Tag Archives: Trump

Bill Gates Ignores Trump, Focuses Instead on Toilets
February 15, 2019 6:00 am|Comments (0)

“The world is not a safer place when more people are sick or hungry [but] President Trump proposed severe cuts to foreign aid.”

“The America First worldview concerns me. It’s not that the United States shouldn’t look out for its people. The question is how best to do that. My view is that engaging with the world has proven over time to benefit everyone, including Americans, more than withdrawing does.”

“The duties of the president of the United States is to role model American values in the world. I wish our president would treat people, and especially women, with more respect when he speaks and tweets.”

In this year’s letter, though, Trump doesn’t make a single appearance. Instead the Gates spend hundreds of words on nuts-and-bolts philanthropy like the need for third world toilets and the disproportionate negative impact of bovine flatulence on world climate.

Important issues, certainly, but why the sudden absence of digs at Trump?

Well, as somebody who’s interviewed both Bill Gates and Donald Trump (and spoken socially with Melinda before she married Bill), I believe I can provide some (semi-)informed speculation.

It can’t be because the Gates have suddenly become frightened of Trump’s tweets, since they’ve got enough money to buy Trump ten times over and still have enough to buy his cabinet of billionaires.

And it can’t be because the Gates have had a change of heart and now agree with Trump. Indeed, the Gates continue to focus on the status and advancement of Africa, a region that Trump has dismissed as being full of “sh*thole countries.”

And it can’t be that Trump has secretly changed his views and informed the Gates of the change. Quite the contrary, it’s impossible to imagine that a burger-loving, climate change denier like Trump would worry much about farting cows.

I strongly suspect that the Gates now ignore Trump because they no longer consider him all that important. From their lofty perspective, perhaps the Gates see clearly what the rest of us are beginning to sense–that Donald Trump is a paper tiger.

For all his bluster, Trump seems to be barely in control of himself, let alone the US government. While Trump can still do some damage,apparently the Gates have concluded it’s a pointless waste of mental bandwidth to attempt to correct an incorrigible.

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Exclusive: Trump says he could intervene in U.S. case against Huawei CFO
December 12, 2018 12:01 am|Comments (0)

U.S. President Donald Trump sits for an exclusive interview with Reuters journalists in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. December 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal with China.

Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada Dec. 1 and has been accused by the United States of misleading multinational banks about Iran-linked transactions, putting the banks at risk of violating U.S. sanctions.

When asked if he would intervene with the Justice Department in her case, Trump said in an interview with Reuters: “Whatever’s good for this country, I would do.”

“If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump said.

A Canadian court on Tuesday granted Meng bail while she awaits a hearing for extradition to the United States, a move that could help placate Chinese officials angered by her arrest.

Trump also said the White House has spoken with the Justice Department about the case, as well as Chinese officials.

“They have not called me yet. They are talking to my people. But they have not called me yet,” he said when asked if he has spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the case.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Bill Rigby

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Trump panel wants to give USPS right to hike prices for Amazon, others
December 5, 2018 12:02 am|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States Postal Service should have more flexibility to raise rates for packages, according to recommendations from a task force set up by President Donald Trump, a move that could hurt profits of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) and other large online retailers. The task force was announced in April to find ways to stem financial losses by the service, an independent agency within the federal government. Its creation followed criticism by Trump that the Postal Office provided too much service to Amazon for too little money.

FILE PHOTO – A view shows U.S. postal service mail boxes at a post office in Encinitas, California in this February 6, 2013, file photo. REUTERS/Mike Blake/Files

The Postal Service lost almost $ 4 billion in fiscal 2018, which ended on Sept. 30, even as package deliveries rose.

It has been losing money for more than a decade, the task force said, partially because the loss of revenue from letters, bills and other ordinary mail in an increasingly digital economy have not been offset by increased revenue from an explosion in deliveries from online shopping.

