The US and China are reportedly close to agreeing to a deal which will see the draconian sanctions imposed by US officials on Chinese telecommunications vendor ZTE dropped.
The ban threatened the very existence of ZTE after the US Commerce Department said it has failed to make the necessary changes to its board and management after it was initially found guilty of violating trade sanctions with Iran and North Korea.
Bilateral talks between the two global superpowers are ensuing but the fate of ZTE was high on the agenda of Chinese officials. US President Donald Trump vowed to resolve the ZTE crisis - and declared he was working hard with the Chinese President in order to find solutions to get the telecommunications colossus back in business.
Trump quickly performed a U-turn following a backlash from congress and said nothing had been agreed in relation to ZTE. US firms were prohibited from selling components and software to ZTE for a period of seven-years. As a result of this ZTE announced it had been forced to cease all of its major operating activities.
However, it now appears that ZTE will be saved following these trade talks and the sanctions imposed will now be lifted. It has also emerged that the Chinese government has offered to remove tariffs on billions of dollars of US farm products.
A source told The Washington Journal, "The White House was meticulous in affirming that the case is a law enforcement matter and not a bargaining chip in negotiations." Any steps to ease the sanctions will need to pass US national security reviews.
Members of the US House Appropriations Committee last week approved an amendment to the fiscal year 2019 Commerce, Justice [and] Science Appropriations bill preventing use of federal funds to contravene the block on ZTE.
Reuters previously reported ZTE imported $2.3 billion worth of US components from 211 suppliers in 2017.