The US Commerce Secretary has officially confirmed that it is seeking alternative solutions to the draconian sanctions it has imposed on Chinese telecommunications vendor ZTE. The sanctions have forced the Chinese telecoms colossus to suspend all of its major operations which now puts the company on the brink of collapse.
The comments from US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will offer hope to ZTE. President Trump had stated that he was working closely with the Chinese President in an effort to find for ZTE to get back into business quickly, saying too many jobs have already been lost.
However, it now appears that President Trump has reneged on that declaration after he received criticism from congress who accused him of folding on ZTE. Trump rejected the assertions being made and said no deal had been reached with ZTE - and that its predicament was part of the overall trade negotiations ensuing between the US and China.
Chinese officials are in Washington this week on behalf of ZTE who have been cut off from US technology products for violating US sanctions against North Korea and Iran.
Ross said, "ZTE did do some inappropriate things. The question is, are there alternative remedies to the one that we had originally put forward," Ross said following a speech. And that's the area we will be exploring very, very promptly."
ZTE was fined $1.2 billion in March 2017, but last month it hit with a steeper sanction, prohibiting US companies from supplying it with needed parts after the Commerce Department found the company lied multiple times and failed to take actions against employees responsible for sanctions violations.
At the time Ross was highly critical of the behavior ZTE had engaged in and said, "This egregious behavior cannot be ignored. However, there remains hopes that the US Commerce Department will amend the ban it has imposed on the Chinese telecommunications vendor.