The United States Department of Commerce is finally helping clarify President Trump’s prior statement at the G20 Summit on letting US businesses trade with Huawei again. And unfortunately, the news isn’t as good as we had hoped.
According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, licenses to do business with the Chinese-based smartphone manufacturer will only be handed out so long as there is no security threat. His full statement:
“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. Within those confines, we will try to make sure that we don’t just transfer revenue from the U.S. to foreign firms.”
Ross reiterated that Huawei still remained on the Entity List, so Commerce is going to still be extremely strict on trade with Huawei.
However, even with this statement Ross is not providing any clarity on what exactly businesses can export to Huawei.
One area that we can speculate is chipsets that are already available from foreign manufacturers. However, there is also the question of what exactly poses a security threat. Huawei’s networking business has specifically been labeled as a threat to national security, but then the question is, does the US lump Huawei’s smartphone business in with that?
We don’t know, and the Commerce department isn’t clarifying much at this point.