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China Businesses United States Politics

Trump Strikes Deal With China's ZTE on Sanctions (usatoday.com) 145

The Trump administration struck a deal Thursday with a Chinese telecom that will allow it to do business with U.S. companies even though it violated sanctions. From a report: China's ZTE will pay a $1 billion penalty and will embed a U.S. appointed compliance team, terms that are similar to those President Trump discussed last month when he revealed that Chinese leaders had asked him to look into the matter. "At about 6 a.m. this morning, we executed a definitive agreement with ZTE," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC in an interview Thursday. "And that brings to a conclusion this phase of the development with them." Trump asked the Commerce Department to investigate the restrictions on ZTE in April following a request from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Commerce imposed a seven-year ban after the company sold American-made products to Iran, a violation of U.S. sanctions.

Trump Strikes Deal With China's ZTE on Sanctions

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Make China Great Again

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This is how international trade works in the real world. If you completely screw your big trading partners, they screw you back and everyone loses.

      ZTE's demise helps no-one. It wouldn't have made America great again, that's for sure. For once Trump did the right thing.

      • Re:So Much Winning (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:18AM (#56742514)
        And, of course, this has NOTHING to do with the new batch of Chinese trademarks that Ivanka got - on the same day he announced this.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by nospam007 ( 722110 ) *

          "And, of course, this has NOTHING to do with the new batch of Chinese trademarks that Ivanka got - on the same day he announced this."

          The things we do for love.

        • What would alleged trademarks (clothing I assume, since you provided no citation or evidence) have to do with a telecom company?

          Spin for spin's sake, I guess.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            Spin [wikipedia.org] THIS [nytimes.com]
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              From your own link. "Coincidence? Well, probably".

              • Re:So Much Winning (Score:4, Insightful)

                by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:54AM (#56742748)
                WOW. If that's your take-away from that, maybe we should just drop an anvil on you to get your attention.
                • No thanks, I don't buy into the media hype train. The bottom line is still, "probably not". The rest is only speculation, subject to bias and subjectivity, as if the NYT would ever write anything positive about him.

                  ZTE just got fined a BILLION US dollars. As fines go, that's not small potatoes, plus there'll be additional monitoring by a compliance team.
                  Other US companies are actually helped by this agreement that have nothing to do with the the trumps.

                  • Any group that can watch the 'Clinton Global Bribe Fund' operate, then watch it's income go basically to zero after she lost and conclude: 'nothing suspicious here' is beyond reasoning with. It's simply tribal to them...

                    • And we hear from the deranged troll.

                      Keep it up, we're all laughing at you, poor buthurt snowflake. You set the standard for passing corruption as long as it's on your side.

                      Trump was, until recently, a lifelong D...the RNC hates him as much as the DNC. The hope is he triggers a dirt dump by both, giving American politics a hard reset and leaving Hillary dying in prison.

                  • by dwater ( 72834 )

                    In the short term, perhaps. I would imagine ZTE (and others) will think twice about using US parts in future.

              • So facts that some moderator doesn't like is now trolling? That's just an abuse of moderation. It's a fact: The article sums up with "Coincidence? Well, probably". It's right in the article, and then followed by speculation.
                Nothing trollish about my post.

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:11AM (#56742466)

    [Pinky finger to corner of mouth] Only $1 Beeelllyon to sell out national security and do away with trade sanctions.

    Not really that much in today's markets.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Economic sanctions are just the systematic murder of poor and middle-class--including their children--while pretending to keep your hands clean. They're not fundamentally-distinct from charging into villages and shooting 10-year-olds with flamethrowers.

      The whole "national security" thing was a bunch of crap. They suggested ZTE could possibly put some kind of malicious espionage software on their phones--not that they, Huawei, or Xiaomi have done any such thing, but they could. Meanwhile CISCO routers

      • by Dare nMc ( 468959 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @01:05PM (#56743716)

        ZTE illegally sold US-made goods in Iran and North Korea, making hundreds of millions from Iran alone. ZTE then promised to punish 7 people caught directly violating these US laws, instead it gave them bonuses.

        The espionage claims resulted in US government employees being prevented from using their phones, and is completely separate from these actions.

