As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the U.S. and around the world, the Trump administration has indicated its intent to impose tougher restrictions on the Chinese communist regime.
The latest apparent move in that direction came this week when the U.S. Department of Commerce announced it would be removing a loophole being exploited by Chinese tech firm Huawei to use American software in its manufacturing process.
Huawei has already been designated a possible national security risk to the United States and is now accused of accessing an unintended provision in Commerce Department rules intended to block its access to American-made semiconductors and other technologies.
“Continued to use U.S. software”
The federal agency issued a press release on Friday explaining that its Bureau of Industry and Security would be “amending its longstanding foreign-produced direct product rule and the Entity List to narrowly and strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.”
Last year, the company was added to the “Entity List” as part of an ongoing effort to restrict its access, but this week’s statement confirmed that was not the result.
“Huawei has continued to use U.S. software and technology to design semiconductors, undermining the national security and foreign policy purposes of the Entity List by commissioning their production in overseas foundries using U.S. equipment,” the press release continued.
The company “and its foreign affiliates have stepped up efforts to undermine these national security-based restrictions,” asserted Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
“A very powerful impact”
He appeared on the Fox Business Network later Friday to discuss the issue with host Maria Bartiromo.
“There has been a very highly technical loophole through which Huawei has been able to use U.S. technology with foreign fabrication producers,” Ross explained.
He said it will take a “very highly tailored” approach to amend the rule, but that getting rid of the loophole “will have a very powerful impact.”
For their part, Chinese leaders are threatening to retaliate against major U.S. corporations doing business in that country.
Such a reaction might be expected, though, and President Donald Trump has shown he is willing to take bold action to protect America’s interest regardless of how it is received by other nations.