After scoring a possible win in dealing with the Chinese mega-tech company, ZTE Corporation, president Trump’s deal which sought to exempt it from possible repercussions for failure to adhere to sanction policies is now on the verge of defeat. This comes after Senate sought to review the punitive measures that the president had outlined in his agreement with the company.
The lawmakers amended sections of the US policy in dealing with the Chinese company to include clauses outlining stiff penalties for the gross misconduct that the company has been involved in.
The president’s deal with ZTE had sought to reprieve it from sanctions over what had appeared to be a deliberate deal with Facebook, a deal that saw the company obtain Americans’ data from mobile devices. The presidents ‘pardon’ on the company came as part of a deal that he had secured with the Chinese side following negotiations that have been ongoing for the past few weeks to re-establish its trade position with the Asian giant.
Speaking during a briefing, Chris Holen, Maryland’s Senator, said that the Senate’s move was serving as a stiff warning against any party that would be involved in similar data heists. Letting ZTE off the hook would encourage such irregularities, according to the senator who also co-authored and sponsored the amendment in Senate.
The Trump administration has been undertaking frantic efforts to secure the deal to keep alive hopes of maintaining cordial relations with China. On Monday night, it was revealed that the Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, was in Capitol Hill to try to persuade the Senators that the administration had taken every data privacy concern with the seriousness required and that the deal would benefit the country immensely if passed without amendments. The meeting was classified, and no details were revealed on whether a consensus was reached.
Trump’s agreement to the ZTE deal came after his China’s counterpart Xi Jinping, offered a personal request to him to have the company not sanctioned at the expense of a $1 billion fine and an immediate overhaul of the corporation’s management to ensure compliance with US demands on data privacy.
Senators have however been reluctant to buy the economic benefit set to be gained from the ZTE deal. Most of those in opposition of the deal are citing the national security issues that the corporation may be posing on the country.