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Westlake Legal Group > Mnuchin, Steven T

U.S. and China Agree to Resume Trade Talks, Sending Markets Higher

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S. and China Agree to Resume Trade Talks, Sending Markets Higher United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

Stocks around the world rose following the news that talks would resume. Early trading on Wall Street was also up.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

On Thursday, the S&P 500 jumped following news of the talks.

The rise reflects a sense of relief among investors that the two sides, which have recently been seen as far apart in negotiations, may once again seek to find a way to de-escalate a conflict that has raised global economic concerns and has injected uncertainty into the markets.

More than half of respondents to Bank of America’s monthly survey of global fund managers in August cited a worsening trade war as the top “tail risk” — a remote, but potentially deeply destabilizing threat — facing markets.

Over the last year, the potential fallout of the trade battle surpassed previous worries that troubled these professional investors, such as the chance that the Federal Reserve could tighten interest rates too far or a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth could stifle global growth.

At times this year, the stock market has suffered bouts of extreme volatility, first in May and again last month, when previous cease-fires in the battle between the United States and China broke down.

Data on mutual funds and E.T.F.s has shown money consistently flowing out of the stock market and into the bond market, often considered a safe haven for investors, which is also enjoying a strong year.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

State controlled media has contended that the trade war is hurting American consumers more than Chinese companies and citizens. “The White House lifted a rock, which fell on the feet of the America public,” the Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, wrote in a Sept. 1 editorial after the latest round of tariffs set in.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them

Westlake Legal Group 04chinatrade-facebookJumbo U.S.-China Trade Talks to Resume, but New Tariffs Could Complicate Them United States International Relations United States Trump, Donald J Politics and Government Mnuchin, Steven T Liu He (1952- ) Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market Economic Conditions and Trends Customs (Tariff) China

SHANGHAI — The United States and China will hold trade talks in Washington early next month, officials from both countries said on Thursday, but new tariffs will make it difficult to find a way to end their economic clash.

Liu He, a top Chinese economic official and Beijing’s top trade negotiator, will travel to Washington in early October, state media said. Mr. Liu spoke on Thursday morning with Robert E. Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary. Mr. Lighthizer’s office said that deputy-level meetings would take place ahead of the talks.

If held as scheduled, the talks would take place after new American tariffs kick in, which could make it difficult for the two sides to reach a deal. President Trump has said he would raise tariffs to 30 percent from the current 25 percent on $250 billion in Chinese goods. Those tariffs cover everything from cars to aircraft parts.

On Sunday, Washington began charging a 15 percent tax on more than $100 billion worth of Chinese imports. Beijing retaliated with its own increased tariffs. Both countries plan to impose still more tariffs in December, barring a breakthrough in talks.

Already, pessimism had been growing on both sides of the Pacific Ocean about the possibility of a trade deal before the United States presidential elections next year. The mounting tariffs have rattled global markets and set off fears over world economic growth.

Businesses in both the United States and China have begun to express concern about a trade war that has dragged on for more than a year. American manufacturing activity contracted for the first time in three years because of slowing export orders amid the trade dispute, data showed on Wednesday.

Chinese factory activity, meanwhile, contracted for three months this summer before ticking back up slightly in data released this week. Its manufacturing sector has suffered layoffs and factory shutdowns from the trade war and as its economy grows at its slowest pace in three decades.

“When I speak to C.E.O.s of leading Chinese and global companies, everyone is fretting about what the latest escalations mean for their businesses in the short term, and more worrisome, for their long-term strategy and investment plans,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s greater China business.

The two sides show little sign of backing down, however. Mr. Trump has gambled that China’s softening economy will put pressure on Beijing’s leaders to back down. Speaking with reporters on Wednesday, Mr. Trump cited the country’s slowdown, which he called, inaccurately, “the worst year they’ve had in 57 years.”

“And they want to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

For their part, China’s leaders believe their own efforts to quell China’s dependence on debt are mostly responsible for the slowdown, and that they could reverse course if needed to bolster growth.

