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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

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

Officials warn 5 key tech sectors will determine whether China overtakes U.S.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. intelligence officials responsible for protecting advanced technologies have narrowed their focus to five key sectors: artificial intelligence, quantum computing, biotechnology, semiconductors and autonomous systems.

Why it matters: China and Russia are employing a variety of legal and illegal methods to undermine and overtake U.S. dominance in these critical industries, officials warned in a new paper. Their success will determine "whether America remains the world’s leading superpower or is eclipsed by strategic competitors."

6 hours ago - Health

Pfizer says COVID vaccine over 90% effective in kids

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech said their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting children between the ages of 5 and 11 from symptomatic infections from the virus, according to a study posted online by the FDA Friday.

Why it matters: Pfizer is seeking an emergency use authorization to vaccinate children — one of the last groups of Americans still largely ineligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

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