Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

White House seeks to block Congress from killing ZTE deal

White House seeks to block Congress from killing ZTE deal

But the ban on buying US parts, imposed by the department in April, will not be lifted until the company pays the fine and places $400 million more in escrow in a USA -approved bank, the agency said.

Shares in ZTE fell 42 percent in Hong Kong on Tuesday, their first trading day after it agreed to the deal, in which it pays a $1 billion penalty to the U.S. government and replaces its top managers. It will also have to replace its management board.

Earlier this year, United States officials banned ZTE from working with U.S. companies - a move brought on by revelations that the company shipped US-made parts to Iran and North Korea and then lied about giving company executives involved with the deals large bonuses.

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All members of its leadership at or above the senior vice president level would be removed within the 30-day period, with a commitment that they would not be rehired, along with any executives or officers tied to the wrongdoing, it said.

Under the terms of the DoC's previous deal, ZTE would have been forced to pay an additional $US1 billion in fines (on top of the $US900 million it already paid) and place another $US400 million in escrow to cover potential future penalties.

As part of the order, ZTE must identify in detail to the Commerce Department all Chinese government ownership and control of ZTE, including public and private shares. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of the chief authors of the amendment. The department also will select a monitor, known as a special compliance coordinator, within 30 days to report on compliance by ZTE and its affiliates worldwide for 10 years.

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The Hong Kong-listed shares of the Chinese telecom-equipment maker dropped about 40% Wednesday, in their first day of trading after a almost two-month suspension.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng index.HSI was down 0.5% in early trade.

The case has become a focus of bargaining talks as Washington and Beijing look to avert a trade war. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., added language to the National Defense Authorization Act to reinstate a ban on ZTE buying US components.

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ZTE, with a market value of about $20-billion before its shares were suspended in April, is the world's No. 4 telecom equipment maker after Huawei Technologies, Ericsson and Nokia.

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