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Trump relents on Huawei in China truce, reviving stalled talks

By Shawn Donnan and Miao Han

President Donald Trump said he eased restrictions on Chinas most prominent technology company as part of a trade truce with Beijing, removing an immediate threat looming over the global economy even as a lasting peace remains elusive.

Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping had promised to buy “tremendous” amounts of US agricultural products in exchange. “Were going to give them a list of things wed like them to buy,” Trump said at a news conference following the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

But Chinese official media reports said only that the US president hopes China will import more American goods as part of the truce.

After Trump and Xi met at the G-20 on Saturday, the two countries plan to restart trade talks that broke down last month. Trump told reporters he wouldnt put additional tariffs on China for the “time being,” and that hell allow US companies to supply Huawei Technologies Co. The Commerce Department last month blacklisted the company for national security reasons.

The Trump administration has been lobbying allies around the world not to buy Huawei equipment, which the US says could be used for Chinese espionage. The company has denied the allegation. China has said it wanted Huawei removed from Commerces blacklist as soon as possible and has accused the US of unfairly using state power to harass a private company.

“US companies can sell their equipment to Huawei,” Trump said. “Were talking about equipment where theres no great national security problem with it.”

Huawei reacted positively to the news on its verified Twitter account: “U-turn? Donald Trump suggests he would allow #Huawei to once again purchase US technology!”
The return to the negotiating table ends a six-week stalemate that has unnerved companies and investors, and at least temporarily reduces fears that the worlds two largest economies are headed into a new cold war. Still, its unclear whether they can overcome differences that led to the collapse of a previous truce reached at the G-20 in November.

Welcome Move
Trump and top officials in his administration alleged that Beijing had reneged on provisions of a tentative trade deal. Its not clear if Xi agreed to return to previous agreements as part of the new truce.

Trump said he had not yet decided how to allow US companies to continue selling to Huawei or whether to remove the tech giant from the Commerce Departments entity list. He said he would meet with advisors next week to determine how to proceed.

“As for President Trumps comments that some restrictions on Huawei will be removed, we will of course welcome this if those words are put into action,” Chinese diplomat Wang Xiaolong said at a briefing at the G-20.

The move to blacklist Huawei was seen as a major escalation that could hurt the companys supply chain. It had also prompted lobbying from US companies like Intel Corp. and Alphabet Inc.s Google, worried about losing their sales to a major client.

“I like our companies selling things to other people, so I allowed that to happen, he said.

It was not clear how long the exemption would last. Trump said he had agreed with Xi to wait until the very end of trade talks to resolve broader issues around Huawei, including Washingtons lobbying campaign against allies buying its 5G equipment.

“Huawei is a complicated situation,” Trump said. “Were leaving Huawei toward the end. Well see where we go with a trade agreement.”

Easing Pressure
The move is likely to draw criticism in Washington where national security hawks have urged Trump not to ease any pressure against Huawei. The company has long been the target of concern at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies in part over what the US claims are its close ties to the Chinese military.

Trump said he didnt discuss the case of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, who has been under house arrest in Vancouver since being detained by Canadian authorities on Dec. 1 last year over a US extradition request.

The US has accused Meng of tricking banks into conducting more than $100 million worth of transactions for Huawei that maRead More – Source