Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Money | By Michele Stevens

U.S. Cuts Deal With Sanctioned Chinese Tech Company ZTE

U.S. Cuts Deal With Sanctioned Chinese Tech Company ZTE

After President Trump reached a deal with China's president Xi Jinping, the Department of Commerce now seems willing to remove that ban against ZTE.

The United States and China have reached a deal that allows the Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE Corp.to stay in business in exchange for paying an additional $1 billion in fines and agreeing to let US regulators monitor its operations. The total deal is $1.4bn.

For those unaware, Shenzhen-based ZTE violated sanctions placed on both Iran and North Korea by the U.S.

The US government has hit Chinese smartphone giant ZTE with a $1bn (£750m) fine as part of a deal to lift an export ban against the company.

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ZTE, which devised elaborate schemes to hide the illegal activity, agreed to plead guilty after the Commerce Department threatened to cut off its global supply chain. Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Susan Collins are co-sponsors, as are Democrats Richard Blumenthal and Bill Nelson. Earlier this month, Trump announced he wanted to help ZTE, as part of negotiating a trade deal with China.

On Thursday, Ross told CNBC that ZTE had agreed to pay the $1 billion penalty and to bring in a us team to oversee the company's compliance. This would allow the USA to quickly re-instate the ban if ZTE violates the terms of the 10 year agreement.

Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers threatened to take congressional action that could block or alter the deal, calling ZTE a threat to U.S. national security.

"Today, BIS is imposing the largest penalty it has ever levied and requiring that ZTE adopt unprecedented compliance measures", Ross said in a statement. USA officials reached a deal on June 7, 2018, to ease sanctions that threatened to cripple Chinese smartphone maker ZTE, Ross said.

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President Donald Trump has drawn fire from Congress for intervening in the case to rescue a Chinese company that had violated us sanctions against two rogue nations that have been pursuing nuclear weapons programs. "It's unprecedented to have USA agents as monitors ..." Senator Mark Warner, vice-chairman of the Senate select committee on intelligence, said: "It is the unanimous conclusion of our nation's intelligence community that ZTE poses a significant threat to our national security". In response, American export watchdogs blocked ZTE from buying crucial components and software it needs for manufacturing cellphones and telecommunications equipment from American tech companies like Qualcomm, Google, and Corning.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen of Maryland and Chuck Schumer of NY introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would stop the president from offering ZTE a deal.

US President Donald Trump met with his trade advisers on Tuesday to discuss China's offer to import an extra $70 billion of American goods over a year in hopes of defusing a potential trade war between the world's two largest economies.

A sign of ZTE Corp is pictured at its service centre in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China May 14, 2018.

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