In November 2019, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved a proposal that prevents any American telecommunications company from using $ 8.5 billion from the Universal Service Fund (USF) to purchase equipment from Huawei and ZTE. Now, it is time for the US Senate to show its position in relation to the presence of equipment from Chinese manufacturers on telecommunications networks in the country.
The Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act, approved on February 27, can ban the purchase of telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE. The proposal also includes a billion-dollar fund to assist operators in rural areas to remove and replace the technology in question from their infrastructure.
To become a law, the proposal still needs the approval of Donald Trump. According to the Politico newspaper, some top management figures have already shown their support for the Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act. If passed by the US president, the law could escalate the climate of commercial conflict between the two countries.
In an international press statement, Senator Roger Wicker of the state of Mississippi states that the telecommunications equipment of certain foreign adversaries represents a national security threat, economic prosperity and future leadership of the United States with respect to cutting-edge technologies. The Senator also adds that, by establishing a removal and replacement program, the proposal comes to safeguard the country's telecommunications networks and ensure more secure connections.
In response to Senate approval, a Huawei spokesman told The Wall Street Journal that the company considers the proposed law to be more harmful than beneficial to the United States. The manufacturer indicates that, if passed, the legislation will reduce the quality of services provided by operators and harm consumers and companies.