Administration says US firms are to be given more time to find other telecoms equipment suppliers before ban comes into effect
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday said the US government would extend a reprieve that allows US companies to trade with China’s Huawei.
Huawei was added to a national security blacklist in May, but the implementation of the ban was delayed for 90 days, until Monday, 19 August.
Ross said the reprieve was intended to give US companies time to find other suppliers.
He also added an additional 46 Huawei subsidiaries to the national security “entity list”.
Over the weekend president Donald Trump had made comments indicating he did not want to do business with Huawei “at all” for security reasons.
“At this moment it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” Trump said. “I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat.”
National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow said the US Commerce Department was granting the second three-month reprieve as a gesture of “good faith” in trade negotiations with China.
“We’re giving a break to our own companies for three months,” Kudlow said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press”.
The blacklist prohibiting US companies from doing business with the Chinese firm, with Google, for instance, barred from providing Android software and services to Huawei and chipmakers from providing it with hardware.
While national security issues were cited for instituting the ban, the move has become closely tied to ongoing trade negotiations with China.
At one point, for instance, the US indicated it was set to begin issuing licences to US companies, allowing them to sell to Huawei even after the grace period ends.
Ross told reporters in July he had received more than 50 applications for such licences. As yet, however, none have been issued.
Another round of talks between the US and China is set to begin in September.