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Commerce Department Issues Interim Rule to Secure the ICTS Supply Chain


Pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13873, “Securing the Information and Communications Technology and Services (ICTS) Supply Chain,” today U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross issued an interim final rule to address the national security, economic security, and public health and safety concerns related to ICTS Transactions. The rule will ensure the resilience of, and trust in, our Nation’s ICTS supply chain, and, for the purposes of this rule, identifies six foreign governments or foreign non-government persons as foreign adversaries: the People’s Republic of China (China), the Russian Federation (Russia), the Islamic Republic of Iran (Iran), the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea), the Republic of Cuba (Cuba), and Venezuelan politician Nicolás Maduro (Maduro Regime).

“Since day one, President Trump has been committed to protecting the national security of all Americans, and the implementation of this rule is a pivotal moment in this Administration’s efforts to put America First and hold bad actors accountable,” said Secretary Ross. “Aggressively securing the ICTS supply chain will protect American citizens and businesses from vulnerabilities that could undermine the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their personal information or sensitive data by malicious foreign adversaries and those who wish harm on the United States.”

On May 15, 2019, President Trump issued E.O. 13873, which grants the Secretary of Commerce the authority to prohibit certain ICTS Transactions that have been “designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries” and that pose an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States. Today’s rule allows the Department to promulgate regulations to create the processes and procedures that the Secretary of Commerce will use to identify, assess, and address certain transactions.

Today’s rule will be effective 60 days from publication, and Commerce is committed to issuing a subsequent final rule in which the Department will consider and respond to additional comments received.  In addition, the Department will implement procedures for a licensing process 120 days from publication. 

Additional Background:

The E.O. defines “foreign adversary” as “any foreign government or foreign non-government person engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States or security and safety of United States persons.”