The president has repeatedly attacked Amazon for treating the Postal Service as its “delivery boy” by paying less than it should for deliveries and contributing to the service’s $ 65 billion loss since the global financial crisis of 2007 to 2009, without presenting evidence.

Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper whose critical coverage of the president has repeatedly drawn Trump’s ire.

The rates the Postal Service charges Amazon and other bulk customers are not made public.

“None of our findings or recommendations relate to any one company,” a senior administration official said on Tuesday.

Amazon shares closed down 5.8 percent at $ 1,669.94, while eBay (EBAY.O) fell 3.1 percent to $ 29.26, amid a broad stock market selloff on Tuesday.

The Package Coalition, which includes Amazon and other online and catalog shippers, warned against any move to raise prices to deliver their packages.

“The Package Coalition is concerned that, by raising prices and depriving Americans of affordable delivery services, the Postal Task Force’s package delivery recommendations would harm consumers, large and small businesses, and especially rural communities,” the group said in an emailed statement.

A mailbox for United States Postal Service (USPS) and other mail is seen outside a home in Malibu, California, December 10, 2014. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Most of the recommendations made by the task force, including possible price hikes, can be implemented by the agency. Changes, such as to frequency of mail delivery, would require legislation.

The task force recommended that the Postal Service have the authority to charge market-based rates for anything that is not deemed an essential service, like delivery of prescription drugs.

BAD NEWS FOR AMAZON

“Although the USPS does have pricing flexibility within its package delivery segment, packages have not been priced with profitability in mind. The USPS should have the authority to charge market-based prices for both mail and package items that are not deemed ‘essential services,’” the task force said in its summary.

That would be bad news for Amazon and other online sellers that ship billions of packages a year to customers.

“If they go to market pricing, there will definitely be a negative impact on Amazon’s business,” said Marc Wulfraat, president of logistics consultancy MWPVL International Inc.

If prices jumped 10 percent, that would increase annual costs for Amazon by at least $ 1 billion, he said.

The task force also recommended that the Postal Service address rising labor costs.

The Postal Service should also restructure $ 43 billion in pre-funding payments that it owes the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund, the task force said.

Cowen & Co, in a May report, said the Postal Service and Amazon were “co-dependent,” but that Amazon went elsewhere for most packages that needed to arrive quickly.

Cowen estimated that the Postal Service delivered about 59 percent of Amazon’s U.S. packages in 2017, and package delivery could account for 50 percent of postal service revenue by 2023.

The American Postal Workers Union warned against any effort to cut services. “Recommendations would slow down service, reduce delivery days and privatize large portions of the public Postal Service. Most of the report’s recommendations, if implemented, would hurt business and individuals alike,” the union said in a statement. 

Amazon, FedEx Corp (FDX.N) and United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) did not return requests for comment.

Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jeffrey Dastin; editing by Bill Berkrot

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Democrats to probe Trump actions on AT&T, Amazon: aide
November 12, 2018 12:00 am|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When Democrats take control of the U.S. House they plan to investigate the Trump administration’s attempt to block AT&T Inc (T.N) from acquiring Time Warner, and whether officials sought to punish Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) by prodding the U.S. Post Office to hike shipping prices for the world’s largest e-commerce company, a senior Democrat and a congressional aide said on Sunday.

An AT&T logo is pictured in Pasadena, California, U.S., January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Speaking to online publication Axios, Representative Adam Schiff, who is expected to be the incoming chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Democrats will review if Trump used the powers of the federal government to punish the companies.

Representative Elijah Cummings, the likely incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the committee “may want to look into” if the White House retaliated against Amazon and AT&T.

A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee aide said on Sunday that the committee has “already been investigating these matters, but the Trump Administration to date has not complied with our requests. We fully expect that to change now that we are in the majority.”

Cummings also said on ABC’s “This Week” that he intends to investigate if Trump killed plans to relocate the new headquarters of the FBI because moving it could harm his business interests in the Trump Hotel across the street.

