Monday, 22 October, 2018

Congress Moving To Block Trump Deal With ZTE Over Iran Sanctions Violations

Китайская ZTE потеряла $3 млрд после санкций США Senators Move To Reverse Trump's Deal Lifting Sanctions On China's ZTE
Jean Garcia | 13 June, 2018, 12:24

After Mr. Trump stepped in, the Commerce Department changed its mind and ordered the $1 billion fine, and said the USA would send a compliance team to oversee the company's operations.

ZTE, the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the USA, has been in the news nearly daily since the Commerce Department lifted a stay it placed on a US export ban against the firm.

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. It would block the deal by retroactively reinstating financial penalties and upholding the ban on ZTE selling products to the US government.

The Senate plans to challenge President Trump's pledge to lift certain restrictions against Chinese telecom giant ZTE by including a measure in the annual defense bill that would effectively block the deal from being implemented.

The ZTE leniency also rubbed senators wrong since it came about the same time the president slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from USA allies including Canada and the European Union. The deal would cost a total of $1.7 billion ($361 million was already paid as part of a settlement in March). ZTE then ceased major operations.

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The amendment will also ban government agencies from trading telecommunications equipment and services with Chinese telecom companies ZTE and Huawei, as well as from providing loans to or subsidizing either company, according to The Hill.

The Chinese company has been accused of violating USA sanctions by selling sensitive equipment to both North Korea and Iran.

The Senate added the block to the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass piece of legislation.

In a meeting for senior management on Tuesday, ZTE chairman Yin Yimin said that the company needs its 80,000 employees to have "thorough knowledge" and "thorough supervision" of each other when it comes to compliance, rather than rely on a few people from a compliance team. The idea of ZTE being used as a bargaining chip in trade negotiations with China angered lawmakers, who view the company as a national security issue. 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.

A separate monitor was appointed to a three-year term by a US federal court in Texas last year. The amendment also bans US government agencies from buying or leasing equipment from ZTE and its Chinese rival, Huawei, and bars USA loans to the companies. ZTE is not allowed to take any action or make any public statement, even indirectly, denying any of the allegations.

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