Senior officials in the administration of US President Donald Trump plan to meet this month to discuss further curbing technology exports to Huawei and other Chinese companies, and to coordinate the broader US war with China over technological dominance.
The gathering, currently scheduled for February 28, will bring together high level officials, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two sources told Reuters.
The meeting is aimed at addressing how best to approach the blacklisted Chinese company and to resolve differences within the Trump administration over the possible crackdown, the sources said.
The gathering was planned after the US Commerce Department withdrew a rule aimed at further reducing foreign shipments to Huawei amid pushback from the Defense Department, one of the people said.
Some US policymakers favor close trade ties with China while others see Beijing and Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms equipment maker, as serious threats to America’s national security and technology dominance.
Some US companies have argued the measures that have been proposed would harm US business by pushing customers to foreign competitors, while doing little to rein in Huawei.
The Commerce Department in May placed Huawei on a trade blacklist, citing national security concerns. That allowed the US government to restrict sales of US-made goods to the company and a small number of items made abroad that contain US technology.
Under current regulations, key foreign supply chains remain beyond the reach of US authorities, which fueled frustration among China hawks and prompted a push to expand US authority to block more shipments to Huawei.
But a draft rule in November by the Commerce Department to expand its authority to block more shipments to Huawei was stymied by opposition from the Pentagon and the Treasury Department last month over concerns about harm to US interests.
In an unusual move, Commerce withdrew the rule from the inter-agency review process, pending a meeting of principals to resolve differences.
The gathering comes amid a deepening tech war between the United States and China.
The US government blacklisted Huawei in May, alleging the Chinese company was involved in activities contrary to US national security or foreign policy interests.
Washington accuses Huawei of providing Beijing with a way to spy on communications from the countries that use its products and services.
The United States is also pressing allies, with mixed success, to reject Chinese 5G technology, especially from Huawei.
The White House is working with US technology companies to create advanced software for next-generation 5G telecommunications networks to blunt the dominance of China’s Huawei, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.