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Overnight Finance: House panel to take up bill toughening review of foreign deals | Trump acknowledges Cohen payment on disclosure form | Officials set for new round of China trade talks

Overnight Finance: House panel to take up bill toughening review of foreign deals | Trump acknowledges Cohen payment on disclosure form | Officials set for new round of China trade talks
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to Overnight Finance, more popular online than Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBig Dem donors stick to sidelines as 2020 approaches DNA is irrelevant — Elizabeth Warren is simply not Cherokee The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump seizes on immigrant 'caravan' for midterms | WHCA criticizes Trump for praising lawmaker who assaulted reporter | Trump takes harder line on Saudis MORE addressing a crowd of progressives. 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: The House Financial Services Committee will mark up a bill next week that would boost the power of a secretive federal panel that analyzes foreign investments for national security risks, according to a source familiar with the plan.

The Financial Services panel will hold a hearing to amend a measure to give the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) broader authority to block and scrutinize foreign deals involving U.S. businesses.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Robert PittengerRobert Miller PittengerWashington’s silent war against Hezbollah in Latin America Insurgency shakes up Democratic establishment Video of Ayanna Pressley reacting to her upset victory in Massachusetts goes viral MORE (R-N.C.), has received bipartisan support and is expected to pass Congress. The White House endorsed the bill, which was also introduced in the Senate by Sens. John CornynJohn CornynManchin wrestles with progressive backlash in West Virginia O'Rourke's rise raises hopes for Texas Dems down ballot Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown MORE (R-Texas) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDurbin to Trump: ‘We’re the mob? Give me a break’ Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue GOP plays hardball in race to confirm Trump's court picks MORE (D-Calif.).

But the measure had been held up over concerns from some lawmakers and U.S. technology companies that the bill created unnecessary and redundant restrictions. I explain it all here.

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump officials set for new round of China trade talks: Trump administration officials are gearing up for a new round of trade talks with Chinese officials at the White House on Thursday after a U.S. trade delegation traveled to China earlier this month. 

The White House announced on Wednesday that Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin: ‘Premature to comment on sanctions’ against Saudi Arabia Trump official defends planned visit to Saudi Arabia On The Money: Mnuchin to attend anti-terror meeting in Saudi Arabia | Treasury releases guidance on 'opportunity zone' program | Maxine Waters gets company in new GOP line of attack MORE, Commerce Secretary Wilbur RossWilbur Louis RossSessions attacks judge who ordered officials to sit for depositions in challenges to Census citizenship question Harris accuses GOP of ‘weaponizing’ 2020 Census DOJ: Commerce chief spoke with Bannon, Sessions about census citizenship question MORE, U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE, and additional senior officials would meet with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday.

Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that White House trade adviser Peter Navarro was excluded from the talks.

However, a White House spokesperson told The Hill that Navarro would be attending the meeting, along with chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and trade adviser Everett Eissenstat.

 

Trump acknowledges Cohen payment on disclosure form: President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE officially acknowledged for the first time Wednesday that he paid his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, more than $100,000 in order to reimburse him for expenses he incurred during the 2016 election.

Trump's financial disclosure, released Wednesday by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), did not list the specific reason for the payment. 

But Cohen has said he paid adult-film star Stormy Daniels $130,000 in exchange for her silence about her allegations that she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006. 

The White House has said Trump denies the encounter took place. The Hill's Jordan Fabian explains here.

 

Experts, lawmakers say NAFTA deal is within reach: Congressional lawmakers, government officials and trade experts say that an updated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) can be completed this year even though a slew of challenges remain.

Negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico have been working nearly non-stop to reach a deal but the longstanding trading partners have yet to finalize an updated pact after nine months talks.

Why the optimism then? "We have a very strong sense of common goal in terms of getting the deal completed as soon as possible," said Kirsten Hillman, Canada's deputy ambassador to the United States, at an event hosted by The Hill.

Vicki Needham breaks it down here.

 

US sanctions Hezbollah chief in joint action with Gulf allies: The U.S. and its Gulf allies on Wednesday announced sanctions against Islamist militant political party Hezbollah, citing its involvement with Iran. 

