Donald Trump did what no other president before him could do. He started denuclearization talks with North Korea, and instead of welcoming him to his country as a hero, the Congress awaited him with criticism. Both Republican and Democratic senators agreed to counter his decision to save the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE.
Donald Trump is expected to fight back. He is going to say that he knows what he is doing, but this will only make him look weak and perhaps not even his allies will back him up in this. But the Senate must not give up. The ZTE is considered to be a threat to the American security, and there are possible ties between the company and the Trump family business, which would be the main reason why POTUS wanted to save it.
Why did the US put ZTE on the list of sanctions? Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the other law enforcement officials claim that it violated export controls. In other words, the American technology was supposed to be kept out of the hands of North Korea and Iran. But the ZTE resumed shipping to those countries even after their actions have been revealed. According to the Justice Department, the violations were a part of an “elaborate scheme” that was approved by the top management of ZTE.
Trump wants ZTE to resume business with the American supplier in exchange for a $1 billion fine. Even though it sounds much, the Chinese company would have no problem paying this since they had a market capitalization of around $20 billion, before the sanctions were announced.
But the precedent set here is horrific. The other businesses can come to the negotiating table aware of the fact that they can commit violations and lie to the American investigators. After that, all they have to do is buy their way out of the problem. Why is the ZTE receiving the special treatment? Even though that is unclear, many people believe that the Trump family has some kind of benefit from it.
And they do. Just a few days before Trump announced his decision to rescue ZTE, it was divulged that the Trump family benefits from over $500 million in investments extended by a conglomerate owned by the Chinese government in an Indonesian development project which is in connection with the Trump Organization. According to the developer, the Trumps are the partners in this project and considering that POTUS remained a part of the company, he is earning money from the investment.
But Donald is not the only person from the family who benefits. The Chinese government approved seven new trademarks for the business of his daughter, Ivanka. The value of these trademarks remains unknown, but it is estimated that they go as high as millions of dollars. Also, it is necessary to mention Ms. Trump and Jared Kushner, her husband grossed $82 million last year, but their operations in China are hard to trace. Even though some gaps need to be filled to complete the picture, it is quite clear that the Trump family benefits big time.
On the other hand, $500 million to China means nothing. However, the US could face severe consequences. That is why so many people in Congress sought a standing in the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, alleging that POTUS has violated a constitution by receiving profit from Chinese and the other foreign governments.
As for the ZTE, the Senate provision is introduced by the Republicans Tom Cotton and Marco Rubio as well as the Democrats Chuck Schumer and Chris Van Hollen who want the sanction on the Chinese communications company re-imposed. This is something senators are not likely to give up on, but they will have Trump on the opposite side, who has had success in talks with Kim.