U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprise offer to remove the ban on American firms doing business with ZTE was rejected by policymakers on Tuesday, Reuters reports, who held firm that the telecoms equipment maker was a threat to national security.
A prominent proponent of the restrictions, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, said that he hopes the president’s team do not show leniency during talks with Chinese government officials in Washington this week.
“They [ZTE] are basically conducting an all-out assault to steal what we’ve already developed and use it as the baseline for their development so they can supplant us as the leader in the most important technologies of the 21st century,” he said.
Meanwhile, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has remained ambiguous with regards to the White House’s standpoint. Labelling the issue as one of enforcement rather than trade, Kudlow said: “The issue here is not simply letting them off but perhaps to do so in a manner that they could conceivably go back into business.”