ZTE in jeopardy again as Senate defies Trump with potential new ban

From CNET: Senate Democrats and Republicans don't often work together. But they're joining forces to undo a deal that saves Chinese smartphone maker ZTE.

Senators plan to add a provision that would ban US suppliers from selling to ZTE to the National Defense Authorization Act, according to The Wall Street Journal. The annual defense policy bill is expected to pass the Senate later this week.

The amendment would also ban government agencies from trading telecommunications equipment and services with ZTE, as well as Shenzhen-based Huawei, according to The Hill. It would also prevent loans or subsidies to either company.

The Senate's move represents a rebuke of President Donald Trump's push to negotiate a settlement with ZTE, which went against an initial ban by the Commerce Department. Senators on both sides of the aisle criticized Trump for calling on the Commerce Department to reverse its position, with many saying ZTE poses a risk to US national security.

The bill is just a few steps away from reaching the White House. If it survives a conference committee in the House, the bill could prompt a face-off with Trump, who has to sign it.

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