National Security

Report: Pentagon to Fall In Line On Huawei

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Trump regime won't hold their upcoming meet to decide what their official position on Chinese-owned telecommunications company Huawei is until later this month, but we now have our clearest indication yet of what the outcome of that meeting will be.

Reuters reported on Wednesday that while the Pentagon had opposed new restrictions on international commerce intended to limit Huawei's reach, the Defense Department will now support restrictions at the upcoming meeting.

The reversal would make it harder for U.S. companies to get around the effective ban on exports to Huawei, the world's second-largest smartphone maker.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently called Defense Secretary Mark Esper to discuss the issue and a meeting on it is expected next week, the source said. A higher-level meeting will take place on Feb. 28, when U.S. officials will discuss further curbing technology exports to China and Huawei. [...]

Reuters reported in November that the United States might expand its power to stop more foreign shipments of products with U.S. technology to Huawei. This could allow authorities to regulate sales of non-sensitive items to Huawei, such as standard cell phone chips, made abroad with U.S.-origin technology, software, or components.

You may wonder why anyone should care about this and the answer is because it could impact everything else we discuss here and even the presidential election.

China and the Trump regime have signed "phase one" of Trump's "biggest and greatest deal ever," but increased purchases of American goods under the deal are still up in the air and Trump is playing with fire on Huawei.

China is not likely to let it slide if Washington imposes sanctions on Huawei that reach beyond our own borders and impact their supply chains in other countries. They could retaliate against American firms or walk away from purchases agreed to in Trump's "greatest deal."

Even if they don't retaliate, new restrictions and an expansion of the Commerce Department's blacklist could cost thousands of jobs here in the United States. The restrictions prohibit Huawei from buying equipment from American firms, not the other way around.

The Commerce Department's export-control "blacklist" is not so much a ban on Huawei as it is a ban on American firms selling goods to Huawei.

I expect most American farmers and a significant portion of the so-called Rust Belt will vote for Trump in any case, but if he goes into the election with zero to show for his trade war I don't think it will help him.

The Pentagon and State Department were the only voices of opposition to imposing new restrictions on Huawei and, with the DoD falling in line, I expect the State Department will follow.

  • I think now that Trump is an addict – not necessarily for drugs, though that may come in too – but for what he considers “winning”. Each time someone gives in to him, he gets a rush from it. And since he’s now the head of one of the most powerful countries in the world, the amount of “winning” he needs to give himself that rush is getting bigger and bigger.

    So there’s no room at all for compromise, since the only way he “wins” is by total capitulation of the other side. And he’ll keep pushing and pushing to get his rush until everything blows up in his face, and ours, too.

  • muselet

    Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross recently called Defense Secretary Mark Esper to discuss the issue….

    Oh, I’ll bet that was a fun conversation.

    This feels like a set-up, an attempt by the Trump administration to goad the Chinese government into responding, so Donald Trump can go on the campaign trail and bleat about how terrible! and unfair! China is. That’s the extent of the thought this matter has been given: how can this be leveraged to Trump’s electoral advantage?

    The odds of the State Department holding out on this are astronomical.

    –alopecia

  • Tony Lavely

    Unfortunately, the coronavirus will take the blame for the economy tanking, almost without regard for when it happens or the other things the orange dictator wanna-be does.