May 24, 2018 / 12:03 PM / 9 months ago

U.S. could seek American compliance officers at ZTE: Ross

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, a member of the U.S. trade delegation to China, returns to a hotel in Beijing, China May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has not made a final decision on changes to its ban on ZTE Corp (0763.HK), but any alternative remedy could include installing U.S. compliance officers at the Chinese telecoms company, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is re-evaluating sanctions on the company at the request of President Donald Trump. The ban had been imposed on the company, which has admitted to violating sanctions on Iran and prompted national security concerns.

In an interview on CNBC, Ross said it remained unclear if the Chinese would accept having Americans embedded in ZTE, but that the company was not “in strong negotiating position” with sanctions already in effect.

“If we do decide to go forward with an alternative, what it literally would involve would be implanting people of our choosing into the company to constitute a compliance unit,” that would report back to the Commerce Department and the chair of the company board after management changes.

“The whole key is enforcement,” he added.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Chizu Nomiyama

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