WASHINGTON—Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. would grant licenses to U.S. companies that want to sell technology to Huawei Technologies Co. as long as the sales wouldn’t put national security at risk, expanding on a pledge made last month by President Trump to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Huawei will remain, however, on the Commerce Department’s “entity list,” Mr. Ross said Tuesday, meaning that companies that want to sell U.S.-sourced technology to Huawei must first apply for a license. The department will continue to review such licenses with a “presumption of denial,” he said.
Mr. Ross didn’t issue any timeline for when such licenses might be granted. A Huawei spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. Ross’s remarks, at a Commerce Department conference, added to comments last month by Mr. Trump at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Mr. Ross said the agency would issue licenses for U.S. companies to sell to Huawei “where there is no threat to U.S. national security.”
“Within those confines we will try to make sure that we don’t just transfer revenue from the U.S. to foreign firms,” he said.
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