US renews temporary licence allowing companies to sell to Huawei, adds 45 to blacklist

News by Teri Robinson

The US has renewed a temporary licence that allows American companies to sell their products to Huawei, saying more time is necessary to prevent any disruption

The US Commerce Department has renewed a temporary licence that allows American companies to sell their products to Huawei but blacklisted exporting products to 45 companies associated with the Chinese technology firm.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross justified the 90-day renewal in a release, saying that "more time is necessary to prevent any disruption."

In May, amid escalating trade war tensions with China and a lengthy dispute regarding Huawei over espionage allegations, President Trump declared a national emergency that banned US telecommunications companies from using equipment from foreign firms that could threaten national security.

The Commerce Department followed up immediately by placing Huawei  and 70 affiliates on the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List to "prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine US national security or foreign policy interests," Ross said in a statement at the time.

Finding "that foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in information and communications technology and services, which store and communicate vast amounts of sensitive information, facilitate the digital economy, and support critical infrastructure and vital emergency services, in order to commit malicious cyber-enabled actions, including economic and industrial espionage against the United States and its people," Trump’s order prohibited "any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in, or use of any information and communications technology or service…where the transaction involves any property in which any foreign country or a national thereof has any interest" and has been determined to be detrimental to the US.

The president told reporters on 18 August he didn’t "want to do business at all because it is a national security threat."

Ross noted the department is "constantly working…to ensure that any exports to Huawei and its affiliates do not violate the terms of the Entity Listing or Temporary General License."

Calling the US government’s actions a violation of "the basic principles of free market competition," Huawei said in a statement that the decision, "made at this particular time, is politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security".

The company also said that "attempts to suppress Huawei’s business won’t help the United States achieve technological leadership" and called for the US "to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List".

This article was originally published on SC Media US.

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