrastructure and long-distance mass-transit, among other areas.

        Besides, pulling manufacturing from China will just result in China creating more competition. They would have all the scientists, engineers, technicians, factory workers, manufacturing infrastructure, etc to do it all themselves. We gave them the skill-sets to build stuff at our standard of quality and more efficiently.The thing is that western companies didn't move their manufacturing to china, they sold off their manufacturing and contracted with Chinese companies to make their products for them.

        Cisco's products aren't rolling out of a Cisco factory filled with Cisco employees that happens to be in China, their stuff is rolling out of a Foxconn factory staffed by Foxconn employees using Foxconn's logistic and supply networks and then they slap a Cisco sticker on the box. At this point, I would actually be surprised if the Cisco equipment I have in my data center has ever been touched by a Cisco employee or even in a Cisco-owned facility. Its likely that it was manufactured in China, tested by a company in CHina, then sent to the US on Chinese sips where it sat in a warehouse owned by a Chinese distribution partner before it was ordered by by my reseller and then dumped on my loading dock where our contractors racked-and-stacked it.

    5. spold Silver badge

      Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

      >>>

      Don't Cisco have a back door into their kit which will allow American authorities to access the infrastructure its placed into?

      <<<

      Ah but that would be a LAWFUL access :-) - here is an example config guide https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/switches/lan/catalyst6500/ios/12-2SX/lawful/intercept/book/65LIch1.html

    6. Nick Kew Bronze badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Huawei + China Vs Cisco Systems + United States of America

      Don't Cisco have a back door into their kit which will allow American authorities to access the infrastructure its placed into?

      In common with everyone else, they are required to by law. That's nothing new.

      The speculative question that Trump's behaviour thrusts onto us is how far beyond that law vendors are being required to go in practice.

  5. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Trumpeting Trump trumps Trumpmenistan telecoms totally

    1. Bitsminer

      Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.

      Don't you know.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I just read that to the tune of Nellie the Elephant :-)

      CAUTION: Earworm alert!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're all out to get me!

    More Trump paranoia!

  7. macjules Silver badge

    Better put Foxconn on the list as well

    “prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine US national security or foreign policy interests.”

    Oh wait ...

  8. Dave Coventry
    Mushroom

    What is the risk?

    I've asked this question before and had it answered on here, but is there a source that I can quote in conversation with all the know-it-all twenty-somethings who confidently state that Chinese tech cannot be trusted because of a proliferation of backdoors which can turn it into a weapon at the touch of a button in Beijing? An article by Vulture Central analysing this and setting out what is possible and what is not would be helpful.

    1. Pier Reviewer

      Re: What is the risk?

      The risk is that a nation state interferes with the design or manufacture of networking gear, allowing privileged remote access to it without leaving any evidence. Something like https://www.zdnet.com/article/thrangrycat-flaw-lets-attackers-plant-persistent-backdoors-on-cisco-gear/

      Oh, that’s every Cisco box, not Huawei. My bad.

      I’m sure someone can dig up a similar issue with Huawei gear. Right?...

      The important point to remember is that nobody is saying we should implicitly trust the Chinese. We shouldn’t. They are a foreign state with their own interests at heart. But so is the US. They have a history of spying on anyone they deem worth spying on.

      https://our.wikileaks.org/US_caught_spying_on_Greek_diplomatic_communications_in_2004-2005 is the big one that everyone seems to forget. Then there was Angela Merkel. I would be shocked if there weren’t many more.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: What is the risk?

        I would be shocked if there weren’t many more.

        The US spied on Security Council delegates and on their discussions with other countries' delegates in the run-up to the Iraq War, in violation of the strict no-spy rule in the UN. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the major countries weren't also doing the same when it suited them, but the US has home-turf advantage there.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: What is the risk?

      The real risk is that China doesn't agree to Trumps "generous" an d "fair" demands in his proposedtrade deal.

      Currently, Trump is using all means legally (ie. can be argued by a good lawyer to be legal) available to put pressure on China to agree to the terms of his trade deal.

