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Report: White House mulling executive order to block Huawei, ZTE purchases

U.S. President Donald Trump is eyeing a potential executive order that would bar domestic companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp., Reuters reported, citing sources familiar with the situation.

The executive order, which has been under consideration for more than eight months, could be issued as early as January 2019 and would declare a national emergency directing the U.S. Department of Commerce to block local companies from buying equipment from foreign telecommunications makers that pose significant security risks.

Although the text of the order has not been finalized, it is unlikely to name Huawei or ZTE. However, one of the sources said that Commerce officials would interpret it as authorization to include the two Chinese companies in the equipment purchase ban.

In November, U.S. officials called on foreign ally government counterparts and telecom executives to stop using equipment from Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE.

Meanwhile, representatives of some small and midsize U.S. wireless carriers have argued that an outright ban on Chinese equipment could be cost-prohibitive for their businesses.