- The Washington Times - Friday, May 15, 2020

President Trump moved on Friday to block shipments of semiconductors to Chinese giant Huawei Technologies from global chipmakers, a step that could escalate tensions with Beijing.

The Commerce Department announced it is amending an export rule to “strategically target Huawei’s acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain U.S. software and technology.”

Huawei uses semiconductors to make its smartphones. The company has warned that the Chinese government would retaliate if the U.S. took the action.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Fox Business Network that Huawei was able “to use U.S. technology with foreign producers.” He said the action will “try to correct that loophole and make sure that the American foundries are competing on an equal footing with the foreign ones.”

Mr. Ross said Huawei has “stepped-up efforts to undermine these national security-based restrictions.”

Separately, the Commerce Department extended a temporary license to allow U.S. companies to continue doing business with Huawei through Aug. 13, to give time them time to adapt to the change. It warned it expected this would be the final extension.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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