The US Commerce Department on Friday announced it has lifted its export ban on ZTE, after the Chinese telecom giant deposited the final tranche of a $1.4 billion penalty the US imposed against it.
The Commerce Department had said it would remove the ban after ZTE paid a $1 billion penalty and placed $400 million in a USA bank escrow account as part of a settlement reached last month.
In April, the Commerce Department barred ZTE from importing American components for its telecommunications products for the next seven years, practically putting the company out of business.
The terms will allow the department to protect USA national security, Ross said.
ZTE did not respond to requests for comment. President Donald Trump has said he's prepared to put tariffs on as much as $450 billion worth of Chinese exports.
The Shenzhen-based company last week appointed a new chief executive, three executive vice presidents and 17 senior vice presidents, after terminating the employment contracts of former senior management staff as part of a settlement deal with the United States for breaches of a USA export ban on doing business with Iran and North Korea. ZTE pleaded guilty and settled with Commerce a year ago over the illegal shipments.
Ross said the deal will protect US national security, despite claims by lawmakers in Congress that ZTE and other large Chinese corporations can not be trusted with sensitive USA technology.
ZTE's US -listed shares fell 2.4 percent to $3.70 on Friday.
Shares of US suppliers Acacia Communications and Lumentum Holdings rose more than 3 percent on the news before ending less than 1 percent higher.
The company, which employs some 80,000 people, got a limited one-month waiver last week to maintain existing networks and equipment. It recently named a new CEO and replaced its entire board to meet U.S. demands.
Lawmakers have expressed concern that removing the company's seven-year restriction on receiving parts from USA suppliers could pose national security risks.
In a statement this week, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Select Committee on Intelligence, lambasted the reversal, saying the U.S. military and spy agencies had branded ZTE an "ongoing threat" to USA national security. The Senate passed legislation last month included in a military spending bill that would block ZTE from buying component parts from the United States. Its fate is unclear. He described the terms of the deal as the strictest ever imposed in such a case.
A US investigation into ZTE was launched after Reuters reported in 2012 that the company had signed contracts to ship hardware and software worth millions of dollars to Iran from some of the best-known USA technology companies.