The Trump administration on Wednesday took a tactical step in its trade confrontation with China, by releasing a rule that restricts government agencies from doing business with Huawei, the giant Chinese maker of telecommunications equipment and smartphones.
The prohibition was mandated by Congress as part of a broader defense bill signed into law last year. It covers direct purchases of telecom gear and video surveillance equipment and services. And it extends to other Chinese companies that, like Huawei, have raised security concerns inside the American government, including the telecom equipment maker ZTE and Hikvision, which develops facial-recognition technology.
But Huawei, China’s largest telecom company, has been the main focus of attention for the White House and an on-again, off-again bargaining chip in the administration’s trade battle.
In a statement, Huawei said the White House move was “not unexpected” since it was required by the defense bill. The Chinese company said it would continue to challenge the ban in court and called it a “trade barrier based on country of origin, invoking punitive action without any evidence of wrongdoing.”
Continue reading at: The New York Times