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article imageUS official claims Huawei and trade dispute are different issues

By Ken Hanly     Jul 20, 2019 in Business
The head of Trump's cybersecurity and foreign privacy policy says the US stand blacklisting Huawei Technologies for security reasons is not related to the ongoing trade war between the two countries.
Stayer's statement
Robert Stayer, of the US State Dept., the deputy assistant secretary of cyber and international communications and information policy, said to BNN: “We need to make sure that people do not think this is part of a trade war [or] trade discussions.This is about our national security.”
US Congress wants Huawei restrictions kept
Both the US House of Representatives and the Senate have introduced bills to keep the restrictions in place on Huawei and that the company remains blacklisted from doing business with the US. As Bloomberg reports: "A bipartisan group of U.S. Senate and House lawmakers unveil legislation that would bar removal of Huawei from the Trump admin.’s “technology blacklist” without an act of Congress."
Trade talks ongoing but Huawei issue should be separate
US senior officials confirmed that Steven Mnuchin the Treasury Secretary and Robert Lighthizer the US Trade Representative spoke over the phone to their Chinese counterparts and renewed their efforts to negotiate a deal with the Chinese.
Strayer said: “There are very important issues in those trade discussions, like the improper transfer of intellectual property, joint venture requirements that are going to China. Those are trade issues." He added that it was important that the Huawei issue be kept separate. Strayer added: “I think that as we get out there as diplomats and talk to governments around the world, they’re beginning to understand where we’re coming from and why we’re making ourselves so clear with regard to the future of 5G technology.”
Canada punished for accepting US request
At the request of the US Canada arrested CFO of Huawei Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver last December. The US wants her extradited to the US to face charges having to do with business dealings with Iran that the US sanctions forbid as well as fraud.
As a BBC article in March notes Wanzhou has sued the Canadian government over the arrest: "The chief financial officer of China's tech giant Huawei is suing Canada over her arrest at the request of the US. Meng Wanzhou was held in December at Vancouver airport on suspicion of fraud and breaching US sanctions on Iran. On Friday Ms Meng filed a civil claim against Canada's government, border agency and police for "serious breaches" of her civil rights."
China has responded not only by arresting some Canadians in China but also stopped buying Canadian canola in March and meat products in June causing great harm to trading relationships.
Canada still contemplating using Huawei 5G network
Canada has not made a decision yet whether to allow Huawsei to be involved in its 5G network. Australia, possibly under pressure from the US, decided last August to ban Huawei as well as China's ZTE from being involved in its 5G network.
The UK however has so far been resisting pressure from the US and is undertaking its own analysis of the situation but a report has yet to be finished. However a recent article notes: "In a letter to the government, the Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee said operators did not believe that Huawei’s kit was any less secure and that any ban would give networks less leverage to demand higher security standards from other vendors. It was also concerned that there would be lower competition in the market and that no proof of any vulnerabilities had ever been delivered. It did, however, call for a formal ban of Huawei gear in the core layer of the network – a measure that the leaked report suggested would be enacted by the government."
Trump's softer stance on the UK may influence its own decision
A senior Canadian official said that Trump's softer stance towards allies over the issue of Huawei technologies is a new nuance in the situation as Canada deliberates over the issue. The US has been pressing allies to ban Huwaei from new 5G telecommunications networks. Trump had earlier said not to ban Huawei could limit intelligence sharing with the US. However, he said last week that this would not be necessary with the UK.
Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said: "“Just last week there was another new nuance in this discussion... The president, he said, “indicated that he thought whatever difference of view could be easily worked out.” Asked what he thought Trump meant, the Canadian replied: “I’m anxious to examine that question.”"
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