United States President Donald Trump reacted angrily to suggestions that his administration had once again been out-negotiated by China on the issue of easing restrictions on Chinese telecom major ZTE. He took to Twitter to express his strong displeasure at what he terms as 'typically written false stories about our trade negotiations with China’.
...We have not seen China’s demands yet, which should be few in that previous U.S. Administrations have done so poorly in negotiating. China has seen our demands. There has been no folding as the media would love people to believe, the meetings...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2018
The United States Department of Commerce had in April banned American companies from supplying key telecom components to ZTE. This was in response to alleged violation of sanctions against North Korea and Iran. The move has endangered the future of the Chinese telecom major and has also threatened thousands of jobs in the Chinese mainland.
Responding to China opening negotiations on the issue Trump tweeted earlier this week saying that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping were working together to find a way out of the issue, and that too many jobs in China had been lost and that the US commerce department had been instructed to 'get it done'.
A Chinese delegation led by Vice Premier Liu He will be reaching Washington during this week for trade related negotiations. One of the reported 'deals' being talked about is that Chinese would go soft on proposed import tariffs on US agricultural products in return for the US giving ZTE a lifeline.
United States Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has however said that sanctions on ZTE were not related to trade issues and that it was a law enforcement issue
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Senator Ron Wyden and others have come out strongly criticising any potential deal over the issue.One senator was quoted as saying that 'offering to trade American sanctions enforcement to promote jobs in China is plainly a bad deal for American workers and for the security of all Americans'.