WASHINGTON, DC—The expanding trade war between the US and China is having a negative impact on rural telecom companies and the customers they serve.
That is the message Womble Bond Dickinson attorney Carri Bennet shared with CNN. President Donald Trump recently signed an executive order barring US firms from using goods manufactured by Chinese company Huawei—the world’s largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment. The Huawei ban is part of President Trump’s larger trade war with China, which also may include expanded tariffs on Chinese goods.
But Bennet, who serves as General Counsel to the Rural Wireless Association (RWA), told CNN that the moves would negatively impact small, rural telecom businesses, which depend on equipment made by Huawei. This not only could harm routine telecom service, she said, but it also may impact 911 calls and other critical emergency telecom infrastructure.
Bennet said the ban also would hurt “Farmers, ranchers, small businesses in rural America, the people who support those businesses in rural America—your teachers, all that. Our members are in small, little communities mainly of under 10,000 people ... It doesn't help them. It ends up hurting them.”
Carri Bennet has more than three decades of experience representing wireline, wireless and broadband communications providers, as well as commercial and noncommercial broadcasters, in regulatory compliance matters. She has a particular focus on advocating for small rural carriers, including serving as General Counsel to the Rural Wireless Association. Bennet represents telecom industry clients before the FCC, state regulatory agencies, the courts, and Congress.