ZTE deal still in the balance as Trump meets lawmakers

Image Credit: Flickr / Kārlis Dambrāns

Republicans from the Senate and House of Representatives met with President Donald Trump at the White House to discuss their disagreement over Chinese telecoms equipment maker ZTE.

The Trump administration has been working to lift a ban against the company that prevents it from doing business with US suppliers. However, the Senate added on an amendment to a recent defence policy bill with the aim of ending the settlement between ZTE and the US government.

While the meeting was intended to be about the Senate's amendment to the bill, White House spokesperson Lindsay Walters revealed that its focus shifted to the recent scandal surrounding the Trump administration's policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border.

Both political parties in the US have raised national security concerns over doing business with ZTE, Huawei and other Chinese firms. However, ZTE's decision to break an agreement and sell telecoms equipment to North Korea and Iran has really infuriated US lawmakers.

ZTE has agreed to pay a $1bn penalty to the US government and put $400m in an escrow account as part of the settlement that would allow it to resume doing business with US chipmakers.

The Senate Vote in which the amendment was first revealed caused ZTE's shares to fall though things could still turn around for the company when the Senate and House meet in the coming weeks to draft a compromise version fo the National Defense Authorization Act.

Image Credit: Flickr / Kārlis Dambrāns