Mr. Trump said in a Sunday tweet that the Commerce Department—which is reviewing ZTE’s request for a stay of an order banning American companies from selling to the Shenzhen-based firm—has been instructed to “get it done.” Mr. Trump added: “Too many jobs in China lost.”
The surprise intervention comes less than a month after ZTE was hit the ban. The Commerce Department ordered U.S. companies to stop exporting to ZTE in mid-April, saying the Chinese company violated the terms of a 2017 settlement resolving actions for its evasion of U.S. sanctions for earlier selling to Iran.
ZTE, which relies on billions of dollars in component imports from U.S. tech titans such as Qualcomm Inc. QCOM and Intel Corp. INTC has warned the ban threatened its survival. Last week, the company said it had ceased major business operations.
Trade War Cost US Firms
Ending the sanctions is not just for the benefit of China.
Trump’s reversal could have a significant impact on shares of American optical components makers such as Acacia Communications Inc and Oclaro Inc which saw their stock prices fall when U.S. companies were banned from exporting goods to ZTE.
Lose-Lose Never a Winning Strategy
No one wins trade wars. And sanctions inevitably backfire.
Chinese firms lost more than US firms with ZTE sanctions, but lose-lose is never a winning strategy.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock