Boxes holding cell phones manufactured by ZTE, China's number-two smartphone maker, are seen in a store in Miami, Florida.
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Washington and Beijing have reached a deal to ease sanctions that brought Chinese smartphone maker ZTE to the brink of collapse, the US Commerce Department announced Thursday.The ZTE settlement comes days after Beijing reportedly offered to ramp up purchases of American goods to help cut the yawning trade imbalance with the United States -- moving part-way towards meeting a major demand of US President Donald Trump.Under the deal announced Thursday, ZTE will pay an additional $1 billion penalty and put another $400 million in escrow to cover possible future violations.Washington and Beijing have pursued a halting series of trade talks, with Trump demanding a $200 billion reduction in its trade deficit with China.Ross told CNBC the ZTE deal was an enforcement matter that was unrelated to the trade talks, which he has led.
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