It’s been one day since Blighty OK’d Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven’t overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?
To get a sense of the vibe on Capitol Hill, The Register spoke to Kathryn Waldron, resident fellow of national security and cybersecurity at R-Street, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington DC.
“UK policymakers should acknowledge this decision will have significant global repercussions. The US has strongly pressured the UK to unite together against Huawei, and thereby against China. The UK’s decision to allow Huawei to remain in their supply chain represents a fracture in the West’s approach to the larger issue of China, a fracture China will no doubt encourage through using economic pressure on European countries,” she said.
Waldron noted the Huawei issue is an ongoing concern for the current US administration, which has consistently lobbied Downing Street to take drastic action against the Chinese firm, culminating in a direct call between Boris Johnson and Donald Trump last Friday. The recent move will therefore be seen as nothing short of a snub.
“This public rejection of the American approach to handling Huawei will likely exacerbate tensions in US-UK relations. In response to the UK’s decision, American senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) tweeted that the UK’s stance on Huawei could complicate not just a US-UK free trade deal but also intelligence-sharing programs,” Waldron explained.
“I wouldn’t rule out some sort of punitive action in the form of delaying trade negotiations,” Waldron said. “The current administration has repeatedly embraced using economic tools such as tariffs or trade deals as political signals to indicate their displeasure.”