Trade talks with China on plans for US tariffs on Chinese goods and Chinese retaliatory tariffs are underway in Washington this week.
The talks are hung up on Washington's demands to increase the US-made components in vehicles that receive duty-free status in NAFTA and the clock is running out. "Chinese society must support ZTE", he said (although some needled him for sending the post not from a ZTE smartphone, but an iPhone).
But outgoing House Speaker Paul Ryan said last week he would need a written agreement for the US Congress to approve a revamped trade pact this year, while Republicans still control the legislature - something that could change in November's midterm elections. "I think that's where we are as a group".
Asian shares were mostly lower in muted trading Tuesday amid continuing uncertainty over trade tensions between China and the U.S. The two sides have so far imposed or threatened each other with billions of dollars in tariffs and failed to significantly narrow their differences when Mnuchin led a delegation to Beijing earlier this month.
In 2012, ZTE was caught illegally shipping hardware and software from the United States to Iran and North Korea - a violation of sanctions and an offence that was settled past year.
Trump's comments came ahead of trade talks between the two countries this week as they look to resolve the escalating trade dispute.More news: Rage 2's Gameplay Shown Off In New Trailer
Volume on US exchanges was 5.96 billion shares, compared to the 6.65 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.
And President Trump needs China's cooperation in ironing out the trade spat, not to mention North Korea and a host of other issues.
ZTE had earlier this month requested that the United States lift the seven year ban on U.S. companies supplying it with software and components.
"A reversal of the ZTE decision could temporarily tamp down trade tensions by allowing the Chinese to make concessions to the US without losing face", said Eswar Prasad, a professor of trade policy at Cornell University.
-China trade talks in Beijing earlier this month where the two countries failed to reach an agreement on the long list of US demands.
Wall Street ended a choppy session slightly higher on Monday as weakness in defensive stocks offset optimism following U.S. President Donald Trump's conciliatory remarks toward China's ZTE Corp that calmed the waters of U.S.More news: Warriors vs. Rockets Prediction: Houston In Big Trouble Heading Into Game 2
In March, Washington introduced a 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and a 10-per cent tariff on imported aluminium. "We want to see these things happen sooner than later", he said at a conference in Tokyo.
Ross said his aim was for Beijing to change policies that harm U.S. companies, including forced technology transfers and lack of protection for American know-how.
Major U.S. business groups have urged the Trump administration to drop its plan to impose tariffs on Chinese goods ahead of key public hearings beginning Tuesday, arguing that tariffs would hurt U.S. companies and consumers.
"We're still very far apart", he said.
Increasing U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas could also be an area where the two countries could agree, he said. "The more we can work things out, the better it's going to be not just for USA and China, but for the entire world economy", he said.More news: Danish director's film leads to walkouts, outrage at Cannes