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Decision To Approve Licenses For Auto Chips For Huawei Defended By Biden Administration

Decision To Approve Licenses For Auto Chips For Huawei Defended By Biden Administration
After facing criticism this week for having approved licenses for auto chips for Huawei, The Biden administration has said there has been no change in policy of the United States about restricting sales of goods and technology to the Chinese company that was imposed on the firm during the presidency of Donald Trump.
"The policy has not been eased or amended," a Commerce Department spokesperson said.
This clarification was offered by the Biden administration after demands from Sen. Marco Rubio about an explanation by US officials about why the Biden administration had approved licenses worth hundreds of millions of dollars of auto chips to the Chinese company.
The move was called by Rubio as "yet another example of President Biden's failure to protect America's economic and national security."
The Trump administration had place d Huawei on the US trade blacklist in 2019 following allegations by the trump administration that the operations of the Chinese firm were a threat to the national security and foreign policy interests of the US.
When a company is placed on the so-called "entity list", the company is essentially prevented from procuring products form American suppliers made with US technology which prevented Huawei from procuring any products or software or chips made by American companies.  The spokesperson said that the Commerce Department is prohibited from disclosing license approvals or denials.
But as the United States intensified its crackdown on the company and introduced a new regulation of the requirement of special licenses from the government for selling semiconductors made on foreign countries but with American technology, it also allowed some sales while others were denied.
The US administration was likely to reject products with 5G capabilities, showed the rule as of August 2020, but said that the sale by American companies of less sophisticated technology could be allowed on a case-by-case basis.
Even after blacklisting Huawei, the Trump administration approved $87 billion worth of licenses for Huawei while licence application for supplying of goods worth $119 billion were rejected by the time Trump’s presidency came to an end in January 2021, according to a document of the Commerce Department.
"The Biden Administration has not changed the regulatory restrictions on Huawei and its affiliates on the Entity List imposed in 2019 or 2020 or the policy for implementing those restrictions developed during the Trump administration," the Commerce Department spokesperson said.
The auto chip approvals were also criticised by other Congress members known as critics of China as Mike Rogers, lead Republican on the Armed Services committee, urged the Biden administration to revoke the licenses.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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