The Wall Street Journal: U.S., China near deal that would ease off ZTE ban

The U.S. and China have agreed on the broad outline of a deal to settle the controversy over Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp., according to people with knowledge of the matter in both countries, as the two sides work toward an agreement to ease trade tensions.

The details are still being hammered out, the people said. If completed, the Trump administration would remove the ban on U.S. companies selling components and software to ZTE, a penalty that has threatened to put the company out of business. Instead, ZTE would be forced to make big changes in management, board seats and possibly pay significant fines, the people said.

Beijing has also offered to remove tariffs on billions of dollars of U.S. farm products as part of the negotiations, although one person said the White House didn’t offer any quid pro quo. “The White House was meticulous in affirming that the case is a law enforcement matter and not a bargaining chip in negotiations,” the person said.

The people cautioned that discussions are continuing and the agreement could still fall apart.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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