WASHINGTON, December 12, 2018 — President Trump has not yet made a decision as to whether he would attempt to intervene to stop the Department of Justice from prosecuting Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday in an interview with BroadbandBreakfast.com.
During a Tuesday interview with Reuters, Trump said he would be willing to intervene on Meng’s behalf if it is in the United States’ best interests.
Canadian authorities arrested Meng, the daughter of the electronics giant’s founder and one of the wealthiest women in China on December 1, following a request from the U.S. Department of Justice. She is charged with fraud relating to alleged violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.
Trump previously intervened to ease penalties the Commerce Department levied against Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE earlier this year after executives were discovered to have deceived American authorities about the extent to which the company violated sanctions against North Korea.
When asked if Trump’s apparent intention to once again negate consequences faced by a Chinese company for violating U.S. sanctions rendered the sanctions meaningless, Ross cautioned BroadbandBreakfast against drawing conclusions from a potential decision which the president has yet to make.
“Let’s see what he actually decides, let’s see where we go from there,” Ross said while speaking to reporters outside the West Wing.
Trump’s previous intervention, Ross noted, came in response to a request by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“Last time, President Xi called him and asked him to do it as a personal favor, that doesn’t mean it’s a precedent for all time,” he said.
(Photo of Wilbur Ross by the White House.)