U.S. President Donald Trump planned to meet with his trade advisers on Tuesday to discuss China's offer to import an extra $70 billion of American goods over a year as a way to defuse a potential trade war between the world's two largest economies.
The US banned access to US suppliers in April after finding ZTE violated a settlement reached after it admitted to shipping goods to Iran and North Korea, countries subject to US trade sanctions.
The move eases a seven-year ban on ZTE buying American parts, which Commerce levied in April.
In addition to the more than $1.8 billion in combined fines, ZTE will be required to retain a team of specially assigned compliance coordinators answerable to BIS for a period of 10 years. It was blocked from purchasing parts from USA companies, sanctions that had crippled the company.
According to Reuters, ZTE has signed a preliminary agreement that will lift the ban on U.S. companies providing ZTE with goods.
According to the Hong Kong-based English-language daily, "The reprimand and forfeiture of bonuses were part of the original settlement that ZTE had reached with the USA government".
Ross said the United States will install its "own compliance people" to monitor the company, and shareholders will bring in new management and board. Since then, the company appears to have signed a preliminary agreement that would see them pay a larger fine and then have the ban lifted.
ZTE did not immediately respond to requests for comment today.
"We are literally embedding a compliance department of our choosing into the company to monitor it going forward", said Ross on CNBC. "When it comes to China, despite his tough talk, this deal with ZTE proves the president just shoots blanks". It appears that the Trump administration is pretty bothered by the fact that ZTE wanted to replace a top executive with one from another company that was also sanctioned by the USA government for being a national security threat.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the two sides were close to reaching a deal that would allow ZTE to resume business as usual.
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The resolution of the ZTE case may clear the way for the U.S.to make progress in its high-stakes trade talks with China. This will allow the United States to claim a total penalty of as much as $1.7 billion.
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