A Huawei logo is pictured in their store in Vina del Mar, Chile, July 18, 2019.
Rodrigo Garrido | Reuters
Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said Sunday that licenses for US companies to sell components to Chinese telecom giant Huawei are coming "very soon", expressing hopes that the US would reach a trade agreement with China this month.
"We are in good shape, we are making good progress, and there is no natural reason why it couldn't be," Ross said during an interview at Bloomberg Television in Bangkok. "But if it will slip a little, who knows. It's always possible."
Following the cancellation of this month's Asia-Pacific Summit because of protests in the country, Ross said the agreement between President Donald Trump and Xi Jinping could be reached at one of several locations, including Iowa, Alaska, Hawaii or somewhere in China.
Last month, the US and China reached a ceasefire and began work to complete the first phase of a trade agreement, which includes a break in toll escalation and China buying US agricultural products.
However, Ross was non-committal about whether the Trump administration would suspend a toll in December. While Trump has said that the first stage of trade represents 60% of a long-term deal, reports have shown that China is in doubt about reaching a long-term comprehensive trade agreement.
In May, the Trump administration placed Huawei and dozens of other Chinese firms on the Department of Commerce's unit list, citing national security concerns. The move blocked Huawei from buying US software from companies like Google and Micron without obtaining US government license.
The ban has harmed US companies doing business with China. In October, Trump gave the green light to begin approving licenses for some select U.S. companies to bypass the ban, according to The New York Times, but none have been provided yet.
The fact that no licenses have been approved yet has sparked some speculation that the White House was withholding them as an influence in China's trade negotiations. Ross said on Sunday that the government has received 260 requests, and assured that the licenses "will be coming soon."
"There are many applications ̵
Read the full interview here