Amidst the US’s escalating trade war with China, US President Donald Trump has suggested the block on Huawei buying US tech could be solved in a trade deal.
The US government put Huawei on an “Entities List,” which bans US firms from sharing technology and software with the Chinese firm due to the alleged security threat the firm poses to the US.
The ban followed a breakdown in trade talks between the two superpowers and the ratcheting up on both sides of import tariffs. Since then, chip designer ARM cut its licensing agreement with Huawei, the world’s second largest phone maker behind Samsung.
Google has also cut Huawei off from parts of Android due to the US ban, which could force the Chinese firm to use its own “last resort” backup mobile OS.
But as the BBC reports, Trump on Thursday said that Huawei does pose a national security threat, but also suggested its status on the entities list could be changed if China agrees to a trade deal.
“Huawei is something that is very dangerous,” Trump said in a White House press briefing.
“You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, a military standpoint. Very dangerous.”
But then he added that it is “possible” Huawei could be part of any trade agreement with China.
“If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form or some part of it,” he said.
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The US earlier this month raised duties on $200bn worth of Chinese imports US from 10% to 25%. China replied with increased tariffs on $60bn worth of us imports from June 1. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on $300bn worth of Chinese imports.
The US trade ban on Huawei followed the US’s push for its Western allies not to use the Chinese firm’s tech for 5G networks. Not all nations have acquiesced to US demands. The UK is still deciding whether to allow Huawei tech to be used in its 5G networks. Huawei has consistently denied its technology could be used as a backdoor for the Chinese government.
UK mobile network EE announced its 5G rollout this week and is planning to use Huawei’s equipment as part of it. However, EE has put Huawei 5G devices “on pause” due to questions over support, related to the US trade ban.