Donald Trump now wants to save ZTE and everyone's confused

14 May, 2018, 04:18 | Author: Terri Saunders
  • US authorities have banned firms from selling parts to China's ZTE for seven yearsMore

Trump's unexpected announcement came as the two countries prepared to continue trade talks in Washington this week.

The US ban followed an edict earlier in the year against Huawei, also a Chinese manufacturer, that caused a carrier sales deal to fall through just as it was set to be announced at CES.

"Trump may have recognized that backing off on ZTE clears the path for him to claim at least a partial victory in the US-China trade dispute based on the concessions the Chinese seem prepared to offer".

United States military exchanges also have stopped selling smartphones made by ZTE and Huawei Technologies after the Pentagon warned that the devices pose a security risk to military personnel and operations, the defence department said earlier this month.

Somewhat bizarrely, Trump cited a loss of jobs in China as a motivating factor. He added that he felt that t00 many jobs in China had been lost, and that he has instructed the U.S. Commerce Department "to get it done!"

ZTE was the latest to feel the pain of the world's two largest economies being locked in a looming global trade war, which is likely to stifle trade across the world.

Certain aspects of the ZTE business need to remain reliant on the USA, but it has been reported that 80% of the business is.

ZTE relies on USA companies such as Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp and Alphabet Inc's Google.

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The president's comments come after the administration banned the sales of USA -made parts to the phone maker ZTE.

ZTE was also handed a seven-year suspended denial of export privileges, which the commerce department chose to activate last month after determining the company had lied about its handling of the matter.

One 2012 congressional report about ZTE and Huawei, another huge Chinese tech company, said the companies "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus pose a security threat to the United States and to our systems".

President Trump takes part in a welcoming ceremony with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Both sides had been expected to dig in for a fight over their trade imbalance at this week's talks.

Experts have since said the company could be circling the drain. The threat of expulsion and restrictions was not enough to keep ZTE honest the first time around, so what the Department of Commerce can do this time is not known for the moment.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, criticized Trump for softening his stance on ZTE.

The Trump administration has used the premise of national security to block a number of business deals that would see Chinese companies buying up American firms - including Alibaba's proposed acquisition of MoneyGram and Broadcom's effort to buy Qualcomm.

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