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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

A proposed U.S. crackdown on sharing technology with China could threaten the development of self-driving vehicles, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Many companies developing autonomous driving systems split their work between the U.S. and China, with offices, investors, engineers and customers in both countries. Unscrambling that egg could be difficult.

  • “Our company would be split in half,” David Liu, CEO of Plus.ai, told WSJ. The American self-driving software developer recently teamed up with Chinese truck maker FAW Group.
  • The U.S.’ proposed controls are “a cloud hanging over every technology company,” he said.

The big picture: China's aspiration to dominate the AV field is heavily dependent on R&D centers in Silicon Valley.

  • Even though some companies don't plan to deploy AVs in the U.S., there's a certain cachet that comes from validating their technology and securing investment in California — the epicenter of AV research.
  • 14 Chinese companies have licenses to test self-driving cars in California, WSJ reports.

What to watch: The Trump administration could use technology controls as a bargaining chip in its ongoing trade confrontation with Beijing, China expert Michael Dunne, CEO of ZoZo Go, tells the paper.

  • “We’re at a crossroads,” Dunne says. “Will it be reciprocal openness or reciprocal protection?”

Go deeper: Why China could be first with self-driving cars

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."