US Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban after ‘intelligence warnings’

US Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban after 'intelligence warnings'
FILE - In this Oct. 8, 2012, file photo, a salesperson stands at counters selling mobile phones produced by ZTE Corp. at an appliance store in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. President Donald Trump's weekend social media musings about China injected new uncertainty into the Washington's punishment of Chinese tech giant ZTE and planned trade talks between the two countries. (Chinatopix via AP, File)

San Francisco:  The US senate has voted to reinstate a ban on Chinese telecom company ZTE which prevents it from buying US components and using US software despite President Donald Trump’s attempts to lift sanctions on the firm, the media reported.

The Senate has passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act which included an amendment to stop Trump’s deal allowing US companies to trade with ZTE.

Several Republican and Democratic Senators said their vote related to national security issues after numerous intelligence warnings about ZTE this year.

“The legislation which is considered crucial for continuing defense funding, was passed with 85-10 votes, one of a handful of times the Republican-controlled Senate has deviated from a Trump policy,” Business Insider reported on Tuesday.

Mark Warner, Vice-Chairman of Senate Intelligence Committee had tweeted that the Senate had “blocked” the Trump administration from making a “bad deal with ZTE”.

“The amendment is not guaranteed to become law. The bill will now need to be reconciled with a House version — where the amendment could be stripped out — voted through both the House and the Senate and signed into law by Trump,” the report added.

The Shenzhen-headquartered telecommunications firm was hit with a trade ban by the US Commerce Department for seven years after failing to follow through with a punishment for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

That ban essentially shut down ZTE, which relies on US parts like Qualcomm processors.

However, on Trump’s orders, the administration made a deal earlier this month to end ZTE’s sanctions in exchange for a $1 billion fine.

ZTE, which employs 70,000 people in China, described the move by the US regulators to cut it off from its US parts suppliers as a “death sentence”.