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U.S. lawmakers plan legislation to block Trump deal with ZTE



WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. senators planned legislation on Thursday that would roll back an agreement President Donald Trump’s administration announced to ease sanctions on Chinese telecommunications company ZTE Corp.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday the U.S. government had reached a deal with ZTE that reverses a ban on it buying parts from U.S. suppliers, allowing China’s No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker to get back into business.

The measure planned in the Senate would retroactively impose sanctions originally levied against ZTE, reversing the consent agreement signed on Thursday, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said.

The legislation has bipartisan support. It was introduced by Republican Senator Tom Cotton and Democrat Chris Van Hollen as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a defense policy bill Congress passes every year.

However, its prospects were not immediately clear. The NDAA typically passes Congress – and becomes law – later in the year, but there was no indication that any such amendment would even be allowed to come up for a vote.

Congressional Republicans have generally been strong supporters of Trump’s legislative agenda, with only a handful of members voting only very rarely against the White House.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Susan Thomas)


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