With a UK decision on Huawei expected by the end of the month, US officials maintain ‘significant concerns’ about the Chinese vendor
The United States continues to maintain pressure on British officials, ahead of the UK final decision on whether to allow Huawei to supply equipment for 5G networks.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to decide by the end of this month whether to allow Hauwei equipment to be used.
But US officials are maintaining the pressure on the UK, stating that Washington still had significant concerns about the Chinese networking giant.
The US pressure comes as the UK exits the European Union at the end of the month, and wants to sign a trade deal with America to boot. The two allies also disagree on the issue of digital tax, with the Prime Minister in favour on it.
Indeed, the disagreements spilled out into the open at Davos, where US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he would be meeting with British finance minister on Saturday to discuss Huawei.
“Let me just say again, it’s a complicated issue,” Mnuchin was quoted as saying by Reuters. “We’ve made very clear that it relates to all of the critical areas that we have significant concerns. But again, there’s ongoing discussion on these issues.
All of this comes as the UK is looking to reach a trade deal with the US, despite the fact that the UK still intends to impose a digital service tax on the revenue of companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon.
Business minister Andrea Leadsom was quoted by Reuters as saying on Thursday that Britain will soon decide what role Huawei will have, but there are only a limited number of alternative providers.
“Well there are other providers but they are limited, ideally there would be more providers of infrastructure similar to the work that Huawei does but the UK is looking very carefully at this issue and we will be making a final decision soon,” Leadsom told Sky.
“It is an ongoing process and there are all sorts of factors to take into consideration, as you say, like the availability of other providers, like the work that Huawei has already done in the United Kingdom, so these discussions are ongoing,” she said.
“I share the concerns of many citizens about protecting our national security interest,” Leadsom said.
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