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Trump says could include Huawei and ZTE in trade deal

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[WASHINGTON] US President Donald trump said on Friday he may or may not include Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp in the trade deal currently being negotiated between the United States and China.

The Justice Department has charged Huawei and its chief financial officer with conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran by doing business through a subsidiary it tried to hide. The US is now seeking her extradition.

In a separate case, the Justice Department charged the telecommunications equipment maker with stealing robotic technology from T-Mobile US Inc. Huawei has said the companies settled their dispute in 2017.

Mr Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House, said US officials are currently not discussing dropping charges against Huawei.

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Last year, Chinese peer ZTE was prevented from buying essential components from US firms after pleading guilty to similar charges, crippling its operations.

ZTE resumed normal business after paying up to US$1.4 billion in fines and replacing its entire board, on top of a near US$900 million penalty paid in 2017.

It is not clear how ZTE could be involved in any trade agreement.

REUTERS