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Huawei's trade ban in the US could soon be lifted following positive discussions with China

Victoria Woollaston
4 Nov 2019
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"We’re making good progress,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. "But whether it will slip, who knows? It’s always possible"

The US has said it is optimistic about signing a deal with China that would see the current trade ban on Huawei being lifted.  

In an interview with Bloomberg, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross echoed Donald Trump's earlier statement made to reporters on Sunday that discussions are continuing positively, however he added that the deal is "particularly complicated" and one that needed to be made clear for both sides before anything would be signed.

 In particular, the US wants China to increase purchases of American agriculture goods, "keep its currency stable and open financial services markets to American firms". China, in return, wants President Trump to scrap the import taxes due to take effect on 15 December on goods including smartphones. Beijing warns that higher taxes would potentially push up the price of Huawei phones, as well as other phones made in China and exported to the US.

"We’re making good progress,” Ross told Bloomberg. "But whether it will slip a little bit, who knows? It’s always possible."

In May this year, Trump placed Chinese firms on the Commerce Department’s "entity list," which prevents US companies from trading with any firm on this list without a license.

It also meant Huawei’s US partners had to cease their contracts meaning manufacturers no longer had a license to use Google's Android operating system in its current form. 

A week later, the US relented a little by giving Huawei a temporary licence to buy US goods "as long as they are used to maintain existing networks and provide software updates" due to the fact not granting this licence could cause disruption to US consumers. Not least because out-of-date software can pose a security risk. 

This licence was due to end on 19 August, but the US extended it to run until this month. If a trade deal isn't completed soon, there's a strong chance this licence will be renewed for a further 90 days so Huawei can continue to push software updates. 

You can read more about the Huawei ban and how it affects you on our hub. 

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