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China hacked U.S. manufacturers group in summer cyberattack, report says

The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), an industry group representing U.S. companies, was hacked over the summer in an attack that a cybersecurity firm concluded came from China, Reuters reported, citing two people familiar with the incident.

The White House and Chinese officials are working on a "phase one" trade deal to end a trade war that began last year, and the attack came as trade discussions between the two nations became more intense, the wire service said

It isn't clear what data may have been stolen, and NAM hired the outside cybersecurity company to end the breach, Reuters reported. The firm wasn't identified.

"We recently identified suspicious activity relating to certain company systems, took swift action to secure our networks and quickly investigated the incident," Erin Sheeter, NAM's senior vice president of communications and brand strategy said in an e-mailed statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

"We have a number of robust security systems and measures in place to defend and protect our networks," the statement said.

The U.S. and China continue to negotiate a "phase one" deal to partially end the trade war between the two nations, President Donald Trump said Tuesday during a speech in New York. He didn't give details, instead expressing confidence that the sides would clinch an agreement soon.

Trump announces "phase one" of trade deal with China

"We're close," Mr. Trump said. At the same time, the U.S. would continue to raise tariffs on China if talks fell through, he said. 

"We will only accept a deal if it's good for the U.S. and our workers and our great companies," Mr. Trump said.

Cybersecurity and alleged intellectual property theft have been key issues in the trade clash between the U.S. and China. The White House and the Chinese embassy in Washington didn't respond to Reuters' requests for comment on the breach, according to the report.

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