U.S. companies invited to the White House to discuss Huawei ban

According to Bloomberg, major American technology companies have been invited for a discussion with Donald Trump’s senior advisers regarding the potential lifting of the ban on sales to blacklisted Chinese tech company, Huawei.

Essentially, the White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are calling in major players in the semiconductor and software industry to discuss plans moving forward regarding the ban.

The list of invitees reportedly includes Qualcomm and Intel, but the discussion would appear to have a focus on “economic matters”—which is especially pertinent now, given the limbo-tic situation that the U.S. and Huawei find themselves in after the G20 Summit in Osaka.

To give you a bit of context, the U.S. earlier said that they would allow American companies to resume dealings with the Chinese company, while China will continue to contribute to their agricultural market via purchases from U.S. farms.

But here’s where things get sticky. China has reiterated that their promise to buy more farm goods will only be fulfilled if the export licenses that are required for U.S. firms to continue shipments to Huawei are given. On the other hand, the Commerce Department has also said that exceptions will only be granted in cases that do not threaten national security. This tallies with White House adviser Peter Navarro’s earlier statement that only “low-grade” chips will be allowed by the U.S. authorities.

A domino effect

Let’s be real here. It isn’t really about national security, at least to guys like Qualcomm and other big players in the market. It isn’t an overstatement to say that business relationships with Huawei are crucial to major chipmakers such as Qualcomm.

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In fact, it’s a domino effect of sorts—certain American component makers have already predicted that the trade dispute will have a continued detrimental effect on the overall health of the industry. Consequently, senior U.S. officials spoke to Chinese authorities regarding the issue on Thursday, while Trump has said that they will “see what happens”.

The meeting will be happening at the White House today, so we’ll have to see if this finally brings some definitive clarity to the situation—for the good of everyone involved.