White House's Kudlow: Not certain what United States will do on China's ZTE

Why Trump's desire to bail out Chinese tech giant ZTE is so alarming

The senators rued that the statement suggests that the administration is "not serious" about addressing the many economic challenges China presents and poses risk to American national security. "Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"

"They've been behaving like a third-world country", Kudlow said.

The senators in their letter claimed that the direction to the Department of Commerce to look into easing penalties imposed on ZTE for violations that include selling sensitive United States technologies to Iran and North Korea was in violation of USA sanctions laws.

He also said the "gap remains wide" in relation to trade negotiations, but expressed hope that President Trump's relationship with his Chinese counterpart will help lead to an agreement.

Separately, top Republican Senator Marco Rubio too warned the White House on ZTE. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Last week the Chinese company said it had ceased "major operating activities" following a USA ban on exports to the company in April.

Shortly after the briefing ending, Trump posted a tweet noting that ZTE "buys a big percentage of individual parts from USA companies" and that his concern about the company "is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi".

Trade talks with China on plans for USA tariffs on Chinese goods and Chinese retaliatory tariffs are underway in Washington this week.

ZTE has more than 75,000 employees and is the fourth largest phone maker in the U.S.

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A House Intelligence Committee report from 2012 revealed that ZTE and another Chinese telecom, Huawei Technologies, should be blocked from making any acquisitions or mergers with USA companies because of "the threat to US national security interests".

After China promised to retaliate with tariffs in kind on soybeans and other USA exports, Trump suggested the amount should be raised by $100 billion.

The Pentagon recently banned Chinese telecommunications products from being used by the military over concerns about Chinese espionage related to the Chinese-made equipment. "This is a company heavily subsidised by the Chinese government, that protects them at home, protects them in China, subsidises them in China, but then exports them overseas with the hopes that they can help them steal secrets and monitor and be an arm in the tool of intelligence for them", Rubio said on the Senate floor.

"American workers and companies confront rampant theft of US intellectual property, agricultural policies that disadvantage American farmers, restrictions on market access for USA service providers and manufacturers, and mercantilist industrial policies that have cost USA workers their jobs", they wrote.

MORE: What Are Good Alternatives to ZTE's Phones? Evanina said US intelligence agencies are on record as assessing that Chinese telecommunication firms are used as a vehicle by the Chinese government to conduct espionage.

US security concerns about Chinese telecom equipment also were voiced by senior USA intelligence leaders during congressional testimony earlier this year.

"This is principally an enforcement issue, by the way". "It is because they got caught helping North Korea and helping Iran evade sanctions and they were punished for it". In my view, giving sanctions relief to ZTE is a big mistake.

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