Cummings in September asked the White House and the Trump Organization for documents about Trump’s “failure to accurately report debts and payments” to his personal attorney Michael Cohen “for silencing women who alleged extramarital affairs before the election.”

Another committee aide said on Sunday “the requested information was not provided because we were in the minority, and this should change now that we are in the majority.” Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight felony counts.

Since winning control of the House of Representatives in the midterm elections last week, Democrats have vowed to launch investigations on a wide range of topics involving the Trump administration.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, August 8, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File photo

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos privately owns the Washington Post, while Time Warner’s holdings include CNN. Trump has lambasted both outlets frequently for their critical coverage of him.

“It is very squarely within our responsibility to find out,” Schiff told Axios in an interview that will air Sunday on HBO.

Schiff said Trump “was secretly meeting with the postmaster (general) in an effort to browbeat the postmaster into raising postal rates on Amazon… This appears to be an effort by the president to use the instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post,” Schiff said.

It is not clear what committees may probe the corporate issues, since Schiff’s Intelligence Committee would not have oversight. A Schiff spokesman declined further comment.

AT&T and Amazon.com both declined to comment on Sunday. The White House did not immediately comment.

Trump has repeatedly complained Amazon does not pay the U.S. Postal Service a fair rate for package delivery. Trump has said, without citing evidence, that this costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars, and he has threatened to raise the company’s postal rates.

Trump opposed the AT&T-Time Warner merger as a candidate and has repeatedly attacked CNN and last week a CNN reporter’s White House press pass was suspended.

The Justice Department is appealing a federal judge’s approval of the $ 85.4 billion AT&T acquisition of Time Warner.

With a split decision in last week’s congressional elections, Democrats plan a cautious approach. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Democrats will not conduct “any investigation for a political purpose, but to seek the truth.”

Cummings vowed a “methodical” approach in approaching investigations. “I’m not going to be handing out subpoenas like somebody’s handing out candy on Halloween,” Cummings said.

Reporting by David Shepardson and Sarah N. Lynch, Additional reporting by Ginger Gibson Editing by Lisa Shumaker and Sandra Maler

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How Trump Signed Something That Could Actually Mitigate Climate Change
July 8, 2018 6:38 am|Comments (0)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise speaks to journalists around 5:30 am on Feb. 9 after the House narrowly passed a massive spending bill to reopen the government. The bill included a tax credit that could greatly help efforts to halt climate change. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

In an otherwise dour outlook on the world’s chances of recovering from climate change, the International Energy Agency director named one bright prospect that arrived this year bearing President Trump’s signature.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said the world is unlikely to achieve its Paris Agreement obligations without “major, huge technological breakthroughs,” but the 2018 federal budget could spur a breakthrough in carbon capture and sequestration.

“There is one political move recently that I should say, I welcome this strongly,” Birol said, fingering changes to the Section 45Q tax credit for carbon sequestration.

Carbon capture and sequestration was long the object of bipartisan neglect because Democrats didn’t want to extend the life of fossil fuels and Republicans didn’t want t0 admit to anthropogenic climate change. That began to change as the effects of climate change grew more palpable, and the chances dimmed of mitigating it without capturing carbon emissions.

So a bipartisan group of senators led by by Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), John Barrasso (R-WY), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) worked to strengthen a carbon capture tax credit that already existed in U.S. law. The old credit offered a $ 10 per ton credit for CO2 used for enhanced oil recovery and $ 20 for other permanent forms of sequestration.

The oil and gas industry backed efforts to boost the credit because drillers can pump CO2 into wells to force out oil and gas, then seal the wells, leaving the CO2 underground and benefiting from the tax credit.

The Senators’ effort was incorporated in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, which passed in the early morning of Feb. 9 after a nine-hour government shutdown and was signed by Trump later that day. The new law scales the tax credit as high as $ 35 for enhanced oil recovery and $ 50 for other forms of sequestration.

CCS is crucial to climate efforts, Birol said, because fossil fuels are not going away. Even though renewables have become cheaper and are being deployed at increasing rates, the percentage of energy that comes from fossil fuels is about the same as it was 30 years ago, he said–81 percent.

