June 19 (UPI) — The Senate on Monday voted to reimpose the U.S. ban against Chinese smartphone company ZTE, a move that rebukes President Donald Trump’s efforts to keep the company in business.
The provision, part of the National Defense Authorization Act, cleared the Senate by an 85-10 vote and will next be taken up by the House.
Lawmakers in both parties consider ZTE a national security threat, since it was accused of violating American sanctions.
Last month, the U.S. Department of Defense banned all smartphones made by ZTE and Chinese manufacturer Huawei from all U.S. military bases worldwide and prohibited the sale of all phones and mobile internet modems made by the companies.
ZTE then ceased major operating activities, saying the Commerce Department ban drained its supply chain.
Trump followed ZTE’s announcement with a pledge to help the company get back into business.
“President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast. Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” Trump tweeted.
The senators who sponsored the bill — Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., said they are glad both parties made it clear protecting U.S. jobs and national security is a priority.
“It is vital that our colleagues in the House keep this bipartisan provision in the bill as it heads towards a conference,” the four senators said in a joint statement.