A group of US senators introduced a bill providing for the restoration of sanctions against the Chinese manufacturer of telecommunications equipment ZTE Corp., if the company does not comply with US laws and an agreement with the administration of President Donald Trump, reports Reuters.
The bill was introduced by Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Susan Collins and Jerry Moran, along with Democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen, Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren, and Doug Jones.
The bill was introduced a few days after high-ranking US officials met with their counterparts from China in Washington to try to work out an agreement to end the trade war between the two largest economies in the world.
Meanwhile, the United States is trying to extradite the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei Technologies, Wangzhou Maine, in connection with suspected violations of US sanctions against Iran.
Many congressional members view ZTE and Huawei as a threat to national security, fearing that using their technology in the United States could help China steal classified information.
In April, the United States banned local companies from selling ZTE components for smartphones, telecommunications equipment, and other devices manufactured by a Chinese company for seven years.
The US Department of Commerce explained the introduction of sanctions against ZTE by saying that the company, which was fined by the US authorities for violating the sanctions regime against Iran and North Korea, violated the terms of the agreement concluded to settle the case.
In May, less than a month after the imposition of sanctions, ZTE announced the suspension of its core operations. Later, however, the United States reached an agreement that allowed the Chinese company to resume work after paying a record fine and changes in the management structure.
In July, the United States lifted a ban on the sale of ZTE products to American suppliers. This move by the Trump administration has displeased many members of Congress.