Washington — The US Senate defied President Donald Trump on Monday by voting to overrule his administration’s deal with Chinese telecom firm ZTE and reimpose a ban on hi-tech chip sales to the company. Senators added an amendment targeting ZTE into a sweeping, must-pass national defence spending bill that cleared the chamber on an 85-10 vote. The company has been on life support since Washington said it had banned US companies from selling crucial hardware and software components to ZTE for seven years. US officials imposed the ban because of what they said were false statements by the firm over actions it claimed to have taken regarding the illegal sale of goods to Iran and North Korea. ZTE pleaded guilty to those charges in March last year and was hit with $1.2bn in fines. Earlier this month the Trump administration gave ZTE a lifeline by easing the sanctions in exchange for a further $1.4bn penalty. But the Senate measure nullifies that action, proposing an outright ban on the go...

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