Okay, we’re here delving into a little policy inside baseball. But the weeds are not as deep, as wide or as bad as they could be.
And this is vitally important – and we are at a crucial moment in the process in question.
At stake is global leadership and standard-setting for the looming Fifth Generation (5G) wireless network.
That race is between but two horses – the US…and Communist China.
And the US is being self-hamstrung by a well-intentioned – and otherwise prudent and effective – Department of Commerce policy.
What Commerce policy, you ask? Behold the Entity List:
“The Entity List identifies entities and other persons reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.
“The EAR imposes additional license requirements on, and limits the availability, of most license exceptions for, exports, reexports, and transfers (in-country) to those listed.”
This is quite obviously a good idea. It helps reduce the instances of Communist Vladimir Lenin’s line coming true:
“The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.”
Speaking of Communists and the Entity List….
In case you aren’t aware of whom Chinese company Huawei is….
You simply do not get to be a global Chinese company – unless you’re in good with the Communist Chinese government. And they’re in good with you.
Does anyone really think Huawei’s promise is even remotely capable of being kept?
We can’t even keep US companies from perpetually capitulating to the Communist Chinese government.
There is no logical way to think Chinese company Huawei won’t be coughing up info to the Communist Chinese government.
Huawei – is fundamental to China’s efforts to lead the planet on 5G.
“Huawei…provides cellular equipment for wireless carriers around the globe….
“The (US) ban on working with Huawei…hit chip businesses that work with the company, including Broadcom, Intel, Xilinx and Qualcomm, some of which also have a hand in building out 5G networks and modems.”
After decades of the US being titanically stupid in its dealings with Communist China, the Donald Trump Administration is trying to clean up the massive inherited mess.
I.e.: The Commerce Department’s listing Huawei on its Entity List.
Which brings us to the US’ global 5G standard setting problem – inadvertently created by the Commerce Department listing Huawei on its Entity List.
“Edge in standards-setting boards can lead to edge in markets.”
What are “standards-setting boards,” you ask?:
“Mobile networking standards are developed mainly by voluntary international organizations.
“A good part of such 5G standards, for example, will be hammered out by members of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an umbrella standards group that also shaped the prior generations of cellular technology.
“3GPP provides an international forum to discuss developing standards and (ideally) converge on the best technical solutions for designing the technology.
“Participants in the 3GPP process include private firms and other stakeholders, such as government bodies and research organizations.
“Each entity participates in the process through a regional standards organization.
“Many Chinese firms, for example, participate through the China Communications Standards Association (CCSA).
“Discussions and negotiations among this varied membership aim at establishing common technical specifications for communication networks.
“These shared standards allow for global interoperability across different networks and devices.”
Except Huawei’s presence on our Entity List – severely limits our 5G standards-setting boards’ participants’ ability to shape 5G policy.
Because Huawei’s presence on our Entity List – has inadvertently made it a very serious crime for US participants to participate in most of what goes on at the standards-setting boards’ meetings.
Our guys can only engage in official board business. But much of the business – isn’t conducted officially.
As things are done everywhere by everyone, board participants discuss things unofficially. And US participants – are prohibited from participating in any of that.
Imagine a gag rule on a Congressman. Where he/she can only participate in writing legislation in the House chamber.
No meetings in member offices. No working lunches and dinners in restaurants. No discussions when passing other members in the hallway.
That’s just stupid. But that’s what we’ve done to US participants in the global 5G standards-setting boards.
They have to stand aside idly – and watch China’s Huawei unilaterally conduct much of the standards-setting boards’ business.
Meaning realistically, China’s Huawei is helping shape the global 5G standards – and we’re not.
And again, please remember: The only two nations in an actual position to lead the world in 5G – are US…and Communist China.
This unintended Commerce Department consequence – is severely hampering our chances.
The entirety of the Trump Administration became aware of the problem – almost immediately after last May’s Huawei’s Entity List-ing.
The Trump Administration almost immediately wrote a regulatory fix – cleaning up the mess they accidentally made.
Then the bureaucracy got in the way. Actually, but one particular bureaucrat.
The regulatory fix draft – appears to have been stalled by one particular bureaucrat:
“One rumored source of conflict has long been Earl Comstock, a high-ranking deputy to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who has tried to assert control over the agency.”
“Earl Comstock…often clashed with other administration officials on a range of issues.”
This despite repeatedly mouthing acknowledgement of the problem – and agreeing on the need for a solution – with very many people seeking relief, Comstock hasn’t made a move on the fix…for nearly a year.
Most thankfully, Comstock has resigned. His last day – is this Friday.
Here’s hoping the 5G board fix Comstock’s been holding up – immediately flows freely into policy implementation.
We must save the world from a Communist China 5G wireless network.