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Another ZTE twist: White House tries to stop Senate repealing Trump’s deal

13 June 2018, 07:39 | Taylor George

Senate sets vote to make the export ban against ZTE the law of the land

Senators Move To Reverse Trump's Deal Lifting Sanctions On China's ZTE

The amendment also bans USA government agencies from buying or leasing equipment from ZTE and its Chinese rival, Huawei, and bars US loans to the companies.

The U.S. slapped sanctions on ZTE in 2016, prohibiting the company from doing business in the U.S. for seven years, when it violated U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Acacia Communications Inc's supply agreement with ZTE Corp will remain suspended until the U.S. Department of Commerce implements its recent settlement with the Chinese firm, the U.S. company said on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the DoC's previous deal, ZTE would have been forced to pay an additional $US1 billion in fines (on top of the $US900 million it already paid) and place another $US400 million in escrow to cover potential future penalties.

Senators in support of the original deal also think that it is unrealistic for US officials to police ZTE's future actions, as the Chinese company could still conduct improper business even under a watchful eye.

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It's unclear how a showdown would play out, but ZTE said Tuesday that it will resume trading shares Wednesday, ending a two-month suspension. The settlement calls for replacing the entire boards of both parent ZTE and subsidiary ZTE Kangxun within 30 days of the order, as well as terminating all current members of senior leadership at both companies.

The quick action to stop Trump from rolling back the ZTE penalties shows the seriousness of the issue, Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. Cotton said the president won't veto the bill "because the bill pertains many other critical priorities". The Commerce Department ban arose from a controversy in which ZTE failed to punish employees who were involved in illegally shipping United States equipment to Iran and North Korea. The coordinator will have a staff of at least six employees funded by ZTE.

During its trading halt, fund managers cut their valuations of ZTE shares, with some lowering valuations of its A-shares to 20.04 yuan per share, or a 36 per cent discount to the closing level on April 16. Its Shenzhen shares fell by their 10 per cent limit to 28.18 yuan after it confirmed details of the agreement publicized by the USA government on Monday. "Given their repeated violations of USA law, we can not trust them to respect USA national security, and so it's vital we hold them accountable and pass this amendment".

ZTE, which is based in Shenzhen, is China's second biggest telecoms maker.



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