After a deal was worked out between ZTE and the US Commerce Department for the company to resume trading, two Republicans and two Democrats inserted language in the Senate version of the National Defence Authorisation Act that would reinstate the ban.
By then the House had already passed a version of the bill that does not include the sales ban.
But now that language had been removed, Reuters reported on Friday.
“By stripping the Senate’s tough ZTE sanctions provision from the defence bill, President Trump – and the congressional Republicans who acted at his behest – have once again made President Xi and the Chinese government the big winners,” he said in a statement.
His colleague, Chris Van Hollen, was critical of Republicans for not backing the bill.
“Despite bipartisan support to put American national security before jobs in China, the Republican leadership refused to take any real, substantive action on ZTE. Instead, they joined President Trump in bowing to Beijing. It’s weak and shameful,” he said in a statement.
The Chinese company was hit with a seven-year ban on using American-made parts in its equipment in April for violating the terms of an agreement over breaking sanctions on exporting products to Iran and North Korea.
ZTE shut down its main business activities in the US on 9 May.
But following the intervention of US President Donald Trump, a deal was worked out for ZTE to return to business by paying a fine of US$1 billion, changing its management team and depositing US$400 million in an escrow account against possible future transgressions.