U.S. Lawmakers Seek to Restore ZTE Penalties in Defense Bill
The U.S. Senate advanced legislation to restore penalties on ZTE, after President Donald Trump drew sharp criticism for easing restrictions to get the Chinese company back in business, according to Bloomberg.
The Senate voted 91-4 to begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), including a ZTE amendment that will keep restrictions on the Chinese telecom company despite a reprieve last week from the U.S. Commerce Dept. The provision was included on a list of amendments that is backed by both Republicans and Democrats.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross last week announced the U.S. reached a deal with ZTE that included a record fine, changes to the company’s board and management and U.S. compliance officers. He cautioned at the time that the U.S. still retains “the power to shut them down again.”
Trump has said he reviewed the penalties as a personal favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Lifting the sales ban on ZTE was a key demand China made in the broader trade talks with the U.S. to avert a trade war. The deal has sparked bipartisan pushback, with many lawmakers citing national security as their main concern.