Senators Balk At Idea of Lifting ZTE Ban
Security, not trade, is the issue, say a handful of Senators who today pushed back against President Donald Trump's efforts to help ZTE. The U.S. Department of Commerce banned American companies from supplying ZTE with parts or software for a period of seven years. ZTE precipitated the ban by bungling a settlement agreement over its illegal sale of technology to Iran and North Korea. The company ceased most operations earlier this month. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted in support of ZTE. He suggested that too many jobs were being lost in China and he wanted to help the company get back in business quickly. Speaking Tuesday, Republican and Democratic Senators suggested that Trump's approach is not the right one. "I confess I don't fully understand the administration’s take on this at this point," said Senator Mac Thornberry. "It is not a question to me of economics, it is a question of security." Some in the government worry ZTE and Huawei devices could be used to spy on Americans. Thornberry indicated that he doesn't expect the Commerce Department will remove the ban. Trade emissaries from China and the U.S. are expected to meet again this week.
May 14, 2018
Wilbur Ross, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, said his department is open to changing its ban impacting ZTE.
May 6, 2018
ZTE has filed an application with the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security in hopes that the government will suspend its ban against the company.
Jul 20, 2018
Senators have overturned an agreement added to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that would have made it more difficult for President Trump to remove the ban instituted against ZTE. Earlier this year, the Commerce Department said ZTE lied about a previous settlement and banned the company from using American parts or software in its phonres for a period of seven years.
May 13, 2018
President Trump took to Twitter this morning to suggest he's looking to recall the Commerce Department's ban against ZTE. "President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast," wrote the President.