The Italian Council of Ministers – the principal executive organ of the Italian government – has authorized a new security degree drawn up by national populist interior minister Matteo Salvini that will restrict the activities of NGOs responsible for transporting illegal migrants into the country.
According to a report from Il Giornale, new provisions will grant the Italian government the authority to seize sea vessels from ‘civil society groups’ which breach government sanctions or that try to illegally enter Italy’s territorial waters with illegal migrants on-board.
One portion of the security decree will provide intelligence and police services with more freedom to use wiretaps and undercover operatives to fight illegal human trafficking into Italy.
Article One of the new security decree explicitly states that the Interior Minister now has the authority to “restrict or prohibit the entry, transit or parking of ships in the territorial sea, except in the case of military ships or ships in non-commercial government service, for reasons of public security and order.”
Apart from having their boats seized, captains who disregard the decree will face fines of 10,000 to 50,000 euros.
The authorization of this new security decree marks a significant step in the fight against illegal human traffickers and the migrant transporting NGOs who have aided them for years with impunity.
In fact, Pia Klemp, a German migrant transport vessel captain, is currently facing trial in Italy for her alleged collaboration with human traffickers. If she’s convicted, she could be faced with up to 20 years in prison.
Another portion of the new legislation enacts tougher penalties for individuals who assault police officers during political demonstrations. When asked about this section, Salvini explained: “I do not think that freedom of thought passes through instruments such as firecrackers, bats, and sticks.”
The new decree comes after the country’s 2018 migration and security decree which got rid the humanitarian residency permit and invested several million euros into funding deportations of illegal migrants.
Last year’s legislation addressed problems associated with far-left and Roma squatters and opened up the option to revoke Italian citizenship from convicted terrorists.
But the Italian government isn’t the only one in Europe taking meaningful measures to put an end to mass migration into the continent from the third world.
Last year in February, the Hungarian government also announced new legislation – called the Stop Soros bill – that would make it possible to imprison NGOs and individuals who help to facilitate illegal migration.
Currently, that legislation is in the midst of the standard process of public debate.
President Trump on Thursday night approved of limited air strikes against Iran in retaliation for the unmanned surveillance drone that was shot down in the Gulf of Oman – an area adjacent to the geostrategic oil chokepoint the Strait of Hormuz – in what Washington claims were international waters. For reasons that are still unclear, Trump called off the strike as planes and ships were being maneuvered into position for the strike.
Reports from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times cited a number of senior government officials, and mentioned that President Trump was ready to strike a number of Iranian targets, including its’ radar system and surface-to-air missile sites. Fortunately, however, he ultimately gave the order to stand down.
Had the president failed to change his initial course of action, the world would have witnessed the most significant escalation between the U.S. and Iran in decades. Such an escalation could easily degenerate into a nightmarish World War III scenario.
According to a Reuters report, a senior administration official said the American warplanes were in the air and Navy sea vessels were placed in position for a retaliatory attack when orders came from the top to stand down. No weapons were fired.
Strikes were planned to take place in the early hours of the morning so as minimize harm to civilians and the military. It’s still unclear as to whether the Trump administration will decide to strike at a later date.
If Trump had gone ahead with the strike, it would have marked the third attack ordered in the Middle East region during his presidency. In Syria, two missile strikes have been ordered by Trump – one in 2017 and another in 2018.
As of right now, it’s still unclear as to whether Trump simply changed his mind, or whether he and his military advisors were moving forward with another strategy.
After tensions between Washington and Tehran rose to new levels after two oil tankers were attacked in the Persian Gulf, Russia, China, and major European allies of the U.S. have called on all sides involved to show restraint.
The U.S. and its European allies remain divided over the issue of Iran.
France, Britain, and Germany have all made efforts to keep the nuclear deal with Iran intact and viable, but Trump hasn’t been so amicable. He pulled the U.S. out of the deal in 2018. Since then tensions between Washington and Tehran have steadily risen, reaching a high point last night.
Just a couple of days after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, some U.S. allies in Europe have been reluctant to join the U.S. government in blaming Iran outright.
On Friday, following the attacks, the Pentagon released a video which they claim depicts an Iranian patrol boat full of Revolutionary Guard soldiers removing a mine from the side of one of the targeted boats in last week’s tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.
Officials from inside the Pentagon have claimed this video footage is “proof” that Tehran was indeed behind the attacks. Of course, the Islamic Republic has fiercely denied having any involvement in the attacks.
