House Appropriations Committee slaps down Trump's ZTE support
It seems any hope raised by Donald Trump’s tweet about getting ZTE back into business may have just been quashed by a decision made by the US House Appropriations Committee. Trump made this statement in a tweet sent out on May 14:
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!
ZTE was banned from doing business with American companies for seven years after being found guilty of violating US sanctions against North Korea and Iran. Trump’s positive-sounding tweet may have sounded like music to the ears of workers at ZTE, but the members of the powerful House Appropriations Committee are not on the same page as their commander-in-chief. US Representative Dutch Ruppersberg has been reported saying this about the matter:
They’re widely suspected of spying on the U.S. government. We cannot allow [ZTE] to infiltrate U.S. networks or give them access to the U.S. markets while they continue to be beholden to their government.
The Committee’s members unanimously agreed to include a provision in an appropriations bill that will maintain the ban against ZTE.