Gina Raimondo, who is likely to become the next US Secretary of the Economy, has made it clear that she intends to continue the trade war that Trump has started with China.
Raimondo told this to the New York Times. She calls the way China is acting “anti-competitive, hurtful to American workers and businesses”. She goes on to say that China was “culpable for atrocious human rights abuses”.
It is not clear whether Raimondo also intends to remove Huawei and ZTE from the Entity List. This is a list of companies that may be allied with hostile armies. The Trump administration accused Huawei and ZTE of giving the Chinese government access to network equipment installed in other countries. However, no concrete evidence of this has been produced.
When Raimondo was asked what her plans are regarding the entity list, she was evasive. She promised “to protect Americans and our network from Chinese interference,” adding, “that’s Huawei, ZTE, or any other company.”
Raimondo is in a quandary. Politicians are expected to crack down on the Chinese government, but companies are begging for relaxations. Semiconductor group SEMI recently sent a letter to Raimondo. The group argued that the sanctions were damaging the industry and that it would be better to coordinate the sanctions with allied countries.
Not yet in power
Currently, Raimondo is not yet the Minister of Economic Affairs. A new minister is yet to be appointed. However, new US President Joe Biden has nominated Raimondo to fill that position, which she will probably do.
Huawei slowly being strangulated
Huawei, in particular, is having a hard time under the measures taken by the US government. The company can hardly get the necessary parts for its products anymore, as suppliers now need licences to sell those to Huawei. Recently the company even felt compelled to split off the smartphone branch Honor, so that it could obtain parts as an independent company. Huawei also faces a tough year in 2021.