Although neoconservative war hawks in Washington like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and others have already started to beat the drums of war, many of their counterparts in Europe haven’t been so quick to initiate what would surely end up turning into a global conflict.
Some European governments have refused to back the validity of the Trump administration allegations and the video footage which it claims is clear proof that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf on June 13th.
On Friday, during a press conference, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called into question the evidence which the U.S. government claims is proof that Iran was behind the attacks, saying the video footage was insufficient to corroborate their claims.
“The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me,” Maas asserted.
Maas’s sentiments were was echoed by Nathalie Tocci, a senior adviser to EU policy chief Frederica Mogherini, who also emphasized that before casting blame, “we need credible evidence.”
European Union officials have called for “maximum restraint” on all sides.
Yutaka Katada, the president of the Japanese company operating the tanker, has also questioned the theory that a mine was used to carry out the attack on the boat. In contrast to the narrative currently being espoused by the U.S., Katada told reporters that members of his crew had witnessed a flying object before the explosion occurred.
“I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship. A mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level. We aren’t sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship”, Katada said.
Chris Williamson, a member of the British Parliament under the Labor Party, had this to say about the United States’ response to the attack: “Whether it’s an attempt to remove Venezuela’s democratic government or regime change in Iran, the USA is causing global instability in furtherance of its imperial interests. We must reject the lies being used by the Trump admin to gain public support for their disastrous plans.”
Conversely, officials inside the UK’s ruling Conservative government have backed the US assessment, with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt declaring that the Islamic Revolutionary Corps – a designated terrorist organization by the Trump administration – was “almost certainly” behind the attack.
At the same time, officials in France have been reluctant to take sides. Although the did condemn the attack, they refrained from commenting on whether it had looked at and/or made assessments of CENTCOM’s video, US intelligence, and other evidence.
On Friday, during an interview with his favorite mainstream media broadcaster Fox News, Donald Trump insisted upon Iran’s guilt, saying, “Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat. You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off and that was exposed. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, referred to Washington’s allegations as “sabotage diplomacy”. The Iranian mission to the United Nations implored the US and its allies in the region to stop “warmongering” and to stop its false flag operations in the Middle East.
Last week’s attacks follow another incident that occurred in May where four oil tankers were targeted close to a United Arab Emirates port. Officials from the US and the UAE also accused Iran of being behind these attacks, but Tehran has repeatedly and adamantly denied the allegations.
After weeks of speculation, allegations, and accusations, the Defense Department finally released the assailants in action, responsible for attacking several oil tankers within the last month steaming their way through the narrow and strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The indisputable evidence presented by the U.S., is a brief black and white surveillance video of an Iranian gunboat removing an unexploded mine that had been previously attached to a Japanese owned oil tanker seriously damaged as it steamed in international waters within the Gulf of Oman early Thursday morning.
Moreover, the visual captures an Iranian sailor alongside the hull of the damaged “Kokuka Courageous” standing in the gunboat and carefully removing the unexploded mine, before speeding off.
The surveillance video was taken on board the USS Bainbridge, a guided-missile destroyer which rescued 21 sailors from the stricken Japanese-owned tanker.
This region of the world is perhaps one of the most politically sensitive regions on earth, a vital oil route and merchant shipping lane, responsible for 1/3 of the world’s oil exports.
A U.S. official told Fox News an Iranian gunboat approached the Kokuka Courageous later in the day and removed the unexploded triangular-shaped limpet mine, the same type of mine used to damage four other tankers in the Gulf of Oman last month.
The official went on to say that the Iranian vessel did not bear any military markings, flags or identifiable uniforms, however the class of vessel reordered on the video, is well known by the U.S. military called a fast inshore attack craft (FIAC), the same type of ship used by Iran in recent years to harass American warships in the Persian Gulf.
In another incident Thursday, a Norwegian-owned vessel called the “Front Altair,” was also attacked in the Gulf of Oman, and perhaps even more ominous, its crew (according to U.S. officials), is now being held in Iran.
Cmdr. M. Kathryn Devin, the USS Bainbridge’s commanding officer, said of the rescues. “This is what we’re out here for, our mission is to ensure maritime safety and to answer the call for aid when we can.”
In a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the escalating and unprovoked attacks on merchant oil tankers by Iran, calling the attacks a “blatant assault.”
