US, China Still 'Very Far Apart' on Trade - US Ambassador


China's government has pressed the Trump administration in recent trade talks to lift the sanctions and the president voiced sympathy for ZTE in a tweet Sunday.

But he offered an olive branch in calling on USA officials to revisit penalties for Chinese company ZTE Corp. for flouting US sanctions on trade with Iran and North Korea.

The Trump administration may give ZTE a way out.

The Wall Street Journal has reported Beijing would back away from threats to slap tariffs on US farm goods in exchange for easing the ban on selling components to ZTE. The prospect of a deal seemed to stem fears in soybean and other agricultural markets. He's charged with many things.

Top U.S. trade and economic officials are preparing to meet this week in Washington with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He for talks on trade concerns ranging from intellectual property protections to farm goods to steel capacity. The Huffington Post reported that it was only 72 hours later that a Chinese company offered a $500 million loan to an Indonesia construction project associated with Mr. Trump's company.

During a Monday address to the National Press Club, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made it clear that the Commerce Department's position on ZTE is "an enforcement action separate from trade". The department said ZTE had misled regulators: Instead of disciplining all employees involved in the sanctions violations, Commerce said, ZTE paid some of them full bonuses and then lied about it. "I call it a trade coalition of the willing".

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Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, says ZTE poses a possible security issue to the United States. "Any telecomm firm in #China can be forced to act as tool of Chinese espionage without any court order or any other review process". It would reduce USA gross domestic product by almost 3 billion dollars and destroy 134,000 American jobs annually, according to a new study recently released by the federation and the Consumer Technology Association.

News agency Reuters is reporting that, in prepared comments sent to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Devry Boughner Vorwerk, Cargill's vice president of global corporate affairs, said: "History has shown that the use of tariffs is unsuccessful in achieving lasting solutions - the current challenges between the United States and China are no different". "It's hard to imagine a more fundamental surrender", he said.

The company shut down operations after being hit by a $1.2 billion fine and pleading guilty to knowingly violating US sanctions laws. US companies that export to China have seen their goods held up at China's ports amid tougher inspections.

The seven-year ban was tantamount to a death sentence for ZTE.

An even higher-stakes fight looms over American allegations that China steals technology and forces US companies to hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

The ZTE case also drives home how entwined the USA and Chinese economies are. "It has economic factors, it has national security factors, this is just one of many factors", Shah told reporters at a briefing.