Trade Talks Begin: US To Allow Select Firms To Sell To Huawei – Report

The Trump administration is reportedly going to soon ‘green-light’ sales of ‘non-sensitive’ US tech to Huawei by some American firms.

This is according to the New York Times, which cited people familiar with the matter as its source. If true, the move would be welcomed by the Chinese delegation, this week meeting with their US counterparts, to discuss trade between the two nations.

This trade meeting is the first time the two sides have met since late July, and comes amid an ongoing trade war between two of the largest economies on the planet.

Huawei ban

The US move would involve the US Commerce Department granting some US companies an exemption license to trade with Chinese firms such as Huawei, which has been on the US Entity List since mid May.

That placement on the US entity list has cut off Huawei from using US components and technology. The ban has not technically gone into effect yet, as the US Commerce Department has issued two temporary reprieves to allow Huawei’s suppliers and users of its products more time to find alternate arrangements.

Last month the US Commerce Department said it had not issued any licences allowing companies to do business with Huawei, in spite of having received more than 130 applications.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had said in July his department would issue licences to exempt companies from the ban on selling technology to Huawei, as long as there was no “threat to US national security.”

Green light

But now according to the New York Times, President Donald Trump in a meeting last week reportedly gave the green light to begin approving the licenses, which will allow a select few American companies to bypass the Huawei ban.

However, a spokesman from the Commerce Department told the NY Times via email that “as of right this moment, the status quo holds.”

A number of US firms have been pressuring the US government to ease the ban on trading with Huawei.

Last month Microsoft President Brad Smith said the United States should end its blacklisting of Huawei.

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Tom Jowitt @TJowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

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