Adding, “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”
On Friday President Trump continued where Secretary of State Pompeo left off in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” the President armed with the video evidence once again condemned the terrorist régime stating, “We don’t take it lightly.”
Adding, “Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” he said, before pointing to a video that showed an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine attached to a Japanese-owned oil tanker.
The President continued, “They’re a nation of terror and they’ve changed a lot since I’ve been President, I can tell you.”
The terrorist régime, of course, denies the attacks, in a news release at Iran’s U.N. Mission the régime rejected the claims made by the U.S., despite the video evidence stating, “Iran stands ready to play an active and constructive role in ensuring the security of strategic maritime passages as well as promoting peace, stability and security in the region.”
While defending recently adopted measures aimed at making deportations simpler and easier,
Danish Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen of the Conservative People’s Party admitted that country faces a “big problem” with criminal migrants.
Minister Poulsen’s statements follow newly released results from a study which found that Somali migrants were the largest single foreign community in Denmark to be convicted for violent offenses, with 916 convictions between 2014 and 2018 – making them 3.6 times more likely to commit violent crimes than Danish men of the same age and income, according to a report from the Danish newspaper B.T.
Following Somalis with the most violent criminal convictions were Iraqis and Turks.
Unlike many of their Western European counterparts, Danish politicians haven’t attempted to sugar-coat the problem
“Your data clearly shows that there is a big problem with criminal foreigners that we should not have in our society,” the Justice Minister said while he defended the Danish government’s migration policies.
Poulsen also mentioned that he had recently proposed a bill in the Danish parliament which would allow judges to serve migrants who fail to show up for their court dates deportation orders.
“We have tightened the expulsion rules so that we can more easily expel foreigners,” he said.
The newly elected MEP Peter Kofold of the populist Danish People’s Party also commented on the statistics which showed Somali migrants had been convicted of 1,111 crimes in the previous five years.
“These are pretty wild numbers, those that BT has uncovered. They support what we, the Danish People’s Party, have been pointing out for years, that we in Denmark have a challenge with immigration from a number of countries in Africa and the Middle East,” Kofod said.
“It’s tragic, and we have to respond to that. We must do this by sending people back home and not taking new ones in. It must be the lesson after too many years when Denmark and the rest of Western Europe have had too much of immigration from certain areas,” Kofod added.
In 2018, Danish Migration Minister Inger Støjberg directly addressed Somali migrants in Denmark, encouraging them to return to their homelands and rebuild saying, “if you no longer need our protection and your life and health are no longer at risk in your home country, and specifically in Somalia, you must, of course, return home and rebuild the country from which you came from.”
Individuals from the Danish Social Liberal Party hold similar views and have asserted that foreign felons need to leave Denmark. Lotte Rod, the party’s legal rapporteur, stated that it’s ‘terrible’ that these kinds of crimes are being committed in Denmark.
“The problem, however, is that there are countries, to which we cannot deport people. This applies, for instance, to Somalia and Syria,” Rod mentioned.
Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has also weighed in on the issue, saying that although he would prefer that Somali migrants left the country on their own, but that he certainly wouldn’t rule out the option of forced deportations.
According to Statistics Denmark, as of 2019, nearly 800,000 – over 13 percent – of Denmark’s total population of 5.8 million was comprised of immigrants and their descendants. Of that 800,000 people, 500,000 were non-Western immigrants.
Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán and Britain’s Nigel Farage have both distanced themselves and their parties – Fidesz and the Brexit Party, respectively – from potentially joining the national populist supergroup in the European Parliament led by Italy’s deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini.
During a press conference earlier this week, Prime Minister Orbán’s chief of staff Gergely Gulyás expressed that – despite having been suspended from the group in March – Fidesz’s party leadership wished to remain a member of the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), the European Union’s largest voting block which includes German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
“We respect the Italian deputy prime minister and the Italian government and the result, which made the Northern League Italy’s strongest party after the European Parliament election,” Gulyas asserted, but added: “Nonetheless, I see not much chance for a co-operation on a party level or in a joint parliamentary group.”
A day after, in an interview with Hungary’s state-owned Kossuth Radio, Orbán had this to say:
For Fidesz, the starting point “is that we are now [EPP] members, we see what direction the [EPP] takes in the coming time period, can we influence it, does it correspond to Hungary and the Hungarian people’s interest,” “If yes we stay. If not, then we take part in a new formation.”
