On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Uncertainty clouds Trump's China trade deal | Judge delays ruling in House lawsuit over Trump tax returns | Treasury blocks foreign investments in critical US firms
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THE BIG DEAL–Uncertainty clouds Trump’s China trade deal: Trade watchers are on edge as President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from the Democratic debate Sanders, Warren exchange underscores Iowa stakes CNN’s Van Jones: Democratic debate was ‘dispiriting,’ no evidence party can defeat Trump MORE is set to sign an initial “Phase One” trade deal with China Wednesday, even as the text of the agreement remains secret.
What’s happening tomorrow: Trump is expected to sign the deal Wednesday morning in a ceremony with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
And in the run up to the signing, the White House has touted the deal as a significant achievement, pointing to promises from China to buy $40–50 billion of agricultural goods over two years, as well as billions of additional purchases.
What’s causing concern:
- Businesses are concerned that the commitments from China will not be enforceable and that significant tariffs remain in place.
- China hawks, meanwhile, worry that the deal does little to curb Beijing’s bad behavior.
- And trade watchers have been skeptical about the significance of the deal, noting that many of the most important issues were put off for a future “Phase Two” negotiation.
The Hill’s Niv Elis breaks it all down here.
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LEADING THE DAY
Judge delays ruling in House lawsuit over Trump tax returns: A federal judge on Tuesday stayed House Democrats’ lawsuit over their efforts to obtain President Trump’s tax returns from the IRS until a court decision is issued in a separate case.
Judge Trevor McFadden, a judge in the federal district court in D.C. appointed by Trump, said he won’t issue a ruling in the tax return case until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issues a ruling in a case where House Democrats are seeking to enforce a subpoena against former White House Counsel Don McGahn.
- McFadden’s announcement of a stay in the tax-return case came after he held a telephone conference with the lawyers involved in the case Tuesday afternoon.
- A notice about the teleconference appeared on the docket for the case only minutes before the call’s start time. McFadden’s reasons for issuing the stay weren’t immediately clear.
The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda and Harper Neidig have more here on this developing story.
Appropriators fume over reports of Trump plan to reprogram $7.2 billion for wall: Congressional appropriators are seeking answers from the White House following a Washington Post report that President Trump intends to reprogram $7.2 billion in military construction and defense funds toward building his border wall.
“To say this is unacceptable and infuriating would be an understatement,” said Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOn The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Uncertainty clouds Trump’s China trade deal | Judge delays ruling in House lawsuit over Trump tax returns | Treasury blocks foreign investments in critical US firms Appropriators fume over reports of Trump plan to reprogram .2 billion for wall Third US senator banned from the Philippines over support of top government critic MORE (Vt.), the top Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“Once again the President continues to abuse the separation of powers in our Constitution,” he added.
The conflict: The Washington Post reported on Monday that Trump was planning to add money to his wall effort by transferring $3.5 billion from defense funds intended to combat drug trafficking and another $3.7 billion from military construction projects.
Treasury blocks foreign investments in critical US firms: The Treasury Department is restricting investments in U.S. companies in an effort meant to protect critical technology, data and infrastructure from foreign sabotage.
A Treasury panel will now have the authority to ban foreign investors and businesses from acquiring stakes in U.S. firms involved in industries deemed essential to national security, the department announced on Monday. The regulations were issued under a 2018 law that drastically expanded the power of a Treasury panel, called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS).
Why it matters: The panel is chaired by the Treasury secretary and has been central to President Trump’s battle against China’s push to dominate global technology.
I explain what the new rules will do here.
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GOOD TO KNOW
- House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse poised to hand impeachment articles to Senate House to vote on Iran war powers bills sought by progressives On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Uncertainty clouds Trump’s China trade deal | Judge delays ruling in House lawsuit over Trump tax returns | Treasury blocks foreign investments in critical US firms MORE (D-Calif.) on Tuesday named Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) to be the vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), a panel that includes members from both chambers of Congress.
- The centrist Blue Dog Democratic coalition is warning its party against foregoing a budget resolution for 2021, citing fiscal concerns.
- New figures show that Chinese exports to the United States decreased in 2019, though a sizable trade deficit between the two countries still remains.
- BlackRock announced Monday it would pull back from its investments in coal as investors increasingly recognize climate change as a financial risk.
ODDS AND ENDS
- New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed bipartisan legislation on Monday aimed at helping small business owners who were adversely affected by the $10,000 cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions under President Trump’s 2017 tax law.
- Every major metropolitan center in the U.S. saw average income growth in 2018 for the first time in almost three decades.
- The WNBA and its players’ union reached a tentative labor deal Tuesday that would last for eight years and raise the average yearly salary for players to six figures for the first time in the league’s history.