The government of the United States is investigating whether European telecom equipment manufacturers Nokia and Ericsson can force them to manufacture their products for the American market outside of China. The Wall Street Journal reports this based on anonymous initiates.
If the consideration is continued, it could have consequences for the Finnish Nokia and the Swedish Ericsson. After the Chinese Huawei, European companies are the largest players in the market for equipment for telecom networks.
In May, US President Donald Trump signed a decree giving the US the possibility to ban telecom equipment from "foreign opponents". The decree is seen as a step against Huawei, accused by the US of close ties with the Chinese government.
The US fears that China will use the equipment of Huawei for espionage purposes. Concrete evidence for this has never been made public. In addition to Huawei, European telecom manufacturers also have part of their equipment made in China.
The development of the possible requirement for telecom equipment suppliers is still at an early stage, according to sources from The Wall Street Journal . It can take years before the proposal is actually transposed into regulations.
Trade war between the US and China
The discussion about telecom equipment comes at a time when countries worldwide are preparing for the 5G network, which promises faster internet and more economic benefits, among other things.
China and the United States are also engaged in a trade war. At the beginning of May, the US raised import tariffs on goods from China to 25 percent. This includes telecom equipment that is shipped from China to the US.