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U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Rule to Allow Work with Huawei on Standards

U.S. Department of Commerce Announces Rule to Allow Work with Huawei on Standards

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has recently announced an interim final rule allowing U.S. companies to participate in technology standards-setting bodies, specifically citing that U.S. companies may work on technical standards with Huawei and its affiliates. In May 2019, BIS added Huawei to its “Entity List”, which requires the company complies with specific license requirements that would restrict the sales of U.S. goods and technologies to the company. Under the new rule, U.S. technology can now be disclosed to Huawei “for the purpose of standards development in a standards-development body without need for an export license.”
The summary of the rule addresses the need for the action, commenting that “as international standards serve as the building blocks for product development and help ensure functionality, interoperability, and safety of the products, it is important to U.S. technological leadership that U.S. companies be able to work in these bodies in order to ensure that U.S. standards proposals are fully considered.” The rule achieves this through amending the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to authorize companies to release U.S. technology to Huawei and its affiliates without a license only if the release of the technology is specifically for the purpose of contributing to the revision or development of a standard in a standards organization, like ASME.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement that the rule “recognizes the importance of harnessing American ingenuity to advance and protect our economic and national security.” The statement goes on to reiterate that the disclosure of U.S. technology to Huawei be for legitimate standards development contexts only, and not for commercial purposes.
The rule took effect on June 18 and can be found here:
BIS welcomes comments on the interim final rule until August 17, 2020.

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