Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Kudlow: US 'Looking for a Deal' With China on Trade

Kudlow: US 'Looking for a Deal' With China on Trade

Last month, the U.S. Commerce Department banned it from buying U.S. technology or components for seven years after it misled regulators by failing to discipline employees involved in illegal exports and instead paid them bonuses.

In 2012, ZTE was caught illegally shipping hardware and software from the U.S. to Iran and North Korea - a violation of sanctions and an offence that was settled a year ago.

The case dates to before Trump took office in January 2007 but the Commerce Department's decision came amid worsening trade tensions between the US and China centered on technology-related intellectual property. "Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"

Ikenson said the administration's focus on the $200 billion was "silly", adding that if the US accepts China's offer to import more goods, Trump can "claim mission accomplished and turn the page".

President Donald Trump has stepped into the row surrounding the seven year ban on United States companies supplying Chinese telecommunications maker ZTE with software and components.

An even higher-stakes fight looms over American allegations that China steals technology and forces USA companies to hand over trade secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

He also said the "gap remains wide" in relation to trade negotiations, but expressed hope that President Trump's relationship with his Chinese counterpart will help lead to an agreement.

A House Intelligence Committee report from 2012 revealed that ZTE and another Chinese telecom, Huawei Technologies, should be blocked from making any acquisitions or mergers with US companies because of "the threat to USA national security interests".

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The US wants China to provide a timetable on how it will open up its markets to US exports, while the two countries are still "very far apart" on resolving trade issues, according to the US ambassador to China, cited by Reuters.

The Pentagon recently banned Chinese telecommunications products from being used by the military over concerns about Chinese espionage related to the Chinese-made equipment.

It relies on USA microchips and other components for 25-30% of the equipment it produces.

The pre-installed software was discovered on Android phones and was produced by Shanghai Adups Technology Co. and deployed on more than 700 million phones, cars, and other smart devices.

In a story May 13 about President Donald Trump's promise to help Chinese telecommunications company ZTE, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Amanda DeBusk is the chair of the worldwide trade department at the law firm Hughes Hubbard & Reed.

The move to ease the sanctions sparked criticism from both Republicans and Democrats who said the leniency is undercutting Trump's get-tough approach to unfair trading practices by China and its theft of American technology.

The widening trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies has taken a toll on both sides.

Senate Democrats also criticized the president for appearing to give in to Chinese pressure on the ZTE sanctions.

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