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In About-Face on Trade, Trump Vows to Protect ZTE Jobs in China

May 14 , 2018

SHANGHAI — As China and the United States go toe-to-toe on trade and maneuver ahead of a historic North Korea meeting next month, an unlikely obstacle has emerged: a second-tier Chinese electronics maker, ZTE.

The company said last week that it had halted “major operating activities”after being penalized by the United States Department of Commerce. On Sunday morning, President Trump surprised many in Washington when he indicated a willingness to rethink the punishment. He also appeared to walk back from brinkmanship that has threatened the United States’ trade talks with China.

In a tweet, Mr. Trump said he was working with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to prevent the collapse of the company, which employs 75,000 people.

“Too many jobs in China lost,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!”


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