President Trump Has Issued an Executive Order Formally Establishing a Committee to Assess Foreign Participation in the US Telecommunications Services Sector

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President Trump has established the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the US Telecommunications Services Sector, which will be comprised of the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the head of any other executive department, or Assistant to the President, as the President so determines. The Committee also includes advisors which, among others, include the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Director of National Intelligence.

The primary objective of the Committee is to assist the FCC in its public interest review of national security and law enforcement concerns that may be raised by foreign participation in US telecommunications services. The Committee, led by Attorney General Barr, and funded by the Department of Justice, is authorized to (1) review applications and licenses for risks to national security and law enforcement interests; and (2) to respond to any risks presented by applications or licenses by recommending to the FCC that it dismiss or deny an application, condition the grant of an application upon compliance with mitigation measures, modify a license with a condition of compliance with mitigation measures, or revoke a license. The Trump administration is concerned about espionage risks associated with the launch of 5G networks, and has already barred US companies from doing business with Huawei Technologies Co. over national security concerns.

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