Happy Friday and welcome back to On The Money for the final time in 2019! We’ll be back after New Year’s Day. 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 says signing of China trade deal ‘being arranged’: President TrumpDonald John TrumpMaxine Waters warns if Senate doesn’t remove Trump, he’ll ‘invite Putin to the White House’ Trump signs .4 T spending package, averting shutdown Twenty-five Jewish lawmakers ask Trump to fire Stephen Miller over ‘white nationalist’ comments MORE said Friday that he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about the “phase one” trade agreement with Beijing and said a formal signing of the deal is “being arranged.”
“Had a very good talk with President Xi of China concerning our giant Trade Deal. China has already started large scale purchases of agricultural product & more,” Trump tweeted Friday morning. “Formal signing being arranged.”
Trump and his advisers have touted the deal as a major victory and said it will pave the way for a second, more substantial “phase two” trade deal with Beijing.
But the text of it has not yet been released, creating continued uncertainty about its contents. Trump administration officials have said they expect the deal to be signed in early January, at which point it will be released. The Hill’s Morgan Chalfant explains here.
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Trump talks trade with Bolsonaro after surprise tariffs: Trump also discussed trade in a call with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro after the U.S. abruptly threatened to reimpose steel tariffs on the South American nation.
The background: The president and Bolsonaro have enjoyed a close relationship since the latter took office earlier this year. But Trump appeared to catch Bolsonaro off guard when he announced earlier this month that the U.S. would restore tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina, citing “massive devaluation of their currencies.”
National Economic Council Director Larry KudlowLawrence (Larry) Alan KudlowMORE later said the administration had not made a final decision about imposing the tariffs, even though Trump’s tweet said they were “effective immediately.” The Hill’s Brett Samuels has more on the Trump, Bolsonaro call here.
LEADING THE DAY
US Steel closing mill, laying off 1,500 Detroit workers: U.S. Steel Corp. announced this week that it will close a mill near Detroit, laying off more than 1,500 workers as it tries to address financial losses.
The news comes just months after U.S. Steel announced it would be laying off 200 workers at the same mill, Great Lakes Works.
U.S. Steel said they expect to end the mill’s iron and steelmaking operations by April 1, 2020, with another part of the mill closing by the end of 2020. The estimated job loss is 1,545 workers.
Steel production will instead be shifted to a plant in Gary, Ind., where the company has invested $750 million after both the city and state gave U.S. Steel tax breaks. Those tax breaks aimed to keep at least 3,875 jobs at the plant.
The announcement comes as steel has been at the center of President Trump’s ongoing trade war with China. After the first round of tariffs on foreign steel, the White House celebrated domestic steel price increases and Trump said tariffs were rebuilding the industry, but the prices have since seen a sharp decline.
2020 Democrats divided over Trump-Pelosi trade deal: Democratic candidates running for president were split on supporting the updated North American Free Trade Agreement negotiated between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhite House threatened to veto funding bill if Ukraine aid requirement was included House bill seeking price controls on drugs would cause millions to die On The Money: Trump says plans ‘being arranged’ to sign initial China trade deal | Trump talks with Bolsonaro after surprise tariffs | 2020 Dems divided over Trump, Pelosi trade deal MORE (D-Calif.) during Thursday night’s debate.
- “This is a modest improvement over what we have right now,” said Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersClaire McCaskill: Young girls ‘are now aspiring’ to be like Warren, Klobuchar after debate Booker releases list of campaign bundlers Klobuchar raises more than M in online donations since debate MORE (I-Vt.), whose opposition to trade deals were a hallmark of his 2016 run for the Democratic nomination. “It is not going to stop outsourcing, it is not going to stop corporations from moving to Mexico.”
- Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharClaire McCaskill: Young girls ‘are now aspiring’ to be like Warren, Klobuchar after debate Klobuchar raises more than M in online donations since debate Buttigieg after debate: ‘No woman should ever have to apologize’ for anger MORE (D-Minn.) said the deal was a significant improvement over both the existing NAFTA and the original version of the deal Trump negotiated last year, citing Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOn The Money: Trump says plans ‘being arranged’ to sign initial China trade deal | Trump talks with Bolsonaro after surprise tariffs | 2020 Dems divided over Trump, Pelosi trade deal 2020 Democrats divided over Trump-Pelosi trade deal House approves Trump’s USMCA trade deal amid shadow of impeachment MORE‘s (D-Ohio) support for the new version.
The House overwhelmingly passed the updated trade deal, called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, just hours before the debate, 385-41. The Senate is expected to approve it in January.
GOOD TO KNOW
- The chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee said she plans to advance a bipartisan bill to impose a strict limit on interest rates when Congress reconvenes next year.
- The country’s top antitrust enforcers on Friday argued in favor of the $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, arguing the states attempting to block the enormous telecom deal could wind up harming customers across the country.
- France has fined Google $167 million for engaging in anti-competitive behavior and for having unclear advertising on its Google Ads page.
RECAP THE WEEK WITH ON THE MONEY:
- Monday: Lawmakers pile on the spending in $1.4T deal | Trump-Pelosi trade deal creates strife among progressives | Trump, Boris Johnson discuss ‘ambitious’ free-trade agreement
- Tuesday: House approves massive $1.4T spending package | House panel advances Trump’s new NAFTA | Trump expected to attend World Economic Forum in January
- Wednesday: Senate chairman opposes cannabis banking bill | Panel advances Trump pick for Small Business Administration | Judge tosses NY state fraud charges against Manafort
- Thursday: House approves Trump USMCA deal in bipartisan vote | Senate sends $1.4T spending bill to Trump’s desk | Why budget watchdogs are howling over the spending deal