The next time you complain about your phone bill, remember this: A phone company just might be saving US agriculture from the Chinese trade dispute.
Chinese telecommunications company ZTE was hit with sanctions from the United States Commerce Department after it continued to do business with Iran and North Korea.
The tech giant utilizes components built in the United States for their products. The tariffs, which were justified as a matter of national security, essentially ruined the company.
Now, word has gotten out that President Trump may be open to rescinding the sanctions against ZTE in a possible, but unconfirmed, trade for the Chinese removal of potential trade tariffs in an ongoing trade dispute between the world’s top economies.
President Trump has said it also is a move to help the US companies which ZTE buys components from. Trump said, “ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from US companies,” Trump said. “This is also reflective of the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi.”
Could this be the signal of softening in Washington’s stance in a Chinese trade war? Is the Trump administration proffering an olive branch to try to open the door on fruitful negotiations? With a high-level Chinese delegation in the United States, this week, there may be no time like the present.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley summarized this during his weekly Ag Press Conference: