Trump says he doesn’t want to do business with Huawei due to national security concerns

A Huawei logo displayed at a retail store in Beijing.

Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Sunday he doesn’t want to do business with Chinese tech giant Huawei, after weekend reports that the administration was planning to extend a reprieve that allows it to buy parts from U.S. companies.

“I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat,” Trump told reporters. “We’ll see what happens. I’m making a decision tomorrow,” he added.  

The Wall Street Journal and Reuters reported that the Commerce Department was preparing to extend a license for 90-days which would allow Huawei to continue business with U.S. companies to service existing customers. The current agreement is set to end on Monday.

“We are open not to doing business with it,” Trump said of Huawei.

The Commerce Department put  Huawei on a blacklist in May after Trump declared a national emergency over threats to U.S. technology. The blacklist blocks U.S. companies from selling or transferring technology to Huawei unless they are granted a special license.

Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Japan on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in June. Trump and Xi agreed at the time to pause the trade war as the two sides sought to restart trade negotiations. In a press conference after that meeting, Trump said the U.S. would keep selling product to Huawei. 

“One of the things I will allow, however, is — a lot of people are surprised we send and we sell to Huawei a tremendous amount of product that goes into a lot of the various things that they make — and I said that that’s OK, that we will keep selling that product,” Trump said at the time. 

The White House faced a bi-partisan backlash in Congress over the president’s comments on Huawei after Trump’s meeting with Xi. White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow subsequently said the administration was not granting Huawei a general amnesty.

The trade war has also escalated significantly since Trump’s June meeting with Xi. The president said earlier this month that the U.S. would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion in goods imported from China. He later postponed some of those tariffs until Dec. 15 due to concerns about the holiday shopping season. 

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