Secretary Michael R. Pompeo and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at a Press Availability

U.S. Department of State

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at a Press Availability

JULY 21, 2020


FOREIGN SECRETARY RAAB: Good afternoon, everyone. Really delighted to welcome Secretary Pompeo back to London. We’ve been discussing the full range of issues today. We’re going through a whole range of challenges in the world, I think it’s fair to say, but there are also great opportunities, and Britain and the United States are absolutely keen and focused on making sure that we grasp them.

We’ve spoken today about our serious concerns about the situation in Hong Kong, particularly in relation to the national security legislation. We talked a bit about our – the UK offer to BNOs, what we’re doing in suspending the extradition treaty, extending the arms embargo to Hong Kong. Mike gave me his perspective on it as well. We’re coordinating together with the Five Eyes, and we also discussed next steps including at G7 level. We also talked about ongoing discussions in relation to 5G, and crucially how we can diversify our supply chains in relation to telecoms in the 5G network, and also more broadly learning some of the lessons from coronavirus around PPE and other things and the work that we can do together in order to facilitate that.

That, I think, brought us on to talk about the free trade negotiations. We’re looking forward to meeting British and American businesses shortly, given we’re each other’s biggest investors. Our annual trade relationship is worth over $300 billion. We think we can do even better than that. There are, every morning, just under one half million Americans who go to work for British companies, around the same Brits going to work for American companies. And I think that illustrates the kind of win-win free trade deal that we’re committed and determined to achieve between our two countries – good for jobs, good for consumers as well.

The UK is really clear that we need to work with our American friends and also with other partners together in the international system to protect our freedoms and interests and stand up – as we’ve shown, I think, on Hong Kong – stand up for our values. We’re more influential, we have more impact when we work together. We also discussed Iran, Russia, the Middle East peace process, the broader challenges of COVID-19, and the need to strengthen, reinforce, and keep the team together in relation to NATO.

We discussed bilateral issues, and I think across the full range of international challenges we – of which there are many – we recognized that we’re always a lot stronger and more effective when we work together, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do in the weeks and months ahead.

Mike, over to you.

SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, and good afternoon. I want to thank Foreign Secretary Raab for the invitation to be here today. I know it’s not easy to host events, especially at these times, so I want to thank you and your staff for putting this all together and making it work. It was a very productive conversation. We of course began with the challenge presented by the Chinese Communist Party and the COVID-19 virus that originated in Wuhan, China. On behalf of the American people I want to extend my condolences to the British people from your losses from this preventable pandemic. The CCP’s exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful. Rather than helping the world, General Secretary Xi has shown the world the party’s true face. We talked about how we’ve seen Hong Kong’s freedoms crushed. We’ve watched the CCP bully its neighbors, militarize features in the South China Sea, and instigate a deadly confrontation with India.

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the British Government for its principled responses to these challenges. You made a sovereign decision to ban Huawei from future 5G networks. You’ve joined other free nations to condemn China’s broken promises on the Sino-British treaty. You generously opened your doors to Hong Kongers who seek nothing more and fleeing just for some freedom. And yesterday you suspended your extradition treaty and extended your arms embargo on China to Hong Kong itself. We support those sovereign choices; we think well done. I’ll meet later today with Hong Kong democracy advocate Nathan Law and Sir Chris Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong. I’m sure those will be eye-opening and important discussions too.