      What is going to be interesting is when ultimately he agrees a trade deal with China - and he will as his ego and desire to be re-elected will require it, will be his about face on Chinese technology, especially Huawei's 5G kit...

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: What is the risk?

        What is going to be interesting is what China will decide to do with all the American debt they hold, once they get sufficiently pissed off at Trump's antics.

        1. PerlyKing Silver badge

          Re: What is the risk?

          I have no idea how much American debt China holds, but this old saying springs to mind: if you owe the bank a hundred dollars, you're in trouble. If you owe the bank a million dollars, the bank's in trouble.

          1. Spacedinvader

            Re: What is the risk?

            ~$1.7tn. 25% of total foreign owned US debt.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: What is the risk?

              I read something recently that said it was $1.1t (17%) because they'd offloaded a lot of it in the last 12 months.

              They're still the biggest foreign owner of debt anyway. /hairs-being-split

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: What is the risk?

          Not really, once they've bought the debt then the US doesn't really care what they do with it. Anyway, for some years now China has been diversifying into non-Treasury assets. But, much as it was with the Arabs in the 70s and Japan in the 80s, America doesn't really care who buys the assets just as long as they keep paying in dollars. Majority ownership of strategic assets is routinely ruled out.

          The real risk to the US is a shift away from using the dollar for settling accounts. While China has made some small progress in getting deals in raw materials denominated in other currencies or forms, the vast majority of all international trades are still settled in dollars and this gives the US enormous power.

          If the spat with China wasn't accompanied by other spats with America's allies then it might be easier to get the allies on board with a coordinated approach against Chinese more dubious business practices. As things stand, however, the US is doing a great job of losing friends and influence. If they continue at some point there will probably be several special purpose vehicles (SPV) for settling some trade that the US disapproves of without using dollars. The bullying over Iran does seem to enjoying success in Europe with many companies voluntarily withdrawing from deals with Iran, but other countries, notably India, might be less impressed. A pipeline from Iran to India and possibly even to China is probably sill a pipedream but people are no doubt working on potential workarounds such as trading Iranian oil via Iraq.

          I'd love to think that a war with Iran was completely off the table (it is completely unwinnable for the US) but the combination of Trump (fuckwit) and Bolton (nutjob) mean that almost anything is possible. After all, what could be better for US shale than a conflict in the Gulf?

          1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

            Re: What is the risk?

            > Not really, once they've bought the debt then the US doesn't really care what they do with it.

            That's not strictly true. The debt, in the form of Treasury Bills, each have a maturity date - typically 5, 10, 20 years. Occasionally longer.

            When the debt matures it has to be repaid. Normally this is done by borrowing more - called rolling-over. If the Chinese refuse to roll over their debt then the US Government will need to find other buyers. This will be expensive, in the form of increased interest rates.

            So, to paraphrase the line I quoted from you: the US cares a lot; Trump, on the other hand, less so because he is creating a problem for his successor.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: What is the risk?

              When the debt matures it has to be repaid. Normally this is done by borrowing more - called rolling-over.

              Yes, but the dollar hegemony makes it almost a certainty that they will: most holders of sovereign debt are essentially addicted to it. They don't buy US debt because of the yield but because of the liquidity.There are some exceptions, of course, when it looks like countries are likely to default as has happened with Argentina, but the US repeatedly stiff debt-holders in the 19th century and is likely to continue to do so as long as it thinks it can get away with it. Hence, the risk is in the rise of SPVs that avoid using the dollar.

              Anyway, the biggest purchaser of US debt over the last few years has been the Federal Reserve which has used its balance sheet to force investors into other asset classes.

          2. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: What is the risk?

            >The real risk to the US is a shift away from using the dollar for settling accounts.

            This is one reason why some in the US eg. Trump, would like to see a weaker EU.

            Much of the fuss over the last few decades the US has made about oil various producers have coincidentally been with countries that use the Euro instead of the USD...

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: What is the risk?

