Trump Vows to Help ZTE 'Get Back Into Business'

US Bans American Companies From Selling to China's ZTE

But, in a tweet, Trump said he's working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to get ZTE "back into business, fast" because of the jobs lost in China.

Days after China's second largest telecom gear maker ZTE Corp. was slapped with intense U.S. sanctions that block American companies from selling components to the telecom equipment maker for seven years, now the U.S. President Donald Trump has had a change of heart.

FBN's Connell McShane and Susan Li on the Trump administration's efforts to reduce the US trade deficit with China and concerns of a potential recession by 2020.

Trump announced on Twitter he is working with the Chinese government and ordered the U.S. Department of Commerce to find a way to help the company continue to operate after a U.S. trade ban imposed last month that's cut into its revenue. Trump wrote on Twitter in the first of two tweets about US trade relations with China.

United States military exchanges also have stopped selling smartphones made by ZTE and Huawei Technologies Co. after the Pentagon warned that the devices pose a security risk to military personnel and operations, the Defense Department said earlier this month. This export ban prevents companies from supplying ZTE with parts and technology.

The United States buys more than $500 billion in goods from China each year, but Trump has proposed to force China to buy an additional $200 billion in goods from the United States.

Trump's statement on Sunday also comes days after USA and Chinese officials held high level trade talks, during which Beijing specifically brought up the restrictions on ZTE.

The US accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

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"As of now, the company maintains sufficient cash and strictly adheres to its commercial obligations subject to compliance with laws and regulations", ZTE said.

In an April 16th statement, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said ZTE made false statements to the United States government and "covered up the fact" that the company paid full bonuses to employees that had engaged in illegal conduct.

ZTE paid over US$2.3 billion to 211 USA exporters in 2017, a senior ZTE official said on Friday.

"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce", Ross said.

Trump's announcement drew sharp criticism from a Democratic lawmaker, who said the move was jeopardizing US national security.

"This is a fascinating development in a highly unusual case that has gone from a sanctions and export control case to a geopolitical one", Douglas Jacobson told Reuters.

"Our intelligence agencies have warned that ZTE technology and phones pose a major cyber security threat", said Adam Schiff, who is the senior opposition Democratic Congressman on the House Intelligence Committee.

ZTE is still trying to have the ban modified or reversed.

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