U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with the British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, during a press availability on July 21 at Lancaster House in London during Pompeo’s three-day visit to the United Kingdom. Among the subjects Raab said the two discussed was 5G wireless communications, with reference to how the two countries can diversify supply chains for telecommunications companies’ 5G networks.
The trade relationship between the United States and the UK is worth more than $300 billion, according Raab.
“We think we can do even better than that,” Raab said. “There are, every morning, just under one half million Americans who go to work for British companies, around the same number of Brits going to work for American companies. And I think that illustrates the kind of win-win free trade deal that we’re committed and determined to achieve between our two countries — good for jobs, good for consumers as well.”
Pompeo pointed to the challenges presented by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and what he called the party’s exploitation of the disaster caused by the COVID-19 virus that originated in Wuhan, China. Of the meeting with Raab, Pompeo said they talked about how they have seen Hong Kong’s freedoms crushed. “We’ve watched the CCP bully its neighbors, militarize features in the South China Sea and instigate a deadly confrontation with India,” he said.
“I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the British government for its principled responses to these challenges,” Pompeo said. “You made a sovereign decision to ban Huawei from future 5G networks. You have joined other free nations to condemn China’s broken promises on the Sino-British treaty. You generously opened your doors to Hong Kongers who seek nothing more and fleeing just for some freedom. And yesterday you suspended your extradition treaty and extended your arms embargo on China to Hong Kong itself. We support those sovereign choices; we think well done.”
Asked what is the ultimate goal of U.S. actions against Huawei, Pompeo said the United States does not have an end state that it seeks from Huawei.
“We have an end state for the people of the United States, which is to make sure that the data sets — the private data that belongs to Americans — doesn’t end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. So our efforts aren’t aimed at any one particular company or one particular business; they are aimed at protecting American national security.”
The secretary of state said that the United States would continue to take actions against every entity that engages in trade behaviors that are inconsistent with American national security or that uses telecommunications infrastructure in ways that pose threats to the United States.
“Whether that’s our military information and our high-end national security information or the average citizen’s private information, that ought not to be in the hands of the Chinese national security apparatus,” Pompeo said. “No American should engage in ordinary activity on their cell phone or on their laptop computer or talking on their phone — no American should have the risk that that data set is going to be in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. We are determined to make sure that does not happen. So the actions you have seen us take against multiple companies, including Huawei, are reflective of that security mission that we have.”