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President Donald Trump and China's Xi Jinping agreed to a truce in their trade war, and Washington pledged to hold off on new tariffs while they negotiate As the United States and China pursue trade talks, there is a “good chance” that more US firms will be granted licenses to sell products to controversial Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said.
While Trump had signaled the softer position on Huawei, a sticking point in trade talks, by saying US companies could sell equipment “where there's no great national security problem,” Kudlow added a bit of detail.
Trump told Fox News Channel's “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that after meeting with Xi, he believes the two sides are closer to a trade deal.
“We had a very good meeting. He wants to make a deal. I want to make a deal. Very big deal, probably, I guess, you'd say the largest deal ever made of any kind, not only trade,” the president said, according to a transcript released by the channel.
Many US lawmakers, including Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, are concerned about any lifting of the effective ban against Huawei accessing crucial American technology or operating in the US market.
“If President Trump has agreed to reverse recent sanctions against Huawei, he has made a catastrophic mistake,” Rubio tweeted.
Kudlow emphasized that Huawei will remain on the so-called US Entity List- foreign companies and individuals that are subject to specific export and technology transfer licensing requirements.
“This is not a general amnesty,” Kudlow said. “The Commerce Department will grant some temporary additional licenses where there is a general availability” of the products to be sold, he added.
On the general issue of US-China trade talks, Kudlow declined to offer any deadline for the resolution of the dispute between the world's top two economies, though he admitted the talks could “go on for quite some time. There are no promises, there's no deal made, no timetable. Just resuming the talks... is a very big deal.”
US President Donald Trump has hinted for the first time that Huawei could be included in a trade resolution deal, as negotiators from Washington and Beijing, continue to battle it out for trade supremacy in a row that may well threaten the global economy.
The decision taken by the Trump administration to effectively ban Huawei from the US market has drastically deteriorated already soured diplomatic relations between Washington and Beijing as the rest of the world anxiously looks on.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are facing scrutiny following the horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand.
Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei is preparing to take the US government to court in an effort to the challenge the decision taken by the US congress which prohibits federal agencies from using its equipment.
The New York Times is reporting that the embattled Chinese vendor is now preparing to file a lawsuit against that legislation which was passed through the US House of Representatives.
Sources close to Huawei have leaked that the telecommunications company plans to argue the measure amounts to a so-called bill of attainder, which penalizes the vendor for a penalty without the benefit of a trial, which is illegal under the US Constitution.
The US has adopted a very aggressive approach towards Huawei and ZTE, and the latter was almost pushed the point of bankruptcy following draconian measures implemented by the US Department of Commerce.
In August of last year, President Donald Trump signed into law a defence spending bill which included a clause banning government agencies and contractors from using equipment from Huawei and fellow Chinese vendor ZTE.
At the time, Huawei labelled the bill ‘misguided and unconstitutional’ – and blasted the decision taken by the Trump administration.
The lawsuit by Huawei is expected to be filed on 7 March in a federal court in Texas, where Huawei has its US headquarters.
The move comes as Huawei battles assertions from the US that it poses a security threat to telecommunications networks. The US has lobbied other nations in banning Huawei from their 5G networks, such as Australia and New Zealand, and is also attempting to pressure European countries such as the UK and France.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said countries that use Huawei equipment risk losing the US as a business and trade partner over the alleged security threat.
However, during his keynote address on stage at MWC19 Barcelona last week, Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping blasted the US campaign against the company saying officials have “no evidence, nothing” to back up their claims.
Europe’s largest telecommunications operator Deutsche Telekom has warned that if governments across the continent decide to implement a ban on Chinese vendor Huawei, then the rollout of 5G networks could be delayed by at least two years.
Embattled Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei has endured a miserable number of months – and is under intense scrutiny globally.
Huawei has become embroiled in a series of controversies and has been subjected to lurid allegations which claim the telecommunications behemoth is a security threat to nations that deploy its equipment due to its close ties with the Chinese government in Beijing.
The under-fire company suffered another setback when one of the world’s most famous academic institutions Oxford University, declined the opportunity to receive additional funding from the vendor.
A spokesman for the University said that it would not be pursuing new funding opportunities for both research contracts or philanthropic donations from Huawei and related group companies, although it did confirm that existing projects currently in place will continue.
