White House insists Trump Huawei reversal not 'catastrophic mistake'

Larry Kudlow, the White House's top economic adviser, pushed back against criticism over President Trump's decision to reverse course and allow American companies to resume the sale of some products to Chinese tech giant Huawei, which the US has long suspected of collaborating with the Chinese government in its global espionage efforts.

"All that is going to happen is Commerce will grant some additional licenses where there is a general availability" of the parts the company needs, National Economic Council chairman Larry Kudlow said on "Fox News Sunday".

The aide pointed out that the chronic nature of the trade spat between the two top economies means the USA administration will by no means leap in a rush at any concrete deal but will continue negotiations "for quite some time", Kudlow rounded off. "This is not a general amnesty".

"U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei", Trump said at a news conference.

Trump announced a relaxation on his blacklisting of the Chinese telecoms giant on Saturday, after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

"What's happening now is simply a loosening up for general merchandise", Kudlow said.

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Several Republican senators expressed concerns. "If President Trump has in fact bargained away the recent restrictions on Huawei, then we will have to get those restrictions put back in place through legislation", tweeted Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida).

The U.S. president also addressed the contentious issue on Twitter, saying, "At the request of our High Tech companies, and President Xi, I agreed to allow Chinese company Huawei to buy product from them which will not impact our National Security".

United States officials accuse Huawei of facilitating Chinese spying, a charge the company denies, and see it as a growing competitive threat to USA tech companies. She faces possible extradition on fraud-related charges.

Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, said earlier this month it has cut its project sales by $30 billion over the next two years due to curbs on access to American chips and other components.

The Trump administration has said China is trying to cheat its way to dominance in the cutting-edge technologies of the future such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

Huawei's US sales of network gear evaporated after a USA congressional panel labelled the company a security threat in 2012 and told phone carriers to avoid it.

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