PoliticsForeign Policy


Trump Says He's Helping A Chinese Company His Own Government Rebuked

President Donald Trump says he's working to get ZTE "back into business, fast." But his government seems to have concerns about the Chinese company.
Posted at 5:02 PM, May 13, 2018

The Trump administration punished Chinese tech company ZTE for illegal practices, but on Sunday, President Donald Trump said he's going to work to help ZTE because of "too many jobs in China lost."

The U.S. military banned ZTE from selling products on its bases earlier this month over surveillance concerns. The U.S. Commerce Department barred American companies from selling components to ZTE in April after it violated sanctions on Iran and North Korea and then misled the department.

But, in a tweet, Trump said he's working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to get ZTE "back into business, fast" because of the jobs lost in China. That sure seems to buck one of his major talking points.

As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump said in 2015: "China, taking our jobs, taking our money."

In April, he said: "For many years, no president wanted to go against China economically, and we're going to do it."

Before authorizing new tariffs on China in March, he said: "I really believe they cannot believe they've gotten away with this for so long."  Trump said in his tweet that he told the Commerce Department to help ZTE. It was just last month that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called ZTE's illegally sending equipment to North Korea and Iran "egregious behavior."

It's not exactly clear how Trump plans to help ZTE or what he's instructed the Commerce Department to do.