Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp will be “shut down” in the United States if the company engages in one more bad activity, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro warned on Sunday.
“It’s going to be three strikes you’re out on ZTE. If they do one more additional thing, they will be shut down,” Navarro told Fox News, Reuters reports.
ZTE last week agreed to pay a US$1 billion fine to the US and to overhaul its leadership in order to end a crippling ban on the firm from buying parts from US suppliers and allowing it to get back into business.
The ban, which traces back to a breach of the US embargo on trade with Iran, had prevented the Shenzhen-based company from buying the US components it relies on to make phones and other devices.
The US introduced the ban in April because ZTE broke the terms of an agreement it had entered into with Washington after pleading guilty last year to conspiring to violate American sanctions by shipping US goods to Iran.
The ZTE sanctions became a key focus in trade talks between Washington and Beijing, and a deal to lift the ban was struck as Trump sought concessions from China in order to avoid a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Prominent US Democratic and Republican lawmakers last week introduced legislation to try to overturn the deal, saying ZTE poses a threat to America’s national security.
On Sunday, Navarro said Trump’s decision to allow ZTE to continue operating in the US was a gesture to help build goodwill with China.
“The President did this as a personal favor to the president of China as a way of showing some good will for bigger efforts,” he said.
– Contact us at [email protected]