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Trump suggests Commerce Department won’t extend Huawei reprieve

President Trump told reporters on Aug. 18 that business with Chinese technology giant Huawei is a "national security threat." (Video: The Washington Post)
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President Trump suggested Sunday that his administration is not likely to grant another temporary reprieve to Huawei Technologies, pushing back against reports that an extension was expected to come Monday.

The remarks by Trump to reporters in Morristown, N.J., mark his latest escalation against the Chinese tech giant amid a broader trade battle with Beijing.

“At this moment, it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” the president said of Huawei, citing national security concerns.

A Commerce Department spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump directed the Commerce Department in May to place Huawei on its “Entity List,” known to some as the “death penalty.” The move makes it difficult for Huawei to do business with any U.S. company. Days later, the Commerce Department announced that it was giving the company a 90-day reprieve, effective May 20.

Reuters reported late last week that according to two people familiar with the decision, the Commerce Department is expected to again delay the implementation of its penalty on Huawei on Monday. But Trump on Sunday disputed that notion, telling reporters that “actually, it’s the opposite” of what has been reported.

“Huawei is a company we may not do business with at all,” he said.

The ban is one of three by the U.S. government targeting Huawei. Last year, Trump signed a defense-spending bill that barred the federal government and its contractors from doing business with Huawei and several other Chinese companies on national security grounds. A separate ban prohibits companies that do business with Huawei from providing services to the U.S. government.

Some U.S. tech companies have applied for licenses that would allow them to continue to sell to Huawei, arguing that the Commerce Department ban could harm their bottom lines and their ability to innovate.