Trump administration makes deal on ZTE:

Trump administration makes deal on ZTE:

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday that the U.S. had reached a deal to lift sanctions on Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE.

“At about 6 a.m. this morning, we executed a definitive agreement with ZTE. And that brings to a conclusion this phase of the development with them,” Ross said in an interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Ross said that the Commerce Department will impose a $1 billion penalty against the telecommunications giant and that a U.S.-selected compliance team will be added to the firm.

“We are literally embedding a compliance department of our choosing into the company to monitor it going forward. They will pay for those people but the people will report to the new chairman,” he said.

The deal will also require the company to change its board of directors and executive leadership within the next 30 days.

Reuters reported Wednesday that the Trump administration had reached a preliminary deal to lift a ban on American companies selling to ZTE.

The Department of Commerce had imposed the ban after the company violated sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

President Trump has previously suggested that the U.S. had reached an agreement to lift the ban on the Chinese company. However, such a move has faced pushback from lawmakers.

The telecommunications giant shut down operations last May after the Commerce Department imposed the ban.

BY JACQUELINE THOMSEN – 

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