back to article Donald Trump trumped as US Senate votes to reinstate ZTE ban

The United States Senate has passed an amendment that reinstates the ban on Chinese telecoms concern ZTE doing business with US-based companies. President Trump said he’d secured a reversal of the ban as a personal favour to Chinese president Xi Jinping in the hope that the show of good faith would ease trade negotiations …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    Facepalm

    The Emperor is clueless

    The Great Dumpling fails again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The Emperor is clueless

      The Great Dumpling fails again.

      I am afraid to disappoint you. He succeeded again - Ivanka got her Chinese trademarks and yet another Trump Golf Resort environmental vandalism for dedicated arseholes got Chinese funding. In Indonesia if memory serves me right.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Emperor is clueless

        So when he said he was draining the swamp it was to build a new resort. Makes sense now.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: The Emperor is clueless

      For a moment I thought you were going to say the tiny-handed emperor has no clothes, which is a far worse mental image.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

    A bit reassuring, really, what with the Republicans still blindly pretending to support Trump and the Democrats totally incapable of any action whatsoever, it is reassuring to see that there are still some people in high places who are actually interested in pretending to work for US interests and not for their own.

    Caveat : I do not know those senators and have no idea whose campaign funds they are defending.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

      Given how much trade happens between China and the US (mostly cheap tat and/or the products of cheap/dirty labour from China and technology, knowledge and specialized products from the US) this coming trade war will be detrimental mostly for the US.

      I doubt going this route without proper isolationist inland politics to back it up is a stupid idea and will hurt the US in the long run. It'll probably benefit some senators in the pockets of companies who think they can make a buck or 2 extra from this whole deal though.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

        China export 500bn to the US, the US export 150bn to China..... so guess who loses more.

        1. Richard Wharram

          Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

          The mercantilist fallacy.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: guess who loses more

          The people that have to pay more for their purchases or lose their jobs. It's a stealth tax because it's not like the government is going to use it to offset their tariffs so it doesn't matter who has a deficit with who. I may be wrong with this assumption so please feel free to correct.

      2. jmch Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

        "this coming trade war will be detrimental mostly for the US."

        If the end result of the trade war is that it will be impossible to find tons and tons of cheap Chinese made stuff-that-no-one-really-needs-but-gets-bought-anyway-cos-its-cheap tat, I think the US will be on o a winner!

        1. Blank Reg

          Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

          Walmart alone buys something like $50 billion worth of stuff from China every year. If they start getting hit with a 25% tariff on any significant portion of that then guess who will end up paying for it. Hint, it won't be Walmart.

          If their prices go up, and sales go down then you can also expect layoffs, and if it goes on long enough then possibly even store closures.

        2. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

          "... Chinese made stuff-that-no-one-really-needs-but-gets-bought-anyway-cos-its-cheap tat"

          Are you including Apple gear in that? Or is Foxconn the only Chinese manufacturer employing unicorns?

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

            "Are you including Apple gear in that? Or is Foxconn the only Chinese manufacturer employing unicorns?"

            No, actually I wasn't thinking of Apple at all. Mostly what I had in mind was those dozens of gadgets, gizmos and widgets that you never actually wanted to buy but saw at the store, thought "that looks interesting, and it's only $x ", then it gets used once and ends up in the back of a drawer, or breaks after a few uses, or never actually works as well as you thought it might etc.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Nice to see that some parts of US Government are still working for the US

        Given how much trade happens between China and the US (mostly cheap tat

        Oh, you mean all those i-devices sold by the Foxconn rebrander then?

        mines the one with a huge roll of tinfoil in the pocket.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "guess who loses more."

    The American Consumer would be my guess.

    The man in the street ALWAYS pays the price for the politicians willy waving...

  4. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Happy

    ZTE was banned from dealing with US firms for flouting laws about exporting to Iran and North Korea.

    Question: Who is the US to say that x cannot trade with y ?

    Answer: Nobody anymore, because they have pissed off too many former allies with a silly trade war. He cannot be trusted as he lacks the balls to tell people in face what he thinks, only to volte-face when he is safe in the air. He is not bound by any treaties signed in the past ...

    China and Russia have already vowed to ignore any USian injunctions, I cannot see how the EU could not do likewise ... the result of this would be the end of the reserve currency and thus the fall of the USian superpower.

    I honestly never thought Tramp would be brain-dead enough to pull this one off in his first term ...

    1. find users who cut cat tail

      I never thought he and ‘first term’ would appear in the same sentence, and yet...

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      thus the fall of the USian superpower.

      I once got into trouble when I worked at $LARGE_US_TELECOMS_MANUFACTURER for having a printout pinned to my cube wall[1] which had a Soviet flag at one end and a US flag at the other with the words "Two evil empires, one down, one to go" between them..

