Huawei and minimum wage providers received billions of licenses for US products
WASHINGTON, Oct.21 (Reuters) – Suppliers to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and China’s top chipmaker SMIC secured billions of dollars in licenses from November to April to sell them goods and technology despite being listed on a list black American trade, documents released by Congress showed. Thursday.
According to the documents, first obtained by Reuters, 113 export licenses worth $ 61 billion have been approved for suppliers to ship products to Huawei (HWT.UL), while another 188 licenses have been approved for ‘worth nearly $ 42 billion has been approved for Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) (0981.HK).
The data also showed that more than 9 in 10 license requests were granted to SMIC vendors while 69% of shipping requests to Huawei were approved during the same period.
The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee voted Thursday in favor of a request from its leading Republican member, Michael McCaul, to release the licensing data, which it received from the Commerce Department in May. .
The numbers infuriated Chinese hawks in Washington, who have made a concerted effort to deny Chinese companies access to cutting-edge American technology.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio told Reuters he believes President Joe Biden should explain why companies have continued to receive “waivers.”
“This is just another example of President Biden failing to take seriously the economic and security threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
McCaul said in a statement that “it is clearly in our national interest to increase transparency and public scrutiny of how our country transfers its technology to an adversary.”
However, the Commerce Department said releasing an “arbitrary snapshot” of licensing approvals “risks politicizing the licensing process and distorting national security decisions” made by the government.
He also pointed out that approved license requests do not represent actual shipments and that about half of all licenses are used. He added that license applications involving Huawei and SMIC are handled under policies developed by the Trump administration and maintained by the Biden administration.
A former senior Commerce Department official in the Trump administration who declined to be named echoed the agency’s point of view.
âThis very short period of license activity is not a precise window into the Huawei and SMIC licensing process,â he said, noting that the goal of preventing companies from obtaining technology from tip without unnecessarily harming US exports of other products had been successful. “This [document release] seems designed to mislead people and make headlines, âhe added.
Huawei declined to comment, while SMIC did not respond to a request for comment.
Huawei was placed on a commercial blacklist in May 2019 for national security reasons, forcing its U.S. and other suppliers to obtain a special license to ship goods to it. The minimum wage was added to the so-called entity list in December 2020, over concerns that it would divert cutting edge technology to military users.
The majority of licenses granted did not allow shipments of sensitive items. Of the 113 licenses approved for Huawei during the period, 80 were for non-sensitive products that only required a license because the recipient was blacklisted. For the minimum wage, the figure was 121 out of 188.
Licenses are generally valid for four years.
Reuters reported earlier this year that under the Trump administration, licenses worth $ 87 billion for Huawei were approved after it was blacklisted.
Reporting by Karen Freifeld and Alexandra Alper, edited by Chris Sanders and Rosalba O’Brien
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