Suspected Chinese hackers breached an influential trade group earlier this year as U.S.-China trade negotiations began to boil, according to a report by Reuters.
Why it matters: The targeted trade group, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), has aided Trump administration officials in organizing events at manufacturing plants across the country, promising to rebuild factory jobs in the U.S.
- Between the lines: All countries, including the U.S., use espionage to better their negotiating position during trade talks.
The big picture: Reuters cites two anonymous sources who say hackers using Chinese hacking "tools and techniques" targeted NAM over the summer.
- The attacks intensified around the time that NAM President Jay Timmons met with President Trump — just before official trade talks reconvened.
- NAM spokeswoman Erin Streeter told Reuters that the group "identified suspicious activity relating to certain company systems and investigated the matter, adding that its network was now secure.