Push to save ZTE part of larger trade deal'

Indonesian billionaire Hary Tanoesoedibjo speaks on

Indonesian billionaire Hary Tanoesoedibjo speaks on"The Might of Indonesia at the Asia TV Forums and Market conference in Singapore

President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied caving to China over U.S. sanctions on the telecoms equipment maker ZTE.

"Nothing has happened with ZTE except as it pertains to the larger trade deal", Trump said in a series of tweets Wednesday.

The President touched off a new controversy over the weekend when he announced on Twitter that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to give ZTE "a way to get back into business, fast", adding that he had instructed the US Commerce Department to "get it done". "His own top counterintelligence official said ZTE threatens USA national security".

Trump's reversal was condemned by both Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and raised questions about whether the president was softening his approach in trade negotiations with China.

GOP Sen. Marco Rubio attacked Trump's move after reports that the ZTE decision would come in exchange for China's lifting tariffs on some American agricultural products.

Top Trump administration officials such as Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had tried to separate the president's push to boost the telecommunications company from trade talks with China.

On Wednesday, the president appeared to suggest the negotiations are just getting started.

However, the United States ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, who took part in the talks in Beijing, acknowledged on the same day that the two sides were "still very far apart".

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday it was far from certain what steps the USA government would take on China's ZTE Corp, which he characterized as an enforcement, rather than trade, issue. According to a document seen by Bloomberg News, Beijing asked the U.S.to open government procurement to Chinese firms, and soften the Commerce Department penalty on ZTE, among other things.

What happens next likely hinges on discussions now underway in Washington between the Trump administration and Chinese vice premier, Lieu He, who arrived in the US just yesterday. "China has seen our demands".

Hogan outlined his concerns in a meeting with U.S. Undersecretary for Agriculture Ted McKinney this week in Shanghai, he told a media briefing, as the world's top two economies were set to hold a second round of high-level trade talks. Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports to punish Beijing for violating American intellectual property.

But Kinzinger stressed that China poses a significant threat to USA intellectual property.

This seems rather paltry compensation for a huge US concession, which Trump made before his trade talks with President Xi Jinping's government pick up steam. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, Hatch's spokeswoman said. Both committees oversee trade policy.

The ban effectively crippled the company. Given the Commerce Department security bureau's findings, based on an extensive US investigation going back to the Obama administration, the punishment fit the crime; indeed, the Trump administration had let ZTE off with a fine and probation in March 2017, only to discover that it continued to lie and cover up its lack of compliance.

The Commerce Department blocked ZTE's access to US suppliers last month, saying the company violated a 2017 sanctions settlement related to trading with Iran and North Korea and then lied about the violations.

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