Senate Set to Block White House on Reviving Trade Deal with ZTE
21 June, 2018, 05:30
ZTEstopped operations in May after the USA issued a seven year export ban on American parts for the company, which the company needed to make its products. The amendment to the defense spending bill forces the Commerce Department to reverse its reprieve on penalties imposed on ZTE for violating USA sanctions aimed at isolating Iran and North Korea, then lying about it.
Senators added an amendment targeting ZTE into a sweeping, must-pass national defence spending bill that cleared the chamber on an 85-10 vote.
This year, the Senate included an amendment that would kill the Trump administration's agreement to allow ZTE to resume business with USA suppliers, one of the few times the Republican-led Senate has veered from White House policy.
Acacia has been the hardest hit among suppliers since ZTE was slapped with a seven-year ban barring us suppliers selling to it after it broke an agreement to discipline executives who conspired to evade USA sanctions on Iran and North Korea. Trump's attitude toward ZTE and the deal prompted confusion and anger from both democrats and republicans.
THE US SENATE has voted to reinstate a ban on ZTE that prevents the Chinese firm from doing business with US companies.
But most recently, President Trump directed the Commerce Department to strike a new deal with ZTE, that he said would save Chinese jobs. Trump has talked a big game about dealings with these countries and the need for shows of American strength.
By the end of the month, with Trump's support, the Department of Commerce struck a deal (paywall) with ZTE, allowing it to resume purchasing from United States suppliers in return for a $1 billion fine and allowing Chinese-speaking U.S. compliance personnel to be installed in the company for a decade. But Trump tweeted that he wanted to help ZTE "get back into business". Also, enhanced employment opportunities for military spouses was laid out with the Military Spouse Employment Act of 2018 included in the bill.
"ZTE has violated USA sanctions, lied about it, but even more importantly, its technology has been deemed a national security threat by the FCC, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pentagon", Schumer said. A settlement was deemed a key Chinese demand as the world's two largest economies try to avoid a trade war and negotiate the denuclearization of North Korea.
"President Trump was flat-out wrong when he made a decision to go easy on ZTE and allow it to start selling its technology in the United States", said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY.
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