The U.S. semiconductor industry urged President Donald Trump to ease the ban on sales to Chinese vendor Huawei through the approval of export licenses, according to Bloomberg.
“We encourage prompt action to issue approvals for sales that do not implicate national security concerns, particularly where there is foreign availability for competing products,” the Semiconductor Industry Association said in a recent letter to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
Intel, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are among the members of the association.
In May, the U.S. Department of Commerce added Huawei to its Entity List, a decision that effectively banned the company from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval. Under the order, Huawei will need a U.S. government license to buy components from U.S. suppliers.
At that time, firms including Google, Intel, Qualcomm and Microm halted shipments due to the restrictions. Huawei relies heavily on computer chips imported from U.S. companies.
In July, President Donald Trump agreed to grant “timely” licensing decisions to U.S. technology firms that want to sell components and services to Huawei.
Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department confirmed it had received over 130 applications from U.S. firms for licenses to sell goods to Huawei. However, government officials recently confirmed that all the export licenses requested by U.S. companies are still pending approval.
According to the industry association, Huawei is the third-largest buyer globally of U.S. semiconductors. Sales to Huawei of non-sensitive products ranging from mobile phones to smartwatches “do not implicate national security concerns,” the group said. The sales ban is making it more difficult for U.S. firms to compete against foreign rivals that do not face similar restrictions, according to the letter.
The association also said that the delays in approving the special licenses could have a negative impact on the U.S. semiconductor industry because it will lead to lower profits, forcing some companies to cut research and eroding their dominance in the global market.
Earlier this month, President Trump said the United States does not want to discuss the blacklisting of Huawei with the Chinese authorities.
“It’s a national security concern,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Huawei is a big concern of our military, of our intelligence agencies, and we are not doing business with Huawei.”
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