Last week, President Trump took to Twitter to ensure the survival of Chinese telecoms firm ZTE, which had recently suffered at the hands of a seven-year trading ban from the United States. Although discussions are confidential, inside sources describe that a deal is nearing completion that could lift the ban and replace it with a fine instead.
The United States and China have been embroiled in a minor trade war throughout 2018, and although last month’s seven-year export ban against ZTE was dubbed as unrelated, it has continuously been a part negotiations between the two countries.
It seems that the upcoming deal might solve both problems in one fell swoop, with anonymous inside sources claiming to Reuters that Trump could take a softer approach by replacing the seven-year ban with a $1.3 billion fine instead. In exchange, China will reportedly remove tariffs on imported US agricultural goods and buy more American-farmed foods.
Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer hasn’t taken kindly to the idea of letting ZTE back into the country after allegations of it spying on behalf of the Chinese government, stating that “putting our national security at risk for minor trade concessions is the very definition of short-sighted. And frankly, it would be a capitulation on the part of the Trump administration.”
The Senate Banking Committee echoed these sentiments by voting almost unanimously to remove the president’s ability to change sanctions unilaterally. Senator Chris Van Hollen called Trump’s concern over Chinese jobs “deeply troubling” against the security risks present in his own country.
Trump responded to his opposition, stating that his administration had imposed the ban initially, and that he had to consider the US businesses that have to do trade with other countries, which the respective Chinese jobs help facilitate.
KitGuru Says: Given that sources have remained anonymous due to the confidential nature of the talks, this could all be set to change before something comes into place. It does seem like the minor trade war between China and the US is about to come to an end, however, and that ZTE will keep beating for the time being.