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U.S. Signs Deal That Will Lift Restrictions on ZTE's Business

Jennifer Jacobs, Jenny Leonard
The ZTE Corp. logo projected on a screen is reflected on a pane of glass at the Ericsson AB booth at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai in Shanghai, China, on Thursday, June 28, 2018. The exhibition runs through June 29. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

The Trump administration said ZTE Corp. took another step toward ending a U.S. ban on the company doing business with American suppliers, a key Chinese government demand amid an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

The Chinese telecom giant has signed an escrow agreement with the Commerce Department and the ban will be lifted as soon as the company deposits $400 million in escrow, the department said in an emailed statement Wednesday. The company is currently operating on a temporary waiver that expires Aug. 1.

“Once the monitor is selected and brought on board, the three-pronged compliance regime -- the new 10-year suspended denial order, the $400 million escrow, and the monitor -- will be in place,” the Commerce Department said in the statement. “The ZTE settlement represents the toughest penalty and strictest compliance regime the Department has ever imposed in such a case. It will deter future bad actors and ensure the Department is able to protect the United States from those that would do us harm.”

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