ZTE may live, as Trump administration reportedly reaches deal to revive it

ZTE logo on a building with a Don't Walk signal in the foreground

The Trump administration reportedly told lawmakers on Friday that it has reached a deal to keep Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE in business after the USA banned the company from buying American products for violating sanctions.

The Commerce Department will lift a seven-year ban on ZTE's ability to buy American parts, which was imposed after the company violated US sanctions and did business with Iran and North Korea.

ZTE was banned in April from buying USA technology components for seven years for breaking an agreement reached after it violated US sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Trump said he would "envision" a fine of $1.3 billion.

The deal would require ZTE to pay a hefty fine, shake up its management structure and hire American compliance officers, according to The New York Times, which cited a person familiar with the matter.

President Trump said Chinese leader Xi Jinping has personally asked him to intervene to help ZTE, and he has said that he would.

In April, the Commerce Department said ZTE instead paid full bonuses to employees who engaged in the illegal conduct, failed to issue letters of reprimand and lied about the practices to USA authorities.

He later tweeted that the ZTE talks were "part of a larger trade deal" being negotiated with China.

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"ZTE presents a national security threat to the United States - and nothing in this reported deal addresses that fundamental fact", said Sen.

The Senate on Thursday released a defense policy bill containing a provision requiring Trump, before making any ZTE deal, to certify with Congress that ZTE hasn't violated USA law for the past year and is cooperating with US investigations.

ZTE also is considered a national-security risk because the Chinese government could spy though the phone.

Word of a reported ZTE agreement comes almost a week after the US and China suspended plans to impose tariffs on as much as $200 billion of each other's goods. It would now be allowed to resume business with US companies, including chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.

"Both parties have come together today to strongly rebuke ZTE and the administration's soft approach".

The ban was placed on ZTE after its management failed to comply with punishments imposed on them by the USA following around 40 of its employees selling "hundreds of millions of [US] dollars'" worth of routers, microprocessors and servers to Iranian entities in violation of the US's Export Administration Act of 1979. Too many jobs in China lost. The Commerce Department, in return, would lift an order that now prevents ZTE from buying American products. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), wrote to top White House officials this week.

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