Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Nixing Huawei

 

The Trump administration has announced that it will move to prevent federal tax money already earmarked for rural 5G high-speed wireless services from being spent on equipment from the Chinese company Huawei.

I advocate free trade, and see trade restrictions as a tool that should be used sparingly, deliberately, and as briefly as practical.

However, I am entirely in favor of blocking Huawei, and any other Chinese vendor, from participating in the build-out of America’s nascent 5G infrastructure.

I think the cellular 5G network will, when it is finally deployed, transform the way we interact with each other and with the internet (though not necessarily for the better). I believe augmented and virtual reality will eventually be as significant in our daily lives as the “flat” web is today, and the promised bandwidth of 5G networking will be crucial for that.

But it behooves us to prevent an unscrupulous rival nation from planting itself so deeply in our technological infrastructure.

Published in Technology
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There are 7 comments.

  1. Bishop Wash Member

    Henry Racette: However, I am entirely in favor of blocking Huawei, and any other Chinese vendor, from participating in the build-out of America’s nascent 5G infrastructure.

    Me too. This is good news. Aren’t other nations blocking them too? 

    • #1
    • October 29, 2019, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  2. Western Chauvinist Member

    I think it’s a good start. 

    We’ve been living under the conceit that if we make China a member of the WTO and participate in trade with it, its society will liberalize and become more like ours. What we’ve really been doing is feeding their supremacist communist ideology with our purchases of Chinese goods and our retirement investments in their sovereign bonds and corporations. The Chinese people haven’t been “lifted out of poverty” by their “capitalist-blend” system. The communists have. There are real concentration camps in western China, unlike our ICE facilities at the border. And here we are talking seriously about socialist candidates in the US.

    Remember back in the Obama administration(?) when the Chinese wanted to buy one of our port facilities and Congress(?) had to scramble to prevent it? Other countries haven’t been in the position to control such things and the Chinese now own extensive port facilities on several continents. It’s sounds like Pinky and the Brain conspiracy to take over the world, but only people lacking imagination for the malice and depravity of tyrants don’t see the possibility.

    The markets spooked when Trump talked about disallowing Chinese corporations to trade stocks in our markets. It wouldn’t be an easy thing to do, but it might be the right thing to do. 

    • #2
    • October 29, 2019, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. James Lileks Contributor

    I think it’s a mistake to keep the Chinese military our well-intentioned global partners from having root-level access to our telecommunications grid participating in an opportunity to enhance our lives. It’s xenophobia, straight up.

    • #3
    • October 29, 2019, at 9:55 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  4. I Walton Member

    When China began growing, 1980 they had a tiny economy and we were just beginning our Reagan era growth. We didn’t need them then. Since then they’ve taken over huge chunks of our manufacturing with our enthusiastic cooperation. We act as if we need them growing and participating to sustain our own growth which is obviously nonsense. Our and the global economy are so gigantic without China there is no product requiring the economies of scale China offers. They are our enemies. They are not changing and are unlikely to change because that is just not the way they see their place in the world. We need to rethink the whole issue and develop strategies to defend ourselves and our allies. Trump seems to be doing that. Democrats in contrast seem to think that we should reverse our growth to protect the planet. You’d think they were being fed their lines by the Chinese, but they’re just economic illiterates not to mention ignorant environmental fools. 

    • #4
    • October 30, 2019, at 5:16 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  5. Bishop Wash Member

    Earlier this month Germany had said, “No actor and no company will be banned from the outset, but we are establishing an expanded catalogue of strict security criteria, and everyone who wants to participate [in the 5G buildout] will have to follow it,” Now their head of the foreign intelligence service has publicly warned about Huawei’s participation.

    • #5
    • October 30, 2019, at 8:03 AM PST
    • Like
  6. The Cynthonian Member

    I’m generally in favor of free trade, too, with an important caveat. I heard a prescient (conservative) Congressman speak way back (circa 1997) when China’s most-favored-nation status was extended. His position was that free trade only works between free peoples. I’ve always remembered that, and I believe its wisdom has been amply demonstrated in the intervening years. 

    • #6
    • October 30, 2019, at 2:58 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. I Walton Member

    The Cynthonian (View Comment):

    I’m generally in favor of free trade, too, with an important caveat. I heard a prescient (conservative) Congressman speak way back (circa 1997) when China’s most-favored-nation status was extended. His position was that free trade only works between free peoples. I’ve always remembered that, and I believe its wisdom has been amply demonstrated in the intervening years.

    Exactly.

    • #7
    • October 30, 2019, at 3:24 PM PST
    • 1 like