The trade war between the U.S. and China is hot. Many U.S. suppliers' applications to the U.S. Commerce Department, over 130 companies who were promised they would be permitted to sell to Huawei, are falling on deaf ears at the moment. In a report made by Reuters, the Trump administration is not moving on the promises to these companies made last July.

US Huawei smartphones
© Ascannio /

This standstill in the U.S./China trade war hasn't allowed for much hope for prompt decisions on license applications to sell to Huawei, the biggest supplier of telecom equipment in the world. Billions of dollars in lost sales are on the horizon for chipmakers, software companies and others in Huawei's U.S. supply chain. 

What Does He Want?

“Nobody in the executive branch knows what (Trump) wants and they’re all afraid to make a decision without knowing that,” said William Reinsch, a former Commerce department official. Just last week, Trump promised to raise tariffs on $550 billion in Chinese imports, hours after China dropped new levies on $75 billion in U.S. goods. At the G7 leaders' meeting over the weekend, Trump softened up saying he thought the world's two largest economies could reach a deal to end the trade war that has disrupted markets and smashed growth.

The number of license applications also far exceeds the around 50 that the U.S. Commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross reported having received. Multiple reports are saying the number is over 130. A spokesperson for the Commerce Department stated: "The interagency process, weighing license requests concerning Huawei and its non-U.S. affiliates, is currently ongoing.”

The Whole Huawei

Huawei is the world's no. 2 smartphone manufacturer, and they were placed on the list due to U.S. national security concerns in May, after trade talks with China broke down. Sale of U.S. goods are, for the most part, banned to companies on that list. That is unless suppliers obtain special licenses, which go through a rigorous process of scrutiny.

The U.S. say that the company can spy on customers and has tried to convince allies to exclude it from 5G networks. Huawei denies these allegations.

Detaining Mr. Meng

The U.S. has even detained Huawei's CFO, Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver since December on U.S. bank fraud charges for misleading banks about the company's business with Iran. Trump has said at times that a trade deal between the U.S. and China could include lifting Huawei from the blacklist and giving Mr. Meng back to the company.