The Trump administration has agreed to relax its punishment of Chinese telecom company ZTE, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Thursday.
The company will pay a $1 billion fine and fund a new in-house compliance team staffed by U.S. experts, Ross told CNBC.
The move eases a seven-year ban on ZTE buying American parts, which Commerce levied in April.
At the time, the Chinese government complained that the action could put the company, a major employer and star of the Chinese technology industry, out of business.
“We are literally embedding a compliance department of our choosing into the company to monitor it going forward. They will pay for those people, but the people will report to the new chairman,” Ross said. “This is a pretty strict settlement.”
The Commerce Department action came after President Trump tweeted last month that he planned to help ZTE because “too many jobs in China” would otherwise be lost.
Reaction Thursday was no warmer.
“China is eating our lunch, and this president is serving it up to them,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday.
Under the 23-page definitive agreement announced by Ross, ZTE also is required to change its entire board of directors and executive team within 30 days.