- REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File photo
- An important part of the newly announced US-China trade truce might already be in trouble in the Senate.
- President Donald Trump says US companies can continue selling products to Chinese tech giant Huawei, which appeared to contradict a Commerce Department rule that says they can’t make those sales without a government license.
- Democrat Chuck Schumer and Republicans Marco Rubio both said they oppose Trump’s announcement, and Rubio said a large majority of the Senate would support a law backing up the Huawei ban.
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The trade war truce between the US and China might be running into trouble as members of the Senate criticize a crucial part of the deal.
A major part of the trade dispute is the Trump administration’s decision to bar US companies from selling goods to Chinese tech giant Huawei. On Saturday Trump said sales to Huawei can continue, although he also suggested it wouldn’t be removed from the blacklist yet as negotiations continued.
Several members of the US Senate said Trump shouldn’t undo the ban. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that removing the ban would “dramatically undercut our ability to change China’s unfair trades practices.”
Republican Marco Rubio went further, saying that undoing the sanctions entirely would be a “colossal mistake.” In another tweet, he said that the Senate could pass a bill in support of those restrictions.
If President Trump has in fact bargained away the recent restrictions on #Huawei, then we will have to get those restrictions put back in place through legislation.
And it will pass with a large veto proof majority.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 29, 2019
Republican Cory Gardner of Colorado also said national security was more important than sales to Huawei.
The Trump administration reportedly believes that the Chinese government uses Huawei’s equipment for spying purposes, an allegation Huawei denies. In May, Trump signed an executive order blocking US companies from doing business with Huawei.
Despite the national security aspects of the issue, it immediately became part of the trade war. The administration has also pressed other countries to stop doing business with the firm, while eliminating the blacklist is reportedly a priority for China as the two sides look for a resolution to the dispute.
In the meantime, at least a few US companies are reportedly working around the blacklist.