Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says he welcomes any ease in trade tensions between the US and China but has distanced Australia from Donald Trump’s relaxed stance on Chinese telco Huawei.
After meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping on the weekend, US President Trump agreed to allow US companies to sell some components to Huawei.
The decision came despite ongoing security concerns about the tech giant, which has been banned from a role in Australia’s 5G network.
“Decisions in relation to the telecommunications sector are decisions for the American government,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
“They will take those decisions in their own national interest.”
However, Mr Frydenberg said Australia welcomed “any alleviation in some of the tensions that we’ve seen between China and the United States”.
“We know trade tensions are leading to a deferral of investment decisions and we know that volumes of exports have been down,” he said.
“With Australia having one in five jobs related to trade and with free trade agreements locked in with our major trading partners … there is great benefits for Australia from free trade.
“Australia will continue to make the case very strongly for a rules-based trading system.”