Trump administration said to reach deal with China on ZTE

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 US authorities. The Chinese company depends on these components to make its products, and the ban, imposed earlier this month, threatened to put ZTE out of business. It would now be allowed to resume business with US companies, including chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. Lawmakers in both parties have expressed concern over his decision to soften an earlier USA action against ZTE over what his commerce secretary called "egregious" violations of sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

"The ZTE move was very surprising", said Nathan Sheets, chief economist at PGIM Fixed Income and former undersecretary for worldwide affairs at the Treasury Department under President Barack Obama.

ZTE, which is publicly traded but whose largest shareholder is a Chinese state-owned enterprise, agreed past year to pay a almost $900 million penalty and open its books to a USA monitor for breaking a 2017 agreement after it was caught illegally shipping US goods to Iran and North Korea, in an investigation dating to the Obama administration. Additionally, a bipartisan group of senators has warned the administration not to "compromise lawful US enforcement actions against serial and pre-meditated violators of USA law, such as ZTE.".

The plan is further inflaming tensions between the White House and Congress over trade policy in a week when Republicans blasted the administration for contemplating tariffs on auto imports.

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Trump has come under fire amid reports that his administration was preparing to grant leniency to ZTE, including from Republican Senator Marco Rubio who has been one of the most outspoken critics of scaling back any penalties. Trump has negotiated a $1.3 billion fine with the Chinese President over a phone call, as per Fox News. "#China crushes USA companies with no mercy & they use these telecomm companies to spy & steal from us".

The US Commerce Department communicated the terms of the deal to Congress on Friday, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed congressional aide.

The ongoing saga between Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE and the United States government has a new development. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is scheduled to visit China next week for another round of talks. USA companies provide up to 30 percent of components used in ZTE's equipment.

As part of the agreements ZTE made past year it dismissed four senior employees. Optical networking equipment maker Acacia Communications Inc, which got 30 percent of 2017 revenue from ZTE, rose 4.4 percent.

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