Republican and Democratic lawmakers introduced the amendment last week. "But I don't think there's any debate about that", he said. Chris Van Hollen, the Maryland Democrat who co-authored the amendment, told CNN of the bipartisan effort to move it forward.
Trump's ZTE deal that would save the company may not happen after all.
Still, the deal is not done yet. According to the Wall Street Journal, a group of GOP Senators has added an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would make it against the law for ZTE to obtain supplies from USA companies.
The Hong Kong-listed shares of ZTE slid as much as 41 percent to HK$14.98, their lowest in a year, following a two-month trading suspension, while its Shenzhen shares fell by their 10 percent limit after it confirmed details of the agreement publicized by the USA government on Monday. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, a conservative Republican, and Sen. Trump has described it as a piece of the broader trade negotiations ongoing with China - one done explicitly at Xi's request. "What you are seeing is a bipartisan reaction against letting ZTE off the hook" he said.
US lawmakers have attacked Washington's agreement with ZTE and plan legislation to roll it back, citing intelligence warnings that ZTE poses a national security threat. "For me, it was more than that". Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), another chief backer of the amendment. "For a lot of people it is". Rubio supports the new language in the defense bill.
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The quick action to stop Trump from rolling back the ZTE penalties shows the seriousness of the issue, Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.
For its part, the company has denied that it poses a security risk to the US.
The ban was placed on ZTE to punish it for violating U.S. sanctions.
All members of its leadership at or above the senior vice president level would be removed within the 30-day period, with a commitment that they would not be re-hired, along with any executives or officers tied to the wrongdoing, it said.
The $400 million will be held in a USA bank account for 10 years and can be disbursed to the Commerce Department if ZTE fails to abide by the agreement.
"While the nightmare is now over, ZTE will likely have to deal with many changes", analysts Edison Lee and Timothy Chau at Jefferies wrote in a note.
"We're just continuing the conversation", said Sen. ZTE then ceased major operations. "The death penalty is an appropriate punishment for their behavior".