Fox News foreign policy analyst Kiron Skinner and Wall Street Journal editorial page writer Jillian Melchior on how the Trump administration reached a deal with Chinese company ZTE. In its place, Commerce has levied $1.4 billion in fines and penalties, required the replacement of the company's senior management and board, and will install compliance officers inside the company. However, the agreement is facing backlash from several USA lawmakers, who claim that ZTE and its telecommunication gear are a national security threat. "And we still retain the power to shut them down again". It also requires a US-chosen team of compliance experts to be embedded into the company, who will report directly to the next chairman.
ZTE declined to comment.
Under the terms of the settlement, ZTE is paying an immediate $1B fine, on top of the existing $892M in fines they've already paid related to their misconduct in this case. It would also allow unfettered site visits to verify that US components are being used as claimed by the company and post calculations of USA parts in its products on a public website. But under the deal announced Thursday, ZTE will pay an additional $1 billion penalty and put another $400 million in escrow to cover possible future violations. In March 2017, ZTE agreed to pay that fine and also to a seven-year suspended denial of export privileges, which would go into effect if ZTE broke the agreement during that time. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a press release, "We will closely monitor ZTE's behavior". Further fees could be assessed for a grand total as much as $1.7 billion.
The terms of the deal include a $1 billion penalty against ZTE and dictate that the company install a USA chosen compliance team. For the USA to shut down one of China's largest companies is a very dramatic type of move. He tweeted that he wanted the Commerce Department to work with ZTE on getting the ban lifted.
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The tentative agreement is under review by both USA and Chinese officials and could fall apart under final reviews, according to one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corporation is a Chinese company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.
According to Reuters, ZTE has signed a preliminary agreement that will lift the ban on United States companies providing ZTE with goods.