In the same interview, Orbán referred to the Italian leader as “our friend Salvini”.
The announcements come as somewhat of a shock after months of speculation on a possible alliance between Salvini and Orbán. In the past, the two ardently right-wing leaders have repeatedly praised one another, and have previously signaled that there would be some form of cooperation between them following European elections.
In August of last year, the Hungarian leader deemed Mr. Salvini as his “hero” for virtually stopping illegal immigration into Italy via the Mediterranean Sea.
In May of this year, the two leaders met in Budapest, with Orbán once again lauding Salvini in an interview with Italian media – this time deeming him as “the most important person in Europe today”.
After Fidesz was suspended from the EPP in March over a poster campaign which negatively portrayed George Soros and the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, Orbán had expressed that his party would be looking for other parties in Europe to form new alliances with.
“Hungary is too small to enforce its opinion in Europe. Media, NGOs, universities in Europe are all against us and can destroy us. That’s why we need strong allies,” Orbán explained.
Unfortunately, Orbán’s signaling against an official alliance with Salvini isn’t the only setback for Salvini’s proposed nationalist-populist supergroup. Last week, a source told The Sun newspaper that talks on signing up Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party – set to be the largest national party in the European Parliament with 29 MEPs – fell apart after Farage supposedly said he would only join the group if he were to become the leader.
Noteworthy gains were made by Europe’s nationalist-populist, eurosceptic parties in this weekend’s European Parliament elections as support for centrist parties which had previously dominated the European Union for decades drastically fell. The enormous success enjoyed by Italy’s League party, France’s National Rally, and the UK’s five-week-old Brexit party are glaring signs that Europe is indeed undergoing significant changes.
Signs like these mark the beginning of a “new European Renaissance,” declared Matteo Salvini, Italy’s populist Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and leader of the League at party headquarters in Milan. “A new Europe is born. I am proud that the League is participating in this new European renaissance,” Salvini asserted after exit polls predicted his party had garnered 27-31 percent of the Italian vote.
Salvini continued, saying, “Significantly, as the ‘League’ became the dominant party in Italy, Marine Le Pen swept into a leading position in France, and Nigel Farage in the UK…This is a sign that Europe is changing, Europe is tired of being a slave to the elites, corporations and the powers-that-be.” Surprisingly, the League’s left-wing populist coalition partner, the Five Star Movement (MS5), was outdone by the center-left Democratic Party (PD) which came in second with 21-25 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.
The League, which campaigned on a platform that attacked the globalist, pro-mass migration policies of the European Union, made sweeping gains, outdoing it’s governing coalition partner and rival, the 5-Star Movement.
Salvini assured reporters in Milan that the European election results wouldn’t ignite any “settling of accounts” within Italy’s internal political landscape, adding that, “nothing changes at the national level.” Salvini reiterated that globalist left-wing forces that have incompetently governed Italy and Europe for years now remain as his chief adversaries, while his populist allies in government were partners and friends with whom he would immediately resume cooperation and joint work.
Last year in March, Salvini’s League came in the third place in Italy’s national elections, garnering about 17% of the vote, while MS5 amassed over 32 percent. Since, support for each party has flipped, with the League winning around 33% of EU election vote while the support for MS5 slumped to 17%. Just five years ago, in Europe’s last parliamentary elections, the League barely managed to overcome the 6 percent barrier.
Since then eurosceptic, populist, and right-wing parties have made significant gains across Europe in the EU parliamentary elections, as the political center – which has dominated over the past 40 years – has been hollowed out substantially. In France, Marine Le Pen’s right-wing populist National Rally party celebrated a small but symbolic victory over Emmanuel Macron’s globalist En Marche party. In Germany, the center-right CDU party of Chancellor Angela Merkel along with its center-left coalition partner CSU also suffered losses. In the UK, the majority of Britain’s seats went to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, with the 5-week-old party winning nearly 32% of the vote. In Sweden, the nationalist-populist Sweden Democrats also made noteworthy gains, jumping from 9 percent to nearly 16 percent.
But the globalist-led centrist bloc that has dominated the European Parliament for the last 40 years wasn’t only eaten away by parties on the right. The left made significant gains as well, with the Greens jumping from 50 MEPs in 2014 to around 70. The composition of the newly formed parliament will be used by the 28 heads of state and government to assist in the choosing of a replacement for Juncker along with his counterpart in the European Council, Donald Tusk. This year’s election saw the highest voter turnout among its 426 million eligible voters in two decades.
