Yesterday, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the Commerce Department issued a Temporary General License (TGL), changing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) in regards to Huawei Technologies and its 68 affiliates. Regulations now allow Huawei to have limited engagement in transactions when it comes to exporting, re-exporting and the transfer of items. This license will become effective on May 20, 2019 and lasts 90 days. The license was set up to allow concerned entities presently working with Huawei to continue certain activities while making other arrangements for their mobile users and rural broadband networks.

It will also give the Department of Commerce time to determine suitable long term measures for American and foreign telecommunications providers that currently rely on Huawei equipment.

Authorize certain activities

The license also authorizes businesses working with Huawei to continue cybersecurity research critical to maintaining the soundness of existing and fully operational networks and equipment. Last week the Department of Commerce placed Huawei and its affiliates on its export blacklist after it was concluded that the company is engaging in activities that are contrary to US national security or foreign policy interests. The Temporary General License shows that the government is willing to lend a hand in resolving issues that Huawei may encounter with the ban.

Exporters are still required to maintain their certifications and be able to show them, upon request, any exports, re-exports, or in-country transfers of items will continue to require a special license granted, under a presumption of denial, after a review by BIS.

Two-decade battle

Huawei, for over two decades, has been called out by the US as a security risk and Democratic and Republican governments alike were previously less than willing to allow Huawei to do large-scale business in the country.

Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei stated that he was not surprised by the ban and knew conflict would come sooner or later. And why should it be a surprise when other countries have also cut ties with Huawei recently due to fears of it being a security threat.

Security first

Last week President Trump also issued an executive order declaring threats posed by foreign adversaries to the nation's information and communications technology and services was a national emergency.

He left it to the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to issue regulations within 150 days to establish procedures for reviewing such transactions. Protecting U.S. national security is high on the list in the Trump administration.