US Senators sought to hammer home the severity of potential penalties faced by ZTE if it violates a Department of Commerce (DoC) deal which enabled the vendor to restart its business.

A group of three Republican and three Democratic Senators introduced a bill which would require the DoC to provide an update to congressional committees on whether ZTE is complying with the terms of its agreement every 90 days, Reuters reported.

The news agency stated Senate aides explained the bill aims to highlight the level of response Congress would seek in the event ZTE fails to meet the terms of its agreement. It comes despite reports the Senate had given up on attempts to reinstate a ban on US companies selling components and software to ZTE.

ZTE in June agreed to DoC terms requiring it to pay a minimum of $1 billion in fines and place $400 million in escrow, which the US government would take in the event of a breach of the deal. At the time, commerce secretary Wilbur Ross said the compliance requirements placed on ZTE were the strictest ever placed on any company, whether domestic or international.

Reuters quoted Senator Mark Warner, a co-sponsor of the latest bill, as saying: “This bipartisan legislation would ensure that if ZTE once again violates trade restrictions or its agreement with the US, it will be held accountable in a significant, painful way”.

Politicians have drawn up several pieces of legislation in the hope of shutting down ZTE operations in the US, though most have failed to advance due to opposition from the Trump administration.