According to a recent poll, support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has surged in popularity, reaching a projected 35 percent of the public vote just several weeks after the party was first launched and less than a week before Britons head to the polls to vote in the European Parliament elections.
The new figures come from YouGov – a major pollster – and have remained relatively unchanged from last week’s figures which showed the Brexit Party at a historic 34 percent. Meanwhile, the same poll showed that support for the Conservatives – Britain’s currently ruling party under Prime Minister Theresa May – has slipped to just 9 percent.
These polling results mark the Conservative party’s absolute worst result in a national poll since the party’s original founding in 1834.
A map of expected results created by Election Maps UK places the Brexit party in first place in every single English and Welsh region with the exception of London. In Scotland, the Brexit party came in second, following the Scottish National Party (SNP).
Despite the positive news for the Brexit party, results from pollsters tend to be looked at with skepticism in the United Kingdom, especially after the pollsters failed miserably to predict the 2016 Brexit referendum result.
Although YouGov may have incorrectly called the Brexit referendum result, they were correct in their predictions for the 2014 European Union election, rightly polling the victory for UKIP – then led by Nigel Farage.
Last month, in an interview with Breitbart News Daily, Nigel Farage noted that occasional failure of pollsters, and suggested that results of right-leaning parties can sometimes show lower than they actually are since some conservative voters can be hesitant to speak to pollsters. Farage referred to this phenomenon as the ‘Shy Tory Factor’.
“We may be doing better than we even know, but I’ve got to be slightly cautious… one of the reasons that Trump was behind and Brexit was behind is that people can be shy telling pollsters what they actually think.”
“But I actually think it is more serious than that. I think there have been deliberate attempts by polling companies to skew, by using different measures, weighting, etc, to send a message to potential Trump and Brexit voters that: ‘look, you’re going to lose, so why bother?’… we are up against nepotism, we’re up against corruption, big business money, and the globalists who want to destroy our nation states.”
Having voted to leave the EU nearly three years ago, the U.K. wasn’t meant to participate in this year’s European Parliament election. While the British government had originally decided on March 29th, 2019 as their departure date, the date was subsequently postponed – twice – after Prime Minister Theresa May failed to push through the soft, ‘Brexit in name only’ agreement with the EU that she had wished for.
Apparently, the new date for British departure from the EU has been set back to October 31st of this year. However, after already having been delayed two times, no one should be surprised when the Remainer-dominated ruling class of the country continues to be unsatisfied with the terms of withdrawal.
Meanwhile, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has campaigned for the European votes to get authorization for a full, so-called, ‘hard’ Brexit – a withdrawal which would mean that Britain would no longer be bound by any of the EU’s laws or institutions.
Although this hard Brexit option is by far the most popular with the British public, with the party advocating for it currently sitting at the very top of the nationwide election next week, it remains a dreaded situation for politicians and Civil Servants in Westminister who continue to work diligently to deliver the softest Brexit possible.
The Trump Administration is sending out a clear and decisive message when it comes to our commitment on the world stage, that this isn’t the Obama Administration, of obfuscating our responsibility as the “ONLY” superpower on earth.
No longer do we ignore, appease or apologize for our embrace of “nationalism,” rather then in the pursuit of “globalization.” The policy of appeasement practiced badly under the last administration has taken our advisories awhile to adjust. The bad actors like North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China have all tried to test the Trump Administration, hoping that the failed policies of the past administration to weaken our status on the world stage would somehow continue.
The latest “wake-up” call is currently being played out in the South China Sea near a number of small islands claimed and seized by China in 2014, to the surprise of the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan regional countries much closer to the islands then China’s 500 miles.
Ironically the Obama Administration had warned China in 2012 not to carry out any “reclamation works” as they have done elsewhere because the islands are part of international territories; however Obama once again ignored the threat, giving little more then lip service, which in turn singled to the Chinese Obama’s incompetence and timidity to actually confront international aggression, thus allowing China to claim the islands for themselves two years later, beginning construction of an airport and turning the islands into a strategic military installation, while Obama purposely looked somewhere else.
Much like everything Obama touched, the Trump Administration has had to clean up. For the second time this month the U.S. destroyer Preble sailed near islands claimed by China in the disputed South China Sea while the two countries engage in a trade fight.
