"The fact that a bipartisan group of senators came together this quickly is a testament to how bad the Trump administration's ZTE deal is and how we will not shy away from holding the president's feet to the fire when it comes to keeping his promise to be tough on China", Schumer said.
The bipartisan amendment would reimpose penalties on ZTE for violating USA sanctions against exporting to Iran and North Korea that the Trump administration sought to lift in exchange for the company paying a $1 billion fine and funding an in-house compliance team of US officials.
He said the speed of the pushback, and the striking bipartisan coalition - chief sponsors include Sen.
The Senate plans to challenge President Trump's pledge to lift certain restrictions against Chinese telecom giant ZTE by including a measure in the annual defense bill that would effectively block the deal from being implemented. That sanction was put in place after the Chinese company violated the terms of an earlier agreement to punish it for illegal sales to Iran and North Korea.
That's why Rubio along with Senators Tom Cotton (R-AK), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) are advocating in favor of the original penalties - banning ZTE from U.S. suppliers, including its more important one, Qualcomm.
ZTE employs 70,000 workers in China and is the fourth-largest vendor of mobile phones in the U.S.
While the settlement announced Monday by the U.S. Commerce Department would allow ZTE to resume buying parts and selling products in the U.S., there was a catch. The telecommunications company announced it was shutting down just weeks after the ban was announced.
However, in May the president tweeted that he was working with China to keep ZTE running and hoped a deal would prevent "too many jobs in China" from being lost.
ZTE, the fourth largest smartphone vendor in the USA, has been in the news nearly daily since the Commerce Department lifted a stay it placed on a US export ban against the firm. The amendment also bans US government agencies from buying or leasing equipment from ZTE and its Chinese rival, Huawei, and bars USA loans to the companies.
The reaction to the move, as NPR's Dustin Dwyer reported, was "swift, negative and bipartisan". Marco Rubio, Florida Republican and a co-sponsor of the legislation.
Even if passed by the Senate, the NDAA is a few steps from becoming law. "And we'll tackle it this week". John Cornyn (R-Tex.). "There'll be a conference between the House and the Senate on the defense authorization bill".
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