May 14, 2018 - Economy & Business

Trump tweets details on ZTE deal with China

In a Monday tweet, President Trump provided additional reasoning for his surprise announcement yesterday that he hoped to save failed Chinese phone maker ZTE with Chinese President Xi Jinping, suggesting it comes as part of a "larger trade deal."

The big picture: The president's tweet confirms Axios' Jonathan Swan's reporting that Washington is considering a Mnuchin-led deal with Beijing that involves tariff concessions from the U.S. in exchange for the Chinese buying billions of dollars worth of U.S. products.

The backdrop: Trump's announcement yesterday seemingly contradicted his own administration's stance on Chinese trade — as well as larger foreign policy issues, like Iran and North Korea. The Commerce Department's ban that killed ZTE was put in place due to the company's repeated violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The Pentagon has also banned ZTE's phones from retail outlets on U.S. military bases due to concerns from intelligence agencies that the Chinese are using its devices to spy on Americans.

Go deeper: Trump's grand bargain with China.

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