Trump says he would intervene in Huawei executive’s case in order to secure China trade deal

In this sketch by Jane Wolsak, Meng Wanzhou, left, Huawei's chief financial officer, speaks with lawyer David Martin in a courtroom in Vancouver, Canada, on Monday.
(Jane Wolsak / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump said he would intervene in the case of Huawei Technologies Co. Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou if it would help win a trade deal with China.

“If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made — which is a very important thing — what’s good for national security — I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump said Tuesday in an Oval Office interview with Reuters.

Meng was arrested earlier this month at the request of U.S. authorities, who are demanding her extradition and allege she conspired to defraud banks to unwittingly violate U.S. sanctions by clearing transactions linked to Iran. On Tuesday, she was granted a $7.5-million bail by a Canadian court, allowing her to return to her home in Vancouver as extradition proceedings continue.


Trump also told Reuters that the White House has spoken with the Justice Department about the case, along with Chinese officials.

Asked if he has spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the matter, Trump responded: “They have not called me yet. They are talking to my people. But they have not called me yet.”

The arrest has threatened to disrupt U.S.-Chinese relations even as the two nations’ leaders seek to negotiate a trade deal that would scale back a series of tariffs that have been implemented this year. China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to protest the arrest on Sunday.

The minister said U.S. actions have violated the “legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens,” according to a posting on the ministry website.