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Photo: Andrew Harrer - Pool/Getty Images

President Trump has issued an executive order declaring a national emergency and prohibiting U.S. companies from using telecom services that are solely owned, controlled, or directed by a foreign adversary, clearing the way for a ban on the Chinese-owned Huawei.

"This Executive Order declares a national emergency with respect to the threats against information and communications technology and services in the United States and delegates authority to the Secretary of Commerce to prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons."
— Press Secretary Sarah Sanders

Why it matters: The U.S. and other governments have accused China of sabotaging Huawei equipment to use for espionage and of profiting from stolen intellectual property. As Axios has previously reported, Huawei is poised to claim close to half of the 5G market, nudging the technological center of gravity away from western telecom vendors and sounding alarms about China's ability to spy on Americans.

  • Fears are mounting that a 5G equipment market dominated by China will give the authoritarian regime greater access to the explosion of data that will flow across 5G networks.
  • Big U.S. carriers already cannot and don’t use Huawei gear. However, Trump's would affect rural carriers who do use Huawei to save on costs. These carriers are more price sensitive because they have to cover more area with fewer subscribers.

The big picture: Trump's move comes at a moment of heightened U.S.-China trade tensions, with negotiations collapsing last week after China reportedly reneged on many of its earlier commitments. IP theft is among one of the main American grievances that prompted Trump to launch his trade war in the first place.

  • The U.S. has ratcheted up tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, and is currently weighing adding tariffs to the remaining sum of imports — worth about $325 billion.

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

Go deeper

USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

7 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.

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