Canada needs more time to finish a review on whether to block Huawei Technologies Co. from helping build a new high-speed network, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said.
“I’m not going to speculate about time but it’s certainly beyond weeks,” Goodale told reporters Tuesday after a cabinet meeting. “It’s some ways off into the future yet.”
The minister’s comments come a day after the U.S. filed criminal charges against the Chinese company, alleging it stole trade secrets from an American rival. Goodale said Canada will take the view of allies such as the U.S. into account when studying potential risks to national security, and will make its own decision in the end.
China’s ambassador to Canada and Huawei officials have denied the company’s gear is used for spying. The embassy earlier Tuesday called for Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer, to be released from custody in Vancouver where she’s awaiting hearings on extradition to the U.S.
“I’m not going to comment on Huawei’s position one way or the other,” Goodale said. “This is a serious decision and we will make it in a serious and conscientious way.”