Sen. Warner Slams GOP for Apparent ZTE 'Cave'

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is not happy with reports that House Republicans are planning to strip language from the defense appropriations bill that cracked down on Chinese telecom ZTE.

Warner tweeted the following Friday (July 20) on the news:


The Senate voted last month to exclude ZTE technology from government contracts, and additionally to restore trade sanctions on the Chinese telecom that President Donald Trump had Commerce lift, citing his meeting with China's president and a potential loss of Chinese jobs.

The House had already passed a version of the bill that disallowed ZTE tech from government contracts but did not restore the trade sanctions, with the two versions then going to conference to resolve the differences, after which the bill must be re-voted.

Related: Rep. Chabot Calls Trump's ZTE Aid Shortsighted

After ZTE allegedly failed to comply with the terms of a settlement over illegally shipping telecom equipment to Iran and North Korea, Commerce banned U.S. companies from exporting their technology to the company for seven years. Not long after, the U.S. also banned the sale of phones from ZTE and Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei on U.S. military bases.

But after a meeting with China, Trump directed the Commerce department to help ZTE; Commerce then proceeded to strike an agreement with the company that lifted the ban.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.