Huawei could again do business with US under new trade deal, but US 'not ready to make a deal with China,' Trump says

16 August 2019 7:54pm
China USA boxing gloves

9 August 2019. By Kat Lucero.

Chinese telecom giant Huawei and the US government will not be doing business, and the United States is not ready to make a bilateral trade deal with China, President Donald Trump said today.

“It’s much simpler not to do any business with Huawei,” Trump told reporters on the White House South Lawn, also seeming to walk back a recent arrangement that would allow some major US-based tech companies to export merchandise to Huawei.

“That doesn’t mean we won’t agree to something if and when we do a trade deal,” he said.

But at the moment, Trump also said he’s “not ready to make a deal with China,” and even hinted that he may cancel bilateral trade talks scheduled in September. When asked by a reporter whether he would cancel discussions next month, Trump said, "Maybe. We'll see what happens."

The president’s remarks come as the trade conflict between Washington and Beijing has intensified in the past two weeks. Trump announced a new round of tariffs — 10 percent on the remaining $300 billion worth of Chinese goods — and officially designated China a currency manipulator for allowing the yuan to devalue.

Meanwhile, Beijing this week said it will suspend the purchase of US agricultural products in retaliation for the new US tariffs.

— Huawei and trade truce —

In May, the US Commerce Department blacklisted Huawei, requiring US firms that want to continue selling products to the company to get a special license from the US government. The White House also issued an executive order banning telecommunications businesses from buying equipment from Huawei.

But as part of a US-China trade truce in June, the Trump administration announced that he would allow American companies to sell equipment and parts to Huawei if the exports don’t pose any great national security issues.

"[W]e have a lot of the great companies in Silicon Valley and based in different parts of the country that make extremely complex equipment. We're letting them sell to Huawei," Trump said at June 29 at a press conference after the Group of 20 meeting of world leaders in Osaka, Japan.

CEOs of Qualcomm, Google, Cisco, Intel and other major US-based telecommunications companies even visited the White House afterward requesting timely licensing decision from the Commerce Department.

Google’s business relations with Huawei, however, have been scrutinized. This week, three Republican senators demanded answers from Google CEO Sundar Pichai about reports that the two companies allegedly collaborated on a Huawei-branded smart speaker that doubled as a listening device.