Trump Administration Plans to Revive ZTE, Prompting Backlash

Chairman and CEO Pony Ma attends a news conference announcing the company's annual results in Hong Kong Ch

The Trump administration told lawmakers Friday that it had reached a deal that would keep the Chinese telecom firm ZTE alive, possibly clearing the way for the United States to make progress in its high-stakes trade talks with China next month.

Rubio added that Congress should act to stop Trump from letting ZTE get back into business.

The news comes as the United States prepares to send a trade delegation back to Beijing next week to continue talks aimed at defusing a potentially serious trade dispute with China after the countries exchanged huge tit-for-tat threats on imports.

Senator Schumer and Obama Administration let phone company ZTE flourish with no security checks. I closed it down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase USA parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine.

Chinese officials sought a pullback on ZTE as part of any broader deal to prevent a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

And a number of Democrats and Republicans have said products from ZTE, which is partly owned by the Chinese government, could also be used to collect information on US companies and steal intellectual property. The ban stops US companies like Google, Qualcomm, and Intel from doing any kind of business with ZTE.

The White House did not immediately confirm news of the latest deal. The Senate Banking Committee has also acted against ZTE, voting 23-2 for an amendment to block President Trump from easing sanctions on ZTE.

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ZTE was initially banned from buying products exported by American technology companies due to findings showing that it had been selling American technology to Iran and North Korea.

The deal would require ZTE to pay a hefty fine, shake up its management structure and hire American compliance officers, according to The New York Times, which cited a person familiar with the matter.

On Thursday, Mr Ross said that at Trump's request, his department was looking at alternatives to the harsh penalty he chose to impose. "Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"

Mr. Trump also has stressed that, far from going soft on China, it was his administration that cracked down on ZTE in the first place.

Some Chinese officials have said they would not follow through on other parts of the trade talks until US officials reach an agreement to free ZTE. The president angrily denied back-pedalling.

"Yes they have a deal in mind". Marco Rubio tweeted Friday. "It is a great deal. for #ZTE & China", GOP Sen. "#China crushes USA companies with no mercy & they use these telecomm companies to spy & steal from us".

ZTE's announcement prompted Chinese President Xi Jinping to lobby Trump to intervene. However, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress believe that this deal could potentially compromise national security.

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