WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Britain’s decision to grant China-based Huawei Technologies HWT.UL a limited role in its 5G network despite U.S. concerns will not hinder efforts to reach a U.S.-UK trade deal, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Friday.
“We will be working with our British cousins on 5G. We think we can work with them and show them options. We’d love to do a free trade agreement,” Kudlow told Fox Business Network.
Asked if a reportedly contentious call between U.S. President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson could interrupt the planned deal, Kudlow said: “No, it wont” and cast doubt on the report.
The Financial Times on Thursday reported that Trump was “apoplectic” in the call with Johnson last week following the UK decision on 5G despite the Trump administration’s warning over security concerns.
Britain’s decision could impact intelligence information sharing between the United States and its top ally, though Kudlow has previously said no decision has been made yet.
The FT, citing unnamed officials in London and Washington, said Trump was livid during his exchange with Trump. Johnson’s office declined to comment on the report.
“I know there’s a lot of adjectives coming out of that phone call, I don’t think that that’s exactly true,” Kudlow told the Fox Business Network on Friday.
Reporting by Lisa Lambert; writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Alistair Bell