President Trump just saved embattled Chinese phone maker ZTE

Shanghai ZTE Corporation R&D Center

Shanghai ZTE Corporation R&D Center

Now, Trump says he's working with President Xi Jinping of China to get the company back on its feet.

Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has been offered a lifeline after Donald Trump asked the US Commerce Department to help the company ZTE "get back into business, fast".

Somewhat bizarrely, Trump cited a loss of jobs in China as a motivating factor.

The US accused ZTE of misleading American regulators after it settled charges of violating sanctions against North Korea and Iran. In 2016 the Obama administration announced that it was punishing the company for its alleged sanctions violations by restricting the sale of key US exports to ZTE, but weeks later it suspended the punishment after the telecom equipment maker agreed to work with USA authorities.

Trump's willingness to aid ZTE in preserving Chinese jobs comes despite his condemnations of China on the campaign trail.

Analysts are watching to see if Trump's conciliatory stance will help ease the tensions over trade between the U.S. and China.

For critics worrying about a trade war between Washington and Beijing, the president added a bit of advice - "But be cool, it will all work out!" By cutting off access to USA suppliers of essential components such as microchips, the ban threatens ZTE's existence, the company has said.

Trump expects Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross "to exercise his independent judgment, consistent with applicable laws and regulations, to resolve the regulatory action involving ZTE based on its facts", Walters said. "Major operating activities of the company have ceased", ZTE said in a filing Wednesday.

Trump Explodes at Staff for Not Deporting Immigrants Faster
Trump's tirade went on so long that many present began fidgeting in their seats and flashing grimaces, White House aides said. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, oversees the 20,000 employees who work for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

In April, he said: "For many years, no president wanted to go against China economically, and we're going to do it".

The trade troubles threaten a technology sector that is increasingly intertwined with major players in the United States and China.

Other experts said Trump's policy reversal was unprecedented.

FBI Director Chris Wray explained why it is an issue for companies and local governments to use Huawei or ZTE products and services.

"This is entirely unprecedented", said Doug Jacobson, an export controls and sanctions attorney for Jacobson Burton Kelley who represents suppliers that do business with ZTE.

"You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs", he wrote on Twitter.

It looks like ZTE may get a reprieve.

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