DoD Gets Temporary Waiver of Contracting Ban for Vendors Using Certain Chinese Tech Products

The Department of Defense has received from Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe a temporary waiver of a new rule that bars U.S. government agencies from buying goods and services from contractors that use telecommunications equipment and other products from five China-based companies, Defense News reported Friday.

The Office of the DNI’s move provides vendors working with DoD a reprieve from the new regulations until Sept. 30. The contracting ban covering products from Huawei Technologies, ZTE and three other Chinese companies took effect Thursday, Aug. 13, in compliance with Section 889 of the fiscal 2019 National Defense Authorization Act.

Ratcliffe granted the temporary waiver through a memo to Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment and a 2020 Wash100 Award winner, to further evaluate a broader waiver request from the department. Lord sought the temporary waiver in order for the Pentagon to continue to carry out procurement activities.

“You stated that DoD’s statutory requirement to provide for the military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our country is critically important to national security,” Ratcliffe said in the memo to Lord. “Therefore, the procurement of goods and services in support of DoD’s statutory mission is also in the national security interests of the United States.”

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