Reuters sources: US, China nearing deal to lift ZTE ban

Reuters sources: US, China nearing deal to lift ZTE ban
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Washington and Beijing are moving toward a deal that would lift a U.S. ban on American companies selling components to Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE, Reuters reported Tuesday.

While the deal has not been finalized, one source familiar with the talks between the U.S. and China told the news service that there was a "handshake deal" to lift the ban, and that an agreement could be clinched by next week. 

A potential deal could include China lifting tariffs on U.S. agricultural products that were assessed after Washington announced steep tariffs on imported steel, according to Reuters, which added that China could also begin buying more U.S. farm goods. 

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ZTE may not get out from under the U.S. ban totally unaffected, however. Reuters reported that the company could still be forced to change its leadership under the terms of a potential deal to lift the U.S. ban, and could face other penalties.

The U.S. in April banned American companies from supplying ZTE after the telecom giant was caught shipping U.S. goods to Iran and North Korea in violation of a 2017 deal.

The penalty prompted ZTE to announce that it was stopping major operations. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpCould Donald Trump and Boris Johnson be this generation's Reagan-Thatcher? Merkel backs Democratic congresswomen over Trump How China's currency manipulation cheats America on trade MORE said in a tweet last week that he was working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help ZTE "get back into business fast," saying that the company's failure had cost "too many Chinese jobs."

The revelation that negotiators are nearing a deal on ZTE comes days after the U.S. and China stepped back from threats of a trade war over the weekend.