US President Donald Trump has launched a fresh attack on Huawei, warning his country could cut intelligence sharing with any ally that cooperates with the Chinese tech firm.
Trump told the US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell that “any nation who chooses to use an untrustworthy 5G vendor will jeopardise our ability to share intelligence and information at the highest level”.
While the broadside was primarily aimed at Germany, the comments will reignite concerns that Boris Johnson’s decision to allow Huawei to help build the UK’s telecoms networks could harm relations with the US.
Trump, who has urged US allies to ban Huawei on national security grounds, was reportedly “apoplectic” with anger at the prime minister’s verdict.
Members of Australia’s intelligence committee have scrapped a planned trip to London following the decision. Australia, which is part of the five-eyes intelligence sharing partnership, has sided with the US in blocking the Chinese company.
Johnson has also shelved plans to visit Washington, sparking fears the row over Huawei could impact transatlantic trade negotiations.
Nevertheless, the government has insisted it can manage the risks related to Huawei, while foreign secretary Dominic Raab said Downing Street was “reasonably confident” it can still strike a trade deal.
Trumps’ latest comments, which come in the wake of the Munich security conference, also mark a fresh warning to Berlin as Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government weighs up its approach to Huawei.
The US Department of Justice last week hit the Shenzhen-based company with fresh charges amid allegations of stealing trade secrets.
Huawei, which has always denied allegations of wrongdoing, said it respected the law in each of the 170 markets in which it operates.