WASHINGTON — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday that his department will grant another temporary reprieve to Huawei Technologies, delaying the implementation of a penalty on the Chinese tech giant for another 90 days.
Ross made the announcement during an appearance on Fox Business Network.
“It is another 90 days for the U.S. telecom companies,” Ross said. “Some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei. So we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off. But no specific licenses are being granted for anything.”
The next deadline, he added, is roughly Nov. 19.
On Sunday, President Donald Trump suggested that his administration was not likely to grant another reprieve to Huawei, citing national security concerns. “At this moment, it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” Trump said, pushing back against reports of the expected reprieve.
Trump directed the Commerce Department in May to place Huawei on its “Entity List,” known to some as the “death penalty.” The move makes it difficult for Huawei to do business with any U.S. company. Days later, the Commerce Department announced a 90-day reprieve that allowed some sales to Huawei to continue temporarily, effective May 20.
Ross said Monday that the Commerce Department had also decided to add 46 more Huawei subsidiaries to the Entity List.
“We now have more than 100 subsidiaries on the Entity List,” he said, explaining that “adding more entities makes it more difficult for Huawei to get around the sanctions.”
The ban is one of three by the U.S. government targeting Huawei. Last year, Trump signed a defense-spending bill that barred the federal government and its contractors from doing business with Huawei and several other Chinese companies on national security grounds. A separate ban prohibits companies that do business with Huawei from providing services to the U.S. government.
Some U.S. tech companies have applied for licenses that would allow them to continue to sell to Huawei, arguing that the Commerce Department ban could harm their bottom lines and their ability to innovate.