On The Money: Trump announces limited trade deal with China | Appeals court rules against Trump over financial records | Trump expands authority to sanction Turkey

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THE BIG DEAL–Trump gets partial trade deal with China: President Trump on Friday said he and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had agreed on a limited trade deal that would ease the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies and potentially set the stage for a more significant deal down the road.

In Trump’s words: “We’ve come to a very substantial phase one deal,” Trump told reporters following the meeting.

What we know about the deal: The principles cover financial services, agriculture, and some intellectual property issues.

Trump would suspend a scheduled 5 percentage point tariff increase on $250 billion of Chinese imports due to go into effect on Tuesday. The fate of a new set of 15 percent tariffs scheduled to go into effect on $156 billion of Chinese imports in mid-December remained unclear.

China agreed to buy $40 to $50 billion in agricultural products, relieving pressure on farmers, a key constituency that has suffered under the ongoing trade war.

What we don’t know: Can the U.S. and China follow through? The deal must still be written and signed by both parties. It also steers clear of broader issues Trump hoped to address when he embarked on the trade war last year, including broader intellectual property issues, forced technology transfer and massive Chinese industrial subsidies.

The timeline:

  • Trump said the initial deal would be written over the next three weeks.
  • Trump suggested he could sign the deal next month when he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in Chile for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings.
  • Negotiations on a second phase, he said, would continue after the signing of the first phase.

There were hints earlier in the day…: Trump sought to project optimism about the progress of trade discussions with China earlier Friday, saying there are “warmer feelings” than in past meetings.

“Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting,” Trump tweeted Friday morning.

Stock markets jumped Friday morning ahead of Trump’s meeting with Lieu He. Markets later dipped slightly upon news of the limited agreement.

The big picture: Friday’s agreement marked a turnaround in the negotiations after months of discord and escalating tariffs. Trade experts had been pessimistic that the discussions would lead to a comprehensive agreement and warned that the longer the trade war went on without a resolution, the harder it would become to actually broker a deal.



Trump expands authority to sanction Turkey: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday announced that President Trump will sign an executive order expanding the administration’s ability to impose sanctions on Turkish officials as the president faces growing criticism over his decision to pull U.S. forces out of northern Syria.

What we know: Mnuchin said that the executive order does not itself contain new sanctions, but gives Trump the authority to enact them. The new powers will allow the Treasury Department to sanction individuals and entities in Ankara involved in human rights abuses or undermining security in northern Syria.

Tough words from Mnuchin: “The president is concerned about the ongoing military offensive and potential targeting of civilians, civilian infrastructure, ethnic and religious minorities, and the president wants to make very clear that it is imperative that Turkey not allow even a single ISIS fighter to escape,” Mnuchin told reporters at The White House. “These are very powerful sanctions. We hope that we don’t have to use them, but we can shut down the Turkish economy if we need to.”

The big picture: Friday’s announcement appeared to be an effort from the White House to appease Republicans who have hammered the administration over its handling of the situation in Syria and called for a tough response to Turkey’s military movements. Trump has faced intense criticism for his decision to pull U.S. forces out of Syria.

In Congress: House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) plans to introduce sanctions legislation in the coming days, and Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) announced a deal this week to roll out similar legislation in the upper chamber.

The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant have more on Mnuchin’s announcement and what’s next.


Appeals court rejects Trump bid to keep financial records from House Democrats: A federal appeals court on Friday ruled against President Trump in his attempt to quash a subpoena for his financial records from House Democrats.

In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of judges for the Federal Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit ruled that the subpoena, issued by the Democratic-led House Oversight and Reform Committee, is “valid and enforceable.”

The ruling is a major victory for House Democrats as they investigate Trump’s finances amid a broader impeachment inquiry. The Hill’s Naomi Jagoda explains why here

The background:  

  • The Democratic-led House Oversight and Reform Committee issued a subpoena in April to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, seeking years’ worth of financial records on Trump and several of his business entities.
  • Trump filed a lawsuit challenging the subpoena, arguing that it lacks a legitimate legislative purpose. A federal district court judge ruled in favor of the Oversight and Reform Committee, and Trump appealed.

The decision: In the appeals court’s majority ruling, the judges said that the Oversight panel was engaged in a “legitimate legislative investigation” when it issued the subpoena and that the subpoena seeks information on a subject that could be a focus of legislation.

The reactions: 

  • Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) cheered the ruling, calling it a “fundamental and resounding victory for Congressional oversight, our Constitutional system of checks and balances, and the rule of law.”
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the ruling “a victory for our democracy, as the courts reaffirm the Congress’s authority and responsibility to conduct oversight and consider legislation on behalf of the American people.” More on Pelosi’s response here.

What comes next: Jay Sekulow, a personal lawyer for Trump, said in a statement that the president’s team is “reviewing the opinion and evaluating all options including appeals.”




  • The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) oversight with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, 10 a.m.
  • The House Budget Committee holds a hearing entitled “Strengthening Our Fiscal Toolkit: Policy Options to Improve Economic Resiliency,” 10 a.m.
  • The House Small Business Committee holds a hearing on management and performance challenges at the Small Business Administration,” 11:30 a.m.
  • The House Financial Services Committee holds a hearing on renewing the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program,” 2 p.m.
  • The Joint Economic Committee holds a hearing on measuring economic inequality in the U.S., 2:15 p.m.



  • The Senate Banking Committee holds a hearing on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) oversight with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, 10 a.m.
  • A House Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on the effects of stock buybacks, 10 a.m.
  • A House Small Business subcommittee holds a hearing entitled “Can Opportunity Zones Address Concerns in the Small Business Economy?” 10 a.m.
  • A House Financial Services subcommittee holds a hearing on diversity in the U.S. workforce, 2 p.m.



  • The House Financial Services Committee task force on financial technology holds a hearing on financial data storage, 9:30 a.m.



  • General Motors officials are urging the United Autoworkers Union (UAW) to agree to around-the-clock negotiations in an attempt to speed the resolution of a nearly month-long strike. 
  • The co-founder and CEO of Reddit and a top policy official with Google are slated to testify next week before a key House panel about the tech industry’s legal protections, the committee announced Friday.
  • A government task force has reportedly found that Boeing did not sufficiently inform regulators about aspects of a new automated system that contributed to two recent crashes of its 737 Max.



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