On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump angers GOP, businesses with new tariffs | Liberals see Kavanaugh as mortal threat to consumer bureau | Lawmakers pitch family leave plans

On The Money — Sponsored by Prudential — Trump angers GOP, businesses with new tariffs | Liberals see Kavanaugh as mortal threat to consumer bureau | Lawmakers pitch family leave plans
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're hoping to emerge from the great Twitter purge unscathed. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, vneedham@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @VickofTheHill, @NJagoda and @NivElis.


THE BIG DEAL: Lawmakers and business groups were on edge Wednesday after President TrumpDonald John TrumpCorker: US must determine responsibility in Saudi journalist's death Five takeaways from testy Heller-Rosen debate in Nevada Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation MORE announced plans to impose tariffs on $200 billion more in Chinese goods.

The Trump administration said it will look at slapping tariffs of $200 billion on Chinese products over Beijing's failure to respond to U.S. efforts to get them to change their trade practices.

The new list comes days after the U.S. levied a 25 percent tariff on $34 billion in Chinese imports, which resulted in retaliatory tariffs by Beijing of the same amount against U.S. goods.

The tariffs would hit a wide range of Chinese products from tuna, cobia and swordfish, to vegetables, nuts, fruits and various minerals. The Hill's Vicki Needham tells us about what comes next here.


Lawmakers from both parties spoke out against the escalation of trade tensions with China, and called Trump's new tariffs an unhelpful and dangerous response to legitimate concerns with Beijing.

GOP Rep. Kevin BradyKevin Patrick BradyOvernight Health Care — Presented by the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs — Some ObamaCare premiums to decrease next year | Sanders hits back at Trump over 'Medicare for all' | Panel to investigate rising maternal mortality rates House committee to investigate rising maternal mortality rates How the Trump tax law passed: The final stretch MORE, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, called on Trump to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to work out a permanent end to the retaliation.

"It's clear the escalating trade dispute with China will go one of two ways – a long, multi-year trade war between the two largest economies in the world that engulfs more and more of the globe, or a deliberate decision by President Trump and President XI to meet and begin crafting an agreement that levels the playing field between China and the U.S. for local farmers, workers and businesses," Brady said in a statement.


The Trump administration said the $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese products is necessary because of Beijing's failure to change what they consider a long history of unfair trade practices.

But the fight drew ire from technology, manufacturing, agriculture and retailing groups, which argue that Trump's tariffs will hurt U.S. consumers and businesses. 

Critics such as Dean Garfield, president and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) that represents companies such as Apple and Google, argue they don't see a real strategy.

He faulted the administration for imposing more tariffs "without a clear objective or end in sight, threatening American jobs, stifling economic investment and increasing the prices of everyday goods."

David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, said another $200 billion in tariffs "doubles down on a reckless strategy that will boomerang back to harm U.S. families and workers."

"The administration has been pursuing tariffs now for months and we still don't know what the endgame is," he said.

Vicki has more on their concerns here.











Senate takes symbolic shot at Trump tariffs: The Senate on Wednesday took a symbolic shot at President Trump's trade policy amid anxiety on Capitol Hill over his tariff strategy.

Senators voted 88-11 to instruct lawmakers hashing out a deal on a government funding bill to include language "providing a role for Congress" on tariffs implemented for national security reasons, under Section 232 of the trade laws.

The vote is nonbinding, meaning lawmakers don't have to add trade language into the funding bill. But the vote margin, with more senators supporting it than the amount needed to override a veto, underscores the depth of concern on Capitol Hill.

"I think it's significant that, as many of us have discussed with the president and his Cabinet, that there's some anxiety about ... tariffs," Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke debate showdown Live coverage: Cruz faces O'Rourke in Texas debate showdown Trump, Feinstein feud intensifies over appeals court nominees MORE (R-Texas) told The Hill. "I think it's just a way to make that point." The Hill's Jordain Carney explains why here.


Liberals view Kavanaugh as existential threat to consumer bureau: Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has alarmed progressives who fear he could contribute to the dismantling of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Kavanaugh, who serves as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, ruled in 2016 that the controversial watchdog agency's structure was unconstitutional. The 2-1 ruling provided a major boost to Republican and industry efforts to abolish the consumer watchdog.

While Kavanaugh's decision was later reversed by the court, his opinion laid the foundation for other legal challenges to the CFPB's structure that are making their way through the courts. And his confirmation could create a majority of Supreme Court justices opposed to the CFPB's design, worrying bureau allies who see Kavanaugh as an existential threat to the agency. I'll tell you why here.


Lawmakers pitch dueling plans for paid family leave: Democrats and Republicans came together on Wednesday at a Senate hearing to push for a paid parental leave program but remained sharply divided over the scope of the new benefit and how to pay for it.

Traditionally, Democrats have been more interested in creating a federal paid leave, as GOP lawmakers have been worried about the price tag and increasing the size of government.

But Republicans' interest is growing, particularly because the issue is a top priority for Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpAttacks on public figures are growing The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | How Trump could work with a Dem House | Trump heads to Florida to view hurricane damage Watchdog files Hatch Act complaint against Sanders for picture with Kanye in MAGA hat MORE, the president's daughter and senior adviser. She attended the hearing, as did several Republican House members.

"I thought it was an excellent hearing," Trump said following the proceedings. "To make progress and advance legislation that can be signed into law, we need to bring both sides together to discuss the merit of different policy proposals and ultimately bridge the differences. And I'm hopeful this is a step in the right direction." The Hill's Niv Elis, Naomi Jagoda and Maya Lora take you there.


MARKET CHECK: CNBC: "Stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday as a trade war between the U.S. and other major economies intensified, with the Trump administration unveiling new tariffs on Chinese goods.

"The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 219.21 points to 24,700.45 with Caterpillar, DowDuPont and Chevron as the biggest decliners. The 30-stock index also snapped a four-day winning streak, its longest since June 11. The S&P 500 dropped 0.7 percent to 2,774.02 as energy plunged more than 2 percent. Energy shares fell as crude shed 5 percent. The Nasdaq Composite declined 0.6 percent to close at 7,716.61."






  • The House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday advanced eight bipartisan bills meant to help small and newly created companies access capital -- measures that could form part of a larger package heading to the Senate.
  • The Trump administration has signed an agreement with ZTE that will help the Chinese telecommunications giant move to reboot its operations, the Department of Commerce announced Wednesday.
  • Foreign direct investment in the United States dropped 32 percent, or $120 billion, in 2017 as compared to the year before, according to new figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • China has reportedly issued updated guidelines to its news media, ordering outlets not to attack President Trump, according to Reuters.
  • Households in the top fifth of income levels have received 65 percent of the value of tax changes enacted since 2000, according to a report released Wednesday by the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).
  • Two economists at the San Francisco branch of the Federal Reserve wrote Tuesday that the Republican tax cut signed into law in December will likely have less of an effect on the economy than forecasters previously thought -- and possibly none at all.
  • Bloomberg explores how China can strike back at the U.S. economy with tools other than tariffs.



  • A former Apple employee was arrested at the airport last week as he allegedly sought to board a flight to China with secret plans for the company's self-driving cars.
  • A group of Senate Democrats are urging the Justice Department to scrutinize Comcast's $65 billion bid to buy much of 21st Century Fox.