Report: US, ZTE Sign Deal to
Get Chinese Firm Operating Again
June 6, 2018
telecommunications firm ZTE has signed a deal with the United States that
lets the crippled company get back in business, Reuters reports.
ZTE was almost totally shut down after the Trump administration cut off
exports of U.S. made parts to the company. It was, in the words of one
expert, “caught red-handed” putting the U.S. technology into products and
selling them to countries under U.S. trade embargoes, including Iran and
ZTE depends on U.S. parts for wireless stations, optical fiber networks and
According to Reuters, the deal to get ZTE operating again included a $1
billion fine, regular inspections of its plants and the replacement of its
team of executives.
Neither ZTE nor the U.S. Commerce Department has confirmed that any
definitive deal was signed.
But the reports already have U.S. lawmakers angry that the Trump
administration is willing to let ZTE resume using U.S.-made components.
“If these reports are accurate, this is a huge mistake,” Virginia Democrat
Mark Warner of the Senate Intelligence Committee said. “ZTE poses a threat
to our national security. That's not just my opinion — it's the unanimous
conclusion of our intelligence community.”
Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York called President Donald
Trump someone who “roared like a lion and is governing like a lamb” when it
comes to China and letting ZTE “off the hook.”
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has also called ZTE a security risk and said
a bill to block the U.S. from doing business with it would have huge support
Trump said last month he was looking for a way to let ZTE “get back into
“Too many jobs in China lost,” Trump tweeted as he ordered the Commerce
Department “to get it done!”
Trump has often complained about China stealing U.S. jobs and having a huge
trade deficit with the U.S. His tweets in support of China and ZTE perplexed
Congress and many economic experts.
But the White House has said Trump’s tweets “underscore the importance of a
free, fair, balanced and mutually beneficial economic trade and investment
relationship between the United States and China.”