Ross: US to pursue alternatives for ZTE sanctions

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"President Trump expects [Commerce Secretary Wilbur] Ross to exercise his independent judgment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, to resolve the regulatory action involving ZTE quickly based on its facts". Taking a shot at previous presidents, Trump says previous negotiations were too much in China's favor, that now it's hard to talk them into a fair deal.

"U.S. tariffs, together with certain Chinese retaliation, will disrupt global trade and supply chains, further damaging American businesses, workers, farmers, ranchers, and investors", the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned, adding "unilateral tariff strategies have no record of historical success and have always led to unintended consequences".

The latest indignity for Ross is Trump's reversal of sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, which was barred on April 16th by Ross' Commerce Department from importing goods from the USA, as punishment for its repeated violations of US sanctions against North Korea and Iran. Early this month ZTE halted core operations.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump raged over all the USA jobs that he claimed had been lost to China, and said he would go with a program of "America First" when it came to trade deals with that country.

Last November, China waited until Trump had left Beijing following his first official visit to the country to announce that it would open up its financial sector - a move created to stress it was making reforms on its own terms. It's not the only time Trump has apparently broken this promise: The Trump Organization has a contract with Chinese companies at a project in Dubai. The company will also earn management fees, and be "eligible for additional unspecified incentives".

The U.S. -China Business Council (USCBC), which represents 200 American companies that are engaged in business with China, also urged the Trump administration to reconsider its tariff plan.

Earlier this month, as NBC News reported, the Pentagon ordered stores at US military bases to stop selling ZTE and another Chinese brand of cellphones and modems, saying the devices may pose a security risk.

The US government is constructed in a way that the president does not have unfettered control. "You do a good deal for him, he does a good deal for you".

"The president in the United States government has incredibly free range to basically set foreign policy". "That's not something that I can speak to".

Trump's involvement doesn't necessarily guarantee that ZTE is out of the woods. I was actually pleased that the president acted on one of those companies, ZTE.

"But I don't believe we can fully brief that threat if they don't have appropriate security clearances within their own institutions, another challenge that comes out of the backlog issue, Warner said". And it's extraordinary because it doesn't happen.

A violation of Emolument Clause of the US Constitution? As Christopher Balding, an economics professor at Shenzhen's HSBC Business School, told A.F.P., "Even if this deal is completely and entirely above board, it simply furthers the perception of impropriety" concerning Trump's business dealings.

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