President Donald Trump hasn't scrapped his trade policy by offering sanctions relief to Chinese technology firm ZTE, and "ideologues" who are criticizing him should "cool it," former Republican New York Sen. Al D'Amato insists in a Bloomberg podcast.
"First of all, the ideologues ought to cool it, on both the left and the right," D'Amato told Bloomberg Radio's "Politics, Policy, Power and Law" hosts Amy Morris and Peter Barnes. "Give the president the ability to deal."
He urged critics to take a look at the international situations being faced, with North Korea topping the list.
"China is an important part of that," said D'Amato. "We want them to be helpful. I think they probably have been helpful."
But there is nothing to gain by putting ZTE's 75,000 Chinese workers out of a job, said D'Amato.
"You postpone it, you put it off, you show the Chinese leadership, 'Look, we're willing to play ball, but this is the power we have," said the retired senator. "You use that power for your own advantage."
Trump is doing that, said D'Amato, and it does not mean he'll scrap his ideas for getting free trade.
"Do you have to put one company with 75,000 at one shot out?" he asked. "What do you think that would get?"
D'Amato said China would retaliate in a devastating trade war if ZTE had been forced out, including in terms of the produce it purchases from the United States, as China is one of the largest importers of U.S. farmers' output.
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