US President Donald Trump’s administration considered banning Huawei from the American financial system earlier this year, sources told Reuters. That was part of a host of policy options to thwart the blacklisted Chinese firm.
The plan called for placing the world’s second largest smartphone producer on the Treasury Department’s Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list, sources said. The plan was ultimately shelved.
However, according to one of the people familiar with the matter, the plan could be revived in the coming months depending on how things go with Huawei.
Two of the sources said the plan was considered by the White House National Security Council, and seen by officials as a nuclear option atop a ladder of policy tools to sanction the firm. That would make it virtually impossible for Huawei to complete transactions in US dollars.
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Administration officials drafted a memo and held interagency meetings on the issue, sources said.
Huawei and 68 of its affiliates were placed on the US Entity List in May after being accused by the Trump administration of spying for China. Both Beijing and Huawei have denied the accusation.
Washington’s ban meant the company would have to seek permission to purchase any American components it needed to manufacture its products.
Later, the US Commerce Department eased some of the restrictions until August, allowing Huawei to maintain and update existing networks and handsets. It has since been granted two more extensions.
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