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Trump reveals possible US return for ZTE

(Image credit: Image Credit: ZTE)

The Trump administration has reportedly reached a deal that would keep the Chinese telecom firm ZTE in business and clear the way for further trade talks with China according to a person familiar with the matter. 

The potential agreement brokered by the Commerce Department would see ZTE pay a substantial fine, make significant changes to its current management team and hire American compliance officers who would be placed at the firm. 

In exchange, the Commerce Department would then lift the denial order that is currently preventing the company from buying American products. 

President Trump took to Twitter to confirm the news, saying: 

“Senator Schumer and Obama Administration let phone company ZTE flourish with no security checks. I closed it down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine.”   

Under the deal, ZTE would once again be able to do business with American companies including its primary supplier, the chipmaker Qualcomm. The Chinese firm was banned from buying American technology components after it was found to have violated US sanctions against Iran and North Korea. 

The fate of ZTE has become a hurdle in trade negotiations between the US and China and President Trump ordered the Commerce Department to re-examine ZTE's penalty after receiving a personal request from Chinese President XI Jinping

If the deal does go through, both countries stand to benefit with China avoiding the embarrassment of ZTE's collapse while the US would receive trade concessions which include the purchases of American energy and agriculture products. 

Image Credit: ZTE

Anthony Spadafora
After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.