The House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to the 2019 Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations bill reaffirming the sanctions against ZTE.
The House Committee’s decision sent a strong message to President Donald Trump. His intention to help the Chinese telecommunications company restart its business in the United States is unacceptable.
Earlier this week, Pres. Trump tweeted that he is working with Chinese Pres. Xi Jinping to help ZTE “get back into business.” He instructed the Commerce Department to get its done.
House Committee prevents renegotiating sanctions against ZTE
On Thursday, Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger said the amendment on the appropriations bill prevents the Commerce Department from negotiating the sanctions against ZTE. He is the lead author of the amendment.
In addition, Rep. Ruppersberger emphasized that his colleagues from both sides of the aisle supported the amendment. They showed that when the United States enacts sanctions, they stand behind them.
Furthermore, the Democratic lawmaker said, “It will also prevent a foreign company that is beholden to its government…from infiltrating the devices and networks that are now indispensable to American life.”
Rep. Ruppersberger strongly believes that the Chinese government is using ZTE to spy on Americans through the cellphone components it manufactures.
Pres. Trump’s decision to save ZTE contradicts his America First policy
On the other hand, democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro, co-author of the amendment, said, “This is not a company that President Trump should be trying to save. He promised to protect American jobs and claims to be all about ‘America First.’ I suppose not—this move is clearly China First.”
Last month, the Commerce Department imposed sanctions against ZTE for violating the U.S. trade embargo against Iran and North Korea. The department prohibited the Chinese telecom company from using American components and ordered to pay $1.19 billion in civil and criminal penalty.The sanctions prompted the company to shut down its operations in the United States.
On Monday, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio criticized the President’s decision to overturn the sanctions against the Chinese telecom company. Sen. Rubio said the problem with ZTE is national security and espionage.