      [1[ Doesn't that phrase just scream "US Corporate"?

    3. naive

      Possessing some brains cells filled with knowledge of facts always comes in handy before raging against the honorable president Trump. The US can shutdown ZTE because they produce the technology ZTE needs to make its gear. By prohibiting US companies selling those components to ZTE, it is effectively shutdown, and thus bankrupt.

      So until the Chinese manage to steal the IP of the goods ZTE needs to produce things, they have to comply to US bans of selling technology to evil regimes like Iran and NoKo. The EU will comply to US bans, and by default the Russians will then sell some of their stuff, since they never were picky about their customers.

    4. julian.smith

      "ZTE was banned ... for flouting laws about exporting to Iran and North Korea."

      WTF

      This is what exceptionalist overreach looks like

      After Hubris, Nemesis

  5. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    You call this a trade war?

    Pah! When I were a lad we had propertrade wars - gunboats off Iceland arguing about who owns the cod! But if you tell that to kids today...

    1. naive

      Re: You call this a trade war?

      Specially in a time where the European navies have been downsized to 5 rowing boats armed with 1 blow dart as a cannon. The US coastguard could sink all European navies in a day.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You call this a trade war?

        And probably will if we ever let them join in a live fire exercise, yeeeeehaaawwww

    2. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: You call this a trade war?

      'Pah! When I were a lad we had propertrade wars - gunboats off Iceland arguing about who owns the cod! But if you tell that to kids today...'

      We lost that one... to a country with no navy, but one with a long history of being Vikings.

  6. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Why would they?

    "China, which has a history of having little regard for either"

    Why would any country not the USA care about American jobs or American national security? Trump has raged against Canadian dairy traiffs as unfair to American farmers - why would Canadians care more about American farmers than their own? Ditto with China. You only look after another country if it serves yourself.

    1. ProperDave

      Re: Why would they?

      The one major thing I've not seen any news network pick up regarding the agricultural output from the US is the food safety standards that the US flaunts. I've been led to believe over the years that the reason most countries slap such high tariffs on things like US dairy and meat is due to the stricter GMO rules other countries have that don't exist in the US. God help us in the UK if Brexit goes badly and we have to start importing more food from the US, as we'd have to weaken our food safety laws to let the stuff in.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Why would they?

        God help us in the UK if Brexit goes badly and we have to start importing more food from the US, as we'd have to weaken our food safety laws to let the stuff in.

        We already import lots of food from the US. Florida orange juice and California wine, to name but two I generally avoid in favour of alternatives from elsewhere.

        The issue isn't how much we import, but whether we have a general trade agreement. If we do that, we'll have to accept US "red lines", that prevented proposed trade agreements with either the EU or Pacific Rim countries under Obama and Bush - back when the US at least believed in trade. That'll mean not just weakening food standards, but also any labelling (like "red tractor") that could be used as a proxy to discriminate against products like US growth-hormone-filled beef.

        BTW, the scale of smuggling likely to follow that is why a trade agreement with the US must imply border controls for Ireland.

      2. Tom 35 Silver badge

        Re: Why would they?

        GMO? Who cares about that. It's antibiotics, grown hormones, veg sprayed with liquefied pig crap "fertilizer".

    2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Why would they?

      Why would any country not the USA care about American jobs...? You only look after another country if it serves yourself.

      Have an upvote for fine rhetorical form. I suppose the rub is in getting countries to agree on what actually serve their own interests, especially from one regime to another. We go through an adjustment every four years in the US while other countries do so on a different schedule and under differing circumstances. Too, it's not like any country is particularly consistent as there are so many competing internal and external interests.

  7. Nick Kew Silver badge

    No judicial process?

    So ZTE is accused of violating US law. And that's coming from politicians, whether it's the President or the Congress!

    Isn't that kind of political posturing the very reason we have supposedly-independent judiciaries? Does this mean they've abandoned any pretence of Justice?

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: No judicial process?

      Does this mean they've abandoned any pretence of Justice?

      Remember this is the US - you get the finest justice that you can afford.

  8. Jtom Bronze badge

    Bah. Trump threatens to veto the bill if the amendment is not removed (if he doesn’t want the ban), and they will remove it in reconciliation. The senate knew they could pass it for political reasons without it ever going into effect.

    As far as your other gripes: we don’t care how you trade or to whom, but you won’t be trading with us if you trade with nations that sponsor terrorism. And if you are putting tariffs on US products coming into your country, you can expect tariffs on your products coming into ours. If you have a problem with that, tough. You don’t have to trade with us.

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