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.

Go deeper: A hacker group of Chinese spies is stealing text messages

Go deeper

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

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In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.