On The Money: Economy adds 157K jobs in July, below expectations | China threatens tariffs on $60 billion in US goods | Mexico says toughest NAFTA issues remain unresolved

On The Money: Economy adds 157K jobs in July, below expectations | China threatens tariffs on $60 billion in US goods | Mexico says toughest NAFTA issues remain unresolved
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THE BIG DEAL: The U.S. economy added 157,000 jobs in July, below expectations, as the job market cooled but remained strong amid a tightening labor market.

The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 from 4 percent in June, the Labor Department reported on Friday. Estimates had been set at about 190,000 jobs in July.


Despite the lower-than-expected jobs gains, the labor market produced 59,000 more jobs than previously reported in May and June. Employers added 268,000 jobs in May and 248,000 in June.

"Job growth slowed a bit in July to 157,000, but that followed two straight months of very strong gains, and the job market is in great shape in the middle of 2018," said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC.

After revisions, job gains have averaged 224,000 a month over the past three months, a sign of continued strength.

The Hill's Vicki Needham breaks down the data here.


Fed hike still likely for September: Today's strong jobs numbers and last week's stellar GDP report keeps the Fed on track for another interest rate hike in September. The Fed has already raised rates twice this year and is expected to issue two more hikes before the end of year. The central bank held off on raising rates this week, but upgraded its outlook for the economy from "solid" to "strong," a sign that the Fed is planning on tightening rates to avoid spurring inflation.



China threatens tariffs on $60 billion of US imports: China announced on Friday that it would impose retaliatory tariffs on $60 billion worth of U.S. imports in response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE's plans to raise tariff levels on Chinese goods, a move expected to further escalate trade tensions.

The Chinese Ministry of Finance said it would impose tariffs upward of 25 percent on 5,207 American goods if the Trump administration follows through with its threats to hit Beijing with 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports, according to a statement on its website on Friday.

This week, President Trump ordered U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerMcConnell urges GOP senators to call Trump about tariffs Companies brace for trade war MORE to consider imposing a 25 percent tax on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods, up from the initially proposed 10 percent rate.

"The United States has deviated from the consensus of the two sides on several occasions, unilaterally escalating trade frictions, seriously violating the rules of the World Trade Organization, undermining the global industrial chain and the free trade system, substantially harming the interests of our country and the people, and will also include the United States," the statement said.

Vicki Needham tells us more here.


What the new tariffs would do:

  • China will hit thousands of agricultural products at the 25 percent level including U.S. honey, grated ginger, almonds and maple syrup and liquified natural gas (LNG).
  • A wide variety of chemicals will be hit at a 5 percent tariff. A 10 percent duty will be imposed on chicken breast, rice noodles and beeswax and a 20 percent tax will apply to products like frozen strawberries and chewing gum.


Mexico says meager progress made with NAFTA talks: Mexico's economy minister on Thursday said that while representatives from his country and the U.S. have made progress in North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) negotiations, they still have yet to address some of the most difficult topics.

Reuters reported that the Mexican official, Ildefonso Guajardo, said after a meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer that negotiators have still not discussed topics like the "sunset clause," which would require NAFTA to be renegotiated every five years.

Guajardo did note that some progress was made in the talks, saying there have been "at least 20 items, that have been worked through, and there is very good advancement in all of them."

He and other Mexican officials met with U.S. officials in Washington, D.C., to discuss the deal. Guajardo said they would meet again on Friday.





  • The Trump administration on Thursday said it would implement a lower tariff on Canadian newsprint than initially announced but would also impose tariffs on some of the country's paper companies.
  • The Newseum is now selling "Make America Great Again" hats -- as well as t-shirts proclaiming "You are very fake news" on its website. 
  • A massive failed bet on Bitcoin left an anonymous futures trader unable to cover the losses, roiling the cryptocurrency derivatives market, according to Bloomberg.
  • A last-minute visit to New York by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia helped Trump International Hotel boost revenue from room rentals by 13 percent in the first three months of 2018, according to the Washington Post.
  • Rebeca Romero Rainey, president and CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, calls on the Senate to quickly confirm Michelle Bowman, who Trump nominated to serve on the Federal Reserve board.