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Biden Team to Postpone Trump-Era Ban on Chinese Firms Allegedly Linked to Military, Communist Party

© REUTERS / KEVIN LAMARQUEUS President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks about his administration's plans to strengthen American manufacturing during a brief appearance in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, DC, 25 January 2021
US President Joe Biden pauses as he speaks about his administration's plans to strengthen American manufacturing during a brief appearance in the South Court Auditorium at the White House in Washington, DC, 25 January 2021 - Sputnik International
The delay will give the Biden administration time to review Trump's executive order, launched in November with a 28 January deadline, which blocked US companies from investing in China and slapped numerous mainland firms with restrictions, barring access to key US technologies.

The Biden administration will postpone a ban on US firms investing in Chinese tech companies accused of links to the Chinese Communist Party and military under former US president Donald Trump, the Financial Times reported on Thursday.

A Kunpeng 920 chip is displayed during an unveiling ceremony in Shenzhen, China, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019. Chinese telecom giant Huawei unveiled a processor chip for data centers and cloud computing as it expands into an emerging global market despite Western warnings the company might be a security risk.  - Sputnik International
Chipmaker Group Urges Biden Government To Reassess 'Unilateral' Trump-Era Trade Ban, Policy On China
US President Joe Biden extended the deadline to 27 May pending a major review of Trump's trade war on Beijing, which slapped dozens of Chinese tech companies with restrictions and bans from May 2019.

The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has approved the extension under a general licence, the FT wrote.

According to John Smith, former OFAC chief, Trump's ban list failed to provide clear guidance, forcing financial institutions to search for thousands of firms potentially subject to US sanctions.

“Industry very quickly made it clear to Ofac and the US government that the situation was unworkable. Instead of admitting that it had adopted an unworkable standard, the Trump administration issued a general licence to provide a break for a couple of weeks that would stick it to the Biden administration, which would have to clean up the mess,” Mr. Smith told FT.

Former Treasury official Daniel Tannenbaum added the extension would allow the Biden administration to resolve confusion caused by the Trump administration's last weeks in power.

“It gives the new administration time to potentially clean up an action that created significant market confusion. General licences are a common method of tweaking sanctions programmes after their implementation to manage against initial unanticipated consequences,” he added.

Open Letter To Biden Urges Review Of Trump's Contentious Trade Measures

The news comes days after SEMI, a trade organisation representing top semiconductor firms including Intel, Samsung Electronics, Micron Technologies and others, slammed Trump's administration in an open letter for imposing sanctions against Chinese firms "without public input" and for harming "the long-term competitiveness of tech firms".

"The prior administration implemented broad, ambiguous unilateral controls on semiconductor-related items through a highly unusual process to revise the Commerce Department’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR), with little or no public input, and without a clear articulation of the overarching policy," he wrote in the letter at the time..

The group urged Biden's team to reassess export restrictions slapped on Chinese firms last year and to prioritise backlogged trade licences filed amid the ongoing trade war. Failing to do so would stifle innovation and subject US companies to retaliatory actions from Beijing, further destabilising markets and trade, he added.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives for the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China March 5, 2018. - Sputnik International
The Task: China Must Rally 'Whole Country' to Defeat US 'Technology Blockade', Top CCP Official Says
Trump's team placed dozens of mainland tech firms, including Huawei, ZTE, chipmaker SMIC and smartphone maker Xiaomi on an Entity List from May 2019, and targeted TikTok owner ByteDance and WeChat's Tencent, citing national security concerns but without providing evidence.

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