As if there were any doubt that we now live in an age in which the President’s Twitter feed is must-read content for those impacted by U.S. economic sanctions and export controls, it is worth noting that the President recently has been tweeting about ZTE and U.S.-China trade issues. ZTE, as discussed here on the blog, is subject to a Commerce Department Denial Order that has cut off its access to U.S. components and caused it to cease operations.
President Trump addressed the matter in a tweet on Sunday:
Finally, just yesterday, the President returned to the subject of ZTE:
The last tweet confirms what many observers had believed, that the Trump Administration is using the ZTE matter as a point of leverage in the broader trade negotiations the Administration is conducting with China.
In any event, while it is not clear what “instruction” the President has given to the Commerce Department, it is reasonable to anticipate that there will be further developments in the ZTE matter. In the meantime, be cool!