The US Senate is ready to drop opposition to the Trump Administration's deal to save Chinese telecoms vendor ZTE, essentially meaning that the company will remain in business.
Multiple reports Friday say that Senate Republicans are dropping language from a defense bill, due to be voted on early next week, that would have reinstated a ban that stopped ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763) from buying US components for seven years, originally laid down in April.
Trump brokered a deal to recuse ZTE in May. The company would pay a $1 billion fine and changed its management team. The US Commerce department lifted the components ban in June. (See Trump Says ZTE Can Re-Open... With Conditions.)
Many in the Senate objected to the deal, with ZTE viewed by many as a security risk. Senate Republican leadership, however, now appear to have killed the possibility of a ban on ZTE being reinstated. (See ZTE Tumbles Again as US Senate Rejects Rescue Deal.)
This doesn't mean that many senators aren't enraged by the latest moves. Republican senator (and sometimes Light Reader) Marco Rubio is describing removing the ban from the bill as "weak" and "caving." (See ZTE Stock Rises After US Lifts Ban.)
He tweeted Friday evening:
Arguing we shouldn’t ban #ZTE because then all the business will go to another #China spy company #Huawei isn’t a reason to let ZTE stay, its a reason to go after Huawei as well. But if we aren’t willing to take on #ZTE we will never take on a much larger company like Huawei.— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 20, 2018
As the ZTE saga unfolded, Light Reading had previously speculated on whether the Trump administration could cut a similar deal with Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. (See Will Trump Make a Deal With Huawei?)
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading