President Donald Trump has added to previous hints of a reprieve for ZTE Corp by saying a management shake-up is a more likely punishment than the current ban on US firms doing business with the troubled Chinese telecoms company, Reuters reports.
Trump said that the ban had adversely affected US telecoms manufacturers, whose exports are fundamental to ZTE’s core business as a phone maker. While policymakers on Capital Hill criticised the comments as a weak concession to Beijing on an issue of national security, Trump also said that no deal regarding ZTE had been made with China.
The President was supported by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who assured that any alterations to the administration’s penalties for ZTE will not influence the country’s national security.
“I can assure you that whatever the Commerce Department decides, the intel community has been part of the briefings and we will make sure that we will enforce national security issues,” said Mnuchin, adding that the aim of any punishment was “not to put ZTE out of business.”