Overnight Finance

On The Money: White House files notice of China tariff hikes | Dems cite NYT report in push for Trump tax returns | Trump hits Iran with new sanctions | Trump praises GM for selling shuttered Ohio factory | Ex-Im Bank back at full strength

Getty Images

Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we’re learning Cantonese just to see this opera. 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.

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


THE BIG DEAL–Trump says China trade talks are on, blames Dems for backtrack: President Trump on Wednesday said top Chinese officials will travel to the U.S. later this week to resume trade talks, even as he accused Beijing of holding out for a better deal under a future Democratic president.

In a pair of tweets, Trump said China “has just informed us” that Vice Premier Liu He and other negotiators “are now coming to the U.S. to make a deal.”{mosads}

“We’ll see, but I am very happy with over $100 Billion a year in Tariffs filling U.S. coffers,” Trump wrote, referring to amount in import taxes paid on Chinese goods by Americans. “Great for U.S., not good for China!”


What happened: China announced Tuesday that Liu would attend the talks, breaking a days-long silence that raised doubts about whether the long-planned meetings would take place.

  • China’s participation was uncertain after Trump on Sunday threatened to raise U.S. tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent.
  • Reuters reported earlier Wednesday that China made sweeping edits to a proposed trade agreement that were sent to the U.S. late last Friday.

“The reason for the China pullback & attempted renegotiation of the Trade Deal is the sincere HOPE that they will be able to ‘negotiate’ with Joe Biden or one of the very weak Democrats, and thereby continue to ripoff the United States (($500 Billion a year)) for years to come,” Trump tweeted. “Guess what, that’s not going to happen.”


Trump’s message this morning serves a few different purposes: It bashes Joe Biden, the apparent front-runner to win the Democratic nomination in 2020. But it also seeks to assure a shaky stock market that there’s still a decent shot at a trade deal with China, a day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk almost 2 percent, and even as Trump prepares to impose the tariffs.


The White House on Wednesday filed formal notice of President Trump’s increase to tariffs on Chinese imports amid a breakdown in trade negotiations.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) submitted an order raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports after Trump announced the increase Sunday morning.  

And what does Beijing think? China’s Commerce Ministry reportedly said Wednesday that it will respond “in kind” if President Trump moves to increase tariffs on Chinese goods.



NY Senate passes bill allowing Congress to request Trump’s state tax returns: The New York Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that would allow Congress to obtain President Trump’s tax returns from the state.

The bill passed by a vote of 39-21. The measure now heads to the state Assembly, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has signaled he would sign the bill into law.

The state Senate also passed a bill, in a 39-22 vote, that would allow New York to prosecute people who received presidential pardons if certain conditions are met. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda fills us in here.

  • The tax-returns legislation authorizes the New York commissioner of taxation and finance to provide state returns requested by the chairmen of Congress’s tax committees, so long as the requests have a legitimate legislative purpose and as long as Congress is also requesting related federal tax returns from the U.S. Treasury Department.
  • The bill comes as House Democrats and the Trump administration are fighting over a request for Trump’s federal tax returns.


As the New York legislature attempts to bring Trump’s state returns to Congress, House Democrats are seizing on a bombshell scoop from the New York Times to bolster their case.

A New York Times article published Tuesday found President Trump reported more than $1 billion in business losses from 1985 to 1994.

Democrats are saying the report enhances the need for the Trump administration to comply with their request for Trump’s recent tax returns.

“It does tell us … that it would be useful to see his tax returns,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at a public interview Wednesday hosted by The Washington Post.

Pelosi noted that the statute under which Democrats requested Trump’s tax returns states that the Treasury secretary “shall” provide requested returns.

“It doesn’t say ‘may,’ ‘should,’ ‘could’ [or] ‘under certain circumstances,'” Pelosi said.

Trump reacts: The president hit back on The New York Times report as a “highly inaccurate Fake News hit job.”


