US President Donald Trump has tweeted that he’s working to address the issue of ZTE being banned from doing business in the US. The White House and senior Chinese officials are talking over a targeted economic deal which would relax the intense impositions on Chinese telecom and manufacturer, ZTE. According to a report by The Washington Post, President Trump has agreed to look into the matter and has demands of his own to go with it.
In a tweet on Sunday, President Trump said that he wanted federal regulators to work out a situation and relax the penalties imposed on ZTE despite the accusations of ZTE illegally shipping goods to North Korea and Iran.
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018
It is not yet known, just how this would affect the trade related concessions that the US is trying to acquire from China along with the sanctions against North Korea and Iran. ZTE recently received a seven year trade ban, where no US firms would be exporting processors, and other parts to ZTE. Following which the Chinese company declared that it would “cease major operating activities” in the US.
President Trump’s recent stance on the matter shows a U-turn from his previous statements which talked about Chinese stealing US jobs. According to the report, some believe that there might be a new deal on its way with US relaxing the norms for ZTE while China agrees to return to the status quo for US agriculture.
But this has not been met with the most favorable complacency with the Chinese, as President Xi Jinping has not been too happy about the sanction on ZTE. According to his top economic adviser, Liu He, the US has been informed that there would be no deal unless the ban itself is removed.
And though White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said, “The President’s tweet underscores the importance of a free, fair, balanced, and mutually beneficial economic, trade and investment relationship between the United States and China. The administration is in contact with China on this issue, among others in the bilateral relationship. President Trump expects [Commerce] Secretary [Wilbur] Ross to exercise his independent judgment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, to resolve the regulatory action involving ZTE based on its facts.”
The others in Trump administration have shared concerns with the present decision of the President.
According to Scott Kennedy, who is an expert on business and China at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “This act appears to pull the rug out from under those in the administration trying to pressure China to restrain its industrial policies and better protect intellectual property.”
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Previously ZTE has been accused by more than one body in the US of lapses in the security, including the Defence Department. The Washington Post reported that ZTE has not responded to their requests for a comment on the matter.