Australia’s Huawei Ban Raises Difficult Questions for the WTO
5 Pages Posted: 6 Jun 2019
Date Written: April 22, 2019
Australia maintains that its alleged ban of Huawei and ZTE from the country's 5G mobile telecommunications network rollout is consistent with the law of the World Trade Organization. For example, Australia points out that it has not explicitly banned any country or company, even though the implications of the relevant regulatory guidance have been made clear. This Australian measure risks violating non-discrimination obligations under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1994. Australia would have to justify such a violation under Article XX (general exceptions) or Article XXI (security exception). Either defence would be difficult and could create problems for the WTO as a whole.
Keywords: China, Huawei, national security, telecommunications, trade, WTO
JEL Classification: K33
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