China's ZTE to pay $1 billion fine to end United States sanctions

China's ZTE said it ceased major operations last month due to the ban

For breaking an agreement that was put in place after it pleaded guilty to violating United States sanctions in 2017, the Department of Commerce banned all USA businesses from selling components to Chinese manufacturer ZTE for seven years in April.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, said, "Days after President Trump took a sledgehammer to our relationships with Canada and Europe by imposing harmful tariffs - jeopardizing alliances that helped us win the Cold War - his administration has formally announced its golden parachute for Chinese telecom giant ZTE".

Commerce had imposed a seven-year ban on ZTE doing business in the U.S.in April as part of a package of penalties levied after the company sold American-made products to Iran, a violation of US sanctions.

Recently, ZTE has signed a preliminary agreement that would lift the ZTE ban imposed by the US Department of Commerce that prevented US companies from buying electronic components from Chinese suppliers. The decision to embed a US -appointed compliance team is potentially more stringent than the management purge Trump initially floated.

The ban in effect nearly destroyed ZTE as it now relies on many components from American companies. ZTE is also being forced to replace its board of directors and senior leadership. The agreement calls for a 10-year suspended ban that can be activated if ZTE commits new trade violations.

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Back in April, as punishment for continued violations of a previous export ban settlement with the US, the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security enacted a denial order against ZTE.

The Commerce Department said the compliance team will be in place for a decade. "This should serve as a very good deterrent not only for them but for other potential bad actors", Ross said.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who is now in Beijing for trade talks with China and told CNBC that a deal worth $1.4 billion had been struck. The president expressed a desire to get the Chinese firm "back into business" and today that is a step closer to happening.

ZTE also did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The president's extraordinary intervention in an enforcement matter drew widespread criticism on Capitol Hill from members of both parties. He later tweeted the ZTE talks were "part of a larger trade deal" being negotiated with China. It was reported that last month T-Mobile was going to walk away from an agreement worth more than $1 billion to distribute ZTE smartphones, among other products, in the U.S.

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