GOP Sen. Rubio Slams Pres. Trump’s About-Face on China’s ZTE

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Senator Marco Rubio (R- Florida) slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to help Chinese telecommunications company ZTE to restart its business.

On Sunday, Pres, Trump tweeted that he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help ZTE “get back into business.” He instructed the Department of Commerce to get it done.

The problem with ZTE is national security and espionage

On Monday, Sen. Rubio said the President’s decision to allow ZTE operate in the U.S. without tighter restrictions is “crazy.” He emphasized that the problem with the Chinese telecom company is national security and espionage.

In 2012, the Congressional Intelligence Committee recommended to the U.S. government to avoid doing business with ZTE and Huawei. The Committee explained that the Chinese government has influence over the two telecom companies. It could use the companies to gather intelligence, intercept high-level communications, and shut down network systems during national emergencies.

In short, the U.S. government cannot trust ZTE or Huawei. The companies pose a national national security threat.

In another  tweet, Sen. Rubio said he hopes Pres. Trump is not backing down to China.

China vowed to fight back U.S. tariffs 

In April, the Commerce Department prohibited U.S. companies from selling products or services to ZTE over the next seven years.  The ban comes after the Chinese telecom company violated the U.S. trade embargo against Iran and North Korea.  Technology experts considered the ban a “death sentence” since ZTE will not have access to U.S. technology and hardware critical to its business.

Take note that the Pres. Trump repeatedly accused China of trade abuses and stealing intellectual property of American companies.

Earlier this year, his administration imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum as a punishment.

Last month, the Trump administration impose new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese good. Beijing retaliated with $50 billion tariffs on U.S. goods and emphasized that it “will not hesitate to fight back at any cost.”

Many view Pres. Trump’s reversal on ZTE as a compromise for China to pull back its tariffs on U.S. agricultural products worth billions of dollars.