Wilbur Ross Unveils New Huawei Reprieve To Maria Bartiromo

On Friday, reports indicated that the US Commerce department was likely to extend a 90-day reprieve that allows Huawei to keep doing business with US companies.

The reprieve was put in place in May, days after the US blacklisted the company as part of the Trump administration’s maximum economic pressure campaign on Beijing, which, for a time, leaned heavily on the excuse that “national security” was at stake.

Since May, the administration has vacillated on the Huawei issue, with Trump pinballing from the overtly conciliatory stance he adopted after the Osaka meeting with Xi, to a more hardline approach which culminated earlier this month in reports that the White House was effectively freezing license applications.

Read more: Trump Administration To Extend Huawei Reprieve On Monday

On Monday, the expiration date for the original 90-day temporary general license, Wilbur Ross showed up on “Mornings With Maria” to chat with Maria Bartiromo about the situation.

It was clear that Wilbur had been instructed to downplay the extension of the reprieve and talk up the addition of another 46 Huawei subsidiaries to the entity list. Ross called that “the big news”, and it sounds like it’s a bid to try and close any loopholes.

But, despite Wilbur’s best efforts to make that the story (and who knows, maybe that is the story), Bartiromo was understandably anxious to get confirmation from Ross that the temporary general license had in fact been extended. He relented. Here’s the clip:

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“There is another 90 days for the US companies, some of the rural companies are dependent on Huawei”, Wilbur said. “So we’re giving them a little more time to wean themselves off. But there are no specific licenses being granted for anything”.

Note how Bartiromo seems a bit skeptical about the idea that somehow, everyone is going to be able to just “wean themselves off” by November.

“So, do you think that US companies are coming up with a plan to fill that business?”, a visibly dubious Maria queried.

“Well, everybody has had plenty of notice of it”, Ross responded.

Somehow, we imagine corporate America does not share his assessment.


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