SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Trump administration has briefed Congress on tentative deal with China's ZTE

The Commerce Department informed lawmakers on Friday of the outlines of a tentative deal that could save sanctioned t...

Posted: May 26, 2018 12:46 PM
Updated: May 26, 2018 12:46 PM

The Commerce Department informed lawmakers on Friday of the outlines of a tentative deal that could save sanctioned telecommunications company ZTE, a key priority for Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to two people familiar with the matter.

A completed deal is considered a key piece of the ongoing trade negotiations with China. However, news of the deal was met with public backlash from members of both parties on Friday.

The people cautioned that the potential deal was presented as not final -- meaning things could change, particularly as bipartisan congressional blowback intensifies. But it would include a significant fine, north of $1 billion, and require the company, which is barred from buying US products due to sanctions violations, to install a new compliance regime and make management changes.

If those changes are made, the Commerce Department's "denial order," which led the company to say it had halted "major operating activities," would be lifted, the people said.

President Donald Trump, in a tweet criticizing former President Barack Obama and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday evening, wrote of the deal, "I closed (ZTE) down then let it reopen with high level security guarantees, change of management and board, must purchase U.S. parts and pay a $1.3 Billion fine."

The outlines were among the options presented to skeptical Republican senators during a closed-door briefing led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday, another source said.

The administration's push to reach an agreement on ZTE has been a major piece of its trade negotiations with China, which are expected to pick up in earnest when Ross heads to China June 2 through June 4. Xi, the Chinese leader, has personally brought the company up to President Trump multiple times, Trump has told reporters over the past week. Trump, noting the company buys parts for its products from the U.S., has been willing to consider relief as part of those broader trade talks.

But Republicans and Democrats have voiced increasingly sharp concern over including the company, which lawmakers say presents a national security risk, in trade negotiations and have already started to move on action to tie the hands of the Trump administration.

"It is a great deal... for #ZTE & China," Sen. Marco Rubio posted on Twitter Friday. "#China crushes U.S. companies with no mercy & they use these telecomm companies to spy & steal from us. Many hoped this time would be different. Now congress will need to act."

Schumer said the proposed deal "would be helping make China great again" and called on lawmakers to do something to "stop this deal in its tracks."

The House on Thursday passed a defense measure that would bar government agencies from using ZTE technology and ban the Pentagon from working with any contractors that work with the company. The Senate version of the defense measure, the annual defense policy bill, was approved in committee on Thursday and includes a different ZTE-related amendment that restricts the ability of the Trump administration to lift the penalties on ZTE without Congressional notification and tacit approval.

The Senate will bring that bill to the floor after the Memorial Day recess.

"ZTE presents a national security threat to the United States - and nothing in this reported deal addresses that fundamental fact," Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat who authored the amendment on ZTE, said in a statement. "If President Trump won't put our security before Chinese jobs, Congress will act on a bipartisan basis to stop him."

The House and Senate have also started to move separate measures that would overhaul the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) that include similar curbs on lifting penalties on ZTE.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 302484

Reported Deaths: 6859
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1249923690
Riverside23334533
Orange21517402
San Diego18402415
San Bernardino17414304
Imperial7654127
Fresno762787
Alameda7407146
San Joaquin606567
Kern597989
Santa Clara5678166
Tulare5509148
Sacramento493278
Stanislaus436450
Contra Costa435788
San Francisco414550
Ventura409353
Santa Barbara386829
San Mateo3787111
Marin322730
Kings285539
Monterey234317
Solano198527
Merced179312
Sonoma151914
Placer99311
San Luis Obispo8774
Madera8578
Yolo80228
Santa Cruz5063
Napa4664
Sutter3374
Butte3194
San Benito3112
El Dorado2920
Lassen2690
Shasta1766
Yuba1633
Humboldt1614
Glenn1590
Nevada1591
Mendocino1070
Colusa1030
Lake1011
Tehama981
Calaveras610
Tuolumne600
Del Norte580
Mono491
Amador360
Inyo341
Siskiyou330
Mariposa311
Plumas150
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Few Clouds
100° wxIcon
Hi: 101° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 100°
Oroville
Clear
100° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 100°
Paradise
Few Clouds
100° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 100°
Chester
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 90°
Red Bluff
Clear
101° wxIcon
Hi: 103° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 101°
Willows
Few Clouds
100° wxIcon
Hi: 105° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 100°
A hot week will transform into an even hotter weekend over northern California as high pressure stays in control of our weather. No rain is in the forecast, but it will cool a bit by late next week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events