“There is one technology that can bring this fact together with the climate cause, and that is CCS,” Birol said. Investment into carbon capture has so far languished, representing only 0.1 percent of clean-energy investments.

“This is the reason I think this new tax credit in the U.S. may be the driver for it.”

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Trump to use U.S. security review panel to curb China tech investments
June 27, 2018 6:20 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will use a strengthened national security review process to thwart Chinese acquisitions of sensitive American technologies, a softer approach than imposing China-specific investment restrictions.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a lunch meeting with Republican members of Congress at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 26, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The Treasury Department has recommended that Trump use the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), whose authority would be enhanced by new legislation in Congress, to control investment deals. The legislation expands the scope of transactions reviewed by the interagency panel to address security concerns, Trump said.

The decision marks a victory for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a fierce White House debate over the scope of such curbs.

Mnuchin had favored a more measured and global approach to protecting U.S. technology, using authority approved by Congress, while White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, the administration’s harshest China critic, had argued for China-specific restrictions.

“We are not, on a wholesale basis, discriminating against China as part of a negotiation,” Mnuchin said on CNBC on Wednesday.

The investment restrictions are part of the administration’s efforts to pressure Beijing into making major changes to its trade, technology transfer and industrial subsidy policies after U.S. complaints that China has unfairly acquired American intellectual property through joint venture requirements, unfair licensing and strategic acquisitions of U.S. tech firms.

“I have concluded that such (CFIUS) legislation will provide additional tools to combat the predatory investment practices that threaten our critical technology leadership, national security, and future economic prosperity,” Trump said in a statement that did not specifically name China.

U.S. stocks rose after Trump announced the new approach to U.S. investment restrictions but reversed gains in afternoon trading.

Senior administration officials told reporters on a conference call that sticking with CFIUS, a process companies are familiar with, would ensure strong inward investment into the United States while protecting the “crown jewels” of U.S. intellectual property.

Trump said in his statement that upon final passage of the legislation, known as the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, he will direct his administration “to implement it promptly and enforce it rigorously, with a view toward addressing the concerns regarding state-directed investment in critical technologies.”

If Congress fails to pass the legislation quickly, Trump said, he would direct the administration to implement new restrictions under executive authority that could be applied globally.

The decision to stick with CFIUS was a pragmatic move because the new CFIUS legislation “will put a crimp in China’s efforts to move up the value chain in high tech,” said Scott Kennedy, head of China studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

But it will likely do little to stop the activation of U.S. tariffs on $ 34 billion worth of Chinese goods, scheduled for July 6, or jump-start trade negotiations between the two economic superpowers, Kennedy said.

And the mixed messages from the administration do not help Trump’s negotiating position, he said.

“It shows the Chinese that the Trump administration is still undependable and can be moved back from the most hardline positions,” Kennedy added.

Mnuchin on CNBC downplayed the dissent within the administration, saying that Trump wants to hear differing views on important issues, but the administration’s economic team typically comes together on major recommendations such as the investment restrictions.

Mnuchin said the new CFIUS legislation, passed 400-2 in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, would broaden the types of transactions that could be reviewed by the panel on national security grounds, including minority stakes, joint ventures and property purchases near U.S. military bases.

“This isn’t a question about being weak or strong, this is about protecting technology. We have the right tools under this legislation to protect technology,” Mnuchin said.

COMMERCE EXPORT CURBS

Trump also said that he has directed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to examine U.S. export controls and recommend modifications that may be needed “to defend our national security and technological leadership.”

A Commerce Department spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment on the study.

The CFIUS legislation is headed for negotiations between U.S. House and Senate lawmakers in the coming weeks to craft a final version, with guidance from the Treasury.

A sticking point that could emerge is language in the Senate version that would reinstate the ban on Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE Corp (000063.SZ) from purchasing U.S. components for a year. The Commerce Department ban had effectively shut the Shenzhen-based company down, angering Beijing.

