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Commerce Dept. changes rule to allow U.S. companies to work with Huawei in setting standards

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has announced a new rule designed to enable employees of U.S. companies to collaborate with their Huawei peers in standards setting activities. The move, made necessary by Huawei’s current position on the Department’s Entity List, is designed to promote the standardization of U.S. technologies, Secretary Ross said.

Huawei’s placement on the Entity List severely limits the interaction U.S. companies and their employees can have with the Chinese communications technology developer . The new rule obviates the requirement for employees of U.S. companies working in standards-setting to acquire a special export license to disclose to Huawei technology that would not have required a license before the company’s placement on the Entity List. The rule change promotes U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by “facilitating U.S. leadership in standards-development bodies,” according to the Department.

“The United States will not cede leadership in global innovation. This action recognizes the importance of harnessing American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security,” said Secretary Ross. “The Department is committed to protecting U.S. national security and foreign policy interests by encouraging U.S. industry to fully engage and advocate for U.S. technologies to become international standards.”

The Department emphasized that the new rule only applies to standards-making activities. Commercial applications of such technology remain subject to Export Administration Regulations.

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