Washington DC, United States, Apr 16 (EFE).- The United States Department of Commerce on Tuesday banned US firms from selling components to Chinese telecom giant ZTE for seven years for failing to comply with a 2017 agreement.
According to the Department of Commerce, ZTE agreed in March last year to a civil and criminal penalty and a forfeiture of $1.19 billion for violating a ban on exports to Iran and North Korea, making false statements and obstruction of justice.
ZTE had also agreed to a seven-year suspended denial of export privileges that could be activated if any aspect of the agreement was not met or if additional violations were made, it said.
“ZTE made false statements to the US Government when they were originally caught and put on the Entity List, made false statements during the reprieve it was given, and made false statements again during its probation,” Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross, Jr. said in a statement on Monday.
The false statements had covered up the fact the Chinese company had paid “full bonuses to employees that had engaged in illegal conduct and failed to issue letters of reprimand,” the Commerce Department said.
The Department of Treasury then highlighted how ZTE maintained business with Iran between 2010 and 2016 despite having promised the US authorities in 2013 that it would cease.