After two years of assailing his predecessors for putting Chinese workers before Americans, President Trump today said he is directing his administration to reverse the effective shutdown of ZTE in order to save Chinese jobs.

The big picture: The Commerce Department banned American companies from selling parts to ZTE for seven years because the Chinese company violated U.S. sanctions by selling equipment made with American parts to Iran and North Korea. As a result of the sanctions, ZTE halted operations last week. Now, Trump says he's working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to save the Chinese phone maker.

Yes, but: Trump's move to help ZTE — an Iran sanctions violator — comes as his administration is contemplating sanctioning European companies that do business with Iran. National Security Adviser John Bolton told CNN's Jake Tapper Sunday that action against U.S. allies is "possible."

Be smart, via Axios contributor Bill Bishop:

  • A reprieve for ZTE is clearly a U.S. concession, and we do not yet know what Trump got in return. The ZTE episode has only reinforced China’s fears about its excessive reliance on U.S. technology and its determination to accelerate efforts to achieve indigenous technology independence.
  • Trump’s willingness to accede to Xi’s request for leniency towards ZTE — a firm caught repeatedly violating U.S. law — may also signal an increased likelihood of a U.S.–China deal to diffuse the current trade tensions, but expect this to be only a brief ceasefire in the growing Sino–U.S. tech rivalry

Go deeper: ZTE sanctions might strengthen Chinese tech

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: The swing states where the pandemic is raging — Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after exposure puts others at risk.
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. Business: Where stimulus is needed most.
  4. Education: The dangerous instability of school re-openings.
  5. World: Restrictions grow across Europe.
  6. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine.
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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. government bonds could breakout further after yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked up to their highest since early June last week.

But, but, but: Strategists say this move is about an improving outlook for economic growth rather than just inflation.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
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The dangerous instability of school re-openings

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Schools across the country have flip-flopped between in-person and remote learning — and that instability is taking a toll on students' ability to learn and their mental health.

The big picture: While companies were able to set long timelines for their return, schools — under immense political and social strain — had to rush to figure out how to reopen. The cobbled-together approach has hurt students, parents and teachers alike.