Trump to allow some exports to Huawei as trade talks resume

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A Huawei offline shop on Sept 28, 2019, in Beijing. (Image credit: TechNode/Coco Gao)

The US government will soon issue licenses allowing a select few American companies to supply goods to Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei, The New York Times cited people familiar with the matter as saying on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move could cool tensions between the US and China as another round of high-level trade talks start in Washington today, though the Trump administration ruled earlier this week that more Chinese tech firms would join Huawei on the US trade blacklist.

  • The ban on Huawei hasn’t technically gone into effect as the administration issued a 90-day reprieve on August 19 to allow some exports to Huawei to continue.

Details: In a meeting last week, President Trump gave the green light to begin approving licenses for some American companies to bypass a ban placed on Huawei in May. The restrictions effectively barred US companies from doing business with the Chinese firm.

  • The Huawei supplies will be limited to nonsensitive goods, or so-called general merchandise, said the report.

Context: Despite repeated denials, the Trump administration has been using the Huawei situation as a bargaining chip in its ongoing trade conflict with China.

  • In August, the administration officially barred US government agencies from buying telecoms equipment from Huawei soon after trade talks in July failed to produce a deal.
  • Trump made a similar announcement in late June that American companies would be permitted to resume sales to Huawei after his administration reached an agreement with China to resume trade negotiations.