Reuters reported that the operation was carried out on Sunday, citing that the Commander for the 7th fleet sailed 12 nautical miles off Scarborough Reef “in order to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways,” the commander said.
The 7th fleet kept a watchful eye, as naval ships from India and Singapore performed drills within international waters. Those drills are expected to last until May 22. The U.S. has frequently criticized China for what it regards as the country’s militarization of the South China Sea, while China, in turn, has regarded the U.S. conduct in the region as a provocation.
Recent incidents surrounding the disputed islands within the South China Sea has the potential of becoming a flashpoint for an unintended confrontation if the players aren’t extremely careful within this high-density waterway.
On May 15th, 2019, Captain John Driscoll, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard National Security Cutter Bertholf told reporters two Chinese Coast Guard ships were spotted off the South China Sea while they were conducting the joint exercise with Philippine Coast Guard.
A top American military commander says U.S. Air Force jets patrol the South China Sea daily to foster freedom of over-flight, although they’re not as visible as Navy patrols in the disputed waters.
“We fly on a daily basis in and around the South China Sea and really all across the region,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., commander of U.S. Pacific Air Forces, told a news briefing late Thursday in Manila.
A Chinese foreign ministry spokesman for Lu Kang said the American ships had entered waters near the shoal without China’s permission, and the Chinese navy had warned it to leave.
“I must stress once again that the U.S. warship’s relevant actions have violated China’s sovereignty and undermined the peace, security and good order in the relevant sea areas. China is firmly opposed to this,” Lu told a daily news briefing.
Obama’s reluctance to confront China’s aggression seizing islands within international waters, and strategically changing the balance of power in the South China Sea, is yet another example of Obama’s pathetic foreign policy of appeasement.
President Trump supposedly will sign an executive order sometime this week which bans telecom companies in the U.S. from using equipment considered risky to national security. Sources have told Reuters that the order isn’t expected to specifically target any individual countries or companies, but will unquestionably have the greatest impact on the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
Reuters quoted three officials within the U.S. government who mentioned that the Trump administration had been working on the plan to implement the executive order for more than a year, postponing it a number of times and possibly postponing it once more.
If President Trump pulls the trigger and issues the order this week, he would draw upon the legal authority to prohibit U.S. companies from buying equipment that could potentially present a security risk, as the Trump administration currently believes is the case with Chinese firms like Huawei.
An executive order of this nature would bring into play the International Emergency Economic Powers Act – an act that gives the president the authority to apply oversite to commerce in response to a national emergency that threatens the country.
Sources say that when and if it’s enacted, the order will instruct the Department of Commerce – working alongside other government agencies – to formulate a plan to enforce these measures.
If Trump signs it, the executive order would come in the midst of an especially precarious time in relations between the United States and China as the two largest economies in the world increase tariffs in a battle over what officials in the U.S. describe as China’s unfair trade practices.
Many officials inside Washington maintain that equipment made by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd – the third-largest smartphone maker in the world – could be used by the communist Chinese state to spy on Americans. Spokesmen from Huawei have continually denied these allegations.
Last summer, the Trump administration put forth a ban on U.S. government agencies from using equipment from Huawei and ZTE, another sizeable Chinese telecommunications company. In response to the ban, Huawei is suing the U.S. government – demanding that it be overturned.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has repeatedly acted to block China Mobile from supplying telecommunication services in the U.S. and could even prevent other companies from China from accessing the American market-related grounds.
This week, the Trump administration has increased its criticism of technology theft and security threats posed by the Chinese government, possibly foreshadowing its plans to enact an executive order.
Chris Krebs, the Department of Homeland Security cybersecurity director has warned that the Chinese government could demand that Chinese telecom companies force users to accept software updates with hidden back doors and deliberate security flaws which would allow Chinese agents to steal data and intellectual property from U.S. or European companies or even disrupt critical infrastructure. Krebs also suggested that Chinese agents could be embedded in teams of technicians sent from China to set up or service telecom equipment.
“This is a single-party government. Everything that flows from the central party is a manifestation of their philosophy,” asserted Krebs, citing the newly enacted Chinese cybersecurity law which grants the Communist Party absolute and unchecked authority to utilize Chinese companies for intelligence work.
In response to the recent claims made by U.S. officials, Beijing contends that it hasn’t compromised the security of Huawei equipment and asserts that charges that it has are simply an attempt to ‘smear’ Chinese companies as a tactic in the wider U.S.-China trade war.