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Under the deal, the company will also set aside $400 million in escrow to cover any future violations and change its board of directors and executive team, CNBC reported.

If you'll recall, last month ZTE was handed an export ban as the result of not following the terms of a court case years ago.

Under the deal, the ban is suspended for 10 years and can be activated by Commerce should the company commit additional violations during that decade-long "probationary period", the department said in a statement announcing the agreement.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Thursday announced a deal with Chinese telecommunications company ZTE that includes a $1 billion fine - a move that may indicate progress in high-stakes trade talks between the US and China. "If they commit any further violations, we would again be able to deny them access to USA technology" and levy another $400 million in fines.

Ross said today the penalty is the largest the Commerce Department has ever levied.

ZTE could not be reached for comment by either Reuters or the Post. Ross, speaking on CNBC today, said that a compliance team picked by the US will be embedded at ZTE. Their function will be to monitor on a real-time basis ZTE's compliance with US export control laws.

The Trump administration yesterday announced a deal to allow the telecommunications company to resume buying from USA companies, eliminating a key sticking point for the two nations in their talks on trade. Hopefully this time ZTE respects the wishes of the US government to not sell to banned countries and ultimately this may lead to China and the USA finally coming to a real agreement on the larger on-going trade discussion.

In April, the Commerce Department blocked ZTE from importing American components for seven years, having concluded that it had deceived USA regulators after it settled charges last year of violating sanctions that were imposed against Iran and North Korea.

The denial order put ZTE's future into jeopardy because it relies on USA components for so many of its products. The agreement signals that China will be more likely to approve the $43 billion acquisition of NXP by Qualcomm Inc., a deal that has been pending for 18 months. That left a USA deficit of more than $375 billion.

US goods exported to China past year totaled $130 billion while Chinese imports to the USA totaled $506 billion.

The Trump administration is putting the finishing touches on a deal with ZTE Corp. that would allow the Chinese telecom-equipment maker to resume purchases from its American suppliers, according to two people familiar with the matter.


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