US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross warned the country would err towards denying companies licences to trade with Huawei, unless it was clear any deals did not risk national security.

At a conference, Ross explained applications to trade with Huawei would be reviewed with a “presumption of denial”. Authorities are keen to ensure “we don’t just transfer revenue from the US to foreign firms”, he stated.

He added Huawei’s presence on a US trade blacklist and the scope of items requiring licences remain unchanged despite the intervention of President Trump late last month.

Ross did not specify what kinds of trade might present a threat to national security.

In an interview with CNBC, US economic adviser Larry Kudlow explained: “With respect to the private market, I call it general merchandise, we’ve opened the door and relaxed a bit the licensing requirements for the Commerce Department, where there are no national security influences or consequences.”

By way of example, he said some chip companies would be permitted to sell products to Huawei on a limited basis.

It is unclear how much the limited respite will help Huawei given the pending implementation of another Trump directive. By mid-October, Ross said the Department of Commerce will issue interim rules to enforce an executive order barring companies from using equipment or services supplied by companies deemed a security risk.