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Acting U.S. Budget Chief Asks Long Delay of Ban on Huawei

June 10, 2019 (EIRNS)—Acting director of U.S. Office of Budget and Management Russell Vought has asked to delay imposing some provisions of a U.S. law that restricts the government’s business with Chinese tech giant, Huawei Technologies, for two years, the Wall Street Journal’s Dan Strumpf reported today. Vought made the request in a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and nine members of Congress.

At issue are several provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, which President Donald Trump signed into law in 2018. The NDAA targets Huawei and other Chinese tech companies with one provision which bans U.S. agencies, and recipients of federal grants and loans, from doing business with Huawei or contractors which make extensive use its products. On June 4, Vought asked for a delay in implementation of those portions of the NDAA.

If the two-year delay is enacted, it would be a reprieve for Huawei, which has been the target of a series of U.S. actions. Last month the Commerce Department also ordered Huawei to be placed on a blacklist preventing it from buying American technology.

Vought says the new NDAA would lead to a “dramatic reduction” in the number of companies that could supply the U.S. government, and would be a particular hardship for U.S. companies which are located in rural areas, where Huawei equipment is in use, and which rely on federal grants. An OMB spokesman said that the exception is “about ensuring that companies who do business with the U.S. government, or are involved with federal grants and loans, have time to extricate themselves from doing business with Huawei and other Chinese companies listed in the NDAA.”

The addressees of the letter have not responded yet, the Journal reports. A Huawei spokesman said it is “carefully watching the situation.”

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