Next month’s talks would be the 13th time that senior-level trade negotiators have met. American negotiators traveled to Shanghai in July to meet briefly with their Chinese counterparts and left with an agreement to meet again in Washington on Sept. 1.

But the plans were disrupted when, one day after negotiators returned home, Mr. Trump said the United States would impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sept. 1, once again escalating trade tensions.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Can Battle China or Expand the Economy. He Can’t Do Both.

LONDON — As President Trump intermittently escalates and moderates his trade war with China, his conflicting signals reflect a reality that limits his actions: He can try to sever the deeply intertwined American commercial relationship with China, or he can prod economic growth to assuage the fears of investors around the planet.

But he cannot do both at the same time.

Mr. Trump need not rely on the testimonials of economists to deduce this. He can disregard the admonitions of news outlets he derides as fake news. He can simply consult the one source whose verdicts he tends to celebrate: the stock market.

Among those who control money, portents of further trade hostilities between the United States and China, the two largest economies on earth, have proved an impetus to sell with abandon while amplifying talk of recession. Intimations of a deal avoiding further animosity reverberate as a clarion call to buy, sending share prices higher while easing worries about a potential global economic downturn.

Mr. Trump often appears caught between competing impulses that pull markets — and his China policy — in opposite directions.

Talk of a trade deal with China makes for happy stock markets and retirement account statements that Americans open up to learn that they are, also happily, richer. For a president seeking re-election next year, this option holds appeal.

Thunderous threats of fresh tariffs on Chinese goods and the forging of a new order in which American industry forsakes China may damage share prices and shrink economic growth prospects. But it brings plaudits from Mr. Trump’s most ardent political base — nationalists who portray the trade war as a tough but necessary piece of business, the sort of action evaded by the cowards who resided at the White House before.

The latest evidence for this state of affairs came in recent days, as Mr. Trump angrily reacted to China’s announcement of retaliatory tariffs of 10 percent on some $75 billion worth of American exports.

On Friday, the president unleashed furious tweets threatening China with pain. He vowed to raise tariffs on $550 billion of Chinese goods. He declared that China’s president, Xi Jinping, whom he had previously called a “good man,” was an “enemy.” And he commanded American companies to abandon China and start making their products in the United States.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_151214007_f44ac43b-806f-4f47-8485-fb3310adfbdd-articleLarge Trump Can Battle China or Expand the Economy. He Can’t Do Both. United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Mnuchin, Steven T Lighthizer, Robert E International Trade and World Market China Bolton, John R

The end of a shift at a Ford factory in Chongqing, China. Last week, Mr. Trump ordered American companies to leave China.CreditGilles Sabrié for The New York Times

That last bit was especially striking given that successive American administrations have criticized Chinese counterparts for using state-owned companies as tools of policy in contravention of market forces. Now, here was the president of the United States, traditional champion of swashbuckling capitalism, ordering American companies to heed his dictates.

In markets around the globe, investors reacted to these developments as powerful signals to yank their money to safety. They sold stocks and bought bonds. They dumped a vast assortment of currencies and purchased the American dollar, the ultimate haven in moments of worry.

They reacted, in short, as if much of the globe suddenly appeared riskier.

Signs of trouble had already been mounting. For better or worse, the United States and China have been fused for two decades, with their fortunes influencing economic conditions everywhere.

China has invested aggressively in manufacturing plants, ports and power systems to become the factory to the world. American consumers are the most significant drivers of economic growth on earth. Together, the United States and China are responsible for about 40 percent of the world’s economic output.

Any sign of a breakdown in this arrangement — the threat that China will be impeded in selling its goods, or that the American appetite is waning — spreads worry far and wide.

The trade war that has escalated over the last year has already produced distress. Germany, the largest economy in Europe, is teetering toward recession in large part because of weakening exports. As China’s economy slows in the face of American tariffs, Chinese factories have less need for goods made in Germany, from machinery to petrochemicals.

German weakness has contributed to a general sense of malaise in Europe, just as the Continent grapples with the prospect that Britain — also contracting — might crash out of the European Union without a deal governing future commercial relations.