              The EU is more collateral damage in a war on multilateralism, particularly the WTO. Trump wants to be able to dictate terms in bilateral trade deals, because that's what he did when he was screwing investors and contractors building hotels and casinos.

        3. Crazy Operations Guy

          Re: What is the risk?

          In years past, nations would just impound cargo destined for the nation that skipped out on their debt. In some cases the nation would sell the cargo to make back the loss from the debt. Given that China has a massive amount of our manufactured goods, especially stuff we depend on for daily life, they wouldn't be too concerned about the debt for too long before we are forced to relent and either pay them or let some other nation buy it all up and sell it to us at a massive premium.

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: What is the risk?

      Try this for a starting place..

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/02/20/uk-cyber-security-agency-sticks-chinas-huawei-despite-us-spy/

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: What is the risk?

        Looks like the UK's collaborative approach has resulted in "the Cell" becoming a rather useful canary.

        I suspect if the UK were to try and openly do similar for a US vendor, the US would be up in arms and putting pressure on the UK government to stop undermining the "special relationship".

  9. Mystic Megabyte
    WTF?

    Pardon me!

    I see that Trump just pardoned Conrad Black. From the article "Last year he published a book entitled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other."

    I think that Trump has now entirely lost the plot. He's supposedly running a country but finds the time to pardon dubious people.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-48290529

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pardon me!

      I see that Trump just pardoned Conrad Black. From the article "Last year he published a book entitled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other."

      I think that Trump has now entirely lost the plot. He's supposedly running a country but finds the time to pardon dubious people.

      Ah, but there is absolutely no doubt what Lord Black of Crossharbour stands for, is there? We can go with his own words: ... "You have a right to say whatever it is that is on your mind, all of you," he informed his investors. "You don't know what you are talking about, but you are still welcome as shareholders." ... [http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2003/10/13/350878/index.htm]

      Kindred spirit and all that ...

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: Pardon me!

      Conrad Black isn't a dubious person. He's just a millionaire who had the misfortune to get caught. Nothing dubious about it.

    3. WonkoTheSane

      Re: Pardon me!

      Black was Donnie's partner on "Trump Tower Chicago".

      Maybe Black knows exactly who is in the foundations of that building...

    4. Trollslayer Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Pardon me!

      Trump's father died from Alzheimer's induced dementia and Trump's symptom fit.

      Add to that he never was very intelligent in the first place and you have a recipe for multiple disasters.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    LOL

    Oh well, looks like neo luditism is well and alive

    Just as well the US and EU (still china or mexico manufactured so secret mobo mods are "real" supermicro... ;-))alternatives are free of backdoors... ah thangrycat, stuxnet, snowdon confirmations etc. oh well best just unplug the lot to be sure (seriously how does this make any sense i know twitolitics but still lol)

    How i hope twitter has a large investment in huawei kit in its data centers (or better yet in the interconnects and peers it uses), that would be a brilliant unintended consequence degrade the most prosperous 3rd world country's crappy domestic internet some more, wonder how his "base" (all pyramid schemes need one) will cope without farcebook, cat videos, troll factory propoganda, conspiracy theories and xenophobic nobbers promoting fear of accents and cultures incase it waters down their inbred gene pool, probably the only accidentally positive policy to come out of the tiny handed orangutans dementia addled brain

    1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: LOL

      Tom Wolfe would be proud of you.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. hammarbtyp

    Small mistake...

    The order has been widely interpreted as the laying of groundwork to prohibit the use of C̶h̶i̶n̶e̶s̶e̶ ̶ Non-american telecom gear

    Fixed it for ya

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Small mistake...

      Downvote for thinking that the availability of 5G kit extends beyond a handful of vendors these days. It's basically 4G base station vendors minus the small players because of the costs involved in research and winning contracts:

      https://www.ft.com/__origami/service/image/v2/images/raw/https%3A%2F%2Fs3-ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com%2Fpsh-ex-ftnikkei-3937bb4%2Fimages%2F_aliases%2Farticleimage%2F7%2F9%2F2%2F6%2F16286297-1-eng-GB%2Fround%20graph%20huawei.jpg?source=nar-cms

  12. batfink Silver badge

    It's nice that the USA practices proper capitalism

    Of course the Land of the Free (TM) believes in proper competition between companies, because that's how Proper Capitalism is supposed to work. And of course any Gummint Interference in that is anathema.

