The Biden administration has suspended for 90 days a May 2020 Trump administration executive order that placed restrictions on the use of equipment made by “foreign adversaries” in the United States bulk-power system.

The Trump administration EO did not identify by name any particular foreign adversaries but did warn in its Executive Order number 13920 that those adversaries were “increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities” in the U.S. bulk-power system that supports a range of critical infrastructure sectors.

“The bulk-power system is a target of those seeking to commit malicious acts against the United States and its people, including malicious cyber activities,” the 2020 EO states. “Although maintaining an open investment climate in bulk-power system electric equipment, and in the United States economy more generally, is important for the overall growth and prosperity of the United States, such openness must be balanced with the need to protect our Nation against a critical national security threat.”

The Biden administration said as part of a lengthy order issued Jan. 20 that the Secretary of Energy and the Director of the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) will jointly consider whether to issue a replacement order.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.