The US Senate has unanimously approved the Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act, which will allow small and rural telecoms firms to "rip and replace" existing Huawei and ZTE telecommunications gear.
Under the Act, US companies and government institutions will also be banned from purchasing telecoms equipment from specific Chinese manufacturers, including Huawei and ZTE.
The act - also known as H.R. 4998 - includes a billion dollars in funding, which will help smaller companies replace existing gear with kit from trusted manufacturers.
The bill still needs to be signed off by President Trump, but given his well-documented stance on Huawei, it’s safe to assume it will get the green light.
“Telecommunications equipment from certain foreign adversaries poses a significant threat to our national security, economic prosperity, and the future of US leadership in advanced wireless technology,” Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi said in a statement.
“By establishing a ‘rip and replace’ program, this legislation will provide meaningful safeguards for our communications networks and more secure connections for Americans. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to help move this bill to the President’s desk.”
Huawei has been in US cross hairs for months now, with the government claiming its 5G infrastructure could be used by the Chinese regime for espionage, and as such presents a threat to national security.
Huawei vehemently denies the allegations, dismissing them as baseless. The company says its gear is as secure as anyone else’s and has invited international commissions to review its products.