The Senate plans to challenge President Trump's pledge to lift certain restrictions against Chinese telecom giant ZTE by including a measure in the annual defense bill that would effectively block the deal from being implemented. However, the corporation would have to pay $1 billion in penalties, adding another $400 million in escrow in order to cover possible future fines.
ZTE Corp's (000063.SZ) settlement with the U.S. Commerce Department that would allow China's No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker to resume business with U.S. suppliers was made public on Monday, days after the company agreed to pay a $1 billion fine, overhaul its leadership and meet other conditions.
"It's only prudent that no one in the federal government use their equipment or services and that they receive no taxpayer dollars", Sen.
As Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) puts it, "I would expect that there wouldn't be a ZTE". That's the ban that President Trump and his Twitter account helped to remove.
"These companies have direct links to the Chinese government and Communist Party".
Democratic and Republican lawmakers have said they believe ZTE's sales to Iran represent particularly "dangerous" breaches of US national security.
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Cotton and Rubio, along with Sen.
"The fact that a bipartisan group of senators came together this quickly is a testament to how bad the Trump administration's ZTE deal is and how we will not shy away from holding the president's feet to the fire when it comes to keeping his promise to be tough on China", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
However, this year the Commerce Department reimposed the sanctions when it emerged that the telecoms company - China's second-largest - had not, in fact, disciplined the management.
Confirming details of the USA deal, ZTE said late on Tuesday it would replace its board of directors and that of its import-export subsidiary ZTE Kangxun within 30 days of the June 8 order being signed by the United States.
The Republican-controlled Senate is preparing to vote this week on a National Defense Authorization Act bill that typically clears with wide support. So if the Senate measure passes, the two chambers will then have to reconcile their bills and send it to Trump to sign into law.
ZTE, whose survival has been threatened by the ban, secured the lifeline settlement from the Trump administration on Thursday.