President Trump is set to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron today in Normandy.
The two will focus on the role of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei in 5G expansion, an issue that highlights the contradictory values of the current French and American administrations.
Washington has banned Huawei from providing equipment for 5G expansion in the US due to its susceptibility to Chinese state pressure. Allies Australia and Japan have already implemented similar bans, and Trump is seeking to compel European allies to do the same. For Trump, standing up to threats to US technology from China and securing American cyber security are of paramount importance. For Macron, Huawei’s low-cost equipment is hard to resist, and, unlike Trump, the he does not view the company as necessarily threatening to French security.
As long as the trade dispute between Beijing and Washington continues, expect the latter to continue to lobby for a ban on Huawei. In the medium-term, Macron will likely continue dialogues with the company; eventually, he might have to choose between closer security cooperation with the US or Huawei’s alluring prices.
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