Washington — US President Donald Trump said his administration is reconsidering penalties on Chinese telecomms maker ZTE as a personal favour to the country’s President Xi Jinping. "The president asked me to look into that," Trump told reporters at the White House on Tuesday. He said there is no deal yet to reduce US penalties that have caused the company to suspend its business, but that "you’re really hurting American companies also" by shutting down ZTE and the review is "a favour" to Xi. US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier that the US didn’t mean to "put ZTE out of business" by penalising the company for violating US sanctions against Iran and North Korea. The US commerce department’s review of penalties against ZTE for the violations will bear in mind any threats to US security, Mnuchin said on Tuesday during a hearing before a senate appropriations sub-committee in Washington. "Anything they consider will take into account the very important national security iss...

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