US President Donald Trump is being accused by Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to caving to Chinese trade pressure ahead of an expected tripartite meeting with North Korea, Kallanish notes.
President Trump agreed to lift a ban on US technology exports to ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications in exchange for a $1 billion penalty and adherence to further US export control laws. Counting escrow measures, lifting the ban will eventually cost ZTE about $2.29 billion.
The move comes in the context of steel and aluminium trade tariffs being levied against Canada, Mexico, and the European Union – ostensibly for national security purposes. The Trump administration is also separately pursuing a 301 case against Chinese producers, aimed at limiting the export of vital technology until international intellectual property agreements are respected.
“I assure you with 100% confidence that #ZTE is a much greater national security threat than steel from Argentina or Europe,” says US Senator Marco Rubio on Twitter. “#VeryBadDeal.”
Senator Rubio was one of then-candidate’s challengers in the Republican presidential primary in 2016.