Senators Move To Reverse Trump's Deal Lifting Sanctions On China's ZTE

Wang Zhao  AFP  Getty Images The ZTE logo is seen on a building in Beijing

The Chinese smartphone and network equipment maker had been caught selling goods and services to North Korea and Iran, violating USA sanctions.

"The fact that a bipartisan group of senators came together this quickly is a testament to how bad the Trump administration's ZTE deal is and how we will not shy away from holding the president's feet to the fire when it comes to keeping his promise to be tough on China", Schumer said.

"China is using its telecommunications companies as means to conduct espionage".

While ZTE almost shut down, it got a reprieve from President Donald J. Trump, who wanted the Commerce Department to lift the ban. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of the chief authors of the amendment. We need to solve the larger puzzle of trade and national security in addition to the enforcement action for the violation of sanctions."-Sen".

"Great news! Our bipartisan amendment restoring penalties on #ZTE is included in the #NDAA bill the Senate will be advancing to later this evening", Senator Marco Rubio said in a Twitter post.

The move enraged Republicans and Democrats who said ZTE not only worked with Iran and North Korea in violation of USA sanctions, but is a threat to national security, offering Chinese intelligence operatives a way to spy on the US through ZTE products.

Cotton and Rubio, along with Sen.

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.

Senators are looking to rein in those tariffs in the defense bill, too. North Korea is largely dependent on economic ties with China, where leaders had claimed that absent a ZTE deal, the telecom giant would collapse.

While the settlement announced Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department would allow ZTE to resume buying parts and selling products in the U.S., there was a catch. But the Senate's bill must still be reconciled with the version of the defense bill that passed the House last month. And because many items covered in the bill are popular with members of both chambers, most Senators expect the bill to pass Congress and be signed into law by the president. That version prevents the government from purchasing ZTE and Huawei products - but doesn't reimpose the sanctions-related restrictions lifted under Trump's deal.

Republicans hoping to avoid a direct clash with the White House over the ZTE deal are eyeing that reconciliation process to mitigate the Senate's latest step. John Cornyn (R-Tex.). "There'll be a conference between the House and the Senate on the defense authorization bill. I want to keep the conversation going".

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