(NewsReady.com) – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Britain on leaving the European Union last Friday. He welcomed the upcoming talks on a new trade deal between the UK and US – but he also warned of differences that need overcoming. Two of the widest-separated positions are over China and Iran.
The UK is usually supportive of American foreign policy, but won’t hesitate to diverge if the government disagrees. Right now there’s some tension concerning Iran, with many in the British government skeptical of President Obama’s nuclear deal but still seeing it as better than any current alternative. Meanwhile, Pompeo regards that deal as dead and wants it out of the way.
A bigger potential problem is China. The UK has just agreed to let Chinese electronics firm Huawei supply “non-core” equipment for its 5G network.
Diplomatic tact. Allowing Huawei into 5G is a major strategic error. Mike Pompeo: The US's task of persuasion is "no different today that it was a week ago. … We should be straight up; it is not beyond the imagination that there's a cost": https://t.co/bwRiSa20IS
— John Bell (@JohnNemoBell) January 31, 2020
The US and other leading western nations, including Australia, see the move as a security risk.
There are differences to be negotiated, but the talks are likely to be a high priority for the Trump administration. A broad trade deal with the world’s fifth-largest economy and our closest ally would give the president’s economic plans a major boost, so some flexibility on the details is likely.
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