What are the potential negative consequences for the United States because of Trump's Huawei ban?

One unintended consequence is that the ban is revealing to the world how deeply global science and technology is tied to US politics.

Days after the ban was announced, major scientific publishers like IEEE stated that they will exclude anyone involved in projects related to Huawei[^1] . Many large scientific institutions have sent the same injonction to their staff. I have seen recent emails literally stating : “if you work with any people involved in a Huawei project, you are forbidden from using ANY tech containing US patents for the completion of the research tasks. ” Obviously that also includes softwares like Google and MS Word.

Scientists and researchers in academia and industry worldwide were left absolutely dumbfounded - basically scared for their careers - by how quick US-centric decisions were translated into action. Original fear transformed into anger, and many scientists threatened to quit over such blatant incursion of national politics in the research world - which lead IEEE to finally retract its original decision of banning Huawei [^2] .

Still, it was a big cold shower esp for European researchers that suddenly understood that all “soft power” and US funding was really about hard control of scientific communities and outcomes.

So the unintended consequence is that by using raw force, the scientific community become suddenly aware of the extent of US outreach on science. The direct result is that as we speak, many big brains are strategizing to get out the grip of US internal politics.


[1] Huawei employees banned from peer review of research

[2] Science publisher IEEE ends ban on Huawei employees after protest · TechNode

This text was originally published in quora.

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