WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration has not yet decided whether to curb intelligence sharing with the United Kingdom over its decision to give Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] a limited role in its 5G network, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters at the White House, Kudlow also brushed off concerns China hawks in Congress could derail a trade deal that the United States and United Kingdom are hoping to ink following Brexit.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson granted Huawei a limited role in Britain’s 5G mobile network on Tuesday, frustrating a global attempt by the United States to exclude the Chinese telecoms equipment giant from the West’s next-generation communications systems.
The U.S. government has pointed to Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese government and argued the company could spy on consumers for Beijing, allegations Huawei denies.
The Trump administration had also threatened to withhold intelligence from governments that allow the world’s top provider of telecoms equipment into their networks, but there is little clarity on whether the United States will follow through on the threat.
“We haven’t made any decision on that,” said Kudlow, reiterating the administration was “disappointed” in the UK decision. “We will be working with our UK cousins ... and try to get through this.”
Ahead of the UK’s highly anticipated decision on Huawei, Republican Senators Tom Cotton, John Cornyn and Marco Rubio wrote a letter to the UK National Security Council threatening to hold up a future trade deal over the issue.
But Kudlow said he was not concerned. “No, not at the present time. We’d love to help them with a trade deal,” he said.
Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Chris Reese and Diane Craft