U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday signed an executive order to ban the import and use of certain electrical equipment, so as to "secure the country's bulk-power system."
"Foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system," Trump said in the order, and "the unrestricted foreign supply of bulk-power system electric equipment constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."
The order bars U.S. purchases of overseas equipment that poses a national security risk, and according to the order, the equipment subject to possible restrictions includes reactors, capacitors, transformers, generators and others.
It also authorizes U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette to take appropriate actions to cease such pending and future transactions.
The U.S. Department of Energy welcomed the new order.
"This Executive Order will greatly diminish the ability of foreign adversaries to target our critical electric infrastructure," Brouillette said in a statement. "It is imperative the bulk-power system be secured against exploitation and attacks by foreign threats."
The order also establishes a new task force on federal energy infrastructure procurement policies to ensure national security considerations are fully integrated into government energy security and cyber-security policymaking.
The Trump administration has often cited national security concern to limit economic activities or cooperation, leading to criticism of protecionism. Enditem