Bipartisan Senate effort aims to override Trump’s deal to save ZTE

Bipartisan Senate effort aims to override Trump’s deal to save ZTE

But the ban on buying US parts, imposed by the department in April, will not be lifted until ZTE pays fines and places $400 million more in an escrow account in a USA -approved bank. The announced settlement would allow the company to resume buying parts and selling products in the U.S. after having been banned by the U.S. Commerce Department in April for breaking the U.S. embargo against Iran.

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., one of the amendment's co-sponsors, said that if it passes, ZTE will go out of business. "Given their repeated violations of USA law, we can not trust them to respect USA national security, and so it's vital we hold them accountable and pass this amendment".

President Donald Trump, however, swooped in to save ZTE after negotiating with the Chinese government.

"These companies have direct links to the Chinese government and Communist Party".

In February, U.S. intelligence officials warned Americans not to use smartphones made by ZTE or Huawei - another Chinese telecom company - as the communication technology could be compromised "to gain positions of power inside our telecommunication networks that provides the capacity to exert pressure or control over our telecommunications infrastructure".

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio added that the amendment was "Great news!"

USA lawmakers have attacked Washington's agreement with ZTE and plan legislation to roll it back, citing intelligence warnings that ZTE poses a national security threat.

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Cotton and Rubio, along with Sen.

The quick action to stop Trump from rolling back the ZTE penalties shows the seriousness of the issue, Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. The move by senators on Monday to include it in the annual must-pass defense bill came just hours before Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump's ZTE deal that would save the company may not happen after all. Since the bill has bi-partisan support, rules tucked into the bill's language are much harder to prevent, even for the President.

Senate Democrats and Republicans don't often work together.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week announced the US reached a deal with ZTE that includes a record fine, changes to the company's board and management and USA compliance officers.

The bill is just a few steps away from reaching the White House. "We'll see if it does" get through Congress, Ross said in an interview in Washington on Tuesday.

The Senate is voting late Monday to start debate on the defense authorization bill for fiscal 2019, and Senators said the ZTE measure has been included. "I want to keep the conversation going".

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