One of U.S. President Donald Trump’s top advisers says he’s “proud” of Canada – particularly Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – for “hanging tough” on Huawei.
Economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters in Washington on Sunday that he’s grateful to Mr. Trudeau and to Canada for helping the United States in its case against the Chinese tech company’s chief financial officer.
The RCMP arrested Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver’s airport in December at the request of the United States, which is seeking her extradition on fraud charges, and Mr. Trudeau has repeatedly said that the government will not interfere in the process.
Nine days after Ms. Meng’s arrest, China detained two Canadians on allegations that they were endangering the country’s national security. It also increased another Canadian’s sentence on drug trafficking charges from 15 years to the death penalty.
China insists the actions are not in retaliation for Ms. Meng’s detention, but the fallout has nonetheless been a diplomatic chill between Canada and China in recent months.
Mr. Kudlow acknowledged as much on Sunday, saying he appreciates the Canadian government sticking to its guns by not allowing Ms. Meng – or the detained Canadians – to become bargaining chips in wider trade discussions.
“Is it part of the overall trade landscape, if you will? Yes. But it’s principally a legal matter and not a trade matter,” Mr. Kudlow said.
“That’s why I’m so proud of Prime Minister Trudeau for staying with the rule of law and assisting the United States. I’m very proud of him.”
On Friday, Mr. Trump himself raised the possibility that the U.S. could drop criminal charges against Huawei, as the President wrapped up two days of negotiations at the White House aimed at resolving America’s own ongoing trade dispute with China.
Asked about Huawei before an Oval Office meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy, Vice-Premier Liu He, Mr. Trump said a decision on Huawei is pending, but “right now, it’s not something we’re discussing.”
The Canadian Press