Senate Tries To Kill ZTE Deal That Trump Served Up

Remember that deal that President Trump came up with to give Chinese telecom ZTE a slap on the wrist? It didn’t go over so well with US Senators, who are now trying to kill the deal again in a novel way:

Senate leaders agreed Monday to include language in the annual defense spending bill that would reverse the Trump administration’s decision to save Chinese telecommunications company ZTE after it was caught violating the terms of a 2017 penalty agreement by making illegal sales to Iran and North Korea. The language will be part of an amendment in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, a $716 billion defense policy bill, H.R. 5515 (115).

If the Senate amendment becomes law, it would automatically reinstate the seven-year prohibition until Trump has certified to Congress that ZTE has met certain conditions. It also would ban all U.S. government agencies from purchasing or leasing telecommunications equipment and/or services from ZTE, a second Chinese telecommunications firm, Huawei, or any subsidiaries or affiliates of those two companies. The amendment language “prohibits the federal government from doing business with ZTE or Huawei or other Chinese telecom companies” and puts the company back on the sanctions list and “holds ZTE accountable for violating their previous commitment,” Cotton said.

That’s crafty. I’d be watching Twitter to see how the Twitter president reacts to this. Because I assume he’s going to have a meltdown when he finds out about this maneuver, and the fact that he can’t really stop it.

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