A number of senators took to Twitter to rebuff Trump's decision to save ZTE. This bill is usually passed easily with support from both sides of the aisle.
Since the language is tucked into a larger defense bill, Trump would have no choice but to pass it. The announced settlement would allow the company to resume buying parts and selling products in the U.S. after having been banned by the U.S. Commerce Department in April for breaking the U.S. embargo against Iran. The ban would essentially cripple ZTE to the point of potential bankruptcy.
The Senate has adopted a measure to block a deal between the Trump administration and Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.
Then, if the ZTE rollback is still in, it will become a major challenge to Mr. Trump, who personally stepped in as a favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping. If it passes, Trump would be forced to sign the law himself, as he would be unable to separate the popular defense bill from the ZTE sanctions.
ZTE is back in business: What now?
The ban was placed on ZTE to punish it for violating United States sanctions. It's a stunning turnaround, though it had been signalled for some weeks.
They were even more surprised that the leniency came on ZTE. After all, a Congressional report from 2012 called ZTE and Huawei threats to USA national security.
The deal implemented a $1 billion penalty against ZTE and required the addition of a US -chosen compliance team to monitor the company. A Republican Senator from Arkansas says that ultimately he "would expect that there wouldn't be a ZTE" and that "the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for their behavior".
In February, U.S. intelligence officials warned Americans not to use smartphones made by ZTE or Huawei - another Chinese telecom company - as the communication technology could be compromised "to gain positions of power inside our telecommunication networks that provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure".
Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) said that Trump's penalties on ZTE are "severe, I don't think there's any debate about that". According to the Wall Street Journal, a group of GOP Senators has added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would make it against the law for ZTE to obtain supplies from USA companies.
Its cosponsors are Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer of New York, Richard Blumenthal of CT and Bill Nelson of Florida. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of the chief authors of the amendment.
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