Tuesday, May 15, 2018

ZTE Becomes Lightning Rod in U.S., China Trade Talks

Asked about President Donald Trump’s statements on Twitter this weekend about helping Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer ZTE, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday the department would review it — quickly.

The U.S. Commerce Department last month blocked American firms from selling parts or providing services to ZTE. Ross explained to attendees at a National Press Club luncheon, that ZTE violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea and the Chinese telecom manufacturer agreed to pay a $1.2 billion fine. But the former bankruptcy specialist said the U.S. found out ZTE didn’t live up to the agreement. “It turned out a number of statements ZTE made to us were not accurate. Our initial thought was to impose the ‘bad list’ so the company can’t receive high tech material. That’s what led to the shutdown,” Ross said.  

ZTE essentially stopped all operations last month because of the ban and was working to get it reversed, the company said in an investment filing last month, Inside Towers reported. Sunday, Trump tweeted that he’s working to give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast” because “too many” Chinese jobs were at risk. He added he’s “instructed” the Commerce Department to help ZTE, reported CNN. Continue Reading

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