Trump administration wants to crack down on Huawei access to US chip-making tech: report

Changes could mean chip factories outside the U.S. must get licenses to use U.S. equipment to make chips for Huawei

The Trump administration wants to crack down on Huawei's and other Chinese companies' access to U.S. chip-making technology and is considering changes to the "direct product rule" that deals with foreign companies' use of American tech related to national security, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

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The Commerce Department is drafting changes to the rule that would mean chip factories outside the U.S. must get licenses to use U.S. equipment to make chips for Huawei, people familiar with the discussions told The Journal.

The department "continues to follow its announced process of reviewing individual license applications and circulating them through the usual interagency process," a spokesperson told FOX Business.

"If staff level unanimity is not achieved, the decision is made at the Secretarial level," the spokesperson said. "This assures that all points of view have been considered and the U.S. national security considerations are balanced against corporate commercial Interests."

The U.S. government on Thursday filed new charges against Huawei, accusing the Chinese tech giant of a scheme to steal the intellectual property of U.S. companies.

"The recent Grand Jury indictments of Huawei reaffirm the need for caution in considering license applications," the Commerce Department spokesperson said. "The U.S. continues to have major concerns about Huawei."

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The drafted changes have been discussed for weeks and were recently proposed, the people told The Journal.

The report comes as the Trump administration is raising national security concerns about Huawei and asking Western allies not to include the company in wireless, high-speed networks.

(AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

The administration strongly opposed the United Kingdom's decision to allow Huawei to help build limited parts of its 5G wireless network.

In a Thursday "Mornings with Maria" interview, Huawei Technologies Chief Security Officer Andy Purdy denied U.S. intelligence alleging China has backdoor access to the tech giant's mobile devices.

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"We can prove that our equipment is not subject to any influence for the Chinese government, and we can prove that our employees are not subject to the Communist government," Purdy told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo.

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FOX Business did not immediately receive comment from the Commerce Department.

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FOX Business' Audrey Conklin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.