The Chinese Government Invested Millions In A Trump Property. Now The President Vows To Bail Out A Chinese Company.
Trump wants to help the company he once deemed a threat to U.S. security.
On the campaign trail in 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump constantly railed against the Chinese government. He accused China of “ raping our country” and said it’s the “greatest theft in the history of the world.”
Trump has also accused China of stealing U.S. jobs. “They have destroyed entire industries by utilizing low-wage workers, cost us tens of thousands of jobs, spied on our businesses, stolen our technology,” he notes in his book “Great Again: How to Fix Our Crippled America.”
But Trump has just done a complete turnaround and now wants to help bail out a Chinese cellphone company that may pose a security threat to the U.S.
President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018\n
China and the United States are working well together on trade, but past negotiations have been so one sided in favor of China, for so many years, that it is hard for them to make a deal that benefits both countries. But be cool, it will all work out!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2018\n
Why has Trump suddenly opened his heart to Chinese workers? Critics say it may be due to the Chinese government opening its wallet for the Trump organization.
Three days before Trump’s call to help ZTE, the developer of a theme park resort in Indonesia signed a deal to receive $500 million in Chinese government loans and another $500 million from Chinese banks. The Trump organization has a deal with the developers to license its name to the resort.
The nation’s top counterintelligence official told the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday that penetration of the US market by the Chinese telecom firm ZTE could pose a national security risk to the United States. That's the firm President Trump tweeted he wants to help.— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) May 15, 2018\n
Why is Trump tweeting about ZTE pic.twitter.com/ZlJrBACtJq— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) May 14, 2018\n
China backs Trump project in Indonesia to tune of $500 million. Trump backs China with fix for ZTE, a company that has cheated on Iran and North Korea sanctions and poses a cyber threat to U.S.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 15, 2018\n
Today’s swamp level: White House now completely submerged. https://t.co/5Scaub3vWO
ZTE is the world’s fourth-largest manufacturer of cellphones and was found in violation of U.S. rules against selling American technologies to North Korea and Iran. The company reached a $1 billion settlement with the U.S. Department of Commerce before violating the agreement by neglecting to discipline or fire its employees who facilitated the clandestine sales.
The Department of Commerce reacted by banning ZTE from buying parts made in the U.S. for seven years. But now Trump wants to help them “get back into business, fast.”
Problem with ZTE isn’t jobs & trade, it’s national security & espionage. Any telecomm firm in #China can be forced to act as tool of Chinese espionage without any court order or any other review process. We are crazy to allow them to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions https://t.co/AXtTDgufc9— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) May 14, 2018\n
On May 15, the nation’s top counterintelligence official, Bill Evanina, said he wasn’t sure whether the U.S. should lift sanctions on ZTE but said the Chinese have used telecommunications to spy on other countries in the past. As long as Trump refuses to completely separate himself from his vast business holdings, there is no way to know whether his decisions in office are to enrich himself or the American people.
Regardless of his personal motives in the ZTE situation, it’s hard to describe enlisting the Department of Commerce to bail out a potential security risk as putting our country first.