World

Huawei remains on U.S. blacklist for security risk, despite Trump's reassuring tweet

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says U.S. President Donald Trump won't back off national security concerns after agreeing to allow U.S. companies to sell some components to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

U.S. trade office accuses Beijing of predatory tactics aimed at American technology

Huawei is central to building new, faster 5G telecom networks around the world, but the U.S. has expressed concerns the Chinese government could use the company for the purposes of spying. (Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press)

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says U.S. President Donald Trump won't back off national security concerns after agreeing to allow U.S. companies to sell some components to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

Kudlow told Fox News Sunday and CBS' Face the Nation that Huawei will remain on an American blacklist as a potential security threat.

He said any additional U.S. licensing "will be for what we call general merchandise, not national security sensitive," such as chips and software generally available around the world.

Some Republican senators criticized Trump's announcement Saturday, describing the company as a threat to U.S. national security. In a tweet, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called the move a "catastrophic mistake."

Trump made the comments about the tech giant on Saturday after meeting with China's Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

The U.S. president also addressed the contentious issue on Twitter, saying, "At the request of our High Tech companies, and President Xi, I agreed to allow Chinese company Huawei to buy product from them which will not impact our National Security."

Last month, Huawei was put on the trade blacklist, and Trump said its status won't be decided until the end of the China-U.S. trade talks.

Neil Shearing, London-based chief economist at Capital Economics, predicted the talks will "ebb and flow, but the direction over the next 12 months will be toward renewed escalation because issues around industrial strategy will prove to be so intractable."

The Trump administration has said China is trying to cheat its way to dominance in the cutting-edge technologies of the future such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

In a report last year, the Office of the United States Trade Representative accused Beijing of resorting to predatory tactics to challenge American technological supremacy.

These include forcing foreign companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to the Chinese market; subsidizing its own companies (especially those owned by the state) while burying foreign firms in regulations; providing government money so Chinese firms can buy sensitive foreign technology at above-market prices; and stealing trade secrets outright.

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