        • Yes, and the whole legal basis is fine and dandy; the response is a big fine and some other action; and people are all in a huff because they think sanctions are some sacred cow.

          The WTO and UN should put economic sanctions on the list of things that will get your leaders arrested and tried for war crimes. Extending from a reasonable legal response to a huge moral response against ZTE is like calling for the death penalty for a person who murdered a child rapist during the rape of a child: your moral fou

          • I don't see a problem with the act, but the how is clearly suspect. This is not the type of thing the president should be involved in, especially one who's adviser and daughter just got preferential treatment, and lawyer just took a bunch of money from China, and who's family business just got millions of investment from a Chinese government run business.

            When it is out of character (Publicly trump as been very anti china not enforcing sanctions. Very anti Chinese business.) and does a sudden 180 turn. Deci

    • The "National Security" issue is that the NSA didn't have access to ZTE devices. Now they will. Go read a few hundred Snowden slide decks if you don't know that this is how they work.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      [Pinky finger to corner of mouth] Only $1 Beeelllyon to sell out national security and do away with trade sanctions.

      Not really that much in today's markets.

      No, it only costed China $500M in a Trump hotel. That $1B is a public figure for "punishment". But probably will go into the Chinese government coffers to repay that investment.

      That's it.

      Meanwhile, Canadian steel and aluminium are the greater national security threat. Because war of 1812.

  • Many jobs lost! (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    So ZTE were blocked from US for national security reasons. Trump has his meeting and starts singing the praising of ZTE:

    "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!
    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018"

    Right.... worried about jobs in China..... sure you are.

    If you look at the payments Cohe

  • by It's the tripnaut! ( 687402 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:16AM (#56742500) Homepage
    It certainly pays to have friends in high places.

    ZTE will easily recoup the $1B just by the fact that its share price will certainly jump up with this news alone. Essentially, ZTE will have suffered very little penalties after all the transgressions it has done against the US. This sets a precedent that many other foreign companies with good ties to their government will surely follow.
    • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:36AM (#56742618) Homepage

      It certainly pays to have friends in high places.

      ZTE will easily recoup the $1B just by the fact that its share price will certainly jump up with this news alone. Essentially, ZTE will have suffered very little penalties after all the transgressions it has done against the US. This sets a precedent that many other foreign companies with good ties to their government will surely follow.

      Well, they had China give Trump a few hundred million in business deals, so you need a mechanism for giving the Trump businesses money.

    • Maybe if they'd own a lot of their own stock, but from what I can see that doesn't seem to be the case (all of their stock is held by 3 entities, two of which are Chinese government ones and collectively own 51% of the company). As for little in terms of penalties, they still have to pay a billion in fines, put 400 million into escrow, completely replace the board and upper management along with having to put up with a U.S sanctions compliance team for the foreseeable future.

      Obviously a lot less severe t
  • Open for business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:18AM (#56742512) Homepage

    The message seems pretty clear: laws don't matter if you pay enough money.

    This is essentially an open invitation for other businesses to bribe the Trump administration. Just pay the right "fine" to the right department, and any violation of those pesky rules will just be forgiven. Either Trump will start negotiating on your behalf, or he'll just pardon the liable people. Either way, "consequences" will be left for those poor people who lack the business skill to blatantly ignore morality.

    ...Where's Martin Luther gone off to now?

    • "The message seems pretty clear: laws don't matter if you pay enough money."

      If you _have_ enough money is enough.

    • They're called "fines".. what a novel idea. The fact that he got ZTE to admit any wrongdoing at all is pretty remarkable.

      • by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @11:05AM (#56742828) Homepage

        They already had admitted the wrongdoing, and said they'd make amends... then they didn't follow through. That's what triggered the last round of sanctions, adding a US business ban on top of their existing billion-dollar fine.

        In a functional administration, this wouldn't be something the White House would interfere with at all. The DOJ would make their recommendations, following any directional guidance the White House would establish in policy. That's a nice and predictable process, where one can review the law and policy before committing crimes, and know with a good degree of certainty how things will turn out.

        Now we've defenestrated the rule of law. The policy doesn't actually matter. If you think you have enough money, you can go ahead and break the laws, and just buy an ad on Fox or host a party for Kanye, and you won't need to worry about anything the DOJ says.

