A US presidential hopeful stepped up the pressure on ZTE after hitting out at senator Joseph Lieberman for serving as a “lobbyist” for the under fire Chinese vendor.
In a twitter outburst, Elizabeth Warren, who is reportedly eyeing a US presidential run in 2020, described ZTE as a “giant foreign company that’s close with the Chinese government”, and had violated “serious US sanctions on Iran and North Korea”.
ZTE is a giant foreign telecom company that’s close with the Chinese govt. They’ve violated serious U.S. sanctions on Iran & N. Korea. Their lobbyists keep blocking accountability. And today former Senator @JoeLieberman joined them. Should that be legal? No.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 3, 2019
Warren argued that that there should be “a lifetime ban on members of congress working as lobbyists to make sure they only serve the public”.
“We need a ban on foreign lobbying so countries like China, Russia and Saudi Arabia have to conduct their foreign policy out in the open,” she continued.
Lieberman, who was a vice presidential nominee in 2000, began working for ZTE in November, reported Bloomberg.
According to a lobbying registration form submitted to the US Senate, he is conducting an assessment of the concerns members of the US Congress, the executive branch and US businesses have about national security risks around ZTE products.
The form also states Lieberman “will not be advocating for ZTE”, and he had been appointed in the interest of transparency and caution.
ZTE’s issues in the country came to a head last year after the company was banned from buying equipment and services from US companies for trade violations, which led the Chinese company to suspend its operations for a short period.
In July, it reached a settlement to resume its operations, agreeing to overhaul its board and management as part of the settlement, as well as paying a fine of up to $1.4 billion.
The company, along with fellow Chinese vendor Huawei, is currently banned from participating in US government network build outs, and there is a possibility they could both be shut out of the market completely.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back