Trump shoots down Wall Street Journal report that says U.S. and China agreed to a deal on ZTE
had instructed the Commerce Department to repeal its export ban on ZTE. This morning, the Wall Street Journal published a story that said the U.S. and China had agreed on the framework of a deal that would allow the Chinese phone and network equipment manufacturer to resume purchasing U.S. exports. The report noted that discussions were still ongoing.
ZTE has been unable to source hardware, software and components from U.S. suppliers, forcing it to practically shut down. As hinted on Sunday by Lawrence Kudlow, the president's top economic advisor, in exchange for the removal of the ban ZTE would have to change its management, select a new board, and pay some fines. The report in the Journal suggests that U.S. negotiators could also demand that China reduce its tariffs on billions of dollars worth of U.S. exports of agricultural products to China.
However, the president announced this morning that the U.S. has no deal with Beijing in reference to ZTE. While Trump continues to include ZTE in the current trade talks with China, his advisors are characterizing the export ban as an "enforcement" issue that is being handled by the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle do not want the export ban lifted. For example, last week a House committee voted unanimously to keep the ban in place.