Photo: Zhang Peng/Getty Images

The Wall Street Journal reports President Trump has not given up on his $1.4 billion deal to save the Chinese telecom manufacturer ZTE, despite the Senate 's move to nix any deal by adding the provision to a must-sign defense bill.

The counter move: The Journal cites a White House official who says the administration will try to get the ZTE language softened when the House and Senate compromise on a final version of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Why it matters: The deal is make or break for ZTE, which will otherwise no longer be allowed to import American components. ZTE has ceased production without access to U.S. parts — particularly microprocessors with no clear Chinese replacement.

  • Lawmakers have several problems with the deal. ZTE has been punished twice for selling banned technology to North Korea and Iran in about a year. After the first infraction, ZTE agreed that, if it was ever caught again, it would face the ban on U.S. tech.
  • Senators from both parties argue that the deal encourages firms to violate embargoes to hostile nations, because the U.S. won't appear to have the will to respond.
  • There are separate concerns on Capitol Hill that ZTE intentionally sabotages its wares to bolster Chinese espionage efforts.

Go deeper

Child care crisis is denting the labor market

Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

New data from the Pew Research Center shows that parents are being hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and as far as job losses go, mothers and fathers are faring equally poorly.

Why it matters: Economists have been warning for months that the pandemic could do long-term damage to the economy as people remain unemployed for longer stretches of time.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump-Biden venom on display during final debate

Photos: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images; Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden twice referred to President Trump as "this guy," and Trump called the former vice president's family "like a vacuum cleaner" for foreign money.

Why it matters: The personal venom — during Thursday's final presidential debate, in Nashville — was a reminder that even during a more normal debate, nothing this year is normal.

Dave Lawler, author of World
3 hours ago - World

Special report: Trump's hopes of nuclear deal with Putin come down to the wire

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A surprise offer from Vladimir Putin has the U.S. and Russia once again circling a potential pre-election nuclear deal.

The big picture: The last treaty constraining the U.S. and Russia, New START, is due to expire on Feb. 5, 2021, two weeks after the next U.S. presidential inauguration. For the first time since the height of the Cold War, the nuclear guardrails could come off.