Home Government Tech Policy Trump says change of policy on ZTE due to US trade reasons
Trump says change of policy on ZTE due to US trade reasons Featured

US President Donald Trump has defended his decision to change policy on the ban imposed on the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corporation, tweeting on Monday that it buys a big percentage of parts from US companies.

Trump, who tweeted his change of mind on ZTE on Sunday, added that his move reflected the bigger trade deal that was being negotiated with China and his personal relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

His tweet was sent soon after US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the department was exploring options other than the seven-year ban, imposed in April, which forbids US companies from selling components to the Chinese firm.

Ross was reacting to Trump's tweet on Sunday, where he said he had asked the Commerce Department to help ZTE "get back into business, fast", because "too many jobs in China lost".

He told media at the National Press Club: “ZTE did do some inappropriate things ... the question is are there alternative remedies to the ones we had originally put forward and that’s the area we will be exploring very, very promptly," Reuters reported.

The US and China are holding talks to try and avert an all-out trade war, with a second round of talks scheduled for this week. In 2017, ZTE paid more than US$2.3 billion to 211 American suppliers.

Ross said he expected the ZTE issue to come up during the trade talks this week.

Companies like Acacia Communications, Oclaro, Lumentum Holdings, Finisar Corporation, Inphi Corporation and Fabrinet have seen their share prices fall after the ban on exporting components to ZTE was announced last month.

Last week, ZTE said it was shutting down its main business operations in the US in the wake of the ban.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people in the US and China who had been briefed on an emerging deal, reported that China had suggested it would not impose tariffs on US agricultural produce if the ban on selling components to ZTE was eased.

Reuters said two sources had said China was willing, in principle, to import more US agricultural products if the US was willing to smooth out penalties against ZTE.


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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.


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