    Where's me MAGA icon, El Reg?

  13. lsces

    American kit just as crap at security?

    I've just returned a Netgear hub purchased to replace the BT Hub6 which continues to cause problems with reliable access to broadband. The Netgear has major faults with port forwarding which apparently they are not going to fix ... obviously they don't even know how to? It's not who sells the kit that is the problem it's that none of them actually understand what they are selling ? Just who does own the core IP that is fundamental to the simple functions of the internet anyway ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: American kit just as crap at security?

      "I've just returned a Netgear hub"

      "Cheap consumer networking product proves to be less robust or functional than required" shocker!

      You should contact ElReg directly, I don't think anyone has discovered this issue before.

      If you want to do port forwarding with decent performance/reliability, try pfSense on a low end dual NIC Intel box with wifi (i.e. a low end NUC). It will likely have enough RAM and CPU to run what you require at line rate without being too noisy. However it may not do everything you want (i.e. VDSL/cable) - if you need a one box solution, the Netgear Nighthawks or Draytek Vigors may do what you want but they aren't as flexible as pfSense and a VDSL/cable modem in bridge mode. Plus pfSense security updates are likely to go on as long as you are prepared to apply patches/upgrades.

      You will notice that the price is significantly higher to get the additional CPU/memory/storage that a NUC or better network device offer. There maybe some correlation there.

    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: American kit just as crap at security?

      "Just who does own the core IP that is fundamental to the simple functions of the internet anyway ?"

      The IETF says... 'DARPA'

      https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc791

      Of course, when you say 'IP' I assume you are referring to Intellectual Property (and thus control)? If so, then it's a moot point. If the standards weren't widely known and implemented, it wouldn't be an internet in the first place, just a lot of private networks.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    enemies of the state

    always useful if you're short of real success, just ask pres. Putin, I'm sure the two Greatest World Leaders would have consulted.

    btw, how's that defensive war against Iran going, got the taskforce in position yet? We've got to unite to defeat these EVIL WRONGDOERS that threaten our American Way of Life, even if they hide on Mars (Elon Musk, I'm WATCHING YOU!!!). And we're winning the war with China! And war against Mexico and Canada! And war against our (ex) EU partners!

    America! Trump! Great! Again!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: enemies of the state

      They're not going to put an aircraft carrier in the Gulf if they seriously expected it to escalate to a war - which means it's there for another reason (false flag).

      It also means that US are confident *they* are in charge of how the situation develops, so the idea that Iran is a an actual threat is totally ludicrous.

      It's all about putting more sanctions onto Iran and getting others to do so as well.

  15. xin xin

    Israel companies may have done spying on whatsapp, but we can trust the israel govt to investigate and stop that, or at least that it could be pressured into doing so. not so with china. china doesn't need to spy all the time. and huawei can even be willing to sign a no-spy contract with your government, and promisees to fold if ever found to have spied. but that's a good bargain for china. all it needs is to spy at one critical moment - say when a great war happens between it and the west. then letting one company fold up is good price to pay for the spying just before that critical moment - the company would have to fold in such a war anyway. moral: trust your garrulous friends, not your sweet-talking enemies.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Trollface

      Is this the kind of thing you would consider sweet talk?..

      "Buy our stuff, not theirs, or you'll be sorry"

    2. theblackhand

      "Israel companies may have done spying on whatsapp, but we can trust the israel govt to investigate and stop that"

      You misunderstand - the Israeli companies found the WhatsApp flaw, created software to exploit the flaw to allow installation of remote surveillance and sold the software. In all likelihood, it was sold to first and second world law enforcement agencies.

      Countries that have existing large scale surveillance systems don't really require the software as they can fall back to more physical methods of data acquisition.

      Why would any government be pressuring Israel to stop the sale of the software?

