ZTE is once again under the scrupulous eyes of US legislators as a group of seven Senators have co-sponsored a bill that would impose sanctions on the Chinese telecommunications firm if it violates or fails to satisfy agreements made with the Trump administration.
Reuters reports that Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Susan Collins and Jerry Moran and Democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen, Mark Warner, Elizabeth Warren and Doug Jones have supported the bill.
ZTE was found to have lied to the US government about conducting business in Iran and North Korea in 2016, breaking trade sanctions in the process. Last year, the company was subject to an imports ban for 4 months before it agreed to pay heavy fines and install compliance monitors.
The bill proposes that if ZTE fails to comply with US laws or with the terms of its revised punishment, the company will have its imports ban immediately reinstated.
Legislators have been suspicious of both ZTE and counterpart Huawei. They were generally not happy with Trump’s offer to negotiate in favor of the companies. National intelligence officials believe the Chinese telecoms pose cybersecurity threats, saying that their network equipment could easily be made to send data to an adversarial Beijing. The two firms have denied any backdoor vulnerabilities.