The Trump administration reportedly informed Congress this week that it has struck a deal to keep Chinese telecommunications company ZTE afloat in the U.S. in exchange for tariff relief and the chance to advance trade talks with China.
Under the agreement, ZTE would be required to pay a financial penalty to the federal government and hire compliance officers whose sole purpose would be ensuring the company complies with American laws and regulations. The company pleaded guilty last year to violating U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping items to Iran and later making false statements about its activities. It was previously ordered to pay more than $400 million as part of its plea agreement. The New York Times first reported details of the deal on Friday.
By allowing ZTE to resume its business with American companies, after previously being banned from purchasing American technology for seven years, the Trump administration could create an opening for concessions from China.