      "all it needs is to spy at one critical moment"

      You make it sound like the majority of countries don't spy 24x7 already. They do, it's just the quality and trustworthiness of the information that changes.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    prohibit the use of Chinese telecom gear by American companies

    including their foreign tentacles? So what happens when Google/Alphabet based in London wants to "call home" and a piece of Huawei hardware and / or infrastructure is involved?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    national security OR foreign policy interests

    EVERYTHING is a matter of US foreign policy interests, therefore...

    1. Tomato42

      Re: national security OR foreign policy interests

      yeah, it's almost as if it was a communist country, as far as corporations are concerned

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: national security OR foreign policy interests

        Technically, using Mussolini's own definition , the only reason the US is not fascist is because the President can be elected out of office, while it took the King of Italy to depose Mussolini.

        Mind you, it would in theory be possible to have a good fascist government. Ankh-Morpork is an example.

        1. Tomato42

          Re: national security OR foreign policy interests

          > good fascist government

          most common parts of fascist movements are authoritarianism, xenophobia, sexism, racism, machismo, use of newspeak and conspiracy theories

          any movement that can be described with half of those characteristics is definitely not "good"

          > Ankh-Morpork is an example.

          so, no, AM is not an example of a fascist government. Vetinari was ruthless, but he was completely egalitarian when dispensing that ruthlessness.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anon for obvious reasons

    Clever guy... or not!

    Did they consider what happens to Dell with their huge debt pile, or HPE, Cisco or any other good American companies that makes most or all their goods in China?

    The Chinese state could retaliate. What if they did so by banning manufacturers providing goods to American owned companies or even just putting extra export checks in place causing delays.

    That’s going to hurt the US companies that can’t make any of their products to sell. I would imagine those that were highly leveraged would have problems and potentially even go bankrupt.

    At the very least costs would go up and quality at a given price point down.

    Sure that was all considered by the great leader.

  19. John Robson Silver badge

    I hope a carrier (or preferably both)...

    have the balls to receive such an order and just turn off the network instead.

    "Trump doesn't want the most appropriate network gear used, so we turned it off"

  20. James 51
    Go

    Why doesn't everyone agree to use Nokia and Ericsson 5G kit, shake hands and head over to the nineteenth hole?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Why doesn't everyone agree to use Nokia and Ericsson 5G kit, shake hands and head over to the nineteenth hole?"

      Because they might have to spend a few years at the 19th hole waiting for the kit to show up. Then they can agree to use it.

      I'm not saying that Huawei have everything ready to go, but they are a significant way in front of Ericsson (reportedly struggling with a few technical challenges within their solution) and Nokia (has regrets around their choice of chip manufacturers. May be OK if said manufacturer is able to produce 10nm volumes any time soon).

      Would you like another drink while we wait?

      1. James 51

        With the text over 'procced with this nonsense at flank speed' in my choice of icon I would have dodged Poe's law but apparently not. However, if neither Chinese nor American companies past security muster, who else could do it?

  21. DontFeedTheTrolls
    Headmaster

    FRAND

    It will be interesting when Chinese companies need to apply for said licenses from the US, as has been shown in many other articles here on El Reg there are quite strict rules around essential patents and licenses, with fairness being a major part.

    And this isn't a US thing, its part of World Trade.

    So, Mr Trump, can we have our license on equal terms?

  22. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "there are quite strict rules around essential patents and licenses, with fairness being a major part."

    Trump's view would probably be that you misspelled a word there. It should have been "quaint".

  23. A.P. Veening Silver badge

    "to prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to ... or the security and safety of United States persons,"

    That is a total ban on Cisco products as well then with those NSA backdoors. Of course the NSA isn't allowed to spy on the American population, but do you believe they don't?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Keep using that vendor with no security holes then.

      Remind me - who is it?

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        All vendors have security holes, but I refuse to use a vendor with proven back doors. And there is currently only one (world wide) in that category.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Cisco's the only one with backdoors?

