Alex Wong, deputy assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told a Senate hearing on Tuesday that the president issued guidance to Commerce to review the ZTE sanctions. China counterpunched with tariffs on a range of USA products, including bourbon and blue jeans.
-China trade talks in Beijing earlier this month where the two countries failed to reach an agreement on the long list of US demands.
The company was caught illegally shipping telecommunications gear to Iran and North Korea, making false statements, and obstructing justice.
Last month the U.S. slapped a seven-year components ban on the Chinese telecoms firm for shipping technology to Iran, forcing it to suspend its main operations.
ZTE, which has more than 70,000 employees and has supplied networks or equipment to some of the world's biggest telecoms companies, said in early May that it had halted its main operations as a result of the department's "denial order". As Arthur Kroeber, research head at Gavekal Dragonomics in Hong Kong put it in a recent note, the rivalry between the United States and China was not principally about trade, but was really about China's emergence over the last five years "as a formidable bidder for economic and political influence, an aspirant to technological leadership, and a major global investor". The block on ZTE was a heavy blow for the company but also hurt the USA companies it buys from.
When China's vice-premier Liu He set off for Washington on Tuesdayto resume talks to avert a much-dreaded trade war, the top economic aide to President Xi Jinping was facing a hard challenge.
In response, China threatened to impose tariffs on an equal amount of USA exports, including agricultural products from Trump's political heartland.
One area the world's two most powerful economies likely won't be able to address during discussions this week is China's practice of what is known as technology mercantilism, in which it distorts policies and systems in order to expand domestic technology production. "Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"
With China's second-largest telecommunication company ZTE literally shut down because of punitive sanctions by the U.S. Treasury, President Donald Trump called for a solution of the situation on May 13, 2018 after talking to China's President Xi Jinping.
Trump has long-promised to crack down on China and raised concerns about an all-out trade war after threatening $150 billion in tariffs and prompting China to retaliate.More news: Salma Hayek offers a solution to the gender pay gap
ZTE is a state-linked telecommunications company that sells its equipment to 140 countries.
But he offered an olive branch in calling on USA officials to revisit penalties for Chinese company ZTE Corp. for flouting US sanctions on trade with Iran and North Korea. "He has my support", Kudlow said, adding that no agreement had been reached yet.
The official described a possible deal with ZTE as a "confidence building measure", leading up to broader deal with China.
The NAFTA revision is vital for another reason: The exemptions for Canada and Mexico from the steep US tariffs on steel imports expire June 1.
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.
Ross, speaking at the National Press Club, said ZTE "did do some inappropriate things.
So, they can't say they don't know what we're asking for", he said.
"This enforcement action against ZTE is not a trade issue", Rubio said on Fox News Channel. The U.S. accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran.
Last month, the United States blocked ZTE from buying parts from American companies for seven years.
The ZTE case also drives home how entwined the US and Chinese economies are.