U.S. investor and philanthropist George Soros. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Billionaire George Soros wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Tuesday that he is worried the Trump administration may use the ban that prevents U.S. companies from doing business with telecom giant Huawei as a bargaining chip in U.S.-China trade talks.
Why it matters: Soros, a longtime target of conservatives, praised Republicans for introducing amendments to prevent the president from removing Huawei as a national-security threat without the consent of Congress. But the legislation is at odds with the president's desire to relax restrictions.
Flashback: Trump announced in May 2018 that he would help revoke similar bans on China's ZTE, a Huawei competitor, even though the company violated trade export rules and economic sanctions by selling U.S. technology to Iran and North Korea.
- Though Congress tried to reinstate the ban on ZTE, it ultimately dropped the plan.
- "If he gives Huawei a similar break, removing it from the entity list as part of a trade deal, the company could consolidate its leading position in the 5G market. ... Congress must prevent this from happening," Soros wrote.
Go Deeper: How Huawei is weathering U.S. sanctions