On The Money: Trump, Xi speak amid rising trade tensions | Kudlow rules out deal to raise minimum wage | Commerce to review tariff exemption process | Google employees walk out to protest harassment

On The Money: Trump, Xi speak amid rising trade tensions | Kudlow rules out deal to raise minimum wage | Commerce to review tariff exemption process | Google employees walk out to protest harassment
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Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money. 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--Trump talks trade with Chinese president amid heightened tensions: President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE said Thursday that he spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping amid heightened trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

Trump in a tweet described their phone conversation as "long and very good" and said they placed a "heavy emphasis" on trade.


The president indicated they would discuss the issue at next month's Group of 20 (G-20) summit of world economic powers. Such a meeting has not yet been officially announced by the White House.

"Just had a long and very good conversation with President Xi Jinping of China. We talked about many subjects, with a heavy emphasis on Trade. Those discussions are moving along nicely with meetings being scheduled at the G-20 in Argentina," Trump tweeted. "Also had good discussion on North Korea!" The Hill's Jordan Fabian fills us in here.


What comes next: Trump warned earlier this week that he was ready to move ahead with billions of dollars worth of new tariffs on Chinese goods if he doesn't reach an agreement with Xi.

"I have $267 billion waiting to go if we can't make a deal," he told Fox News's Laura Ingraham on Tuesday. 

"I'd like to make a deal right now," he added, but said that China is "not ready."

Bloomberg reported on Monday that the U.S. was preparing to slap tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by early December if talks between Trump and Xi at the G-20 fail to ease trade tensions.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said Thursday that the talks could include trade and laid blame for the tensions between the U.S. and China at Beijing's feet.

"If we could reach a satisfactory deal with China, the tariffs could be pulled," Kudlow said, specifying that agreements would have to be reached on issues such as intellectual property theft and property ownership.

If the sides fail to reach a deal, he added, "then the president will continue to aggressively pursue his agenda."

"The principal culprit is China," Kudlow said. "I think only they can break the logjam."


Tensions keep rising: The Justice Department on Thursday announced new charges against a Chinese state-owned company, a Taiwanese company and three Taiwanese nationals for engaging in economic espionage on behalf of the Chinese government. 

The entities and individuals charged are accused of stealing trade secrets from Micron Technology, an U.S.-based semiconductor company.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE announced the charges at a press conference, describing Chinese economic espionage as a grave threat to U.S. national security and economic competitiveness.

"The problem has been growing rapidly, and along with China's other unfair trade practices, it poses a real and illegal threat to our nation's economic prosperity and competitiveness," Sessions said in remarks at the Justice Department.

The indictment unveiled Thursday alleges that the defendants conspired to pilfer trade secrets from Micron, particularly information about dynamic random-access memory (DRAM), a technology used to store data in electronic devices that is manufactured by Micron, and pass it to the Chinese government. The Hill's Morgan Chalfant breaks it down here.



Kudlow: Hurricanes could cost 60k jobs in October employment report: President Trump's top economic adviser said Thursday that White House economists expect devastating hurricanes to dampen the monthly federal jobs report to be released Friday.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Thursday that the White House Council of Economic Advisers has analyzed the impact of October hurricanes on U.S. employment, and that he expects the storms to cost the country 60,000 jobs.

"The CEA -- Council of Economic Advisers -- has taken a look at the hurricanes and we may see a 60,000 drop from the hurricanes. May. This is just a suggestion, this is very inexact," Kudlow said Thursday on Fox Business Network.

Kudlow said that while he's anticipating a 60,000-job hit from the hurricane, the actual loss could be anywhere from 30,000 to 90,000 jobs.

"We have to be careful here and recognize that probably, probably, you're going to get some noise from the hurricane.


A weird wrinkle: Kudlow did not specifically cite CEA as his source for the hurricane impact, but appeared to suggest it came from internal White House analysis. Federal jobs data is shared with the White House in advance of the report's release through secured communication lines and closely guarded by top administration officials.


The forecast: Private sector forecasters expect the economy to have added between 175,000 and 190,000 jobs in October, though the ADP national employment report released Wednesday showed businesses adding 227,000 jobs in October.

More from Kudlow's busy Thursday:


Voters credit Trump over Obama for booming economy: poll: More voters credit President Trump than former President Obama for the current state of the economy, according to a new poll.

The Harris Poll, conducted with Harvard University's Center for American Political Studies, found that 47 percent of respondents said they believe President Trump is responsible for the current economy, compared to 21 percent who said they believe Obama is responsible.

Among those surveyed, 15 percent said they think Republicans in Congress are responsible for the state of the economy, versus 10 percent who said the same of Democrats in Congress.