US grants 90-day extension to Huawei to trade with American suppliers

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US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Monday said that the US government will reprieve Chinese telecom giant Huawei permitting the Chinese firm to buy supplies from American companies.

South China Morning Post quoted Ross as saying that the reprieve, which would have expired on August 19 is now extended until November 19 to prevent disruption at some rural US telecom networks.

While making the announcement, the US Commerce Department also said that more Huawei affiliates would be subject to the underlying ban on business with the company, a move which the Chinese telecom giant denounced as “politically motivated”.

Earlier this year, the Chinese telecom company was included on the Commerce Department’s “Entity List”, which prevented the company from buying American-made technology, owing to concerns that Huawei’s operations constituted a threat to national security. The move has been seen as an escalation of the US-China trade war that has been intensifying for more than a year.

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“As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognise that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption,” Ross said in a statement.

Along with the three-month reprieve, the second since Huawei was put on the blacklist in May, the Commerce Department said that 46 more affiliates of Huawei were added to the list, raising the total number to more than 100.

In its response, Huawei decried the move to add the affiliates.

“This decision, made at this particular time, is politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security,” the company said in a statement.

“These actions violate the basic principles of free-market competition. They are in no one’s interests, including US companies. We call on the US government to put an end to this unjust treatment and remove Huawei from the Entity List,” the statement read.

US security concerns about Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment vendor, prompted Washington to start moving against the company last year, with the arrest of the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, from Vancouver on December 1, a part of it.

(With ANI inputs)

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