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June 13, 2018, 4:13 p.m. EDT

White House objects to Senate move to undo Trump’s ZTE deal

Trump spokesman says ‘separation of powers’ should be respected

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By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch

ZTE Corp.’s logo is seen on its building in Beijing.

The White House said Wednesday it objects to a Senate measure that would block President Donald Trump’s agreement to revive Chinese telecom company ZTE Corp.

The Senate is preparing to vote on a defense bill this week that would include the language undoing the deal. A House-passed bill doesn’t include language addressing the agreement to save ZTE /zigman2/quotes/205386796/delayed ZTCOY -3.75%  , which had been banned from buying American technology as punishment for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Last week, the Trump administration announced it had struck a deal allowing ZTE to stay in business. On Wednesday, Hogan Gidley, deputy White House press secretary, said penalties imposed on the company will ensure that it “pays for its violations and gives our government complete oversight of their future activity without undue harm to American suppliers and their workers.”

Read: ZTE agreement isn’t part of wider U.S.-China trade talks, Wilbur Ross says.

He said the White House “will work with Congress to ensure the final NDAA conference report respects the separation of powers,” referring to the defense bill.

Senators including Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, backed an amendment to reverse Trump’s deal to save ZTE. Cotton said in a statement that the measure would “help keep Americans’ private information out of the hands of the Chinese Communist Party” and Schumer called the agreement Trump’s “bad, pro-China ZTE deal.”

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Robert Schroeder is the White House reporter for MarketWatch. Follow him on Twitter @mktwrobs.

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