President Donald Trump raised the possibility that a U.S. dispute with Chinese telecom giant Huawei could be resolved as part of a trade deal, days after his administration cut off U.S. technology sales to the company, calling it a national security threat.
Responding to questions from a reporter Thursday afternoon, Trump called Huawei “very dangerous,” but also said White House concerns about the company could be wrapped into its tense trade talks with Beijing.
“Huawei is something that’s very dangerous. You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint, it’s very dangerous,” Trump said. “So it’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal. If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form of, or in some part of, a trade deal.”
Asked how that might work, Trump added: “It’s too early to say, but I mean, we’re just very concerned about Huawei from a security standpoint.”
“It shows that the Art of the Deal is alive and well,” said Jeff Moon, who negotiated trade issues with the Chinese during the Obama administration. “In his mind, there are no principles that are not negotiable, including national security.”
Trump’s comments echoed the president’s handling of a similar case in 2018 involving another Chinese company ZTE, which had violated U.S. sanctions by shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea.
But after a personal plea from Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump abruptly reversed course.
By Jeanne Whalen, David J. Lynch (c) 2019, The Washington Post
May 24, 2019