Overnight Finance: Businesses vie for protection at hearing on Trump's tariffs | Fed picks vow to rebuff Trump pressure on interest rates | Boeing case opens door to tariffs on EU

Overnight Finance: Businesses vie for protection at hearing on Trump's tariffs | Fed picks vow to rebuff Trump pressure on interest rates | Boeing case opens door to tariffs on EU
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Happy Tuesday and welcome back to Overnight Finance, where we're wondering why Qatar cares so much about Washington, D.C.'s hockey team.  I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

See something I missed? Let me know at slane@thehill.com or tweet me @SylvanLane. And if you like your newsletter, you can subscribe to it here: http://bit.ly/1NxxW2N.

 

THE BIG DEAL: American companies took turns Tuesday beseeching the Office of the United States Trade Representative to protect them from potential tariffs on China.

The hearings, which will run over three days, are an opportunity for the Trade Representative to get feedback on President TrumpDonald John TrumpLondon terror suspect’s children told authorities he complained about Trump: inquiry The Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Trump to nominate retiring lawmaker as head of trade agency MORE's plan to impose $50 billion in tariffs on China for unfair trade practices under section 301 of the trade law.

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Many businesses that could benefit from the tariffs, such as representatives from American steel companies, were on hand to make the case that their industries deserved protection in the form of import taxes, which would make competing foreign products more expensive.

But other executives came to protest the potentially negative impacts of tariffs on their businesses, spelling out scenarios of gloom and doom should the government follow through on threats to impose the import taxes. The Hill's Niv Elis takes us there.

 

What comes next: Negotiations between the U.S. and China on how to address some of the trade difficulties continued this week. 

The outcome of the negotiations is far from certain, and likely won't please all the companies with a stake in the results.

Trump is also in the process of trying to hammer out an updated NAFTA agreement in time for congressional fast-track approval. He also wants to strike a deal with major trade partners such as the European Union over steel and aluminum tariffs.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

 

LEADING THE DAY

House vote on Dodd-Frank rollback could happen next Tuesday: The House could vote to pass the Senate's bill to exempt dozens of banks from stricter Federal Reserve oversight as early as next Tuesday.

A spokesperson for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyOn The Money: Midterms to shake up House finance panel | Chamber chief says US not in trade war | Mulvaney moving CFPB unit out of DC | Conservatives frustrated over big spending bills Midterms to shake up top posts on House finance panel The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh confirmation in sudden turmoil MORE (R-Calif.) said that the House is on track to vote on the Senate bill this week, while several media outlets reported that the vote will happen next Tuesday. It's a positive sign for backers of efforts to roll back Dodd-Frank, though still in line with what we've heard from GOP leaders. 

 

Declaration of independence: Trump's two latest nominations to the Federal Reserve touted their independence Tuesday to a Senate panel that expressed concerns about the White House's influence on the central bank.

Fed vice chairman nominee Richard Clarida and Fed governor nominee Michelle Bowman told the Senate Banking Committee that they wouldn't yield to pressure from Trump to keep rates low and would speak out against excessive regulatory rollbacks.

Clarida, an investment bank executive and monetary policy scholar, and Bowman, a former community banker, have similar backgrounds to many of Trump's financial regulatory appointees. Both are likely to be confirmed with little opposition and are seen as moderate right-leaning influences on the Fed.

Republicans showered praise on Clarida, a Columbia University professor whose academic research is meant to complement Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's extensive financial markets experience. They also lauded Bowman, nominated to fill the Fed board's spot reserved for someone with community bank experience.

While Banking panel Democrats showed few signs they'd vote against the nominees, they pushed them to fight any effort from Trump to influence the Fed's plan to raise interest rates.

"I'm very concerned about the strength and aggressiveness of you two pushing back," said Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownElection Countdown: Trump confident about midterms in Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh controversy tests candidates | Sanders, Warren ponder if both can run | Super PACs spending big | Two states open general election voting Friday | Latest Senate polls Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (D-Ohio), the panel's ranking Democrat. "We cannot afford for either of you to be a rubber stamp." I've got more here.

 

Boeing trade case sets up US to impose tariffs on EU: A World Trade Organization (WTO) ruling on Tuesday is opening the door for the United States to impose tariffs on European products, in what is likely the end of the 14-year-old trade battle.

A WTO appellate body found that the European Union and four of its member countries -- the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain -- didn't comply with prior rulings over subsidies, which gave Airbus an unfair advantage on the world market and hurt U.S.-based Boeing.

The decision clears the way for the United States to levy billions in tariffs on EU products over the harm done to Boeing over subsidies provided to Airbus used to launch its A380 and A350 jets.

"This report confirms once and for all that the EU has long ignored WTO rules, and even worse, EU aircraft subsidies have cost American aerospace companies tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue," said U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE.

"Unless the EU finally takes action to stop breaking the rules and harming U.S. interests, the United States will have to move forward with countermeasures on EU products," Lighthizer said. The Hill's Vicki Needham explains here

 

Volcker 2.0 to be released later this monthPer Bloomberg News: "Wall Street is poised to get a big reprieve from the Volcker Rule, as U.S. agencies prepare to scrap a restrictive presumption that most short-term trades violate the post-crisis regulation, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

"In a much-anticipated overhaul, the Federal Reserve and other regulators are planning to drop an assumption written into the original rule that positions held by banks for less than 60 days are speculative -- and therefore banned, the people said. Instead, banks would have leeway to conclude that their trades comply with the rule, putting the onus on regulators to challenge such judgments, the people said."

 

MARKET CHECK: From CNBC: "U.S. stocks dropped sharply on Tuesday after Home Depot reported quarterly sales that fell short of Wall Street's expectations and interest rates breached new highs.

"The Dow Jones industrial average fell 193 points to close at 24,706.41, with Home Depot among the biggest contributors of losses. The index also snapped an eight-day winning streak.

"The S&P 500 declined 0.7 percent to 2,711.45 as health care and real estate stocks lagged. The Nasdaq composite dropped 0.8 percent to 7,351.63 as Amazon, Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet all pulled back more than 1 percent."

 

GOOD TO KNOW 

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Gap apologizes to China over map on T-shirt that omits Taiwan, South China Sea.