Foreign Policy

Johnson Cancels Meeting With Trump After Angry Phone Call

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Trump and Johnson bromance may be over if this is any indication.

Trump and his cabinet lackeys spent most of the last year pressuring the British and other European governments to ban Chinese-owned telecommunications company Huawei from their next general of networks, but British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently decided to forgo Trump's demands and allowed Huawei to operate in the country with some restrictions that will prevent the company from installing equipment in critical infrastructure like nuclear power pants.

I would say those are reasonable restrictions, but Trump doesn't agree. Trump called Johnson to complain about his decision not to ban Huawei, but this was not a "perfect call" like the one he placed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Trump's behavior during his conversation with Johnson was "apoplectic" according to the Financial Times.

Boris Johnson has now canceled his upcoming meeting with Trump.

(Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has postponed a trip to the United States to meet U.S. President Donald Trump so he can stay at home to focus on delivering his domestic agenda, the Sun newspaper reported late on Thursday. [...]

Johnson was expected to visit Washington early this year. This has now been postponed until June when a summit of G7 leaders is due, according to the newspaper.

I think saying you're staying home to focus on delivering your domestic agenda is just a diplomatic way of telling Trump to get fucked, but I digress.

The chances that Britain and the Trump regime would sign a trade deal this year were never high as Britain has to negotiate their way out of European customs union or "single market" first, but this places it even further out of reach.

This won't stop members of either regime from negotiating on the sidelines, but Johnson seems to have judged that meeting with Trump right now would not be productive or worthwhile. That suggests that Johnson does not believe there will be anything worth discussing with Trump in person in the first half of the year. That means no trade deal.

And now I find myself in the awkward position of observing that Boris Johnson, for all his faults and bad policy positions and bad hair, is still more of a professional statesman than Trump will ever be.