This week, a top US official informed the Commerce Department’s enforcement staff that Huawei should still be handled as a blacklisted firm despite President Donald Trump’s vow to ease trade restrictions with the Chinese company.
On Saturday, the world looked with interest as Trump promised his Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan that he would permit US companies to trade sell products to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.
Since May, the tech firm was added to an Entity List that prohibits US companies from selling to it without special permission as a penalty for actions that stand US national security concerns.
Chipmakers cheered Trump’s attempt to douse tensions with Beijing as this would lead to continued sales to Huawei, which is a huge US customer and the largest telecoms equipment maker in the world. This reaction followed his announcement that looked like an attempt to revive trade stalled trade talks with the Chinese Government.
However, Trump’s words further confused government leaders and industry players who had issues understanding his agenda towards the Chinese firm.
Reuters reports of a Monday email where the Deputy director of Export Enforcement in the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), John Sonderman tried to explain to staff how they should handle license requests by companies looking for permission to sell to Huawei.
Based on merit, such applications should be considered and set aside with language saying that “This party is on the Entity List. Evaluate the associated license review policy under part 744,” he noted. Furthermore, he pointed out regulations that include the Entry List and “presumption of denial” licensing policy that is targeted at blacklisted firms.
He also noted that any future guidance from the BIS should be taken into consideration, especially when assessing license applications associated with Huawei.
Unfortunately, the Commerce Department has not responded for calls for comment.
Most analysts believe that the email was the only order received by the enforcement staff after Trump’s astonishing announcement on Saturday. A presumption of denial suggests a strict review, and most licenses under it are not approved.
There is no news concerning when Commerce will offer additional guidance to its staff, based on Trump’s vow and how that its effect on the chances of getting licenses.
Although not earlier reported, an internal memo was revealed as advisors in Trump’s Government were busy trying to supply additional information about Trump’s announcement
On Tuesday, Peter Navarro, the White House trade adviser, remarked that the US movement would permit “lower tech” sales to Huawei, which do not touch matters that affect national security.
The United States has accused Huawei of stealing American intellectual property and violating Iran sanctions.
Huawei has received accusations from the US claiming that the firm violated Iranian sanctions and stealing US intellectual property.
Finally, the Trump administration has set plans in motion to convince US allies to prevent Huawei from becoming a part of any next-gen 5G telecommunications infrastructure. However, the tech giant has denied the allegations.