US, China Discussing Deal on ZTE, Agricultural Tariffs


Did Trump blink on China to help ZTE, or his own business?

Chinese officials raised their objections to ZTE's punishment at trade talk in Beijing earlier this month, and the American delegation agreed to report them to Trump. In retaliation, Beijing is threatening tariffs on $50 billion in US products.

In 2012, ZTE was caught illegally shipping hardware and software from the USA to Iran and North Korea - a violation of sanctions and an offence that was settled previous year.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also said China appreciated tweets by Trump saying he would help ZTE Corp. get "back into business" because too many jobs in China are at stake after the USA government cut off access to ZTE's American suppliers. China counterpunched with tariffs on a range of USA products, including bourbon and blue jeans.

The negotiations would also ease roadblocks in China faced by a US semiconductor company Qualcomm Inc., whose proposed acquisition of NXP Semiconductors NV of the Netherlands has been held up by Beijing.

Major U.S. business groups have urged the Trump administration to drop its plan to impose tariffs on Chinese goods ahead of key public hearings beginning Tuesday, arguing that tariffs would hurt U.S. companies and consumers. China, for its part, has stated that it is willing to buy more American goods and services to help reduce the trade deficit. "Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"

News agency Reuters is reporting that, in prepared comments sent to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Cargill's vice president of global corporate affairs, said: "History has shown that the use of tariffs is unsuccessful in achieving lasting solutions - the current challenges between the United States and China are no different".

Shortly thereafter, the Chinese government reportedly restarted its review of the application of Qualcomm-a US telecom company-to acquire the Chinese company NXP.

Negotiators from the USA and China are scheduled to meet in Washington on Monday, where, after months of trade tensions, Beijing is said to be open to purchasing a wider array of US goods and services.

"As a result of the Denial Order, the major operating activities of the Company have ceased", ZTE said.

ZTE is known to rely on importing chips from United States firms such as Qualcomm and Intel for up to a third of its components.

The pre-installed software was discovered on Android phones and was produced by Shanghai Adups Technology Co. and deployed on more than 700 million phones, cars, and other smart devices. "The gap is wide", he said during a speech at the National Press Club.

The move to ease the sanctions sparked criticism from both Republicans and Democrats who said the leniency is undercutting Trump's get-tough approach to unfair trading practices by China and its theft of American technology.

In a statement Monday, Ross noted taking action on ZTE is a different issue than the trade dispute with China. "It is because they got caught helping North Korea and helping Iran evade sanctions and they were punished for it".

Despite now ceasing main business operations, China's second biggest telecom equipment maker is still trying to have the ban modified or reversed.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, criticized Trump for softening his stance on ZTE.

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