U.S. technology companies may soon get to resume selling their products to Chinese firm Huawei Technologies Co., according to statements Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made to Bloomberg Television over the weekend.
Ross told the news service on Sunday that licenses to sell to the Chinese tech company "will be forthcoming very shortly." He added that the U.S. government has so far gotten 260 requests for the approval needed to work with the "blacklisted" firm, according to Bloomberg.
"That's a lot of applications -- it's frankly more than we would've thought," Ross told Bloomberg. "Remember too with entity lists there's a presumption of denial. So the safe thing for these companies would be to assume denial, even though we will obviously approve quite a few of them."
He also said progress has been made on the so-called "Phase One" of Washington's trade deal with China.
In May, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei Technologies and dozens of its affiliates to an "Entity List" that would greatly restrict its ability to buy components from U.S. companies. Then, in October, 28 Chinese firms were also added to the list.
The department claims the companies are "reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of being or becoming involved, in activities contrary to the nationalsecurity or foreign policy interests of the United States."