United States President Donald Trump has said he does not want the US to do business with China’s Huawei even as his administration weighs whether to extend a grace period for the company.
“At this moment it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” Trump told reporters on Sunday as he boarded Air Force One in New Jersey.
“I don’t want to do business at all because it is a national security threat and I really believe that the media has covered it a little bit differently than that,” he said, adding that there were small parts of the Chinese telecom giant’s business that could be exempted from a broader ban, but that it would be “very complicated”.
Several media outlets reported on Friday that the US Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from US companies so that it can service existing customers.
The “temporary general license” will be extended for Huawei for 90 days, Reuters news agency reported, citing two sources familiar with the situation.
Speaking earlier on Sunday, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said the Commerce Department would extend the Huawei licensing process for three months as a gesture of “good faith” amid broader trade negotiations with China.
“We’re giving a break to our own companies for three months,” Kudlow told NBC’s Meet the Press programme.
Trump did not say on Sunday whether his administration would extend the “temporary general license”.
Earlier this year, Huawei was swept into a trade war between the US and China, which has seen punitive tariffs slapped on billions of dollars worth of two-way trade.
The company – considered the world leader in superfast fifth-generation or 5G equipment – has been blacklisted by the US amid suspicions it provides a backdoor for Chinese intelligence services, something the firm denies.
Earlier this month, Beijing slammed US rules banning Huawei and other Chinese companies from government contracts amounted to an “abuse of state power”.