US meeting on Huawei, China policy still on despite Trump tweets: sources

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) — A meeting of U.S. government officials to discuss further curbs on exports to Huawei and China was still on for Thursday, two sources said, despite pushback from President Donald Trump against the restrictions.

The deputy-level meeting was called to discuss proposals including possible new restrictions on sales of chips made abroad to China’s blacklisted Huawei Technologies, a maker of telecommunications equipment, and on sales of airplane components to a Chinese aircraft maker.

Policymakers have been sharply divided ahead of a cabinet-level meeting scheduled for Feb. 28, with some officials favoring a tough line on Huawei and China while others are more focused on prioritizing trade ties with Beijing. One of the sources said that meeting had not been officially canceled either.

Doubts swirled about whether the meetings would still occur after Trump on Tuesday blasted the proposal that would prevent companies from supplying jet engines and other components to China’s aviation industry.

In a series of tweets and comments to reporters, Trump said national security concerns, often cited as the reason for U.S. curbs on Huawei, should not be used as an excuse to make it difficult for foreign countries to buy U.S. products.

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