The spokesman said, “We currently have two such ongoing projects, with a combined funding from Huawei of £692,000. However, after careful consideration we have decided to turn away future funding from Huawei and have informed them of our decision.”
Oxford confirmed that the decision to decline future funding from Huawei was due to the public concerns which have been expressed regarding the company’s operations. A Huawei executive was arrested in Poland last week on suspicion of espionage. In December, its CTO, Meng Hanzhou was arrested in Vancouver for alleged fraud in Iran.
The US have banned them for participating in the rollout of its 5G networks and has its allies New Zealand and Australia have followed suit. Washington is also instructed the UK and Japan to ban Huawei, whilst both the German and Canadian governments are considering banning them from their 5G programs over the security concerns raised by US intelligence.
However, Huawei has contradicted what Oxford University has stated, and is adamant that it has not been informed of any decision by the academic institution in relation to funding.
A Huawei spokesman said, “We have operated in the UK since 2001, employ 1,500 people here and have long standing research collaborations with 20 other UK universities working to develop the technologies of the future. We will await their decision.”
Chinese telecommunication vendors ZTE and Huawei have both endured a difficult number of years in the US marketplace – and their issues have multiplied during the Trump administration.
ZTE were momentarily crippled and almost went out of business following a decision by the US Department of Commerce to ban US companies from using their equipment and products for 7 years. However, following an intervention from US President Donald Trump, the ban was overturned and the vendor was instead hit with a $1bn fine and has to adhere to a number of strict rules and regulations.
Huawei have also been subjected to sharp criticism and have been deemed by US intelligence as a serious threat to national security due to their close ties to the Chinese government. Observers believe that the aggression from the US towards the Chinese telecommunication vendors is part of Trump’s plan to use them as pawns in his trade war with China.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated when ZTE were initially banned, and it sparked an angry backlash from China. The rest of the world looked on anxiously as the two economic superpowers clashed head-on, it has since deescalated, but the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver has once again put diplomatic relations between the two countries under the microscope.
However, the situation in the US for both ZTE and Huawei is set to worsen following reports that US President Donald Trump is set to issue an executive order that would effectively ban operators in the country from using the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment and products.
Reuters has reported that the Trump administration has been mulling over the order for eight months, but it expected to formally enact it later this month. It is said the order would not name Huawei or its compatriot ZTE by name but would give the US Department of Commerce scope to ban any supplier it suspects of being a threat to national security.
Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu has pleaded with the governments of countries who have banned the Chinese telecommunications behemoth from becoming involved in the rollout of 5G networks, to produce evidence that implicates Huawei as a serious security threat.
Huawei’s CEO robustly defended its security record and expressed his disappointment that countries banned the Chinese vendor before affording them the opportunity to engage in dialogue which would’ve allowed them to take action, or respond to the allegations that it was a threat to domestic security.
In a press conference held at its HQ in Shenzhen, Hu said, “When it comes to security, we need to let the facts speak for themselves. Huawei’s record on security is clean. In over 30 years, the company has never had a serious cyber security issue or seen any evidence showing its equipment is a security threat. We have a solid track record.”
New Zealand and Australia have banned Huawei from their 5G projects, whilst it is also believed that the UK, Germany, Japan and South Korea are also considering the possibility of preventing Huawei from becoming involved in their 5G rollout plans.
However, Hu acknowledged that the vendor needed to be proactive with governments and customers, but stressed that they had already been doing this, and were willing to take additional steps in an effort to not be locked out of 5G programs in the west.
Hu added, “We will not relax. As technology becomes more complex and networks become more open, we will continue to increase our investment in security related efforts.”
For example, Huawei plans to launch a security centre in Brussels in Q1 2019 as part of a longer-term plan to expand cooperation with other governments around the world, such as Canada and the UK. In addition to this, it will invest $2 billion over the next five years to improve its software engineering processes to be better prepared for the future.
The recent high-profile arrest of the company’s CFO in Canada has reignited trade tensions and diplomatic relations between the US and China. However, despite the controversies and turmoil, Huawei is targeting a record of $100bn in total revenue for the year, and has secured more than 25 commercial 5G contracts and shipped more than 10,000 5G base stations.
Hu declined to comment on the ongoing situation with Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou because it was an ongoing case, but he did reiterate that the company is confident in its trade compliance measures along with the judicial systems in Canada and the US.