Trump orders ZTE ruling reverse via tweet

May 15, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
The United States Department of Commerce has been told by President Trump to find a way around the crippling ban imposed on Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp.

The ban imposed on ZTE in April prohibited exports by ZTE into the US but more importantly prohibited other companies from supplying components and was subsequently declared by ZTE to potentially spell the end of the company with discussions of putting the company up for sale.

However, on Sunday morning President Trump tweeted; "President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"

The ban is the activation of a previously agreed but suspended export ban imposed on ZTE in March 2017. ZTE agreed to pay a $1.19 billion fine for shipping telecommunications equipment to Iran and North Korea and hoped it could continue in business. The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) within the Department of Commerce activated the ban in April 2018 because, it said, it had evidence that ZTE made false declarations to BIS both during the settlement negotiations and subsequently.

No mention was made in the tweet of how the reversal in position fits in with the due process being followed by the Commerce department.

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