National Security

Commerce Partially Rolls Back Blacklisting of Huawei

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime placed Chinese-owned telecommunications giant Huawei on the Commerce Department's export-control "blacklist" because the company is allegedly a threat to safety and national security, but the regime was just forced to partially walk back the listing because it backfired on Americans.

Like it or not, Huawei is a major player in the global world of telecommunications and telling American companies they can't work with Huawei meant Americans lost their voice in setting global safety standards.

The Trump regime has amended the entity listing to say American companies can now work with Huawei on safety standards.

Industry and government officials have said the restrictions backfired in standards settings. With U.S. companies uncertain what technology or information they could share, they said, Huawei gained a stronger voice.

Huawei and 114 of its foreign affiliates on the Entity List “continue to participate in many important international standards organizations in which U.S. companies also participate,” the new rule says.

“As international standards serve as the building blocks for product development and help ensure functionality, interoperability and safety of the products,” the rule explains, “it is important to U.S. technological leadership that U.S. companies be able to work in these bodies in order to ensure that U.S. standards proposals are fully considered.”

This really puts the lie to the whole enterprise, doesn't it?

We've told American companies they can't sell their own goods to Huawei because it's a threat to national security, but at the same time we're saying American companies should set the international standards for safety and national security. And they do. This new rule is an admission that we were the ones setting the standards to begin with.

If there's some flaw in Huawei's equipment or safety standards, it probably also exists in our own American-made equipment.

I'm not qualified to say if Huawei is legitimately a threat to national security or not, but I do feel qualified to say that the Trump regime has done such a poor job of detailing, documenting, or even policing the threat it gives me more more reason that not to think it's all bullshit.

American companies were granted licences to continue exporting their goods to Huawei for as long as it took Congress to bail them out (over half a year) and now we're saying American technology companies can work with Huawei to set the safety standards for the same next generation of networks that Trump has been telling other countries they should ban Huawei from. Neither Canada, the United Kingdom, or the European Union have taken Trump's bait so far. The Pentagon also opposed the regime's recent decision to expand their export controls to cover foreign companies that sell to Huawei.

This all started because Trump needed more negotiating leverage in his trade war with China and it will be up to the next administration to unravel this stupid mess and tell us what is actually true about Huawei.

I personally doubt there's any "there," and Huawei's equipment is no more of a threat to us than American equipment would be to China.

  • muselet

    Huawei said in a statement it wants to continue standards discussions with counterparts, including those in the United States.

    “Inclusiveness and productive dialogue will better promote the formulation of technical standards and encourage the healthy development of the industry and the global economy,” the company statement said.

    Very diplomatic of Huawei not to gloat.

    It was clear from the outset that the administration’s national security concerns were either exaggerated or outright hooey, and this decision nudges the needle even farther toward “hooey.”

    Alas, in a week, this entire episode will be forgotten because of the administration’s next new outrage.

    –alopecia