Across Asia, the drop in trade has sown trouble, with Singapore and Hong Kong now declining and South Korea slowing. Even Vietnam — a country that has received fresh investment as multinational companies seek alternatives to making their wares in China — looks vulnerable if global trade over all continues to diminish.

The uncertainty of the trade war has caused companies like Gradall Industries, which makes industrial equipment in Ohio, to postpone investments.CreditRoss Mantle for The New York Times

“For the rest of the world, there are many other countries that are innocent bystanders that will actually suffer even more than the United States and China,” said Louis Kuijs, the Hong Kong-based head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics. “There is not going to be any de-escalation any time soon.”

The United States is still growing, with the unemployment rate lower than it had been in half a century. But companies are deferring investments as they puzzle over the impact of trade hostilities. How can executives proceed with expanding operations in Ohio or Michigan when they have no certainty over the tariffs that will apply to parts and electronics brought in from China? A slowdown in investment could eventually prompt households to curb their spending, bringing a recession.

If a continued trade war footing tanks stock markets, share prices could themselves become an affliction. As millions of Americans absorb the reality that their investments are worth less, they may question whether to buy that new home, take that trip or open that new business.

Long before Mr. Trump took office, American governments complained about China and its failed promises to open its market. China has lavished subsidies on state-owned companies. It turned itself into an export juggernaut while ignoring labor and environmental standards.

Beijing and Washington have argued over this state of affairs for decades, while American labor interests and industry groups have demanded redress.

But Mr. Trump has gone much further than his predecessors in his diagnosis. In his telling — at least, in his combative moments — China is a rogue operator that fleeces Americans. The solution is not another slow-moving case at the World Trade Organization, but a fundamental redrawing of commercial geography. American companies must vacate China, walking away from customers and supply chains. In his view, the American economy is supposed to “decouple” from China, as the think tank vernacular has it.

Mr. Trump’s tweet storm on Friday morning appeared to underscore that he was serious, that he was truly willing to see Americans accept the costs — plunging stock markets, weakening investment — for a wholly new sort of relationship with China as adversary.

Stock markets suffered a sell-off because a dissolution of American and Chinese commercial arrangements was certain to be disruptive. Companies with global operations would have to scramble to figure out where they would buy parts and raw materials. The potential outcomes were many, but none of them involved the world’s getting richer.

Commerzbank headquarters in Frankfurt. With exports to China weakening, Germany is at risk of a recession.CreditFelix Schmitt for The New York Times

Yet by Sunday morning, at the Group of 7 summit in France, Mr. Trump was expressing “second thoughts” about the new tariffs on Chinese goods. By Monday morning, he was calling Mr. Xi a “great leader” and reporting that China was interested in resuming trade talks. Stock markets were buoyant. At least for a few hours, the bewildering notion that the United States and China were dissolving ties could be forgotten.

But for how long? And what is the end game?

For as long as Mr. Trump has occupied the Oval Office, trade experts have parsed his often contradictory words and actions for clues to his real policy aims and beliefs. They have labored to divine what he values, and somehow separate it from what he may say as a negotiating ploy or as a diversion from scandal.

Most have come to conclude that his policy is perpetually flexible, depending on which advisers have his ear and on the tenor of television conversations about American economic growth prospects and — especially — the stock market.

His hard-line advisers — like the United States trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, and Mr. Trump’s chief trade adviser, Peter Navarro, author of a book called “Death by China” — urge him to untether the American economy from China.

The president’s national security adviser, John R. Bolton, portrays trade as but one element in which China poses grave peril to American interests. In this calculus, economic damage is the unavoidable cost of reclaiming American status as a superpower that dictates the terms of world engagement.

But Larry Kudlow, the former television host who leads Mr. Trump’s National Economic Council, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin tend to focus on areas of interest to investors, not least share prices. Conventional wisdom has it that Mr. Trump is channeling their influence when he talks up possible deals with China.

Mr. Trump is famously adept at maintaining positions that seem mutually exclusive. In recent weeks, he has touted the awesome strength of the American economy while excoriating the Federal Reserve chair for imperiling the economy by not aggressively lowering interest rates. He has flirted with tax breaks to juice the economy further.

