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senate Bill S. 335

Should Sanctions Against ZTE Be Reinstated if it Violates its Settlement With the Federal Gov’t?

Argument in favor

ZTE has repeatedly acted in bad faith, and it’s important to ensure that there are consequences for the company if it does so again. By maintaining the threat of crippling sanctions, this bill would help ensure ZTE complies with the agreement it reached with the Commerce Dept.

jimK's Opinion
···
05/10/2019
Why is this even a question? If foreign entities disregard agreements which they have negotiated with the United States, they need to be held accountable. These agreements cannot be allowed to simply be dismissed without re-negotiation and good cause. Otherwise, there is no point in negotiating agreements with foreign entities. Likewise, the United States must honor agreements made with others, like our allies and trade partners.
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burrkitty's Opinion
···
05/10/2019
Why did we lift the sanctions is the first place?!?! We KNOW they are bad actors!
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Jugbo's Opinion
···
05/10/2019
They aren't an honest player. Let's keep an eye on them.
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Argument opposed

The Commerce Dept. is already responsible for ensuring ZTE’s compliance with the terms of its settlement. If ZTE violates the terms of its agreement, the Commerce Dept., led by the Commerce Secretary, can and will recommend the appropriate consequences at that time.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
···
05/10/2019
A Marco Rubio bill. That automatically negates it for me but more importantly it is unnecessary. The Commerce Department reigns over this matter and compliance monitoring/punishment. If the Commerce department can’t do its job replace them for the the incompetents that they are, not because the GOP wants a bigger hand in it.
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KansasTamale's Opinion
···
05/11/2019
Another waste of time & money. There are already ways this is being taken card of. Republicans are making mountains out of tiny molehills. Good Grief. The Commerce Dept. is already responsible for ensuring ZTE’s compliance. If ZTE violates the terms of its agreement the Commerce Dept. will recommend the appropriate consequences at that time.
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Charles 's Opinion
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05/10/2019
I don't see why we need an additional law if the Commerce Department is already habdling this.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
    IntroducedFebruary 5th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 335?

This bill, the ZTE Enforcement Review and Oversight (ZERO) Act, would ensure that Chinese telecom company ZTE complies with all the conditions of its deal with the Trump administration to lift a previously imposed seven-year ban on exports of U.S. components to it. If the Commerce Secretary can’t regularly certify ZTE’s full compliance with its deal and relevant U.S. export controls and sanctions laws to Congress, last year’s original “crippling punishments” would be reinstated against the company, and ZTE would be required to immediately repay the $400 million currently held in escrow with the Dept. of Commerce as part of its settlement agreement.

Impact

Telecommunications; trade sanctions; Commerce Secretary; and ZTE.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 335

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to enforce Chinese state-directed telecommunications firm ZTE’s compliance with all probationary conditions from a July 2018 deal with the Commerce Dept.:

“I am proud to reintroduce this bipartisan bill to hold the Chinese state-directed telecoms company, ZTE, accountable for repeated violations of U.S. exports controls and sanctions laws. China’s communist government continues to threaten our national security interests through state-directed actors and, while it was a mistake to strike a ‘deal’ with ZTE in the first place, this bill would ensure ZTE is held accountable if and when it cheats again.”

Last Congress, Sen. Rubio originally introduced this bill to ensure that the ban against ZTE is reimposed if the Commerce Dept. can’t regularly certify ZTE’s full compliance with the deal and relevant U.S. export controls and sanctions laws.

This bill has six bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including four Democrats and two Republicans, in the 116th Congress. Last Congress, Sen. Rubio introduced it with the support of seven bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including four Democrats and three Republicans, and it didn’t receive a committee vote.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) has introduced a similar bill, the Telecommunications Denial Order Enforcement Act (S.152), which would reimpose the Commerce Dept.’s ban on ZTE imports into the U.S. in addition to imposing the same ban on Huawei, another Chinese telecommunications company whose chief financial officer was arrested in December 2018 for violating U.S. sanctions. Sen. Cotton’s bill has the support of five bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including three Democrats and two Republicans, in the 116th Congress. A House version (H.R.602) has also been reintroduced by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in the current Congress with the support of three bipartisan House cosponsors, including two Republicans and one Democrat. Last Congress, the House version of this bill (H.R.7255), sponsored by Rep. Gallagher and one cosponsor, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), didn’t receive a committee vote.

When he reintroduced the Telecommunications Denial Order Enforcement Act (H.R.602/S.152) in the 116th Congress, Rep. Gallagher said:

“Chinese telecommunications firms like Huawei represent a growing threat to American national security. As state-directed enterprises, they ultimately report to the Chinese Communist Party and will be employed where and whenever possible to undermine American interests and those of our allies. This bipartisan legislation sets a simple standard: if a Chinese telecommunications firm is found to have violated U.S. sanctions moving forward, it will be subject to the same severe punishment originally imposed on ZTE.”


Of NoteZTE — China’s second-largest telecommunications equipment maker — was first fined in early 2017 for selling millions of dollars’ worth of hardware and software from U.S. technology companies to Iran and North Korea, two nations under U.S. sanctions who should not be able to receive U.S.-based companies’ products. ZTE eventually agreed to pay $1.4 billion in fines and escrow funds, appoint a new board of directors and install compliance oversight managers chosen by the U.S. After it met these conditions, the ban was lifted. The only punishment specified in case of future violations was the loss of the $400 million in escrow. However, after ZTE violated its settlement in 2018 by illegally shipping telecom equipment to Iran and North Korea, the Commerce Department rescinded its export privileges, resulting in ZTE’s effective closure, which the company called “unfair.”

