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Pompeo, Zinke Urged Obama Officials to Crack Down on ZTE in 2016

  • Trump cabinet members opposed ending sanctions as lawmakers
  • Officials warned that letting up on ZTE would weaken U.S. law
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President Donald Trump reverses course, now saying the U.S. must help rescue ZTE. Bloomberg’s Kathleen Hays reports.(Source: Bloomberg)

President Donald Trump’s surprise Sunday directive to his Commerce Department to back off an earlier decision and help Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corp. was the opposite of what two of his cabinet secretaries urged in 2016 when they were members of Congress.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who represented districts in Kansas and Montana, respectively, had asked senior Obama administration officials in a 2016 letter to reconsider their decision at the time to relieve ZTE of sanctions for selling technological goods to Iran.