Trump pledges to safeguard Chinese telecoms jobs

14 May, 2018, 06:07 | Author: Shannon Aguilar
  • A salesperson stands at counters selling mobile phones produced by ZTE Corp. at an appliance store in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province in a file

In a tweet sent from a golf course in Virginia, the president says that he is working with Chinese president Xi Jinping on "a way to get (ZTE) back into business, fast".

In another tweet, posted later Sunday afternoon, Trump said "China and the United States are working well together on trade", adding "be cool, it will all work out".

ZTE has been trying to resolve the blockade that Trump's commerce department imposed in April as punishment for violating the terms of a 2017 sanctions settlement, then lying about it.

President Donald Trump pledged on Sunday to help Chinese phone manufacturer ZTE return to business, days after the company said it would cease "major operating activities" because of the US government's recent trade restrictions. The U.S. accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

ZTE, as one of the world's largest telecom equipment makers, relied on US companies such as Qualcomm and Intel for components.

At issue is that department's move last month to block the ZTE Corp., a major supplier of telecoms networks and smartphones based in southern China, from importing American components for seven years. Trump has proposed tariffs on as much as $60 billion in Chinese goods, and Beijing has responded in kind, prompting only continued threats from the president, who lamented the trade deficit between the two countries during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump's offer to help comes as Chinese and U.S. officials prepare for talks in Washington with China's top trade official Liu He to resolve an escalating trade dispute between the world's two largest economies.

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But ZTE still relies on United States companies to supply it with components for its networking gear.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last month accused ZTE of misleading the Department of Commerce and warned, "This egregious behavior can not be ignored". The firm said 10 May it's suspended all major operations.

"We're deeply concerned about the risks of allowing a company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don't share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks."

The president's comments come after the administration banned the sales of USA -made parts to the phone maker ZTE.

Other experts said Trump's policy reversal was unprecedented.

Which brings us back to Trump.

"You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs", he wrote on Twitter. Lumentum Holdings and Acacia Communications Inc. sold key optical equipment. The company has already been pushing for a solution that could limit or reverse the export ban, but this doesn't guarantee that officials can give ZTE the reprieve it wants.

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