President Signs Rip and Replace Bill Into Law

March 12, 2020

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today released the following statement after President Trump signed H.R. 4998, the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019. This measure will protect American communications networks from threats presented by foreign suppliers, such as Huawei and ZTE.

“This legislation lays the foundation to help U.S. firms strip out vulnerable equipment and replace it with secure alternatives,” said Wicker. “Today marks an important victory for our economy and national security. I thank my colleagues for their support in getting this bill over the finish line, and I thank the President for quickly signing it into law.”

The Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 will:

  • Prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from subsidizing the acquisition or maintenance of telecommunications equipment or services from untrusted suppliers.
  • Create a program to reimburse telecommunications providers with fewer than two million customers. These providers will remove equipment from their networks that poses a national security risk to replace it with equipment from trusted suppliers.
  • Establish an information sharing program for telecommunications providers, particularly small and rural operators, to obtain information regarding potential security risks and vulnerabilities to their networks.

Click here to read the bill. 

The Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019 is companion legislation to the United States 5G Leadership Act of 2019, S. 1625, introduced by Chairman Wicker along with Sens. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mark Warner, D-Va., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska. The bill was reported out of the Commerce Committee in July 2019 and passed the Senate in February.

The committee exercises jurisdiction over the FCC.