Could Clear the way for the United States to make progress in its high-stakes trade talks with China.
UNITED STATES.- The Trump administration has told Congress that it’s reached a deal that would allow Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp. to stay in business, a source familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a confidential matter said Friday.
A resolution of the ZTE case could clear the way for the United States to make progress in its high-stakes trade talks with China. But news of the agreement drew immediate fire on Capitol Hill.
Under the agreement, ZTE would oust its management team, hire American compliance officers and pay a fine. The fine would come on top of the roughly $1 billion ZTE has already paid for selling equipment to North Ko- rea and Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions.
In return, the Commerce Department would lift a seven-year ban on ZTE’s purchase of components that the Chinese firm depends on from U.S. companies. The ban, imposed earlier this month, threatened to put ZTE out of business.
The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a call seeking confirmation of the agreement. On Capitol Hill, one senior congressional source said leaders have not yet received formal notification.
Lawmakers have warned the administration not to go easy on a company that brazenly violated U.S. sanctions against two rogue nations that were pursuing nuclear weapons production.
“If the administration goes through with this reported deal, President Trump would be helping make China great again,” said Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.
Schumer added: “Both parties in Congress should come together to stop this deal in its tracks.”
“ZTE presents a national security threat to the United States — and nothing in this reported deal addresses that fundamental fact,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md. “If President Trump won’t put our security before Chinese jobs, Congress will act on a bipartisan basis to stop him.”