Russell Vought. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
A senior White House official is seeking to delay putting in place portions of a law that limits the U.S. government’s business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., according to a person familiar with the matter.
In a letter to Vice President Mike Pence, White House acting budget chief Russell Vought asked to delay a provision of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that bars any executive agency, government contractor or company that receives a government loan or grant from using Huawei equipment.
Vought warned that the law will place burdens on U.S. companies that use Huawei technology, according to the person. The Wall Street Journal, which reported Vought’s letter earlier Sunday, said he warned that the law could dramatically reduce the number of companies that would be able to supply the U.S. government.
The Trump administration has said Huawei, China’s largest technology company, represents a national security threat and has been pressing allies to exclude the company from 5G networks. The administration has also blacklisted the Chinese company, cutting off the supply of American components it needs to make its smartphones and networking gear.