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The U.S. government and the contractors to get the first look at Huawei’s ban today

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House’s Office of Management and Budget, is scheduled on Wednesday to release an interim rule and a ban on federal purchases of telecommunications equipment from five Chinese companies, including Huawei, a senior administration official said.

A FILE PHOTO of A Huawei logo is pictured at the Shenzhen International Airport in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China, on July 22, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

The ban is part of a broad U.S. push against Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd, the largest telecom network gear maker, which Washington accuses of espionage, and the theft of intellectual property.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, the military or the intelligence community. It has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, the restrictions in the defense policy bill.

The ban was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed last year, and put a wide ban on the use of federal funds for the purchase of telecommunications equipment and services, and video surveillance equipment “indoor” and telecommunications companies, citing national security concerns.

Apart from Huawei, other companies are ZTE Corporation, Hytera, Hikvision, and Dahua.

The contractors have said that they are confused about the scope of the ban and what it will mean for their businesses.

The first line of the implementation of the rule will be posted on Wednesday at around 1300 EDT (1700 GMT) at a site for contractors to be called Acquisition.gov run by the General Services Administration (GSA), an agency of the government responsible for the contract. The rule is scheduled to become effective on Aug. 13.

It will take the agencies some of the possibility of the granting of the permits by Aug. 13, 2021, for the building contractors, where safety is not an issue, the official said.

The wider ban, which will apply to contracts with the company that the use of the equipment of the enterprises, entered into force in August and by the year 2020.

In June, the OMB requested Congress for an extra two years to phase in the ban request that was turned down by the Republican national security hawks.

“The government has made a strong commitment to the defense of our country against foreign enemies and are completely in line with the Congress on the implementation of the ban on the Chinese telco and video surveillance devices, including Smartphone devices,” said Jacob Wood, a spokesman for the OMB.

Reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Matthew Lewis)

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