On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Trump signs first phase of US-China trade deal | Senate to vote Thursday on Canada, Mexico deal | IRS provides relief for those with discharged student loans

On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Trump signs first phase of US-China trade deal | Senate to vote Thursday on Canada, Mexico deal | IRS provides relief for those with discharged student loans
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to Phase One of today's 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 signs first phase of US-China trade deal: President TrumpDonald John TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit MORE and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed an initial "Phase One" trade agreement Wednesday, freezing a 20-month trade war between Washington and Beijing and opening the door to a more-substantial "Phase Two" deal.

"Today we take a momentous step, one that has never been taken before with China, toward a future of fair and reciprocal trade as we sign Phase One of the historic trade deal between the United States and China," Trump said.

"Together we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers, farmers and families."

The Hill's Niv Elis and Brett Samuels break it down here.


What's inside: 

  • The deal will halve 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion of Chinese imports, but leave 25 percent tariffs on an additional $250 billion of imports in place. Agreement on the deal prevented a planned increase in the tariff rate in October and a new round of tariffs in December.
  • In the deal, China committed to increasing purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over two years, including $32 billion of agricultural purchases, 77.7 billion in manufactured goods, $52.4 billion in oil, gas, and coal, and $37.9 billion in services.
  • The deal made also makes limited progress on intellectual property, forced technology transfer, agriculture, financial services and currency, but agreed that significant issues remain for future negotiations.



What comes next: Top White House economic adviser Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE told reporters prior to the signing ceremony that the U.S. got about "half" of what it was looking to achieve with China in the Phase One deal. Still, he portrayed the initial pact as "historic."

"The other half, it's not that we didn't get it, it's just incomplete," Kudlow said. "The heavy lifting here was getting Phase One. Make no mistake about that. Nothing like this has ever happened before in history."


  • The Senate votes on a bill to implement President Trump's U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA)



Senate to vote on Trump's Canada, Mexico trade deal Thursday: The Senate will vote on President Trump's trade deal with Mexico and Canada on Thursday.

"I'm hopeful that we can get it voted out of the Senate tomorrow and get it to the president's desk," Sen. John CornynJohn CornynCornyn says election outcome 'becoming increasingly clear': report Top GOP senator: Biden should be getting intel briefings GOP senator congratulates Biden, says Trump should accept results MORE (R-Texas) said during a Senate floor speech on Wednesday.

Sen. Roy BluntRoy Dean BluntMcConnell wants deal this week on fiscal 2021 spending figures Graham becomes center of Georgia storm Republicans start turning the page on Trump era MORE (Mo.), the No. 4 Republican senator, and a Democratic aide confirmed that the Senate will vote on the agreement, known as USMCA, on Thursday morning. 

The vote will let the Senate sign off on the agreement before they descend into a weeks-long impeachment trial.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHarris says she has 'not yet' spoken to Pence Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year Feinstein departure from top post sets stage for Judiciary fight MORE (R-Ky.) had hinted earlier that he expected the deal to be taken up before impeachment, though he didn't specify when. 

"Before the Senate shifts into the trial, we hope to complete an enormous accomplishment for this administration, and most importantly for American families," McConnell said from the Senate floor. 

Read more: Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClyburn: Biden falling short on naming Black figures to top posts Prepare for buyers' remorse when Biden/Harris nationalize health care Biden: 'Difficult decision' to staff administration with House, Senate members MORE (I-Vt.) was the only candidate in Tuesday's Democratic debate to oppose the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement.


IRS provides tax relief for those with discharged student loans: The IRS and Treasury Department on Wednesday released guidance that will allow more people with discharged student loans to receive tax relief.

Under the guidance, certain taxpayers with discharged student loans will not have to report the amount of the loan as gross income on their federal tax returns. The Hill's Naomi Jagoda tells us who this is supposed to help, how it works, and the genesis of the guidance. 



  • U.S. consumer confidence rose in December amid a November hiring surge and strong holiday sales, according to survey results released Wednesday.
  • White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Wednesday that President Trump will unveil a new tax cut proposal later this year, "perhaps sometime later in the summer."
  • Senate Democrats on Wednesday are vowing to force a third vote aimed at ending President Trump's national emergency declaration amid reports that the White House is shifting more money from the Pentagon to the border wall.




Rising housing costs are forcing families to sacrifice basic needs like food, health care and education.

Wells Fargo is committing $1 billion in philanthropic giving over the next six years to reduce the cost burden of housing – and help American families move into safe, stable, and affordable homes.