White House Asks Congress to Delay Huawei Ban

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The White House Office of Management and Budget has asked Congress for more time to phase in a ban on federal contracts with companies that do business with Huawei.

Huawei has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services. It has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government over the restrictions in the defense policy bill, Reuters reported.

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), placed a broad ban on the use of federal money to purchase products from Huawei, citing national security concerns. It included a ban on direct federal purchases of Huawei equipment, which will take effect this year.

But now, the White House says the government needed two more years to work out rules for another part of the law, which requires third-party suppliers and contractors to restrict their purchases and use of Huawei equipment. “This is about ensuring that companies who do business with the U.S. government or receive federal grants and loans have time to extricate themselves from doing business with Huawei and other Chinese tech companies listed in the NDAA,” Jacob Wood, a spokesman for the White House OMB, said in a statement.  

Acting OMB Director Russ Vought said the delay would, “ensure the effective implementation of the prohibition without compromising desired security objectives,” and said there would be a “dramatic reduction” in the number of contractors able to sell to the U.S. government without a delay, Reuters noted. The delay would allow, “additional time to think through the associated potential impacts and possible solutions,” he said.

The requested delay would not stop or affect the timing of a separate Commerce Department rule that added Huawei to its “Entity List,” a blacklist that bans the company from buying parts and equipment from American firms without U.S. government approval, Inside Towers reported.

June 11, 2019

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