US Postpones Huawei Meeting, Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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coronavirus Image credit: World Health Organisation

Top-level meeting among Trump administration officials over further actions against Huawei, has been postponed amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic

Officials with the Trump administration have reportedly postponed (for a second time) a high-level meeting to discuss potential new US restrictions on Huawei Technologies and China.

This is according to Reuters, which cited people familiar with the matter, who reported that the meeting would discuss potential tech sale restrictions on both Huawei and China.

This top level meeting had originally been planned for 28 February, but it was delayed until 11 March. That date was then also cancelled.

Coronavirus. Image may be subject to copyright

Coronavirus pandemic

It is fair to say that maybe the Trump administration is distracted by more pressing concerns at the moment, namely the Coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump for example has just implemented strict travel restrictions to the United States.

Essentially the US has suspended all flights to 26 European countries, namely members of the Schengen border-free travel area (EU).

That said, the UK, Ireland and other non-Schengen countries are unaffected.

The move comes after the World Health Organisation earlier this week declared the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) a pandemic (it has previously been classified as an outbreak).

At the moment, there has been 4,749 deaths attributed to the virus, with 129,590 cases worldwide as of Thursday 12 March 2020.

Italy is one of the worst impacted European countries, and the government there has ordered all shops, bars and restaurants across the country to close after the country’s death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose by 31 percent in the space of 24 hours to a total of 827.

That came after the Italian government banned its 62 million people from all travel unless certified as justified on professional or health grounds. It asked all citizens to stay mainly at home.

Huawei trade

Earlier this week the US Commerce Department had granted its fifth licence extension for Huawei, to allow it to continue trading with US companies.

The high-level meeting in the US about Hauwei was expected to include Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Reuters reported it was unable to determine when the next meeting would take place.

The US is said to looking at a number of topics during the meeting, including ways to expand US authority to stop more foreign shipments of products with US technology to Huawei.

It is reported that the US motives for the meeting could be down to its frustration that its trade blacklisting of Huawei back in May 2019, has not been entirely successful.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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