Trump says he wants the Commerce Department to lift ZTE's export ban
In a tweet sent from a golf course in Virginia, the president says that he is working with Chinese president Xi Jinping on "a way to get (ZTE) back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost."
The export ban was placed on ZTE after the company violated U.S. sanctions and sold goods and services to Iran and North Korea. The company was fined $1.19 billion and the export ban was stayed as long as the company complied with certain actions prescribed by the Commerce Department. But those actions, which included withholding bonus checks and issuing reprimands to those involved, could not be verified until the Commerce Department took a close look into ZTE's compliance. As a result, the seven year export ban was put into effect.
This move by Trump seems to be a contradiction. Earlier this year, he blocked Broadcom's attempt to merge with Qualcomm, citing national security. Now, he is trying to rescue a company that deals in espionage against Americans, according to a 2012 Congressional Report. ZTE is currently the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the U.S.