Trump acting budget chief asks for delay on Huawei restrictions

June 9, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration’s acting budget chief is asking for a delay in restrictions against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd products, according to a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and nine members of Congress.

The letter last Tuesday from the White House’s acting budget chief, Russell Vought, requested that some restrictions against Huawei sales be delayed for two years “to ensure the effective implementation of the prohibition without compromising desired security objectives.”

The Pentagon’s 2020 spending bill, signed into law last year, had placed a broad ban on federal agencies and contractors using federal money to purchase Huawei products, citing national security concerns.

Representatives for Pence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Huawei, the world’s largest telecoms network gear maker, has repeatedly denied it is controlled by the Chinese government, military or intelligence services.

The letter, seen by Reuters, said the timetables for the restrictions against Huawei would cause a “dramatic reduction” in the number of contractors able to sell to the U.S. government.

The letter asked that restrictions against purchasing Huawei equipment imposed on government contractors begin in four years, rather than two years. The delay would allow “additional time to think through the associated potential impacts and possible solutions.”

The proposed changes would also require more public forums for suppliers to raise concerns about issues created by the restrictions.

(Reporting by Joel Schectman; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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