August 8, 2019 / 8:22 PM / a month ago

U.S. Senator Rubio urges Trump to bar exceptions to Huawei ban

FILE PHOTO: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) questions U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a Senate foreign Relations Committee hearing on the State Department budget request in Washington, U.S. April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said on Thursday President Donald Trump should not allow tech companies to receive special permission to sell equipment to get around the blacklisting of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL].

Rubio, a fellow Republican, warned the Trump administration to not water down enforcement with what he called “sweetheart licenses” that would allow some American companies to export to Huawei while it remains on an “entity list” that bans U.S. firms from doing so.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have raised concerns that Huawei equipment could be used by Beijing for surveillance purposes, an allegation Huawei has repeatedly denied.

“We must be clear-eyed about the real and long-term risks posed by Huawei and other Chinese state-directed companies,” Rubio said in a statement.

Huawei did not respond to request for comment.

The Trump administration in June said it would allow some U.S. companies to sell technology supplies also widely available from other countries to Huawei.

The ease on restrictions was regarded as a goodwill gesture to China after Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The two countries remain engaged in a tit-for-tat trade war, placing tariffs on each other’s goods. Trump said last week he would place a 10% tariff on an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports.

Reporting by Bryan Pietsch; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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