The House version has less stringent language prohibiting the U.S. Department of Defense from purchasing any ZTE communications gear.

Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Steve Orlofsky

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Trump floats large fine, management changes for Chinese firm ZTE
May 22, 2018 6:02 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday floated a plan to fine ZTE Corp $ 1.3 billion and shake up its management, as U.S. lawmakers vowed to keep sanctions that crippled the Chinese telecommunications firm.

FILE PHOTO – Visitors pass in front of the Chinese telecoms equipment group ZTE Corp booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Picture

Trump, speaking to reporters at the White House about ongoing trade negotiations with China, said there was no deal with Beijing on ZTE. In addition to the fine, Trump said ZTE should come under new management and name a new board of directors.

Republicans and Democrats in Congress, however, accused the president of bending to pressure from Beijing to ease up on a company that has admitted to violating sanctions on Iran. Their reaction could complicate U.S. efforts to win trade concessions from China to narrow a $ 335 billion annual trade gap.

“The proposed solution is like a wet noodle,” said Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, who accused Trump of jeopardizing national security for what he described as minor trade concessions.

Schumer, speaking before Trump detailed his latest thinking on ZTE, added that the possible remedies floated earlier by the Trump administration were inadequate.

According to sources familiar with the discussions, a proposed trade deal with China would lift a seven-year ban that prevents U.S. chipmakers and other companies from selling components to ZTE, which makes smartphones and telecommunications networking gear.

In return, China would eliminate tariffs on U.S. agriculture or agree to buy more farm products from the United States.

The U.S. Commerce Department imposed the ban in April after it determined that ZTE had broken an agreement after it pleaded guilty to shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran.

The ban has threatened the viability of China’s second-largest telecoms maker by cutting off access to companies that supply 25 percent to 30 percent of its components. Suppliers include some of the biggest U.S. tech companies, including Alphabet Inc’s Google, which licenses its Android operating system to ZTE, and chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.

ZTE last week said it had suspended its main operations.

The U.S. Department of Defense has also stopped selling ZTE’s mobile phones and modems in stores on its military bases, citing potential security risks.

NATIONAL SECURITY

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told lawmakers that the treatment of ZTE was not “a quid pro quo or anything else” related to trade, and said national security concerns would be taken into consideration.

“I can assure you that whatever changes or decisions that are made in Commerce will deal with the national security issues,” Mnuchin told a U.S. Senate appropriations subcommittee.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers said they were looking at ways to block any possible changes. “We will begin working on veto-proof congressional action,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said on Twitter.

Lawmakers are considering several possible options and aim to act “soon,” said Dick Durbin, the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat.

The Senate Banking Committee voted 23-2 on Tuesday to adopt a measure that would make it harder for the president to modify penalties on Chinese telecommunications firms. It was added to legislation that would tighten oversight of foreign direct investment.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is weighing several possible changes to a defense-policy bill that would also keep up the pressure on ZTE. One proposal would block the sale of ZTE products and those of another Chinese company, Huawei Technologies, until national security officials certify they are safe.

Another proposal would require the director of national intelligence to consider the security implications of any changes to the ZTE ban, while a third would require reports on quid pro quo offers between the U.S. and Chinese governments over any possible plan.

(This version of the story corrects first paragraph to show lawmakers vowed to keep sanctions, not block them.)

Additional reporting by Susan Heavey, Doina Chiacu and David Lawder; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Chris Sanders and Paul Simao

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Trump working with President Xi to help restart China's ZTE
May 13, 2018 6:04 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that he has asked the Commerce Department to help Chinese technology company ZTE Corp “get back into business, fast,” a concession to Beijing ahead of high-stakes trade talks that will take place this week.

FILE PHOTO: A ZTE smart phone is pictured in this illustration taken April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Illustration/File Photo

ZTE, one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, suspended its main operations after the U.S. Commerce Department banned American supplies to its business.