    • Seems you've been blissfully unaware that in the US, committing mass fraud to the tune of billions and paying a fraction of that in fines has been the standard business model for over 20 years. This is nothing new, Trump is just making it globalized. The rule of law has been supplanted by rule of "who has the most money"
    • by Anonymous Coward

      The problem with blocking US chip technology is that it then preempts China to start making their own chips, reducing their reliance on the US. So theres a very good reason, especially as US doesnt want to compete with chips subsidized by the Chinese government, they would flood the US pretty quickly.

  • by satsuke ( 263225 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:23AM (#56742546)

    Trump's administration is openly pay-to-play, which begs the question, what does Trump get out of this transaction?

    Also, who will appoint the compliance team proposed? If it's Trump controlled cronies instead of competent engineering talent, what will that mean for national security going forward?

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:35AM (#56742612)

      Trump's administration is openly pay-to-play, which begs the question, what does Trump get out of this transaction?

      Ivanka's trademarks in China? The funding of the Trump resort in Indonesia? I'm sure there are a few more things goin on that we don't know about yet.

    • by Carewolf ( 581105 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:39AM (#56742636) Homepage

      Trump's administration is openly pay-to-play, which begs the question, what does Trump get out of this transaction?

      China gave Trump a favorable business deal in the tune of a few hundred million dollars just before he wrote his tweet about "so many jobs lost in China, we must do something".

    • Trump gets a talking point to show how great of a deal maker he is.
      Trump doesn't care about money, it is about his Ego.

      However the key problem with the Trump Administration is a lack of any long term strategy. Most countries are playing nice right now, as to avoid losing out on existing effort and investments. However for the long term, countries, and companies, will start to look for a more diverse trading base to help keep their market stable. Historically counties likes to work with the US because we we

    • Have you seen America's crumbling infrastructure? How about China's country spanning high speed rail network? If you wanted to fix up your infrastructure, say build a wall maybe, who would you ask to help? China made a pretty good wall back in the day, imagine what they could do now with all that home grown advanced technology they have been developing.

      Mexico was never going to pay for it, but maybe China will, it would certainly help the trade balance too.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      China provided a $500M loan to an Indonesian development project of which the trump organization has a licensing deal with and will profit from directly:

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/05/is-china-straight-up-bribing-donald-trump-zte

      The next day trump tweets we need to save Chinese jobs. Whats it going to take for all you die hard trumpers to realize you're the ones hes fucking over worse than anyone!? The second you question you're undying devotion to him he'll sell you out like "poor" Jeff Sessions.

    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @12:04PM (#56743180)

      Trump's administration is openly pay-to-play, which begs the question, what does Trump get out of this transaction?

      $500million

      May 8th: Trump announces sanctions on ZTE.
      May 9th: ZTE announces it will shutdown phone business.
      May 11th: $500m investment from China http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/... [scmp.com]
      May 13th: Trump tweets concern about Chinese jobs lost with ZTE, confirms he spoke to Xi, and tells the commerce department to "get it done".

    • If the Trump-hate doesn't completely blind you, you might consider that this move would be in exchange for China leaning on Kim Jong Un to start negotiating with the US on denuclearization.

  • by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @10:33AM (#56742592)
    ZTE has to embed NSA spyware into their US-market devices... or maybe all of their devices.
  • It's pay to play. Before long we'll have have tariff micro-transactions to boot.
  • So does this mean they will turn the OTA update servers online? The disruption wasn't just to ZTE's future business. It really caused problems for millions of ZTE phone users also.

  • ... fining a company and getting it into compliance is bad, because?
  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @11:15AM (#56742904)
    Oh wait, they got one. Massive tax subsidies for the owners and the jobs still got shipped to Mexico. And _still_ his poll numbers don't budge.

    Show up to your primaries people. If we're ever going to fix this mess that's where we're gonna do it. And yes. that means registering for the Democratic party if that's what it takes to vote in their primary. The Dems aren't blameless, but they're not so far gone that they couldn't be made into a pro-working class party again.
    • With the proven reliability of a super delegate block to help make sure your vote really matters!

