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The FCC voted unanimously Friday to approve a ban prohibiting companies from using federal telecom subsidies to purchase equipment from Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE, deeming them national security threats.

Why it matters: The FCC's ban comes amid rising tensions with Huawei in the global race to 5G deployment and trade negotiations with China.

The big picture: Earlier this week, the Commerce Department handed Huawei a win by granting U.S. companies' requests for waivers to allow them to supply Huawei with components.

  • Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said she fears the agency's move could get swept up in broader trade issues.
  • "Despite our actions today, we have to grapple with the fact that at any moment the administration could trade away our security objectives for some momentary advantage in bilateral trade negotiations," Rosenworcel said.

Driving the news: The FCC ban would prevent carriers — many serving rural communities — from using funding from the $8.5 billion Universal Service Fund to purchase equipment or services from the two companies.

  • The FCC said the order is based on long-standing concerns about the two firms, including their ties to the Chinese government and Chinese laws that require them to cooperate with the government.
  • "If the Chinese government is willing to use its leverage over things like professional basketball and Taiwanese flag emojis, imagine what could happen if we allowed Chinese company equipment into our 5G networks," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.
  • The FCC also approved a proposal that would require carriers receiving the subsidies to remove existing equipment from their networks, and seeks comment on a reimbursement program to help offset the cost of removal.

Go deeper: Why Huawei is the United States' 5G boogeyman

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

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President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.