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With Trump undermining their efforts, Senators drop bid to reimpose sanctions on ZTE

A group of senators attempted to reimpose sanctions on ZTE in June. But with Trump stepping in, the opposition just threw in the towel.

Published onJuly 20, 2018

  • The group of senators who introduced a bill to reimpose sanctions on ZTE have withdrawn the bid.
  • After Trump effectively saved ZTE from going out of business, the senators are out of options.
  • Although this is a win for Trump, it’s marred by the fact that he is simultaneously working to push a trade war with China.

Back in June, we told you about a group of senators – both Republican and Democrat – who wanted to put language into an annual defense bill that would reimpose sanctions placed on ZTE by the U.S. Commerce Department.

But since President Donald Trump effectively thwarted that plan by lifting the sanctions on the Chinese smartphone company, the rogue senators have thrown in the towel and removed the language from the defense bill, per The Washington Post.

This represents a clear win for President Trump, albeit a confusing one. It’s hard to congratulate him on effectively saving a Chinese company from bankruptcy while he simultaneously imposes debilitating tariffs on Chinese commerce.

ZTE is back in business: What now?
zte logo

Although the team of senators removed language from the defense bill that would have barred ZTE from working with all American companies, language still remains that bars any government contracts with ZTE. The annual defense bill usually passes through the House and Senate smoothly, so it is likely that law will come into effect soon.

However, it appears that ZTE is completely in-the-clear now after being caught red-handed violating international trade agreements, lying about it, and then attempting to hide additional illegal activity.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) released a statement today condemning Trump’s actions in saving ZTE:

By stripping the Senate’s tough ZTE sanctions provision from the defense bill, President Trump – and the congressional Republicans who acted at his behest – have once again made President Xi and the Chinese government the big winners and the American worker and our national security the big losers.

Although Trump should be hailed as a hero by the Chinese government for stepping in to help ZTE, you wouldn’t know it by the fact that a full-on trade war is developing between China and the U.S. Just today, Trump suggested he is ready to impose tariffs on every single product that enters the U.S. from China, which would dramatically alter not only the tech industry, but pretty much every American business.

NEXT: Why did Trump stop the Broadcom-Qualcomm deal?

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