          Looking at the NSA TAO (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSA_ANT_catalog) and Shadow Broker disclosures, equipment from Cisco, Fortigate, Netscreen and Huawei could be backdoored. The Huawei backdoor (HALLUXWATER) and Netscreen backdoor (SOUFFLETROUGH) relied on the underlying boot ROM replacement and a separate attack for Dell servers (DEITYBOUNCE) suggest that any x86 server may have been targeted in a similar way, likely covering off Checkpoint.

          Were vendors like Palo Alto unaffected or was it just a case of the flaws weren't discovered in these releases? Or are other firewalls just handled by the in-line taps that the NSA had instead?

          If you believe Cisco is the only one with proven backdoors, I will leave you in your fantasy world.

  24. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    He's a pillock.

  25. Laura Kerr

    "block [Huawei] from buying components from American companies without Uncle Sam's approval."

    Causing them to start rolling their own in 3... 2... 1...

    It might take Huawei a fair few attempts to clone what they're currently buying from Jesusland, but let's not kid ourselves for a moment that they wouldn't try. And with their kit effectively banned from The Land Of The (allegedly) Free, whatcha gonna do, Donny? Nuke 'em?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "block [Huawei] from buying components from American companies without Uncle Sam's approval."

      What like this?

      https://www.huawei.com/en/press-events/news/2019/1/huawei-unveils-highest-performance-arm-based-cpu

      Or their own radio, phone and networking chips, their own SSD drives and drive controllers?

      I imagine POTUS missed the memo that they already are rolling their own and have been for years.

      Not only are they rolling their own, apparently it must be good enough to spook those Mr T is trying to calm.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who are we?

    There seem to be a staggeringly high number of posts on here from people who think it is OK to install 5G technology from a company owned by the Chinese military? Would we install the same if it was Russian or Iranian, to name but two?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Who are we?

      Would we install the same if it was Russian or Iranian, to name but two?

      If it's a choice between those and American kit, then yes, definitely.

      1. GodBlessIBM

        Re: Who are we?

        Really? Or just being smug? If the former head of MI6 described it as a risk too far then I think we shd listen.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who are we?

          Look no further than Kaspersky - banned for being the only AV that spotted the NSA tools.

        2. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Who are we?

          If the former head of MI6 described it as a risk too far

          then we should consider how biased they might be...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who are we?

      Huawei is kind of like John Lewis in that it is owned by its staff.

      As for the companies creator being in the Army previously......

      Really, could that because of historical conscription in the country he grew up in?

  27. Ben1892
    Joke

    Do I want 5G?

    I'm not sure I have a requirement for 5G, can someone enlighten me as to why I need it please? Once I get past that, I'll then start getting worried about johnny foreigner being able to send a kill switch to the core 5G network to stop me downloading porn while I'm driving my train.

  28. Gio Ciampa

    Fail Huawei, Fail Huawei, Fail Huawei

    Surprised nobody spotted the earworm generator...

    ...Enya fan perchance, Thomas?

    1. James 51
      Gimp

      Re: Fail Huawei, Fail Huawei, Fail Huawei

      Not quite close enough to sail away (Orinoco Flow) for it to spring to mind.

  29. steviebuk Silver badge

    But..

    "And FBI boss Christopher Wray warned earlier this year that China is the biggest cyber-security threat to America." yet they aren't banning Apple phones despite being built in China via Foxconn.

  30. Just An Engineer

    The People at the Wharton School and all of the alumni, must really be cringing on this Dim Wits really solid grasp of Economic Principles.

  31. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    UK

    noting that Huawei chairman Liang Hua says the company will commit to a "no-spy agreement" with the UK government,

    "Well, he would say that wouldn't he?"

    Surely by now we know that promises in the world of spying aren't worth anything. Liang Hua is Chinese, if he doesn't want to end up having his organs harvested he does what he is told, regardless of any 'agreements'.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: UK

      As opposed to the Americans - who obviously abide by all promises, and would never have a back door..

  32. Chris Jasper

    Wonder how much Cisco stumped up to get this happening?

