May 22, 2018 / 2:58 PM / a month ago

U.S. Treasury chief says any ZTE penalty changes won't hurt security

WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday that any changes to stiff Commerce Department penalties on Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE Corp will ensure that U.S. national security is maintained and sanctions are enforced.

Mnuchin, testifying before a U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee, said that any consideration of changes for ZTE "was not a quid-pro-quo or anything else" related to trade.

"I can assure you that whatever the Commerce Department decides, the intel community has been part of the briefings and we will make sure that we will enforce national security issues," Mnuchin said. "If there are any proposed changes on ZTE, the objective was not to put ZTE out of business, the objective was to make sure that they abide by our sanctions programs." (Reporting by David Lawder and Lindsay Dunsmuir Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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