Exclusive: U.S. says it may scale back some Huawei trade restrictions


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Visitors walk past Huawei’s booth during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

By Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) – The U.S. Commerce Department may soon scale back restrictions on Huawei Technologies after this week’s blacklisting made it nearly impossible for the Chinese company to purchase goods made in the United States, a department spokeswoman said on Friday.

The Commerce Department may issue a temporary general license to allow time for companies and people who have Huawei equipment to maintain reliability of their communications networks and equipment, the spokeswoman said.

The possible general license would not apply to new transactions, according to the spokeswoman, and would last for 90 days.

A spokesman for Huawei did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Commerce Department on Thursday added Huawei to a list of entities that are banned from doing business with U.S. companies without licenses.

The entities list identifies companies believed to be involved in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

Potential beneficiaries of the temporary license could include internet access and mobile phone service providers in thinly populated places such as Wyoming and eastern Oregon that purchased network equipment from Huawei in recent years.

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