US Senate slaps down Trump's 'bad deal' to lift ban on ZTE

US Senate slaps down Trump's 'bad deal' to lift ban on ZTE

ZTE stopped operations in May after the US issued a seven year export ban on American parts for the company, which the company needed to make its products.

After the Trump administration reached a trade agreement with ZTE barely a week ago, the US-ZTE drama seemed done and over with. Unfortunately for Trump, many in the U.S. still oppose the decision with the Senate voting in favour of reinstating the ban.

ZTE essentially shutdown operations in May after it was banned from importing U.S. components for seven years for misleading regulators about violating sanctions on North Korea and Iran.

The new policy would keep financial penalties on ZTE for violating USA sanctions in 2017, and would ban government agencies from buying their products. Trump's attitude toward ZTE and the deal prompted confusion and anger from both democrats and republicans. It's not clear how, or if, the two chambers will be able to reconcile their differences, but tomorrow's meeting looks set to be an interesting one.

And boy, that's when things will get interesting.

The US Senate passed a $716 billion (RM2.86 trillion) defense policy bill on Monday, backing President Donald Trump's call for a bigger, stronger military but setting up a potential battle with the White House over Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE Corp.

More news: U.S. withdraws from UN Human Rights Council

But earlier this month, the USA and China reached a deal that allows ZTE to stay in business in exchange for paying an additional $1 billion in fines and agreeing to let US regulators monitor its operations.

The measure also includes an amendment to bar the U.S. military from providing aerial refueling support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen unless Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certifies that Saudi Arabia is taking urgent steps to end the civil war in Yemen, ease the humanitarian crisis there and reduce the risk to civilians.

Top officials from the CIA, NSA, FBI and the Defense Intelligence Agency testified at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in February that smartphones made by Chinese tech companies Huawei or ZTE posed a security risk.

Furthermore, Trump has been ratcheting up his threats of imposing harsh tariffs on China for months. A settlement was deemed a key Chinese demand as the world's two largest economies try to avoid a trade war and negotiate the denuclearization of North Korea.

The mounting public distress over the Trump administration's choice to separate immigrating children from their parents and guardians at the United States border with Mexico seems to have buried high-level talks in Washington on the fate of ZTE.

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