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President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Photo: Artyom Ivanov/TASS via Getty Images

White House officials sought to reassure tech industry representatives at a private meeting last week that the Trump administration's pugnacious trade policies will ultimately aid their businesses, according to multiple sources.

Why it matters: A trade war between the U.S. and China could put a big dent in the long run of profits and growth that the tech world has seen over the last decade, so its lobbyists have pushed to soften the administration's stance.

What we’re hearing:

  • Tariffs the White House has been imposing against China were a major focus of the Thursday meeting, held in the Indian Treaty Room of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next to the White House, according to two sources.
  • “Many focused their remarks on China, and specifically on the tariffs, and wanting to understand the roadmap that the administration is pursuing,” said one source familiar with the meeting.
  • White House officials argued that tariffs will help the administration push China to change course on issues that matter to tech, including the forced transfer of American intellectual property into Chinese hands, according to two sources.
  • One source said that “the administration did its best to suggest there is a coherent strategy behind all this churn" that will ultimately be good for industry.

The big picture: Tech groups have expressed concerns about President Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods, arguing for other ways to address their concerns about an important market for the industry.

  • Hardware companies rely on supply chains out of China.
  • Internet companies have been angling to break into the Chinese market, or return to it.

The White House meeting was attended by staffers for trade groups representing the tech and telecom industries, as well as representatives of some individual companies, a source familiar with the meeting said.

Representatives from the White House included officials from the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Treasury Department and the National Economic Council.

While the tariffs were a major focus of the meeting, attendees talked about a wide range of topics, multiple sources said, including:

  • OSTP’s work on emerging technologies;
  • the North American Free Trade Agreement, which is being re-negotiated; and
  • recent efforts to make changes to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

What's next: Another source familiar with the meeting said that tech attendees appreciated the opportunity to discuss the issues with the White House, and that industry hopes the meetings will continue.

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Sports

IOC: Belarus sprinter who sought refuge in Tokyo "safe"

Krystsina Tsimanouskaya of Belarus in 2019. Photo: Ivan Romano/Getty Images

Belarus' Olympian Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, who sought refuge in Tokyo, is in the care of Japanese authorities and the UN refugee agency is now involved in her case, an International Olympic Committee official told reporters Monday.

Driving the news: The sprinter said she wouldn't obey orders and board a flight home after being taken to Tokyo's s Haneda airport by team officials Sunday following her criticism of Belarusian coaches, per Reuters. She spent the night in an airport hotel.

Updated 55 mins ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs of Team Italy crosses the finish line ahead of American Fred Kerley in the men's 100m final on day nine of the Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

🚨: IOC "looking into" American Raven Saunders' Olympic podium gesture

🏃🏾: Italy's Lamont Marcell Jacobs: Reconnecting with U.S. father "gave me the desire to win" Olympic 100m sprint race.

🥇High jumpers persuade Olympic officials to let them share gold

🏌️‍♂️: Golfer Xander Schauffele wins gold for U.S. by one shot

🤸🏿‍♀️: Simone Biles won't compete in Olympic floor finals, individual vault or uneven bars

🏳️‍⚧️: Axios at the Olympics: Games grapple with trans athletesTrans athletes see the Tokyo Games as a watershed moment

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

IOC "looking into" American Raven Saunders' Olympic podium gesture

Team USA's Raven Saunders gestures on the podium with her silver medal after competing in the women's shot put event during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday. Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

The International Olympic Committee is "looking into" U.S. shot-putter Raven Saunders' gesture on the Tokyo Games podium after she won a silver medal, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told reporters Monday.

Why it matters: Saunders told AP she placed her hands above her head in an "X" formation while on the podium to stand up for "oppressed" people. The IOC has banned protests during the Tokyo Games.