US Senate seeks to restore ZTE penalties

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US lawmakers have attacked Washington's agreement with ZTE and plan legislation to roll it back, citing intelligence warnings that ZTE poses a national security threat.

Cotton suggested if the bill is passed by the Senate and signed by Trump, the amendment would likely force ZTE out of business by blocking the deal.

The ban, which has prevented ZTE from buying the US components it relies on to make smartphones and other devices, will not be lifted until ZTE pays a fine and places $400 million more in an escrow account in a USA -approved bank.

After it was exposed that ZTE violated USA trade embargoes and directly lied to officials about the conduct, the Commerce Department banned US exports to the company as punishment.

Trump's ZTE deal that would save the company may not happen after all. But the Trump administration and the Commerce Department later announced a deal struck with ZTE that would again allow it to access US-manufactured parts. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said.

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But today, via The Wall Street Journal, Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle introduced legislation into a popular defense bill that would reimpose the original punishments on ZTE, overruling Trump's deal.

"The President did this as a personal favor to the president of China as a way of showing some goodwill for bigger efforts, such as the one here in Singapore", Peter Navarro, one of Trump's top trade advisers, said on Fox News Sunday. ZTE is not allowed to take any action or make any public statement, even indirectly, denying any of the allegations.

"If this was just a violation of sanctions, then the penalty is fine, but for me it's more than that", said Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican and a co-sponsor of the legislation. Rubio supports the new language in the defense bill. After Trump announced his deal with China and ZTE last week, Senate leaders said they would seek to reverse it.

That's why Rubio along with Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are advocating in favor of the original penalties - banning ZTE from USA suppliers, including its more important one, Qualcomm.

All members of its leadership at or above the senior vice-president level will be removed within the 30-day period, with a commitment they will not be rehired, along with any executives or officers tied to the wrongdoing, it said. Meanwhile, there's no guarantee USA lawmakers won't come back with further sanctions. "We'll see if it does" get through Congress, Ross said in an interview in Washington on Tuesday. "But if ZTE ceased to exist then I have no doubt it would basically be absorbed by Huawei and we would not be able to solve the under lying problem".

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