Trump hits Iran with new sanctions amid standoff: The Trump administration on Wednesday imposed fresh sanctions targeting Tehran as both countries escalate their rhetoric over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

The White House announced sanctions on the steel, iron, aluminum and copper sectors of the country hours after Iran said it would stop complying with certain parts of the Obama-era nuclear agreement.

President Trump’s executive order imposing new sanctions on Tehran also came on the one-year anniversary of his announcement that he would withdraw the U.S. from the nuclear deal.

The impact: The sanctions could affect other countries conducting trade with Iran, and Trump warned in a statement that the executive order “puts other nations on notice that allowing Iranian steel and other metals into your ports will no longer be tolerated.”

The administration has been increasing pressure on Iran over the last year since pulling out of the Obama-era deal, despite concerns from international allies.


Export-Import Bank back at full strength: The Senate on Wednesday voted to confirm three officials to the board of the Export-Import Bank, restoring the federal manufacturing subsidizer to full strength in a blow to its conservative critics.

Senators voted to confirm Kimberly Reed as president of the Ex-Im Bank and approved the nomination of former Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and Judith DelZoppo Pryor to be members of the bank’s board of directors.

Sixteen Republicans voted against all three nominees.

Why it’s big: With three of Ex-Im’s five board positions filled, the bank can now meet the legally required quorum to approve transactions worth more than $10 million.

The confirmations of Reed, Bachus and Pryor is the latest swing in a four-year battle between a broad coalition of Ex-Im supporters and fiscally conservative critics over its existence.

The bank attracted little political fire until 2015, when a cadre of GOP lawmakers spurred by conservative groups successfully blocked a reauthorization of its charter.

I’ve got more on the confirmations here.


Trump hails GM’s sale of shuttered Ohio plant: President Trump said Wednesday that General Motors has agreed to sell its shuttered Lordstown, Ohio, plant to an electric truck manufacturer.

Trump tweeted that he spoke to GM CEO Mary Barra, who said the company will sell its Lordstown plant to Workhorse for electric truck production. The deal is pending approval by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.

GM will spend another $700 million on three separate Ohio locations, creating 450 jobs, Trump said.

“I have been working nicely with GM to get this done,” he tweeted. “Thank you to Mary B, your GREAT Governor, and Senator Rob Portman. With all the car companies coming back, and much more, THE USA IS BOOMING!” The Hill’s Brett Samuels has the full details here.

  • In a statement roughly an hour after Trump’s tweets, GM confirmed it is in discussions with Workhorse to sell the Lordstown plant. The sale “has the potential to bring significant production and electric vehicle assembly jobs to the plant,” the automaker said.
  • “We remain committed to growing manufacturing jobs in the U.S., including in Ohio, and we see this development as a potential win-win for everyone,” Barra said in a statement. “Workhorse has innovative technologies that could help preserve Lordstown’s more than 50-year tradition of vehicle assembly work.”
  • Portman said in a pair of tweets shortly after Trump’s announcement that he was “optimistic” and thanked the president for his “help in bringing new production to #Lordstown.”
  • Meanwhile, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), a 2020 contender whose district includes the plant, called GM’s plan to sell the plant “bittersweet.” “In the short term, for the workers there, it doesn’t look like it’s going to have any positive impact,” said the congressman in a call with reporters.



  • Tax-preparation companies are under mounting pressure over allegations that they hid free tax-filing services from customers.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday that he wants the Senate to pass a disaster recovery deal before the Memorial Day recess, even as the stalemated legislation appeared to be hitting new “obstacles.”
  • A bipartisan group of 29 senators introduced legislation Wednesday to fix a tax glitch affecting children receiving benefits who have lost a parent serving in the military.



  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is throwing her weight behind the Wednesday strike from Uber and Lyft drivers. And 2020 candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is too.
  • Opinion contributor Liz Peek argues why “Trump will ‘hang tough’ on China, political fallout be damned.”
Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Joe Biden Mitch McConnell Nancy Pelosi Rob Portman Spencer Bachus Tim Ryan

The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video