President Donald Trump’s pledge to help China’s ZTE Corp “get back into business, fast” and save Chinese jobs after a U.S. ban crippled the technology company drew condemnation from some lawmakers on Monday over trade and security concerns.
“I hope this isn’t the beginning of backing down to China,” Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter, saying Chinese competition had “ruined” many U.S. companies.
“(The) problem with ZTE isn’t jobs & trade, it’s national security & espionage. Any telecomm firm in #China can be forced to act as tool of Chinese espionage without any court order or any other review process,” Rubio, a former Trump rival, said. “We are crazy to allow them to operate in U.S. without tighter restrictions.”
Trump’s reversal on Sunday came as high-level trade talks were to resume this week between the world’s two largest economies. Washington’s tough stance on Chinese trade practices have put the countries on course for a possible trade war.