Trump Says New 'Structure' Needed in China Trade Deal

Analysts Weigh In On US-China Trade Developments

President Donald Trump has cast doubt on the prospects for talks that are created to head off a trade war between the United States and China. "Both parties have come together today to strongly rebuke ZTE and the administration's soft approach". Democrat Chris Van Hollen of Maryland sits on the Senate banking committee, and he joins me now.

Trump has repeatedly defended his demand for Commerce to take a fresh look at the ZTE penalties, and did so again on Tuesday during a meeting with South Korea President Moon Jae-In.

"Putting our national security at risk for minor trade concessions is the definition of short-sighted", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted at Trump.

Representatives for the White House did not respond to a request for more information about the president's statement.

In a Twitter post, Rubio said he has urged Trump to "follow his initial instincts on China", and he also asked Trump to "listen to those who understand that a short-term trade deal that sounds good but poses long-term danger is a bad deal". It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to ZTE or broader trade negotiations.

An agreement in 2017 called for the company to pay as much as $1.2 billion and penalize the workers involved, in what was the largest criminal fine for the Justice Department in an export control or sanctions case. There have been concerns the USA would impose a ZTE-like ban on China's largest mobile and telecommunications company, Huawei Technologies Co.

Shenzhen, China-based ZTE depends on US components, such as chips from Qualcomm Inc., to build its smartphones and networking gear.

The ban has threatened the viability of ZTE by cutting off access to companies that supply 25 percent to 30 percent of its components.

Beijing had been pressing Washington to lift the ban, and President Trump said last week he was willing to help ZTE get back into business.

MARTIN: Because, we should note, it was his Commerce Department that imposed these fines on ZTE.

Cornyn said that while the meeting with Mnuchin and Ross did not include a discussion about congressional action, the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill being considered by the Senate Armed Services Committee is the vehicle for a bipartisan measure created to strengthen the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process.

"When I looked at it I said, you know, they could pay a big price without necessarily damaging all of these American companies, which they are because you know you're talking about tremendous amounts of money and jobs", he said. "Any changes to this will fully support the mandate of making sure our sanctions and our technology are protected".

Trump has also found himself under attack for retreating from penalties his administration announced against a large Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE, for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

VAN HOLLEN: Well, there was strong bipartisan support in the Senate just last month when the secretary of commerce imposed major penalties on ZTE not only for repeatedly violating US sanctions but then for repeatedly lying about it.

"They did make clear that this was primarily, nearly entirely an enforcement action under the auspcices of Commerce", the Texas Republican said after the meeting. But he stressed the administration takes national security concerns seriously.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was reconsidering US penalties as a favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) and might instead fine the company more than US$1 billion.

He declined to comment on what alternative remedies Commerce may be considering.

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