In an interview with Bloomberg over the weekend, US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, hinted that at least some of the restrictions on Huawei may be lifted fairly soon. The revelation comes days ahead of the much-anticipated meeting between US President, Donald Trump, and Chinese Premier, Xi Jinping, as the two countries try desperately to work out a trade deal to prevent further economic uncertainty.
The US government has reportedly received up to 206 requests from US companies for licenses exempting them from the trade sanction against Huawei, and according to Ross, such licenses “will be forthcoming very shortly”. The developments follow recent reports claiming the Trump administration was considering granting licenses to US firms to do business with the Chinese telecom giant, although, there had been no official confirmation of that from official sources up until now.
A license to do business with Huawei would allow companies to sidestep a ban the US government had placed on Huawei earlier this year, and would be seen as an act of goodwill ahead of the next round of talks between the leaders of the two countries. The ban, which was imposed back in May, is part of the ongoing trade war between the US and China, although many are hopeful that things might get better following the upcoming meeting between Trump and Xi.
Either way, even as the trade tensions between the two largest economies in the world continue affect the global economy adversely, the CEO and founder of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei, recently claimed that the US-imposed ban has been a net positive for the company. According to him, the ban has helped the company’s employees shake off all complacency and, has encouraged them to work even harder to mitigate some of risks.