Donald Trump says flap over Chinese phone company ZTE involves US jobs and sales

WASHINGTON — As critics hit President Trump for seeking to help a Chinese phone company accused of involvement in cyber espionage against Americans, Trump said Monday the matter also involves U.S. jobs and exports.

“ZTE, the large Chinese phone company, buys a big percentage of individual parts from U.S. companies,” Trump tweeted a day after he said he had ordered the Commerce Department to review the sanctions currently being applied to the telecommunications giant.

Trump also said that the fate of sanctions on ZTE also reflect “the larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship” with President Xi Jinping.

While Trump and aides described the ZTE review as part of complex economic and trade negotiations with China, some lawmakers stressed that the Chinese

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