This weekend, ZTE signed the agreement drawn up by the United States, according to the sources, but the amended transaction was not signed. The sources said ZTE also agreed to allow U.S. representatives to make site visits without coordination with Chinese government officials, as required by a non-public agreement between the countries. Today, Trade Minister Wilbur Ross announced that Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment Corporation of Shenzhen, China (“ZTE Corporation”) and ZTE Kangxun Telecommunications Ltd. of Hi-New Shenzhen, China (“ZTE Kangxun”) (“ZTE”) have placed $400 million in trust with a U.S. bank. Shortly after filing, the department rescinded ZTE`s refusal order, pursuant to a June settlement agreement, which included the toughest penalties and the toughest compliance measures ever imposed in such a case. The trust funds are in addition to the $1 billion fine imposed by the trade, which ZTE paid to the U.S. Treasury last month. A spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday that “no final agreement has been signed by both sides.” As with companies operating under appeal agreements, ZTE is assigned to a monitor to assess compliance. James M. Stanton, a personal injury lawyer in Texas, was appointed as an instructor by Ed Kinkeade, the U.S. district judge in Texas, who oversaw the government`s lawsuit against ZTE.
The ban was imposed after ZTE failed to comply with an agreement with the Commerce Department in 2017, when it pleaded guilty in a federal court in Texas to conspiring to circumvent U.S. embargoes by illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran. ZTE, based in Shenzhen, has a subsidiary in Richardson, Texas. NBC News has not been able to determine which ZTE transactions in which countries federal lawyers are investigating. However, as part of the 2017 agreement with the Ministry of Justice, ZTE has agreed to implement and maintain a compliance and ethics program to detect violations of sanctions and export controls. The implementation of the programs did not give ZTE immunity for past crimes that the company had not disclosed in the United States.