That's right, the Wall Street Journal reported today (citing numerous unnamed sources on both sides of the trade talks) that the USA and China have reached broad agreement on a trade deal which will save ZTE Corp.
In May, Trump signalled a stunning reversal on ZTE when he said he would help the company get "back into business, fast", saying the ban would cost too many jobs in China. That could have had a major impact on the US wireless market, considering companies like Qualcomm derive significant revenues from sales of chipsets and other components to ZTE, and carriers like AT&T sell the company's phones in the prepaid market.
President Trump retreated from imposing tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods because of White House discord over trade strategy and concern about harming negotiations with North Korea, according to people briefed on the administration's deliberations.
Members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services, before which Mnuchin testified Tuesday, tried to ask him more about the specifics of the China arrangement, but he deferred to the Commerce Department, led by Secretary Wilbur Ross, who he said had taken the lead on the talks.
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S trade war with China is over, at least temporarily, and here's the after-action report: Advantage, China.
Who will be the biggest losers from a China-US trade war truce? "Nor does it address long-standing (and increasingly vocal) complaints that many USA firms are forced to transfer technologies and cede ownership to Chinese partners in return for market access, which prompted the trade investigation into China in the first place".
Before Trump spoke, Republicans and Democrats in congress were already taking action to prevent him from easing pressure on ZTE.
He added that he also had to think about the USA companies that do business with ZTE, which employs about 80,000 people and relies on parts from U.S. tech companies to make its smart phones and telecommunications equipment. It has also been reported that ZTE may be required to increase the quantity of hardware it buys from American companies.
"China has almost done nothing but president Trump is claiming victory".
As part of this agreement, China would eliminate tariffs that are now placed on goods imported from the United States, including agricultural products, and begin purchasing additional farm goods from the U.S.
United States and China trade officials have been holding bilateral meetings over the past several weeks, first in Beijing and then Washington, DC. He made clear that the "unfair and illegal trading practices, intellectual property theft, [and] forced technology transfers" of China.
In the dispute with USA allies over tariffs on steel and aluminum that Trump imposed in March, the administration has argued that a reliance on imported metals posed a threat to US national security.
"And in that communique, you can see where we're going next".
The message comes one day after the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it had completed an investigation into certain steel imports from Vietnam and found that China had been funneling its steel dumping through Vietnam to circumvent anti-dumping measures. "The objective was to make sure they abide by our sanctions programs", said Mnuchin said.
If the deal goes through, the US would lift the ban.
Trade talks have also been clouded by separate negotiations over the nuclear weapons program in North Korea, which counts China as its sole major ally.