Report: ZTE Signs U.S. Agreement ‘In Principle’ to Lift Ban

Chinese company ZTE has signed an agreement with the U.S. “in principle” that would lift the Commerce Department’s ban on the company “buying from U.S. suppliers,” sources told Reuters. The agreement would allow the company to return to business after a seven-year ban, which was put in place because ZTE violated sanctions by shipping products to North Korea and Iran. The deal reportedly includes a $1 billion fine against ZTE plus “$400 million in escrow in the event of future violations.” A Commerce Department spokesperson told Reuters that “no definitive agreement has been signed by both parties,” and sources said that an amended settlement agreement has yet to be signed by both parties. This comes after President Donald Trump tweeted in May that he would revive ZTE because “too many jobs in China” were lost, and as the president continues to ramp up trade tariffs against China and U.S. allies.