Published: Mon, May 14, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

Trump orders relief for banned Chinese telecoms giant

Trump orders relief for banned Chinese telecoms giant

President Trump today, out of the blue, tweeted that he and the President of China are working to help out the Chinese phone company ZTE.

US President Donald Trump may reconsider trade sanctions on China's major telecom-equipment maker ZTE.

United States officials accused ZTE of filing false reports about illegal exports of communications devices to Iran and North Korea.

Enter Trump, with the following trademark policy-as-Tweet.

US President Donald Trump has told his commerce department to get ZTE, the massive Chinese telecom equipment maker, back into business after it denied the company export privileges.

American companies are said to supply 25% to 30% of components used by ZTE, which makes smartphones and gear for telecom networks.

Chinese officials raised objections to the penalties on ZTE when a USA negotiating team visited Beijing earlier this month.

Another Chinese manufacturer, Huawei, is also under fire in the US. In 2016 the Obama administration announced that it was punishing the company for its alleged sanctions violations by restricting the sale of key USA exports to ZTE, but weeks later it suspended the punishment after the telecom equipment maker agreed to work with US authorities.

"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce", Ross said.

According to media report, the US House Intelligence Committee, Huawei Technologies and ZTE Inc, were a "national security threat because of their attempts to extract sensitive information from American companies and their loyalties to the Chinese government".

ZTE has asked the department to suspend the seven-year ban on doing business with U.S. technology exporters. "But be cool, it will all work out!"

In April, he said: "For many years, no president wanted to go against China economically, and we're going to do it".

"China and the USA cooperate in the field of trade, but the talks of past administrations for many years has been one-sided in favor of China".

The US government launched an investigation into ZTE after Reuters reported in 2012 the company had signed contracts to ship millions of dollars' worth of hardware and software from some of the best known US technology companies to Iran.

Those actions led to a $1.2billion fine a year ago, with the current export ban imposed in April after ZTE allegedly failed to live up to its agreement, lying about the punishment of employees involved in the sanctions skirting. "This egregious behaviour can not be ignored".

"Given his pressure on Beijing on trade, I don't understand concern for Chinese jobs" in the tweet, said Adam Segal, a technology and security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat", he said.

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