>> What of Robert Mueller->> President Donald Trump took a big u-turn in the trade dispute with China, suddenly pledging to reverse a US ban on Chinese mobile device maker, ZTE. Trump tweeted that he'd help ZTE get back into business fast, saying too many Chinese jobs had been lost.
It's a dramatic shift in tone for Trump because he's long accused China of stealing American jobs. Sources told Reuters on Monday though that Beijing's top trade official demanded the ZTE issue be resolved as a prerequisite for any broader trade talks. They also say Liu He made that ultimatum during a sit down between the two sides in Beijing earlier this month.
It's all playing out just days ahead of a new round of high stakes discussions when Liu heads to Washington. Reuters' Adam Jourdan explains from Shanghai.>> I think ahead of the renewed talks in Washington later this week, what this really is is a sign that both sides are willing and open to making concessions.
Some people have pointed to that fact that this signals a deal is more likely to be met. Trump and the US have stepped back from what was previously a very harsh stance on ZTE. And saying they wanna get things back to business, they wanna get ZTE back to business fast, is a fairly big turn around for Trump, suggesting these talks in Washington may bear more fruit than the ones we had back here in China.
>> The US Commerce Department's ban on ZTE would have stopped American companies selling to the company for seven years. The ban was punishment to ZTE after the company admitted it had illegally shipped goods to Iran in violation of US sanctions. The violation was first uncovered by a Reuters' report in 2012.
Lawmakers in Washington, however, were not happy with Trump's maneuver, with Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, tweeting ZTE had been listed as a major cyber security threat to the US. Saying you should care more about our national security than Chinese jobs.