President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his administration has not yet reached a deal with Beijing to save telecom company ZTE.
The president contradicted a Wall Street Journal report indicating the Trump administration came to a tentative agreement with Beijing to revive the massive phone maker currently sanctioned by the U.S. government. Under the deal reported by the newspaper, ZTE would face financial penalties and have to make management changes. China could also pull back on billions of dollars in tariffs on U.S. agricultural products, according to the Journal.
Trump denied reports of an agreement, saying "there is no deal" and adding that "we'll see what happens." However, he said moments later that he may seek a fine of up to $1.3 billion and changes in management at ZTE — some of the parameters of the reported deal.
"What I envision is a very large fine of more than a billion dollars, could be [$1.3 billion]. I envision a new management, a new board and very, very strict security rules. And I also envision that they will have to buy a big percentage of their parts and equipment from American companies," the president said.
Trump's remarks came as Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea, visited the White House for pivotal discussions ahead of the planned U.S.-North Korea summit next month in Singapore. On Tuesday, Trump also said the meeting may not happen.