U.S. reaches deal to keep China’s ZTE in business

The United States and China have reached a deal to lift sanctions on embattled Chinese telecom company ZTE The New York Times reported

Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department ruled that the company had failed to live up to the terms of an agreement over ZTE's evasion of sanctions. In April 2018 the Department of Commerce banned American companies from providing exports to ZTE for seven years.

ZTE has over 70,000 employees, it grossed more than $17 billion in annual revenue and it maintains close ties to the Chinese government. He remarked, "I can assure you that whatever the Commerce Department decides, the intel community has been part of the briefings and we will make sure that we will enforce national security issues". The U.S. alleges that the state-linked enterprise is abetting the transfer of U.S. technology to China's military.

Although the USA and China are reported to have agreed the broad outlines of a settlement over ZTE the issue has become inextricably linked with wider trade and security tensions between the two powers.

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.

In a statement, Schiff accused Trump of "ignoring warnings from our intelligence community that ZTE poses a national security risk because he is desperate for a deal with China".

President Trump tweeted about the recent deal, "Senator Schumer and Obama Administration let phone company ZTE flourish with no security checks".

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ZTE had complained that the denial order was unacceptable, and Trump has more recently indicated a desire to get the company "back into business".

Trump told Fox News on Thursday that he personally negotiated the $1.3 billion fine with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a phone call. "Both parties in Congress should come together to stop this deal in its tracks", said the New York Democrat. ZTE shut down most of its production after the ruling was announced. Trump has said the new fine against ZTE could be about $1.3 billion. By some estimates, ZTE uses components from American suppliers in up to 90 percent of its products.

It's unclear if Congress will be able to muster veto-proof majorities needed to block the president on ZTE.

United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is scheduled to travel to China on June 2nd.

But a number of lawmakers denounced the move as a major concession to China that gave the US little in return. Mr. Ross and Mr. Mnuchin sought to assure the lawmakers that they were planning on harsh penalties for ZTE, and appealed to Republicans to dampen their public criticism so a deal could be reached, a person briefed on the discussions said.

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