US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency over cyber threats to the country's power grid and imposed curbs on the acquisition and use of foreign-manufactured equipment that could pose major risks.
In an executive order signed on May 1, Trump said "foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system," referring to infrastructure for transmission and generation of electricity.
The cyber threats "present significant risks to our economy, human health and safety, and would render the United States less capable of acting in defense of itself and its allies", he said, adding that foreign adversaries could use equipment produced in their countries to install vulnerabilities in electrical equipment "with potentially catastrophic effects".
According to the executive order, the secretary of energy, in consultation with other officials, can prohibit the acquisition, importation, transfer or installation of bulk power equipment from firms under the control of foreign adversaries that could sabotage the country's power system. The order does not name specific countries or companies.
The bulk power equipment includes items used in power plants, control rooms and substations, including generators, capacitors and transformers, the order says.
It also authorizes the secretary of energy to identify foreign-manufactured bulk power system components currently in use and have them isolated, monitored and replaced.