ZTE Ceases Operations Due To US Ban, Despite Trump Pledge

Democratic and GOP senators warn Trump against lifting sanctions on Chinese company ZTE

The United States is seeking to make a trade deal with China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday as bilateral talks between the world's two economic powerhouses resume in Washington this week.

CHINA FACTOR: President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday that he was working with President Xi Jinping of China to put Chinese telecom ZTE "back into business, fast" after USA sanctions threatened ZTE's existence and 70,000 Chinese jobs.

Kudlow, speaking in a live interview with Politico news outlet, said he backed U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's efforts to reach an agreement with Beijing and that both countries must take action.

The US wants China to provide a timetable on how it will open up its markets to US exports, while the two countries are still "very far apart" on resolving trade issues, according to the US ambassador to China, cited by Reuters. A high-powered USA delegation met for a second day of talks with Chinese officials on defusing tensions that are propelling the world's largest two economies toward a trade war.

Liu's trip to Washington follows a visit by Mnuchin and other USA officials to Beijing earlier this month, where they conveyed a demand that China slash its trade surplus with the U.S.by $200 billion by the end of 2020.

Trump has long-promised to crack down on China and raised concerns about an all-out trade war after threatening $150 billion in tariffs and prompting China to retaliate.

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ZTE announced last week the US sanctions would force it to curtail major operations.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the department will be exploring "alternative remedies" to punish the Chinese company ZTE for defying trade sanctions. Trump appears willing to negotiate, and just over the weekend announced his intention to help Chinese electronics maker ZTE, which was on the brink of collapse after US imposed penalties on it last month for breaking sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

The U.S. flag is seen in the wine section of a supermarket in Beijing, China, April 5, 2018. The U.S. forbid American companies from selling products to the company for seven years, resulting in the company announcing last week it would have to shut down major operations.

In March, Washington introduced a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10-per cent tariff on imported aluminium.

ZTE had warned last month that the ban on USA firms supplying it with components threatened its very survival.

"The Company and related parties are actively communicating with the relevant United States government departments in order to facilitate the modification or reversal of the Denial Order by the USA government and forge a positive outcome in the development of the matters", said ZTE. China, for its part, has stated that it is willing to buy more American goods and services to help reduce the trade deficit.

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