On The Money: GDP expanded 2.1 percent in third quarter | Dems want answers on Japan trade deals | Tax, loan documents for Trump Tower reportedly show inconsistencies

On The Money: GDP expanded 2.1 percent in third quarter | Dems want answers on Japan trade deals | Tax, loan documents for Trump Tower reportedly show inconsistencies
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money. I'm Naomi Jagoda, filling in for Sylvan Lane on this day before Thanksgiving, with your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. 

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THE BIG DEAL -- GDP expanded 2.1 percent in third quarter

The economy grew at a 2.1 percent annual pace in the third quarter, up from the 1.9 percent rate previously reported by the Commerce Department.

"The increase in real GDP [gross domestic product] in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE [personal consumption expenditures], federal government spending, residential investment, private inventory investment, exports, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by a negative contribution from nonresidential fixed investment," the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

Some context: The overall revision comes amid a flurry of improving economic data, including soaring stock prices, strong consumer sentiment and continued low levels of unemployment, all of which could put the wind in President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE's sails as he seeks reelection.

More from The Hill's Niv Elis here.



LEADING THE DAY -- Democrats demand answers on Trump trade deals with Japan

Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee are demanding information on trade agreements announced between the United States and Japan, questioning whether the Trump administration overstepped its authority and bypassed Congress during negotiations. 

In a letter sent to United States Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerGOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 Pelosi sounds hopeful on new NAFTA deal despite tensions with White House MORE on Tuesday -- led by Reps. Bill PascrellWilliam (Bill) James PascrellHouse approves Trump's USMCA trade deal amid shadow of impeachment A solemn impeachment day on Capitol Hill Van Drew, set to switch parties, will vote as a Democrat on impeachment MORE (D-N.J.) and Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.) and signed by 23 Democratic House members --  the lawmakers cited a presidential message to Congress in September stating plans to enter a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement for certain agriculture and industrial goods and a U.S.-Japan Digital Trade Agreement with plans to launch negotiations on a more comprehensive trade agreement after the "initial agreement enters into force on Jan. 1, 2020." 

What they want to know: They asked Lighthizer to "state the authority the administration is relying on to enter" the agreements and how it "fulfilled the consultation requirements" spelled out in law. The lawmakers also asked ask why the advisory committee reports were submitted to Congress 30 days late and whether portions of the report are missing and how the deal will be implemented and if it will result in any changes to U.S. laws.

Read more here from The Hill's Juliegrace Brufke.


Tax and loan documents for Trump Tower show inconsistencies: report:

President Trump's business reported different information in tax and loan documents about the occupancy rate of Trump Tower in Manhattan, ProPublica reported Wednesday.

Trump's business told a lender that 99 percent of the building's commercial space was occupied as of December 2011 and 98.7 percent was occupied as of June 2012. But the president's business said in property-tax filings that the building's occupancy rate was 83 percent in January 2012 and was the same a year later, according to ProPublica.

A Trump Organization spokesperson told ProPublica that "comparing the various reports is comparing apples to oranges," since there are differences in reporting requirements.

But Susan Mancuso, an attorney who specializes in New York property taxes, told ProPublica that the gap in the occupancy rates was a "very significant difference."

Why it matters: ProPublica's article on Trump Tower comes after the news outlet last month reported about inconsistencies in tax and loan documents for two of Trump's other New York properties. Trump is waging a number of legal battles to keep other tax and financial information private, including federal income tax returns.

I have more on ProPublica's report on Trump Tower here.



  • The House is likely to vote an anti-robocall bill with backing in both chambers as soon as next week.
  • The first new Toys R Us retail store since the chain announced it was closing all its U.S. locations will officially open in New Jersey on Saturday.
  • Hundreds of French farmers drove their tractors into Paris on Wednesday to protest government policies they claim are hurting their business.
  • Cities across the U.S. will see coinciding climate strikes on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, with youth protesters aiming to bring attention to climate action.