Trump to help ZTE ‘get back into business’

President Donald Trump says he will help China’s ZTE “get back into business” following a US ban.US President Donald Trump has said in a tweet that he has asked the Commerce Department to help Chinese technology company ZTE Corp “get back into business, fast”, a concession to Beijing ahead of high-stakes trade talks that will take place this week.

ZTE, one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, suspended its main operations after the US Commerce Department banned American supplies to its business.

Trump’s offer to help comes as Chinese and US officials prepare for talks in Washington with China’s top trade official Liu He to resolve an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Trump’s reversal will likely have a significant impact on ZTE’s US suppliers such as Qualcomm and Intel. US companies are banned from exporting goods to ZTE, making it difficult for the phone-maker to manufacture new products or update older ones.

“Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday, saying he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping on a solution.

The ban is the result of ZTE’s failure to comply with an agreement with the US government after it pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to violate US sanctions by illegally shipping US goods and technology to Iran, the Commerce Department said.

American companies are estimated to provide 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the components used in ZTE’s equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks.

The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

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