The order may put the brakes on imports of power equipment from Russia and China
President Donald Trump has signed on Friday a decree aimed at protecting the electricity system of the United States from cyber attacks and other threats. The implementation of the decree may create barriers for the import of power equipment from Russia and China.
The document states that the threat of an American energy system is an emergency situation that allows the administration to establish a working group for purchasing a policy for energy infrastructure.
A senior official of the Ministry of Energy says that the decree is not directed against any new threats, but is a result of the consolidation of the American power system.
The order allows the Minister of energy after consultation with other officials to prohibit the purchase, importation, transfer or installation of power equipment from enemy States, to prevent the possibility of sabotage against the electrical system of the United States.
“It is essential that the supply system was protected from… threats of foreign attacks,” said Energy Minister Dan Brule. The decree, according to Brulle, “will significantly reduce the ability of foreign adversaries to attack our critical electric infrastructure.”
Under the electrical equipment refers to mechanisms and assemblies for use in substations, power plants, and control rooms, including nuclear reactors, capacitors, transformers, and large backup generators and other equipment.
The names of the countries-opponents of the decree are not given, however, in the document entitled “Assessment of the global threats to 2019” former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates, wrote that China, Russia, and a number of countries have used cyber technology for tracking the American infrastructure.
In 2018, the administration trump accused the Russian government of carrying out a series of cyber-attacks, which lasted for at least two years and focused on electricity, including nuclear power and production capacity. Then Washington for the first time publicly accused Moscow of hacking into the American energy infrastructure.
The energy system not only provides electricity to homes and businesses but also supports military and emergency systems.
The US Department of Energy say that the existing rules of procurement of equipment for power systems “often lead to the fact that contracts are made at the lowest prices is the vulnerability which can be used by attackers”.