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"Our trade deal with China is moving along nicely, but in the end we will probably have to use a different structure in that this will be too hard to get done and to verify results after completion", Trump wrote in his post. "Both parties have come together today to strongly rebuke ZTE and the administration's soft approach".

Trump has repeatedly defended his demand for Commerce to take a fresh look at the ZTE penalties, and did so again on Tuesday during a meeting with South Korea President Moon Jae-In. "Glad the Senate is putting America's national security first, not jobs in China", Van Hollen said in a tweet on Twitter.

Representatives for the White House did not respond to a request for more information about the president's statement. He said he might impose a bigger penalty on the company instead.

"Nor does it address long-standing (and increasingly vocal) complaints that many United States 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". It was not immediately clear whether he was referring to ZTE or broader trade negotiations.

An agreement a year ago called for the company to pay as much as US$1.2 billion and penalize the workers involved, in what was the largest criminal fine for the US Department of Justice in an export control or sanctions case. Suppliers include some of the biggest US tech companies, including Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google, which licenses its Android operating system to ZTE, and chipmaker Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O). ZTE relies on U.S. tech for its products, sourcing chips from companies including Qualcomm (QCOM) and Intel (INTC).

The ban has threatened the viability of ZTE by cutting off access to companies that supply 25 percent to 30 percent of its components.

The outlines of the deal for ZTE, first reported in The Wall Street Journal, amounted to exactly the same sort of punishment that had proved ineffective past year, Rubio said.

"I don't look at it that way", Rounds told CNN.

Mexico is the top exporter of passenger vehicles and light trucks to the U.S. followed by Japan, Canada, Germany and South Korea, according to the Department of Commerce.

Facebook's Zuckerberg Says 'Sorry' To EU Deputies, Vows To Improve
European politicians in general have been tougher on Silicon Valley and have attached more importance to online privacy. The tone of questions from the start was much sharper, and much harsher, than those that Zuckerberg faced in U.S.


Mnuchin said the president's directive is not "a function of backpedaling", but rather is similar to other times world leaders have called on Trump to discuss business matters.

"I can assure you that whatever changes or decisions that are made in Commerce will deal with the national security issues", Mnuchin told a U.S. Senate appropriations subcommittee.

The Trump administration is trying to reassure Senate Republicans that it won't go light on sanctions enforcement against Chinese communications equipment firm ZTE.

The Commerce Department announced April 16 that the company would be cut off from its U.S. suppliers, crippling its business, for what Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross called "egregious" violations of USA sanctions.

"They did make clear that this was primarily, nearly entirely an enforcement action under the auspcices of Commerce", the Texas Republican said after the meeting.

In Beijing, Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng told reporters that abusing national security provisions would "undermine the multilateral trade system and disrupt the order of worldwide trade".

In Tokyo, trade minister Hiroshige Seko said Japan, which accounts for about 40% of United States vehicle imports, will continue to remind U.S. officials that any trade measures must conform to the rules of the World Trade Organisation.

He declined to comment on what alternative remedies Commerce may be considering.


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