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Trump: "We're not going to do business with HUAWEI," license system halted

The President appears to be responding to China's plan to stop buying U.S. agriculture.

Published onAugust 9, 2019

During a press conference on Friday, President Donald Trump declared that the United States will not be doing business with HUAWEI (YouTube link). According to Bloomberg, Trump is also suspending the licensing system put in place to allow U.S. firms to work with HUAWEI.

“We’re not going to do business with HUAWEI,” Trump said during the conference. “That doesn’t mean we won’t agree to something if and when we make a trade deal, but we’re not going to be doing business with HUAWEI.”

According to Bloomberg, around 50 different U.S. companies applied for licenses to work with HUAWEI during the government’s ban against it. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department has vetted the applications, said that decisions on those licenses remain as “pending.”

Although neither Trump or anyone in his administration has said so, it is very likely this new decision is in response to news that China will cease purchases of U.S. farm goods. Although HUAWEI doesn’t have anything to do with agriculture, Trump is likely using the HUAWEI ban as leverage in the ongoing China/U.S. trade war.

In May, Trump placed HUAWEI on the “Entity List” which effectively banned all U.S.-based companies from working with HUAWEI. This left HUAWEI’s future up in the air as the company can no longer work with firms that are essential when launching a smartphone, such as Qualcomm, Arm, and even the Android operating system itself.

Later, Trump announced that U.S. firms could work with HUAWEI again, but would need to apply for a special license to do so. With today’s news, it seems we are right back to where we started in May, with a blanket ban on U.S. companies working with HUAWEI — no exceptions.

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