On The Money: Trump backs off investment restrictions on China | McConnell opens door to tariff legislation | Supreme Court deals blow to public-sector unions, ruling against 'fair-share' fees

On The Money: Trump backs off investment restrictions on China | McConnell opens door to tariff legislation | Supreme Court deals blow to public-sector unions, ruling against 'fair-share' fees
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, which will not rule out accepting an appointment to the Supreme Court. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL: President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE on Wednesday declined to impose executive actions to limit investments in American technology from foreign countries such as China, instead deferring to Congress to update the review process. 

The announcement followed reports earlier in the week that the administration was preparing rules to block China, in particular, from making significant investments in sensitive U.S. technologies. 

The stock market tumbled following the reports and administration officials rushed to deny that the actions would target China specifically.

In particular, Trump put his backing behind the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act (FIRRMA), legislation that the administration had already signaled it supports.

"After reviewing the current versions of FIRRMA with my team of advisors -- and after discussing them with many Members of Congress -- I have concluded that such legislation will provide additional tools to combat the predatory investment practices that threaten our critical technology leadership, national security, and future economic prosperity," Trump said in a statement released Wednesday morning.

The Hill's Niv Elis explains it all here.

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What it means: Trump's decision not to impose investment restrictions beyond the CFIUS process can be seen as goodwill gesture as trade tensions between the countries increase. The Trump administration also needs China to keep pressure on North Korea to eliminate their nuclear and missile programs, which make the trade talks that much more complicated.

Read more: Markets surge after Trump backs off new restrictions on foreign investments

 

ON TAP TOMORROW

  • Senate Banking Committee: Hearing on legislative proposals to examine corporate governance, 10 a.m.
  • Senate Finance Committee: Hearing on the nomination of Charles Rettig to serve as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, 10 a.m.

 

LEADING THE DAY

McConnell opens door to tariff legislation: Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad State and local officials beg Congress to send more election funds ahead of November Teacher's union puts million behind ad demanding funding for schools preparing to reopen MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday appeared to open the door to the Senate taking up tariff legislation, noting there is "concern" among fellow GOP senators over President Trump's trade policies.

"There is concern in the conference. ... We've all, you know, discussed this with the president a lot. And there may be a legislative solution to it, and Orrin is working on that and I'll take a look at it," McConnell said during a Politico Playbook event, referring to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchMellman: Roberts rescues the right? DACA remains in place, but Dreamers still in limbo Bottom line MORE (R-Utah). 

McConnell added that the panel is "going to take a look at that whole area, which is a matter of some concern to my members."

Hatch told The Hill on Tuesday that he would move legislation in the Finance Committee tied to tariffs implemented under the national security provisions of the trade law, known as Section 232. But he stressed that the details of the bill were still being worked out.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanRomney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention Second Republican senator says he'll skip GOP convention Grassley won't attend GOP convention amid coronavirus uptick MORE (R-Ohio), a member of the panel, wants a hearing and a vote on legislation to tighten Section 232.

The Hill's Jordain Carney tells us more about what that means here.

There is growing unease among congressional Republicans over the Trump administration's tariff policies, which are prompting retaliatory actions from key trading partners. This week's decision by Harley-Davidson to move some manufacturing overseas to avoid European tariffs has renewed the fight between GOP lawmakers and Trump.

The Hill's Alexander Bolton explains why here.

 

Meanwhile, Trump got some backup today from one of the few senators who has supported his trade agenda.

Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSenate Dems request briefing on Russian bounty wire transfers On The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities IRS chief pledges to work with Congress on examining tax code's role in racial wealth disparities MORE (D-Ohio), a leading liberal voice on trade issues and a potential presidential candidate in 2020, objected on Wednesday to a vote on an amendment that would have taken away much of President Trump's power to impose new tariffs.

Brown, who is up for reelection this fall in a major steel-producing state, slammed an amendment backed by GOP Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (Tenn.) and Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyGOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy NSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general MORE (Pa.) that would require congressional approval on tariffs that the president imposes based on national security concerns.

Brown's objection spares Republicans from a showdown with Trump over trade, which Senate GOP leaders wanted to avoid. The amendment would empower Congress to unwind the tariffs Trump has imposed on steel and aluminum imports from Mexico, Canada and the European Union.

Alex Bolton has more about the showdown on the Senate floor here.

 

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Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersOn The Money: Mnuchin, Powell differ over how soon economy will recover | Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress | IRS chief pledges to work on tax code's role in racial wealth disparities Millions fear eviction without more aid from Congress House approves statehood for DC in 232-180 vote MORE: If you want to talk about civility, start with Trump: Reps. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Jeb HensarlingThomas (Jeb) Jeb HensarlingLawmakers battle over future of Ex-Im Bank House passes Ex-Im Bank reboot bill opposed by White House, McConnell Has Congress lost the ability or the will to pass a unanimous bipartisan small business bill? MORE (R-Texas) traded barbs Wednesday over controversial comments the Democrat made last weekend about how Trump officials should be treated in public.

Waters defended her Saturday call for Americans to confront Trump administration employees in public places, saying the president has been "advocating pure violence" since his 2016 presidential campaign.

"If you want to talk about civility, you start with the president of the United States," said Waters, ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, at the panel's Wednesday hearing.

Hensarling, the committee's chairman, scolded Waters, invoking last year's congressional baseball practice shooting and the consequences of violent rhetoric.

"We all know that words matter. I know that [Rep.] Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseCheney clashes with Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks GOP-Trump fractures on masks open up MORE [(R-La.)] believes this, and if you listened to him yesterday, you will know passionately he does," said Hensarling, referring to the House Majority Whip who suffered near-fatal injuries in the shooting.

Hensarling also raised the country's history of racial segregation to criticize the restaurant that refused to serve White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders over the weekend.

I've got more on the fight here.

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Supreme Court deals blow to public-sector unions, ruling against 'fair-share' fees: The Supreme Court dealt a major blow to state and local public-sector unions on Wednesday, ruling that nonunion members can't be forced to pay a "fair-share" union fee.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court struck down an Illinois law, similar to laws in 22 other states, that allowed agencies to collect fees from nonunion members for collective bargaining.

The court's conservative majority led by Justice Samuel Alito ruled that the law violates the First Amendment because it compels the employee to support a union message they may oppose.

"Neither an agency fee nor any other payment to the union may be deducted from the nonmember's wages, nor may any other attempt be made to collect such a payment, unless the employee affirmatively consents to pay," Alito wrote.

The Hill's Lydia Wheeler explains the ruling here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

 

ODDS AND ENDS

  • Over 80 percent of 1,586 digital coins Finder.com tracks in a weekly survey decreased in price in the past seven days, according to Bloomberg.
  • Households earning $117,000 a year now qualify as "low income" in three California counties, according to new federal data.