Huawei has been under the US’s radar for quite some time now. And while US President Donald Trump did give some indications towards US-China trade tensions simmering down, things still haven’t looked even close to usual business for Huawei. However, there could be some respite on offer now.
After Trump’s comments last month, the US government is now looking to issue licenses to firms with plans to sell American-made goods to the China-based Huawei, where there is no threat to national security. However, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross still has left key questions unanswered regarding which companies will be the ones to join hands with Huawei.
With an intent to recover trade relations with China, US President Donald Trump informed last month that american companies would now be able to sell products to Huawei. Citing national security issues, US-based firms have traditionally been barred from selling goods to companies on the so-called entity list, without a license. Huawei is one such company on the list.
Several American chipmakers were on good terms with Trump’s decision regarding the issue, but the policy left most of them puzzled. Ross confirmed that the company would remain on the Entity list although there seems to be some room for approvals.
“To implement the president’s G20 summit directive two weeks ago, Commerce will issue licenses where there is no threat to U.S. national security,” Ross said. “Within those confines, we will try to make sure that we don’t just transfer revenue from the U.S. to foreign firms,” he said.
The semiconductor industry reported that that the addition of Huawei to the Entity list meant that the company would seek alternate sources, thus harming the American companies.
Industry Experts saw a lack of clarity and relief they hoped for, post Trump’s announcement in Ross’s comments. “The actual policy of what is not going to endanger U.S. security is not clear,” Washington trade lawyer Doug Jacobson said. “The only way that industry can determine the line is by submitting (license) applications and knowing what types will be approved and which types will be denied.”
Efforts are also being made to persuade US allies to keep Huawei out of 5G infrastructure. Allegations are made against the company that there is a potential risk of being spied.