US trade secretary says ‘hope’ is to avoid new auto tariffs

Interview with U.S. Commerce Secretary suggests good news is coming to Huawei and Apple

Washington 'may not need' to put tariffs on European cars: Ross

US companies now require a license to continue doing business with any of those firms.

Robert O'Brien, the national security adviser Trump sent in his stead, included the invitation in a letter from Trump that he read at a U.S. -ASEAN meeting on Monday on the sidelines of the summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations on the outskirts of Thailand's capital.

The first phase of the deal would require China to buy more agricultural products, stabilize its currency and open financial services markets to US firms. In return, Beijing wants the U.S. to do away with new import taxes due to take effect on 15 December on goods including smartphones.

There are at this time above 100 Chinese entities, together with Huawei, that have been added to the U.S. trade blacklist, which has prevented them from purchasing United States software package and parts.

A Huawei vice president on Sunday also refuted cybersecurity concerns surrounding the company.

"Look. Showing up is important", said Charles Freeman, senior vice president for Asia for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He said his office has received 260 requests for licenses.

Although Ross did not hint which companies applied for the license, but we expect most of the companies have little to do with smartphone brands. Remember too with entity lists there's a presumption of denial. "So the safe thing for these companies would be to assume denial, even though we will obviously approve quite a few of them".

"If somebody from the government believes that Windows on a laptop sold by Huawei would create a national security risk to the United States, then of course that's something that we want to talk about and think hard about".

If realized with all 16 members, the RCEP trade bloc would be one of the world's biggest, encompassing a market of 3.6 billion people accounting for roughly a third of world trade and of world business activity.

While contentious issues remain and the terms aren't yet known, RCEP would at least in part fill a trade gap left by the U.S. after Trump withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017. Southeast Asia, which collectively has the world's fifth largest economy, has struggled to wade through the economic fallout of enduring trade tensions between the U.S. and China.

"There's still time to renegotiate the underlying issue of workers' rights", Ross said, noting the suspension was scheduled to take effect in April.

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