President Trump says he's working with China to save ZTE

Shanghai ZTE Corporation R&D Center

The announcement followed a decision last month by the U.S. Commerce Department, which banned American companies from exporting products to the Shenzhen, China-based telecom firm for seven years.

Reports suggested that the Chinese government was working on ZTE's half to find a compromise, and it looks like Chinese Premier Xi Jinping himself got in touch with the U.S. President, who said today in a tweet that is he "working... to give..."

FBN's Connell McShane and Susan Li on the Trump administration's efforts to reduce the US trade deficit with China and concerns of a potential recession by 2020.

While it's not surprising that Trump would announce his support for such a move on Twitter, the fact that he's so forcefully supporting ZTE in the first place raises eyebrows for a number of reasons.

"ZTE misled the Department of Commerce", Ross said.

Trump's reassurance comes as the USA and China - the world's two largest economies - have hit each other with tariffs in an escalating trade battle.

ZTE, which has more than 70,000 employees and has supplied networks or equipment to some of the world's biggest telecoms companies, said in early May that it had halted its main operations as a result of the department's "denial order".

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That cut off access to the United States technology it needs to build most of its products, from Qualcomm's semiconductors to optical chips from Lumentum Holdings.

Trump has repeatedly blasted China for what he calls unfair trade practices.

Recently, though, the Trump administration also has sought to limit the encroachment of Chinese telecommunications firms in the United States.

Separately, lawmakers in the USA have placed ZTE and even larger Chinese telecom companies in the cross hairs over their reputed ties to the Chinese intelligence and military establishment.

Last year, ZTE pleaded guilty in us federal court to conspiring to sell USA technology to Iran and North Korea, violating economic sanctions and trade export rules.

"But be cool, it will all work out!" he added. By cutting off access to United States suppliers of essential components such as microchips, the ban threatens ZTE's existence, the company has said.

Chinese officials raised objections to the penalties on ZTE when a US negotiating team visited Beijing earlier this month. "You should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs", Schiff said in a tweet directed at Trump.

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