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.
ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from U.S. companies. This is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 14, 2018
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".
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.