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After Trump pledge to help China's ZTE, Commerce eyes changes

Reuters  |  WASHINGTON 

By and Karen Freifeld

(Reuters) - The is exploring "alternative remedies" to punish Chinese telecommunication company Corp for flouting U.S. sanctions on trade with after intervened, said on Monday.

But enforcement of the sanctions infraction is a separate issue from high-level talks taking place this week in about the roiling trade dispute between the and China, Ross said.

"The gap remains wide," Ross told journalists during an address at the

Trump shocked Washington this weekend by pledging in a tweet to help <000063.SZ> <0763.HK>, China's second-largest telecommunication company, because he said too many jobs in had been lost.

The company had shut down its main operations after the Commerce Department banned U.S. companies from selling components to for seven years after it illegally shipped goods made with U.S. parts to and

"ZTE did do some inappropriate things ... the question is are there alternative remedies to the ones we had originally put forward and that's the area we will be exploring very, very promptly," Ross said.

Ross said he expected the issue to be raised this week when top officials meet with Chinese in Washington to discuss trade irritants.

"Our position has been that that's an enforcement action separate from trade," Ross said.

reported that would back away from threats to slap tariffs on U.S. farm goods in exchange for easing the ban on selling components to ZTE, citing people in both countries briefed on the emerging deal.

Two sources, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the matter, told on Sunday that was willing in principle to import more U.S. in return for Washington smoothing out penalties against ZTE, but they did not offer details.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld, David Lawder, Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Roberta Rampton; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 15 2018. 00:18 IST