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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday the US government had reached a deal with ZTE that reverses a ban on it buying parts from USA suppliers, allowing China's No. 2 telecommunications equipment maker to get back into business.

ZTE at the time said it would discipline the executives involved, but this year the Commerce Department learned that four of those people stayed at ZTE, and received bonuses.

"We are literally embedding a compliance department of our choosing into the company to monitor it going forward".

ZTE ceased major operations and has been on life support since the seven-year ban was imposed in April on the company for breaking a 2017 agreement reached after it was caught illegally shipping goods to Iran and North Korea. Last year, ZTE settled the case with the United States government, promising to pay $890 million in fines and punish dozens of ZTE executives who orchestrated the illicit technology sales. The April clampdown came after USA claimed it had additionally misled regulators and not fired the executives responsible.

The deal which ZTE has agreed to would see the company pay a $1 billion fine, with $400 million in escrow should the company break the terms of agreement again. "If they commit any further violations, we would again be able to deny them access to USA technology" and levy another $400 million in fines. "This new settlement agreement sets another record, and brings the total penalties assessed on ZTE to $2.29 billion". "That money will be forfeited if they violate anything. and we still retain the power to shut them down again".

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"This is a pretty strict settlement ..." We'll keep you posted. The U.S. responded to this information with a denial order which made it illegal for U.S. companies to do business with ZTE.

"That's an unprecedented amount of surveillance to put into a company", he said on "Lou Dobbs Tonight". They must also post calculations of the usage of US -made components on a public website.

This blockade has been very detrimental to ZTE, the second largest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment in the North American market. These concerns aren't new; back in 2012, the House permanent select committee on intelligence released a report on the serious counterintelligence concerns associated with ZTE equipment. It is listed on the Shenzhen and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

The Trump administration yesterday announced a deal to allow the telecommunications company to resume buying from US companies, eliminating a key sticking point for the two nations in their talks on trade.

As trade tensions have mounted, ZTE has become something of a sore point in those talks. The company already has a US court-appointed monitor. The Chinese have retaliated with tariffs on imports of U.S. agricultural and other goods, and promise new retaliation.