Business relations no, the development of technological standards, yes. And this is what was decided by the US Department of Commerce in regard to the relations that the u.s. companies can establish with Huawei, bringing the industry to a “status quo ante from the point of view of the Entity List”, in other words to a situation prior to the ban.

At first glance the move by Trump could be interpreted as a weakening of the defenses and the security policy in place for 13 months (and have recently been extended to may 2021). The intent, however, is precisely the opposite: the confusion arose after the ban imposed on U.S. companies to establish business relations with Huawei would have in fact created a situation of impasse in which the companies themselves could not find points of reference on the technologies to adopt for next generation networks. This would then be translated into a competitive disadvantage of made in the USA with regard to international competition, arousing the concerns of the White House.

From here, therefore, the intervention of the Department of Commerce: to collaborate with Huawei for the definition of standard universally recognized in the field of 5G will allow american companies to return to the tables of decision-making, defining, together with the chinese society the rules to adopt on the market. Is thus recovered are allowed to work with Huawei, but only and solely on the standard 5G. Remains unchanged, the prohibition to establish trade relations with the chinese company. These are the words of WIlbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce of the United States:

The United States does not cede its leadership in global innovation. This action recognizes the importance of taking advantage of the american ingenuity to advance and protect our economic security and national.

The ultimate goal is clear: with the return of US companies to the table to make decisions on 5G, will be up to the United States to promote technologies that become international standards. In practice, on the one hand ensures the leadership, on the other, check Huawei even more closely. In more technical terms,

with the rule of the new Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), the technology that would not have needed a license to be disclosed to Huawei prior to the registration of the company to the Entity List can now be disclosed to the mere purpose of the development of standards within an organism development of the standard, without the need of an export license.

Greater freedom to companies in USA, therefore, for the development of standards on the networks of new generation, but to have more decision-making power, the only move is to sit at the table with the “enemy”.