Earlier this week, President Trump tweeted that he was working with China to help save ZTE. Now, in a move that shouldn’t surprise anyone, an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Bill was unanimously approved by the House Appropriations Committee to block Trump or anyone else from “bailing out” ZTE.
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The ZTE export ban all started back in April when it has been caught shipping US-made parts to Iran and North Korea. This meant the company not being able to use any US-made components in its smartphones (such as Snapdragon processors and even potentially Android) and resulted in the company shutting down major operations.
In response to this news, President Trump tweeted that he was working with the Chinese President to give ZTE “a way to get back into business, fast.” The president never followed that statement up with how he planned to help other than saying that ZTE is “reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi.”
But with this new amendment, there will probably be no further US action to assist the Chinese company.
Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger gave the following statement as part of this amendment:
This amendment, which passed with the unanimous support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, shows that, when the United States enacts sanctions, we stand behind them. It will also prevent a foreign company that is beholden to its government – and that ignores embargoes – from infiltrating the devices and networks that are now indispensable to American life.
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, another co-author of the amendment, had the following to say:
I am proud that today’s amendment maintaining penalties on the shady Chinese cellular company ZTE received unanimous support in the Appropriations Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee. We, as the Congress, need to step up to protect American workers, and American national security, from a company that experts inside and outside government agree endangers American interests. This is not a company that President Trump should be trying to save. He promised to protect American jobs and claims to be all about ‘America First.’ I suppose not—this move is clearly China First.