US President Donald Trump says he’s looking into stopping business with Chinese giant Huawei altogether, citing a “national security threat.” It follows a report claiming Trump would grant Huawei a 90-day license extension.
Speaking to reporters after departing his golf club in Bedminster on Sunday, Trump dismissed media reports that his administration is going to allow the Chinese telecommunications company to buy supplies from US firms for another three months.
“It was reported today, I was surprised, that we are open to doing business [with Huawei], we [are] actually open to not doing business with them, so I don’t know who gave the report,” Trump said. “I don’t want to do business at all because it’s a national security threat.”
“Huawei is a company we may not do business with at all.”
Trump again called the Chinese tech company a “national security threat” while speaking to reporters pic.twitter.com/Q1rs6Q0hjc
— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) August 18, 2019
Trump previously indicated that he sees Huawei as a bargaining chip in the raging US-China trade war, which has seen the two nations slapping import tariffs on billions worth of goods.
He wouldn’t say if he had already talked about Huawei with Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom he recently promised to discuss trade in a phone call.
But Trump said that he would make up his mind on whether to grant sanctions reprieve to the Chinese company on Monday, while doubling down on his threat to sever all remaining ties between Huawei and their partners in the US.
“It could be temporary and it could be not but we’re making a decision tomorrow.”
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The current extension agreement, granted by the Trump administration in May after it blacklisted the company, is set to expire on August 19. Reuters reported on Saturday, citing sources, that the US Department of Commerce was poised to extend Huawei’s “temporary general license” that would have allowed it to procure some American-made components for its products.
The on-and-off trade talks between Chinese and US officials may have hit a brick wall, however, with the US planning to introduce additional levies on over $125 billion worth of Chinese goods next month.
Despite the lack of feasible progress, Trump said on Thursday that he was still looking forward to meeting with Xi in the hope of resolving the trade dispute, adding that he has been having “very productive talks” with him on the phone.
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