Washington signs agreement with ZTE to fully resume operations

WASHINGTON | The United States announced on Wednesday that it has signed an agreement with the Chinese group ZTE, paving the way for the complete resumption of its operations nearly three months after the ban on the import of components of American companies.

The Commerce Department said in a statement that it has “signed an agreement on a receivership”.

“When ZTE has finalized the $ 400 million receivership, the BIS (Bureau of Industry and Security) will cancel the order to ban exports of electronic components,” said the department.

Washington banned all US electronics sales to ZTE in mid-April, accused of violating Iran and North Korea’s embargoes, forcing it to suspend much of its production.

But Donald Trump then announced on June 7 an agreement under which ZTE, in exchange for a lifting of sanctions, had to pay a fine of a billion dollars, which had angered senators and representatives of the American Chamber.

At the announcement of the agreement in early June, ZTE also accepted a complete overhaul of its management and the seizure of $ 400 million immediately available for violation of the new agreement.

ZTE had already paid a $ 1 billion fine last month to the US Treasury.

The Chinese group, which employs about 80,000 people, should soon resume all of its activities.

The Trump administration had already authorized ZTE last week to resume a portion of its activities in the United States for a period of one month.

This announcement is made the day after the announcement by the Trump administration of next customs duties of 10% on 200 billion additional Chinese imports.

Democrat Senator Mark Warner protested on Wednesday against the administration’s decision, saying it “was tantamount to letting ZTE receive a small pat on the hand for violating sanctions against Iran and South Korea. North”.

Warner says ZTE presents a “threat to our national security” and recalls that Donald Trump himself, while being conciliatory in the ZTE file, denounced the “theft” of American intellectual property by Chinese companies.

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