To save his ZTE deal, Trump would have to veto the entire defense-authorization bill, which would go against his long-standing statements on the military and USA defense protocols. The announced settlement would allow the company to resume buying parts and selling products in the U.S. after having been banned by the U.S. Commerce Department in April for breaking the U.S. embargo against Iran.
"It's only prudent that no one in the federal government use their equipment or services and that they receive no taxpayer dollars", Sen. Trump's administration struck a deal with ZTE last Thursday, which allowed the company to continue buying components from the U.S., under supervision, with a $1 billion fine.
Democratic and Republican lawmakers have said they believe ZTE's sales to Iran represent particularly "dangerous" breaches of USA national security. Senators on both sides of the aisle criticized Trump for calling on the Commerce Department to reverse its position, with many saying ZTE poses a risk to USA national security.
"These companies have direct links to the Chinese government and Communist Party". Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another chief backer of the amendment.
The deal has sparked bipartisan pushback, with many lawmakers citing national security as their main concern.
The Senate has adopted a measure to block a deal between the Trump administration and Chinese telecommunications company ZTE. North Korea is largely dependent on economic ties with China, where leaders had claimed that absent a ZTE deal, the telecom giant would collapse.
While ZTE almost shut down, it got a reprieve from President Donald J. Trump, who wanted the Commerce Department to lift the ban. Providing that the bill is voted through in its current form, President Trump will essentially be forced to sign into law the opposite of a policy he's tweeted out.
The measure is being included as part of a package of changes agreed upon by committee leaders, meaning that the Senate is likely to include it as part of the defense bill later this week.
Rubio, a Republican from Florida, is co-sponsor of the amendment, with Senators Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat from Maryland, and Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas.
The ban was placed on ZTE to punish it for violating United States sanctions.
Republicans hoping to avoid a direct clash with the White House over the ZTE deal are eyeing that reconciliation process to mitigate the Senate's latest step.
"We're just continuing the conversation", said Sen.
The authorization must pass both houses of Congress. "I want to keep the conversation going".