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President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order declaring a national emergency to protect America's communication networks.

It gives the secretary of commerce the power to "prohibit transactions posing an unacceptable risk to the national security", the statement adds.

The status of Huawei and ZTE has taken on new urgency as US wireless carriers rollout 5G networks.

Even though Huawei supplies telecom equipment around the globe, it is headquartered in China and has often come under fire for being under control of the Chinese government. Huawei, which has repeatedly denied the allegations, did not immediately comment. Diplomats pressing allies to bar Huawei from 5G networks have said the company is subject to Chinese law that demands cooperation with security services, raising the specter of espionage.

USA officials say Huawei can build vulnerabilities, or backdoors, into equipment.

It follows concerns from some countries that China could use products made by the telecoms firm for surveillance.

If signed, the executive order would come at a delicate time in relations between China and the United States as the world's two largest economies ratchet up tariffs in a battle over what US officials call China's unfair trade practices.

Earlier this year, it was rumored that an Executive Order could ban Huawei's networking equpment in the USA, and now the law has been put into force.

Many in Europe have resisted a fierce USA diplomatic campaign to institute a wholesale ban on the Chinese company's equipment in their next-generation 5G wireless networks.

Chairman Liang Hua promised Huawei won't do that again and said: "We are willing to sign a no-spy agreement with the United Kingdom government".

The order's existence in draft form was first reported by The Washington Post last June.

Washington believes equipment made by Huawei, the world's largest maker of network communications gear, could be used by the Chinese regime to spy. An administration official insisted in a conference call with reporters on Wednesday that the order wasn't aimed specifically at China.

The report, which cites three unnamed US officials familiar with the matter, says the order has been under consideration for more than a year, but has been delayed several times - and it may get delayed again. That doesn't include the extra cost of next-generation equipment and upgrades from more expensive Western suppliers.

Huawei's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December The U.S.is seeking to extradite her to face charges of violating U.S. sanctions.