  33. holmegm Bronze badge

    Huh ...

    ... maybe capitalists won't sell you the rope to hang them with ...

  34. JaitcH
    Meh

    Since When Have US Boycotts Succeeded?

    I live in a country that was sanctioned by the USA after it lost the American War in VietNam as well as it's 'face' (pride).

    Sure, at first it was tough - there was even a period when the lights were literally turned off in the cities and residents had to forage for food themselves.

    What the Americans didn't do was to read Vietnam's history - Been There, Done That.

    What the 25 year sanctions DID do was to make the resilient Vietnamese become self-sufficient. When President Bill Clinton surveyed the world he realised that the States were on the loosing end of the deal. We don't need chain stores or massive imports as we have craftsmen - human talent.

    The result is that VietNam has a modern infrastructure, an amazing road network, and construction country-wide. Being close to water the Vietnamese are also bridge-building experts.

    The younger generations of Vietnamese are well educated - not State but family financed - and no one expects family members in whom large amounts of family income have been invested to do nothing except excel. Students are outside their schools well before opening and the schools shut well after their counterpoints in the West have closed.

    VietNam owes the USA a debt of appreciation.

    As for the Chinese the US sanctions, it might cause a blip in the economy but in the end they will succeed. If the Americans won't supply essentials, the Chinese have a few essentials that the Americans need - including money. And China is bursting with talent and skill.

    Kampuchea / Cambodia sure is getting rich from the Trump Tariffs as new plants have popped up all along the northern border where Chinese products go in the north facing doors and Made in Cambodia products come out the south-facing doors. Chinese financed corporate entities have grown in number in VietNam where the plants are used to manufacture (assemble) high-value products that were formerly made in China.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Since When Have US Boycotts Succeeded?

      What the Americans didn't do was to read Vietnam's history - Been There, Done That.

      Which part of the over 2,000 years of Vietnam's history? The part where the Vietnamese kicked out the Chinese occupiers after about a millenium of occupation?

      Nobody ever pays attention to history, but there are two countries it just doesn't pay to occupy: Afghanistan and Vietnam. Both have kicked out multiple occupying and conquering empires over the millenia.

      1. holmegm Bronze badge

        Re: Since When Have US Boycotts Succeeded?

        "Which part of the over 2,000 years of Vietnam's history? The part where the Vietnamese kicked out the Chinese occupiers after about a millenium of occupation?"

        And that's ... success?

        I mean, kudos and all ... but ...

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Since When Have US Boycotts Succeeded?

          Yes, that was succes as that happened about a thousand years ago. That French occupation a while ago was just a minor nuissance, the French were kicked out easily enough once the Vietnamese got around to even paying attention. And the Americans were stupid enough to blunder into that mine field.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Torn

    On the one hand it's a.simple, out and out anti competitive move by a regime in need of change. On the other hand, I know what it's like to compete against a company that will happily give everything away (and we are talking everything) just to wipe out their competitors; a company who lavished potential customers with holidays in China (illegal for me given bribery laws); a known half incher of IP. It couldn't be happening to a nicer business.

  36. Trooper_ID

    Protectionism

    The only point of this is to ensure that only American companies can build the next gen networks, that is American companies whose equipment it has already been demonstrated, can be 'interfered with' by American agencies.

  37. JohnFen Silver badge

    I am convinced

    I am convinced that Trump has no clue what a "national emergency" actually is.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: I am convinced

      Correct, he lacks the necessary self-awareness.

    2. Nick Kew Bronze badge

      Re: I am convinced

      He knows very well.

      It is a means for the president to override "checks and balances" in the US constitution. No more, no less.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kids and tech

    It's a shame no one except a few of us remember the hell of having Russians up our @sses pre-70's...and thereafter.

    China, you'll never be able to compete with people that make you work from six to six, six days a week, so Remember what happens to Private Chinese

    companies when their Government wants them. This is not a competition , it's China trying to "get in".

    Oh well I won't have to deal with this garbage soon anyways, enjoy your brave new world dildos.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020