Tentative Deal: ZTE Will Pay Fine, Hire U.S. Compliance, Fire Management

Trump strikes deal with China on ZTE: report

The Trump administration accused the company of violating the 2017 settlement after ZTE was caught shipping United States components to North Korea and Iran and ordered to pay a $900 million penalty. In doing two, the two nations pulled back from the brink of a trade war over Chinese demands that US companies hand over some of their technology as the price of doing business in China.

U.S. Commerce Department officials informed lawmakers of the deal under which ZTE will pay a bigger fine than previously expected, hire American compliance officers and shake up its management team, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"This is a law enforcement action being handled by Commerce", said Lindsay Walters, the deputy White House press secretary.

Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly called President Donald Trump asking for relief for the Chinese telecom firm and putting an initial offer on the table, according to Fox News.

Lawmakers have warned the administration not to go easy on a company that brazenly violated USA sanctions against two rogue nations that were pursuing nuclear weapons production.

The company has lost over $3 billion since the April 15th ban on doing business with USA suppliers, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The ban was placed on ZTE after its management failed to comply with punishments imposed on them by the U.S. following around 40 of its employees selling "hundreds of millions of [US] dollars'" worth of routers, microprocessors and servers to Iranian entities in violation of the US's Export Administration Act of 1979. "It is a great deal. for #ZTE & China", Senator Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, tweeted on Friday. The U.S. government is also concerned that the state-backed company was using its devices to spy on users.

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Rubio, as well as Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen, said Congress should act to stop Trump from letting ZTE get back into business.

Ross plans to visit Beijing on June 2-4, and China has made saving ZTE one of its priorities.

Ross is scheduled to travel to Beijing next week to accelerate talks, particularly focused on securing a commitment from China to purchase more US goods.

Trump also has said that efforts to help ZTE are meant to be part of broader trade negotiations between the United States and China, which have sputtered in recent weeks as China has resisted US demands.

US intelligence officials think ZTE poses a USA security threat because its products could be used for spying or cyberattacks.

As part of the agreements ZTE made past year it dismissed four senior employees.

Trump has advanced an adversarial trade agenda with numerous USA allies so far this year, threatening many of them with tariffs if they don't take steps to allow more US companies to freely sell goods overseas.

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