US gives China's Huawei another 90-day reprieve on sanctions
President Donald Trump (R), accompanied by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (L), speaks during an event on July 11, 2019, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC. EPA-EFE FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS
Washington, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that the US government would give China's Huawei Technologies another 90-day reprieve on the imposition of sanctions.
"It is another 90 days for the US telecom companies," Ross told the Fox Business Network. "Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei. So we're giving them a little more time to wean themselves off."
The decision was announced a day after President Donald Trump described Huawei as a threat to US national security.
In May, Trump ordered the Commerce Department to place Huawei on a list of foreign companies whose activities are restricted in the United States.
A few days later, the department said the sanctions on the sanctions on the Chinese telecom equipment maker would be delayed for 90 days effective May 20.
Huawei manufactures equipment for 5G wireless networks, the next generation of cellular phone service.
"Think about it, 5G is going to affect everything, all the way to GPS all the way to any function you can imagine," Ross said. "And as the Internet of things becomes more and more extensive, nothing will operate if somebody interferes with 5G, so the magnitude of the risk is far greater."
The sanctions against Huawei will now be postponed until Nov. 19, with the move following Trump's decision to delay imposing new tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese imports until December.
For now, Huawei and its subsidiaries will be able to continue working with US microprocessor manufacturers and Alphabet, the parent company of Google, whose Google Play service and a variety of apps are used on the Chinese company's phones.
Trump said Sunday that his administration "does not want to do business at all" with Huawei for national 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 and I really believe that the media has covered it a little bit differently than that."
US officials fear that the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment to spy on a variety of targets in the United States, a charge that the telecom equipment company rejects.
Ross, for his part, said the Commerce Department had added another 46 Huawei subsidiaries to the list of banned companies.
"We now have more than 100 subsidiaries on the Entity List," Ross said.
The sanctions will affect the launch of the new Huawei Mate 30 cellphone with Google's Android operating system, and the Chinese company has indicated that it could still release the product with its own Harmony OS operating system.
The sanctions would prevent Alphabet from licensing technology to Huawei and would force US manufacturers of electronic components to cut ties with the Chinese firm.
On July 22, executives from seven tech firms - Google, Intel, Cisco, Qualcomm, Micron, Broadcom and Western Digital - met with Trump and urged him to make a "timely" decision on Huawei's operations in the US.
Trump met with the executives at the White House, where they discussed issues related to Huawei's ban.
Tech companies have been pressuring the administration to stick to the promise made by Trump at the G20 Summit to allow Huawei to sell chips and other components to American businesses.
The status of Huawei, the world's largest provider of 5G wireless gear, has become another sticking point in the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing. EFE