May 24, 2018 / 12:26 PM / a month ago

U.S. could seek American compliance officers at ZTE - Ross

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has not made a final decision on changes to its ban on ZTE Corp, but any alternative remedy could include installing U.S. compliance officers at the Chinese telecoms company, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of ZTE Corp is seen on its building in Beijing, China April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer

The U.S. Department of Commerce is re-evaluating sanctions on the company at the request of President Donald Trump. The ban had been imposed on the company, which has admitted to violating sanctions on Iran and prompted national security concerns.

In an interview on CNBC, Ross said it remained unclear if the Chinese would accept having Americans embedded in ZTE, but that the company was not “in strong negotiating position” with sanctions already in effect.

“If we do decide to go forward with an alternative, what it literally would involve would be implanting people of our choosing into the company to constitute a compliance unit,” that would report back to the Commerce Department and the chair of the company board after management changes.

“The whole key is enforcement,” he added.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Chizu Nomiyama

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