The U.S. sanctions, which were also implemented by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates, targeted longtime Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

"Today, the seven member nations of the Terrorist Financing and Targeting Center (TFTC) took significant actions to disrupt an Iranian-backed terrorist group by designating the senior leadership of Lebanese Hizballah," the Treasury Department said in a statement.

"The TFTC again demonstrated its great value to international security by disrupting Iran and Hizballah's destabilizing influence in the region. By targeting Hizballah's Shura Council, our nations collectively rejected the false distinction between a so-called 'Political Wing' and Hizballah's global terrorist plotting," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. 

The move comes one day after the Treasury Department slapped sanctions on the governor of Iran's central bank, alleging that it funneled funds to Hezbollah, which the U.S. considers a terrorist group.

 

Lawmakers raise alarm over Trump's move to help Chinese tech giant ZTE: Lawmakers from both parties raised concerns about President Trump's effort to aid Chinese firm ZTE during a hearing on telecommunications and national security on Wednesday.

The hearing, organized by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, came days after Trump wrote on Twitter that he had directed federal officials to get ZTE "back into business, fast" after the phone manufacturer was forced to shut down major operations as a result of U.S. penalties. 

Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerOvernight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel Lawmakers introduce resolution to back naming NATO headquarters after McCain Satellite images raise alarms about North Korean nukes MORE (R-Ill.) said he was "concerned" by Trump's comment, suggesting that it signaled a "loosening up" on ZTE following the penalties issued last month. The Commerce Department announced in April that it would bar American firms from selling products to ZTE, accusing the company of violating sanctions on Iran. ZTE is currently fighting the ban.

"I was very surprised and, frankly, concerned by the president's comments recently, in fact, showing somehow a loosening up of that concern with ZTE," Kinzinger said Wednesday. "I hope they were comments that were misinterpreted or at least there is some other thought given to that." The Hill's Morgan Chalfant breaks it down here. 

 

Reactions:

 

MARKET CHECK: Stocks ticked higher Wednesday with all three major U.S. indexes ending the day with gains. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.25 percent, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 gained 0.63 and 0.41 percent each.

 

FINANCE IN FOCUS

"Pretty much the death penalty..." Trump's decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal could create a financial quagmire for U.S. allies who are suddenly at risk of being caught in economic sanctions.

Countries like the United Kingdom, France and Germany took advantage of the Obama-era nuclear deal to forge business ties with Iran, seizing the opportunity to sell to the country's large and growing middle class. 

But once sanctions are reimposed, those companies could be at risk of losing access to the U.S. market and its financial system if they continue to do business with Iran.

"The aftershocks of President Trump's announcement are really being felt around the world," said Andrew Keller, a partner at Hogan Lovells who helped craft the Iran deal's sanctions relief provisions as a deputy assistant secretary at the Obama State Department.

"If the U.S. is aggressive, then you could see some explosion on the diplomatic front."

Any attempt to skirt Iran sanctions could spur the Trump administration to target European firms for exclusion from the U.S. financial system -- a move with severe consequences.

"It's pretty much the death penalty in that case for any business that wants to do business in the U.S. or even have the capacity to clear U.S. dollar transactions," Keller said. The Hill's Timothy Cama and I explain here.

 

Alcohol industry pushes lawmakers to uncork excise tax relief: The alcohol industry is pressing Congress to make permanent the excise tax relief it received under the Republican tax law.

The measure President Trump signed in December reduces excise tax burdens on distillers, brewers and vintners for two years, and industry groups are hoping that these changes can last for a longer period of time. Industry groups argue that the tax relief is particularly beneficial to smaller producers and is helping businesses make new investments and hire more workers.

It's unclear what the vehicle would be for extending the cuts, but groups are optimistic that an extension will happen because there has been bipartisan support for lowering the excise tax burdens. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks it down here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Whole Foods Market is rolling out deep discounts for Amazon Prime members, the company announced on Wednesday.
  • If New York legalizes marijuana use, it could create a $3.1 billion market, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer told CNBC.