ZTE’s export privileges were restored when the White House intervened in ZTE’s favor after Chinese President Xi Jinping intervened on the company’s behalf and the Chinese government argued that the ZTE ban would cost Chinese jobs. In July 2018, the Commerce Dept. reached a deal with ZTE to lift a seven-year ban against ZTE parts and components’ import into the U.S. The deal’s conditions included high-level security guarantees, a change of management and board at ZTE, a requirement to purchase U.S. parts, and a $1.3 billion fine. The Commerce Dept. had instituted the ban after ZTE failed to comply with an earlier agreement, but President Trump directed Commerce to find a way to lift the ban. After the deal was announced, Sen. Rubio expressed opposition to the deal, saying:

“ZTE should be put out of business. There is no ‘deal’ with a state-directed company that the Chinese government and Communist Party uses to spy and steal from us where Americans come out winning. We must put American jobs and national security first, which is why I have urged NDAA conferees to ensure the bipartisan provision to reinstate penalties against ZTE is included in the final bill.”

In December 2018, ZTE was accused of misconduct again, this time for helping the Venezuelan government build a “fatherland card” to track its citizens through a national ID card. U.S. senators suspect that some of the data centers ZTE helped create used Dell equipment, which should not have been sold to Venezuela under the U.S. embargo against that country.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / wonry)

AKA

ZTE Enforcement Review and Oversight Act

Official Title

A bill to require the Secretary of Commerce to ensure that ZTE Corporation complies with all probationary conditions set forth in the settlement agreement entered into between ZTE Corporation and the Bureau of Industry and Security of the Department of Commerce.

    Why is this even a question? If foreign entities disregard agreements which they have negotiated with the United States, they need to be held accountable. These agreements cannot be allowed to simply be dismissed without re-negotiation and good cause. Otherwise, there is no point in negotiating agreements with foreign entities. Likewise, the United States must honor agreements made with others, like our allies and trade partners.
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    A Marco Rubio bill. That automatically negates it for me but more importantly it is unnecessary. The Commerce Department reigns over this matter and compliance monitoring/punishment. If the Commerce department can’t do its job replace them for the the incompetents that they are, not because the GOP wants a bigger hand in it.
    Like (38)
    Follow
    Share
    Why did we lift the sanctions is the first place?!?! We KNOW they are bad actors!
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    They aren't an honest player. Let's keep an eye on them.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    👍🏻👍🏻 the ZTE Enforcement Review and Oversight (ZERO) Act 👍🏻👎🏻 This bill, the ZTE Enforcement Review and Oversight (ZERO) Act, would ensure that Chinese telecom company ZTE complies with all the conditions of its deal with the Trump administration to lift a previously imposed seven-year ban on exports of U.S. components to it. If the Commerce Secretary can’t regularly certify ZTE’s full compliance with its deal and relevant U.S. export controls and sanctions laws to Congress, last year’s original “crippling punishments” would be reinstated against the company, and ZTE would be required to immediately repay the $400 million currently held in escrow with the Dept. of Commerce as part of its settlement agreement. ZTE has repeatedly acted in bad faith, and it’s important to ensure that there are consequences for the company if it does so again. By maintaining the threat of crippling sanctions, this bill would help ensure ZTE complies with the agreement it reached with the Commerce Dept. SneakyPete..... 👎🏻👎🏻ZTE👎🏻👎🏻. 5*10*19.....
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    I’m in full support of putting sanctions back on ZTE for violating the agreement with the United States. Free and Fair Trade. #MAGA
    Like (11)
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    Yes, show China we are not pussy footing around. We mean business. We do not want to have China playing their cheesy ways with us.
    Like (10)
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    Another waste of time & money. There are already ways this is being taken card of. Republicans are making mountains out of tiny molehills. Good Grief. The Commerce Dept. is already responsible for ensuring ZTE’s compliance. If ZTE violates the terms of its agreement the Commerce Dept. will recommend the appropriate consequences at that time.
    Like (10)
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    I don't see why we need an additional law if the Commerce Department is already habdling this.
    Like (8)
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    Not necessary. This is already being handled with existing tend in place.
    Like (6)
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    They lied ! So Yes
    Like (5)
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    Maybe we need to charge more.
    Like (4)
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    Why wait until ZTE violates the agreement? They have a history of being a bad actor. Sanctions never should have been lifted in the first place. Given that it was done at Trump’s direction there is likely a profit link to his or his daughter’s businesses.
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    This bill is a thinly veiled attempt at voter suppression and is a solution in search of a problem, because it’s rare for a non-citizen to successfully vote in a federal election. States should have their own voter registration rules.
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    yes sanction them.
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    Stop the Repugnacants! Every time! Every issue! Start impeachment hearings!
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    I’m all for making countries comply with deals they made with us but how can we expect them to comply when we have trump who is one of the most corrupt presidents who can even follow and comply with our Constitution?
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    This just proves that there's no such thing as "free market capitalism" - not sure that anything worthy of sanctions was ever proved, but this proposal sounds rediculous. ZTE isn't going to be hurt long-term by these sanctions, we will. Imagine what happens when we force one of the biggest tech manufactures to look elsewhere for components. They scramble fir a few months, then find and support business from other countries. Destroying a good part of the market fir thew few things the US *does* produce is self-defeating and stupid.
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    It's called legal repurcussions and YES we should keep pressure on Chinese business bullshit.
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    ZTE should be sanctioned.
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