Tuesday, 15 May 2018 06:49

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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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.



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