U.S. to Suspend ZTE Export Sanctions
The U.S. Department of Commerce has agreed to temporarily lift sanctions it levied against ZTE, allowing its suppliers to resume some exports to the Chinese company. "As part of the effort to resolve the matter, and based upon binding commitments that ZTE has made to the U.S. government, Commerce expects this week to be able to provide temporary relief from some licensing requirements," said a senior Commerce official to the Wall Street Journal. However, the sanction relief "would be temporary in nature and would be maintained only if ZTE is abiding by its commitments to the U.S. government." The Commerce Department alleges that ZTE set up shell companies to send U.S. technology products to Iran, a violation of ongoing sanctions the U.S. has against Iran. In response, the government banned U.S. suppliers from exporting products to ZTE, a move that has the potential to disrupt ZTE's global supply chain. ZTE and the Commerce Department say that talks between the two have been constructive, but are on-going.
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