Monday 19 August 2019 5:30 pm

US extends reprieve on Huawei ban by 90 days

The US has delayed its trade ban on Huawei by a further 90 days, despite President Donald Trump’s insistence that American companies will be blocked from trading with the Chinese tech giant.

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross today said his department will extend a temporary measure that allows American companies to do business with Huawei. The proposed ban was due to come into force today.

Read more: Trump says he does not want to do business with Huawei over ‘national security threat’

The temporary licence, which was intended to ease the transition for Huawei suppliers, has sparked confusion as businesses grapple with the exact nature of the trade restrictions.

White House officials have previously said that the reprieve only applies to products that “widely available” around the world, with the most sensitive equipment still subject to a ban.

Ross also announced that the US has added more than 46 Huawei subsidiaries to its trade blacklist. Since May, the commerce department has added over 100 individuals and organisations to the list in connection with Huawei.

“As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognise that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption,” Ross said in a statement. 

The move comes despite Trump’s insistence that he did not want the US to do business with Huawei due to national security concerns.

“At this moment it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” he told reporters last night. 

“I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat and I really believe that the media has covered it a little bit differently than that.”

Earlier this year Trump announced that the US will block trade with Huawei over fears its equipment could be used for spying by authorities in Beijing.

The allegations, which Huawei has always denied, have become a key point of contention in an escalating trade dispute between the two countries.

David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets, said the decision to delay the ban had added to positive moves in stock markets.

Read more: US to extend Huawei licence to buy American goods for 90 days

“Not only does it help US tech companies, it sends a positive message to Beijing that they are willing to be reasonable, and that is a step forward in US-China relations,” he said.

A spokesperson for Huawei said: “The extension of the temporary general license does not change the fact that Huawei has been treated unjustly. Today’s decision won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way.”

Main image credit: Getty