At a press conference at the G20 Summit in Japan today, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he is allowing American companies to sell hardware and software to Huawei. Trump also said that Huawei would likely come up as a topic of discussion during his renewed trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping. However, news reports suggest that he refused to say that Huawei was off the blacklist for now.
Trump’s remarks came after the two countries agreed on Friday to a trade-war truce on the sidelines of the summit. It was almost a month ago that the American government added Huawei and about 70 of its affiliates to an “entity list”, which forbade U.S. companies from doing business with it. The ramifications of the move were huge across Huawei’s networking and consumer devices businesses.
A range of chip companies was reportedly forced to sever ties, while Google, which provides Android for Huawei devices, also froze its relationship. Ren Zhengfei, the Founder and Chief Executive of Huawei, said recently that the ban would cost the Chinese tech firm — the world’s third-larger seller of smartphones — approximately $30 billion in lost revenue over the next two years.
Speaking at a press conference during the G20 summit in Japan, Trump said, “I did agree to allow our companies — you know, jobs, I like our companies selling things to other people. So I allowed that to happen. Very complex things. Not easy — this is not things that are easy to make. Very few companies are able to do it, but a tremendous amount of money. Our companies were very upset. These companies are great companies you know all of them. But they weren’t exactly happy with it. But we’re allowing that because that wasn’t national security.”
The two leaders have also agreed to hold off on new tariffs and to proceed with trade negotiations after a series of escalations to their nations’ tariff battle threatened to disrupt the global economy.