The Senate wrecked Trump’s deal to save ZTE

The Senate wrecked Trump’s deal to save ZTE

The Senate wrecked Trump’s deal to save ZTE

Lifting the ban under Trump's deal would result in ZTE still buying from U.S. suppliers, but paying massive fines upwards of $1 billion with USA law enforcement monitoring the company's actions.

Days after the Trump administration agreed to restore Chinese telecom firm ZTE's access to its USA parts suppliers, a bipartisan group moved to block the deal.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Sunday that President Donald Trump agreed to lift the ban as a personal favour to the president of China. Among other things, it would restore penalties on ZTE for violating USA export controls and bar US government agencies from purchasing or leasing equipment or services from the Chinese company.

Confirming details of the US deal, ZTE said late on Tuesday it would replace its board of directors and that of its import-export subsidiary ZTE Kangxun within 30 days of the June 8 order being signed by the United States.

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A bipartisan amendment was added to the National Defense Authorization Act that reinstitutes penalties against ZTE for violating USA sanctions against exporting to Iran and North Korea, and bans US government agencies from purchasing any of the company's devices or services.

All members of ZTE's leadership at or above the senior vice president level also must be terminated, along with any executive or officer tied to the wrongdoing.

The U.S. commerce department can exercise discretion in granting exceptions.

Last week, Reuters reported a preliminary deal included a US$1-billion fine and US$400-million to be paid by ZTE in escrow to cover any future violations. "Therefore, ZTE will most likely be able to resume operations in middle of next week". That sanction was put in place after the Chinese company violated the terms of an earlier agreement to punish it for illegal sales to Iran and North Korea.

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Senators plan to add a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), an annual defense policy bill they're expecting to pass this week, that will ban United States suppliers from selling to ZTE, reported The Wall Street Journal. The department also will select a monitor, known as a special compliance coordinator, within 30 days to report on compliance by ZTE and its affiliates worldwide for 10 years. After all, a Congressional report from 2012 called ZTE and Huawei threats to USA national security.

A separate monitor was appointed to a three-year term by a US federal court in Texas last year.

Lawmakers said on June 11 that the U.S. Senate will vote as soon as this week on bipartisan legislation to block the deal, which would allow the company to start buying equipment from U.S. suppliers again once its pays the fine and changes its management. ZTE is not allowed to take any action or make any public statement, even indirectly, denying any of the allegations.

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