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Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Liz Claman about the state of the economy and plans for hiring within the United States. Chambers said that, “Our ability to invest in this country by hiring employees, by doing acquisitions is dramatically limited until we have clarity on tax policy.” He went on to say that without clarity, it is going to be “very difficult to grow our headcount in this country.”

Excerpts from the interview are below.

On whether he will hold off on hiring until the fiscal cliff question is solved:

“I think going back to the overall underlying illnesses as opposed to the symptoms, our ability to invest in this country by hiring employees, by doing acquisitions is dramatically limited until we have clarity on tax policy. Our ability to determine do we acquire companies overseas and wherever we acquire are we gonna grow, or do we acquire back in this country is very dependent upon tax policy. As long as those issues are open, our ability to grow in the US no matter how much we want to – and I am an American company, proud to be an American company – want to hire here, if we don’t have clarity on it in a pro-job creation type agenda, then it’s going to be very difficult to grow our headcount in this country.”

On reports that Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) was pushing for scrutiny of Chinese tech firm Huawei:

“There was not. One of the major periodicals wrote that Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) was behind this. Nothing could be further than the truth. If I am going to do something, I tell people I am going to do it….we see Huawei as a serious competitor in our global basis and we see our ability to compete both here and China very key. Part of the takeaway is immediately after that came out in the Washington Post, we got the tar beat out of us in China in the press there so now we are balancing a little bit, reminding people that this is between two companies. This is not between two countries.”