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President Trump shaking hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Japan. Photo: Sheng Jiapeng/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

President Trump, as part of a broader pause in tensions with China, said Sunday that U.S. companies can continue to sell parts to embattled telecom firm Huawei, provided there are no national security concerns specific to those products.

Why it matters: While many of the concerns were around Huawei's networking business, U.S. sanctions were also threatening the viability of the company's smartphone business too, given its reliance on chips and software from the U.S.

Between the lines: It's not clear just how much a reprieve Trump is granting, nor how long it will last. A White House official said Sunday that the exemption will cover only widely available goods.

What they're saying:

  • Sen. Mark Warner said he wants to see the details "but we need to remember that Huawei represents a threat to our national security. Allowing Huawei to participate in building our next generation communications networks should be unacceptable for everyone. If the President's deal goes too far, Congress would certainly act to reverse it."
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham, on "Meet the Press," said: “There will be a lot of pushback if it is a major concession,” to Huawei.

Our thought bubble: Conflating a trade dispute and national security concerns is a dangerous game.

Go deeper: Why Huawei is the United States' 5G boogeyman

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
55 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.