Trump’s offer to help comes as Chinese and U.S. officials prepare for talks in Washington with China’s top trade official Liu He to resolve an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Trump’s reversal will likely have a significant impact on ZTE’s U.S. suppliers such as Qualcomm Inc and Intel Corp. U.S. companies are banned from exporting goods to ZTE, making it difficult for the phonemaker to manufacture new products or update older ones.

“Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” Trump wrote on Twitter, saying he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping on a solution.

The ban is the result of ZTE’s failure to comply with an agreement with the U.S. government after it pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran, the Commerce Department said.

American companies are estimated to provide 25 percent to 30 percent of the components used in ZTE’s equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks.

The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Chris Sanders, additional reporting by Karen Freifield; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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In concession, Trump says will help China's ZTE 'get back into business'
May 13, 2018 6:02 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said in a tweet on Sunday that he has asked the Commerce Department to help Chinese technology company ZTE Corp “get back into business, fast,” a concession to Beijing ahead of high-stakes trade talks that will take place this week.

FILE PHOTO: A ZTE smart phone is pictured in this illustration taken April 17, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/Illustration/File Photo

ZTE, one of the world’s largest telecom equipment makers, suspended its main operations after the U.S. Commerce Department banned American supplies to its business.

Trump’s offer to help comes as Chinese and U.S. officials prepare for talks in Washington with China’s top trade official Liu He to resolve an escalating trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

Trump’s reversal will likely have a significant impact on ZTE’s U.S. suppliers such as Qualcomm Inc and Intel Corp. U.S. companies are banned from exporting goods to ZTE, making it difficult for the phonemaker to manufacture new products or update older ones.

“Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” Trump wrote on Twitter, saying he is working with Chinese President Xi Jinping on a solution.

The ban is the result of ZTE’s failure to comply with an agreement with the U.S. government after it pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions by illegally shipping U.S. goods and technology to Iran, the Commerce Department said.

American companies are estimated to provide 25 percent to 30 percent of the components used in ZTE’s equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks.

The Commerce Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday.

Reporting by Valerie Volcovici and Chris Sanders, additional reporting by Karen Freifield; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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Amazon shares swing as Trump threatens higher shipping rates
April 3, 2018 6:11 pm|Comments (0)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Shares of Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) pared earlier gains on Tuesday after U.S. President Donald Trump repeated his unsubstantiated claim that deliveries for the world’s biggest online retailer cost the U.S. Postal Service money and threatened to raise rates.

FILE PHOTO – The logo of Amazon is seen on a building in San Jose, Costa Rica March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate

Citing an unnamed report, Trump told reporters at the White House the company is not paying the USPS a fair rate, costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars and forcing other retailers out of business.

It was the latest salvo in a string of attacks in recent days as Trump stepped up his criticism of Amazon and its founder and Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, who privately owns The Washington Post.

Amazon shares were down about 0.3 percent in early afternoon trade on the Nasdaq after trading up about 1.8 percent on Tuesday morning before Trump’s latest Amazon-related tweet, making another day of volatility after its shares fell more than 5 percent a day earlier.

Trump attacked the company over its shipping on Monday after criticizing it last week over taxes.

On Tuesday, he said the federal government was subsidizing deliveries for Amazon and the company would need to pay more.

“The post office is losing billions of dollars … because it delivers packages for Amazon at a very low rate,” Trump told reporters. “If you look at the cost that we’re subsidizing, we’re giving a subsidy to Amazon.”

Trump offered no specific details about the report he cited to back up his criticisms or how he planned to charge the company more through USPS.

Amazon also ships packages through other providers such as FedEx Corp (FDX.N) and United Parcel Service Inc (UPS.N) as well as its own experimental shipping service.

Representatives of Amazon and USPS had no comment on Trump’s tweet on Tuesday, and could not be immediately reached regarding his latest comments to reporters.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Additional reporting by Makini Brice and Lisa Lambert; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Rigby and Chris Reese

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