      Care about the working class? So do we! We're ready to import all the workers our wonderful corporate sponsors will ever need to keep those costs low low looow. Rule of law got you down? No problem, sanctuary cities got you covered! H1B's? Yes, please!

      Vote Dem!*

      white males and other deplorables need not apply.

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @11:25AM (#56742950)

    I think lots of countries don't know what to make of the current situation. When you put someone in charge of a country who has no prior political experience, I think the more established politicians are just trying to figure out what's going through his mind.

    I don't think he's totally incompetent, having at least dealt with running a business, and hopefully he's listening to someone in his administration who has had some experience in international trade negotiations. But I do think someone needs to telegraph the fact that trade policy isn't the same as lowballing a property/business owner on an offer, or paying a local politician a bribe, or dealing with some construction union boss. Because if that's the experience he's drawing from, the results he's expecting aren't going to come about.

    One thing I worry about is national politics getting as openly corrupt as local politics. Local businessmen don't even try to hide it -- it's pretty much out in the open that the mayor or city council or town supervisor will do whatever a business owner wants for the right amount of cash in a paper bag. National politics is still a little veiled -- you have the veneer of lobbyists, etc.

    • As a negotiation tactic, the goal isn't to kill the other side, the goal is to let them realize you can kill them. From a game-theory perspective, you don't actually want to use your big weapon, because once you use it, you have no more threats. Again we can see the same principle from a cold-war perspective: Russia (or America) can say, "If you do that, I will use nukes," and influence America. But if Russia ever used nukes, then they have no more influence over America's actions.

      So the threat of action
    • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @12:09PM (#56743224)

      He's not in the least bit incompetent. He is doing the thing he knows how to do best: Enrich himself through corruption. ZTE had nothing to do about politics. https://www.huffingtonpost.co.... [huffingtonpost.co.uk]

      5 days. That's all it took. 5 days from May 9th where Trump helped kill ZTE, to getting a major investment from the Chinese, to Trump helping bail ZTE out tweeting about his concern for Chinese jobs.

    • Because if that's the experience he's drawing from, the results he's expecting aren't going to come about.

      Well, so far the track record of these "Trump will fail because idiot" predictions is pretty poor.

      Just from the man from Mars perspective.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        What would that man from Mars consider a failure? He is pretty good at pissing off allies, which surely will have consequences in the future, but he is also pretty good at getting bribed. So it is true, there is a point of view from which he is not a failure.

    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      "dealt with running a business"...errrr....you mean the ones that bankrupt four times?

      Foreign leaders should not bother attempting to figure out what's going through his head. There isn't anything other than hatred of "them others". Never feed a troll. Giving him any sort of appeasement only makes him think he can go back for more. Best thing to do is kick him in the balls really hard. And when he comes back (and he will), kick him in the balls harder.

      Germany is kvetching over the U.S. Ambassador saying he

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I am glad you're not in change of German Diplomacy. As satisfying as a few kicks in Trump's balls would be, even only metaphorically, there must be a smoother way to teach Donald not to shit on the carpet. A rolled-up newspaper is probably not enough, though.

    • by lorinc ( 2470890 )

      I know your domestic politics is none of our concern, but seen from the rest of the world, a president that tweets he can pardon himself looks pretty damn ridiculous and is not really a good negotiation signal...

  • make check payable to Donald J. Trump

  • by LostInTaiwan ( 837924 ) on Thursday June 07, 2018 @02:03PM (#56744196)

    WTF!!!!!

    We are in multiple trade wars with multiple democratic allies of ours. Allies that share our democratic ideals, share our common defense, and are not actively trying to undermine our global economic and military leadership position. Yet, we are openly helping authoritarian countries that violated our sanctions, aim their missiles at us, rams our ship and planes. Let's not kid ourselves. In authoritarian states, all large companies are organs of the state, subject to the bidding of the government. Helping companies in China is no different than helping the Chinese government itself. ZTE is a prime example.

    Do evangelicals know that China actively suppressed the Christian faith and all non state-organized religion in China? Doesn't Fox News cover this topic?

    • Since when did democratic ideals have any relevance? Otherwise, Aramco wouldn't be the most valued company in the world, and China would never have been given favored trade partner status to begin with.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?

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