President Trump’s plan to ease restrictions on China’s ZTE Corp is running into opposition on Capitol Hill.
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Lawmakers say the telecommunications firm is a security threat and vow not to abandon legislation clamping down on the company.
Trump on Monday had defended his decision to revisit penalties on ZTE, saying it was reflective of the larger trade deal the United States is negotiating with China, according to Reuters.
"I hope the administration does not move forward on this supposed deal I keep reading about," Republican Senator Marco Rubio said. Bilateral talks between the world's two biggest economies resume in Washington this week.
The Trump administration is considering an arrangement under which the ban on ZTE would be eased in exchange for elimination of new Chinese tariffs on certain U.S. farm products, including pork, fruits, nuts and ginseng, two people familiar with the proposal told Reuters.
The potential arrangement was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Trump pledged to help the company through a weekend tweet, saying the penalties had cost too many jobs in China.
The Commerce Department in April found ZTE had violated a 2017 settlement created after the company violated sanctions on Iran and North Korea, and banned U.S. companies from providing exports to ZTE for seven years.
Some U.S. lawmakers have alleged equipment made by ZTE and other Chinese companies could pose a cyber security threat.
ZTE has denied wrongdoing.