Sep 10, 2019

George Soros wary of Trump's stance on Huawei

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

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Tech trade groups oppose facial recognition ban

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A coalition of tech companies and trade groups is urging Congress not to pass legislation that would ban government use of facial recognition.

Why it matters: As of now there are no national rules on how governments can or can't use face recognition. Consumer groups have been calling for such a ban, while Microsoft and Amazon have encouraged Congress to regulate, but not ban, government use of the technology.

Go deeperArrowSep 26, 2019

Critical window is about to close for U.S.-China trade deal

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The resumption of U.S.-China trade negotiations in October, after an acrimonious summer, is likely to offer the last chance for a breakthrough before both sides flip to a more hardline nationalist Plan B in 2020.

The big picture: The protracted dispute is impacting growth, business confidence and economic uncertainty in both countries. A 2019 deal remains probable and in each leader’s best interests, as President Trump looks to his 2020 campaign amid a softening economy and Chinese President Xi Jinping faces political liabilities from slowing growth.

Go deeperArrowSep 10, 2019

Trump heads to UN General Assembly against backdrop of global crises

President Trump. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post/Getty Images

President Trump will join 192 other world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York City this week for 5 days of speeches and hundreds of meetings — all coming against the backdrop of a string of international crises.

Why it matters: From the China trade war to growing tensions with Iran, the president is facing down multiple global hotspots and a number of unresolved foreign policy deals as he heads to the world’s most prominent diplomatic stage. The self-described "dealmaker" has thus far failed to de-escalate tensions with Iran, North Korea, China, the Taliban, and Israel and Palestine.

Go deeperArrowSep 22, 2019