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George Soros wary of Trump's stance on Huawei

US investor and philanthropist George Soros speaks into a microphone.
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