So, say these titans of the worldwide business press, current White House trade policy really means the United States is willing to trade its sovereignty and dignity to China, a nation who sells intellectual property stolen from us to our enemies, in order to "dodge tariff retaliation on the U.S. Farm Belt" that our Tweeter-in-Chief begged for - and got - with his earlier, "misguided" steel tariffs.
President Trump has proposed a company-saving deal for ZTE - but one that the company's management nevertheless might not like, and which could be blocked by Congress.
However, tensions have eased lately, as Trump instructed the U.S. Commerce Department earlier this month to help Chinese telecom company ZTE - which suspended its main operations after the administration banned U.S. businesses from providing it with supplies - get "back into business, fast".
In some respects, ZTE has been caught in the crossfire of rising trade tension between the United States and China, while the USA is also pushing for China to take a harder line on its close ally North Korea. "We must keep in mind China's long-term strategic approach and their long-term goal of becoming the world's superpower, militarily and economically". Chief Executive Officer Dan DiMicco said in a phone interview on Tuesday.
"We supported Trump in the elections, support a lot of the things he stands for, and we need him to come through on trade like he promised", DiMicco said.
Mnuchin announced Sunday the USA and China had agreed on a "framework" for trade talks, but neither nation provided any details of the agreement.
Still, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said China had agreed to dramatically increase purchases of United States farm and energy products.
Representatives from both countries also held negotiations earlier this month, with US officials demanding China cuts its trade surplus by $200 billion, lower tariffs and advance technology subsidies.
In Beijing, the Commerce Ministry pledged on Wednesday to work "conscientiously" with Washington ahead of Mr Ross's visit. But Trump said on Tuesday that he had agreed to re-examine the matter as a personal favor to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Trump said ZTE may instead face a fine of up to $1.3 billion, new management and a new board of directors, though it was not clear whether he had the legal authority to impose new financial penalties. It has led to some Senators questioning why Trump is willing to trade national security for butter. They called ZTE's sanction violations "serial and pre-meditated". A scheduled Ross appearance early May 23 at a Heritage Foundation trade event in Washington was canceled, organizers said.
Trump did not say whether a deal had been struck with China. Concern about harming negotiations over North Korea's nuclear program, in which China plays a pivotal role as the isolated nation's closest ally, has also factored in Trump's decision to hold off on tariffs.
Trump is seeking to win a major deal with Pyongyang to denuclearize and is eyeing a June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.