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I'm recording this on Friday morning at the end of what has been a hectic week here in Washington for anyone interested in US-China relations, in technology, and in the fate of Huawei in particular. On Wednesday evening, the Trump administration announced it would take the first steps to banning the Chinese company from selling its 5G products here in the US.
That move has been expected. It was on the cards for around a year. But the fact that it has been announced now underlines how badly the US-China trade talks have unravelled in the past week or so. Donald Trump had been holding that back as a negotiating chip. Clearly he doesn't feel that he needs to do so any more.
But while that move had been widely predicted, two other things came as a surprise. One, the way in which the executive order was drafted is so broad that it gives the commerce secretary Wilbur Ross the power not just to ban 5G products from Huawei but any technology sold by any company that even so much as has a contract in China. Mr Ross now has 150 days to craft more specific regulations.
The second unexpected move was that not just has the Trump administration taken steps to ban Huawei from selling its products here in the US but is also limiting US companies from selling their products to Huawei. That is a much bigger deal for the Chinese company which relies on several major US chipmakers for its supplies.
I've been talking in the last couple of days to company executives, to lawyers, and to industry groups, all of whom are poring over the text of this announcement trying to work out what it means for them and their clients. One thing is certain, however, in announcing the move in this way Donald Trump has guaranteed a massive pay day for some of Washington's most experienced lobbyists.