After Huawei, ZTE became the second company to be the victim of US government’s ongoing crackdown on Chinese electronics companies. The US Commerce Department banned all American companies from selling hardware and software to these companies for seven years. President Donald Trump surprised everyone when he urged the Commerce Department to lift the ZTE ban.
Without access to components, hardware and software from the US, ZTE will have to shut down its operations. During his campaigns, Trump called out China for stealing US jobs, but in this tweet, he did show concern for those in China for losing their jobs at ZTE. Now, the House Appropriations Committee has unanimously passed an amendment to a bill which will prevent the Commerce Department from making any changes to ban imposed on ZTE. The move comes after ZTE reportedly violated US sanctions by selling goods and services to Iran, TheHill reports.
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“Supporting this amendment will show that the U.S. government stands behind the sanctions that it enacts, and will enforce them. It also further prevents foreign companies beholden to their governments from further infiltrating our U.S. networks,” Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger said.
Back in 2012, the House Intelligence Committee had suggested tbanningHuawei and ZTE from the US. In a report, the committee called both companies a threat to the national security for their link with the Chinese government. When Broadcom was looking to acquire Qualcomm, President Trump used national security as a reason to block the purchase, but the latest move shows contradiction.