US awards selected suppliers special Huawei licences

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The US Commerce department has announced that it is issuing a ‘several’ licences for select companies to do business with Huawei.

According to reports, the department said that it was “issuing these narrow licenses to authorise limited and specific activities which do not pose a significant risk to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”

In a TV interview with Fox Business Network, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross (pictured) confirmed that his agency has received close to 300 requests for exemptions and that some of those applications had already started to be approved.

The news follows the announcement the department made extending Huawei’s Temporary General License (TGL) for 90 days. Under the TGL, Huawei and its non-US affiliates is licenced for limited engagements in transactions involving the export, reexport, and transfer of items – under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR).

“The Temporary General License extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” said Ross. “The department will continue to rigorously monitor sensitive technology exports to ensure that our innovations are not harnessed by those who would threaten our national security.”

The official ban on Huawei came into effect six months ago, on the grounds of security and was added to the Depart of Commerce’s entity list – a list of restricted companies that US people and companies are banned from doing business with.

At the time a Huawei spokesperson said: “Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers. In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei’s rights and raise other serious legal issues.”

Since then members of the US House of Representatives said it would take steps to subsidising rural operators to replace Huawei and ZTE equipment in their networks.