But the trade war threatens to force Mr. Trump to choose between it and economic growth.

In Beijing and Washington alike, hard-liners have dug in, shrinking room for a compromise. In both capitals, a sense of permanent alteration has transpired, a deepening assumption that — whatever comes next — China and the United States will proceed with profound wariness.

For the global economy, that could entail grave uncertainties and perils.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Federal Budget Would Raise Spending by $320 Billion

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158074476_64635c03-fbc9-4e66-b951-0f927a68b120-facebookJumbo Federal Budget Would Raise Spending by $320 Billion United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pelosi, Nancy National Debt (US) Mnuchin, Steven T Federal Budget (US)

WASHINGTON — White House and congressional negotiators reached accord on a two-year budget on Monday that would raise spending caps and lift the government’s debt ceiling, likely averting a fiscal crisis but splashing still more red ink on an already surging deficit.

If passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, the deal would stop a potential debt default this fall and avoid automatic spending cuts next year. The agreement would also bring clarity about government spending over the rest of Mr. Trump’s term.

But it is another sign that a Capitol once consumed by fiscal worries simply no longer cares — even as the government’s red ink approaches $1 trillion a year.

“It’s pretty clear that both houses of Congress and both parties have become big spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add,” said David M. McIntosh, president of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that advocates for free-enterprise.

The agreement, struck by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, would raise spending by $320 billion, compared to the strict spending levels established in the 2011 Budget Control Act and set to go into effect next year without legislative action. Spending on domestic and military programs would increase equally, a key demand of Ms. Pelosi, offset by about $75 billion in spending cuts, far lower than the $150 billion in cuts that some White House officials initially demanded.

The deal would lift the debt ceiling high enough to allow the government to keep borrowing for two more years, punting the next showdown past the 2020 elections. The negotiators hope to enact the accord before Congress leaves for its August recess.

The president said he was pleased with the added military spending and made no mention of the mounting deficits that he and Republicans once railed against.

The deal is a coup de grâce for the Budget Control Act of 2011, which President Barack Obama signed into law after House Republicans, led by the current acting White House chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, pushed the government to the brink of defaulting on its debt. The law, once seen as the Republicans’ crowning achievement in the Obama era, set strict spending caps, enforced with automatic spending cuts.

But since 2014, a succession of budget deals has waived the Budget Control Act caps, and the new deal not only lifts them again but allows the whole law to expire in 2021.

Meantime, the federal debt has ballooned to $22 trillion. Despite healthy economic growth, the federal deficit for this fiscal year has reached $747 billion with two months to go — a 23 percent increase from the year before.

“It appears that Congress and the president have just given up on their jobs,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which blasted out a statement arguing the tentative deal “may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history.”

“The economy is great and able to accommodate changes,” she said in an interview. “But we’re about to make things worse due to nothing other than the lack of political will.”

The rising costs of an aging population, with the baby boom generation drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits, and Washington’s spending habits have led to increases in both federal spending and interest costs on the growing national debt. During the first two years of the Trump administration, the debt increased by more than $2 trillion, in part because of the 10-year, $1.5 trillion tax cut and large spending increases Mr. Trump signed into law.

The president has repeatedly called for deep spending cuts in the budgets he has submitted to Congress — then signed several laws that have boosted the deficit even further.

As president, Mr. Trump has overseen both a binge in discretionary spending and a plunge in expected tax revenues as a result of the tax cut legislation that stands as his signature legislative achievement. The federal budget deficit has increased by an average of 15 percent for each fiscal year he has been in office. (Mr. Obama ran large deficits in his first term in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But his second term saw deficits fall by an average of 11 percent per fiscal year.)

In that first Obama term, which included a large government stimulus package to jump-start job creation in the depths of the recession, discretionary spending on military and domestic items rose by about 3 percent per year, on average. In his second term, such spending declined by an annual average of nearly 2 percent.

Mr. Trump is currently on pace to increase discretionary spending by an average of nearly 4 percent per year.

Mr. Trump’s tax cuts, which reduced rates for businesses and individuals, have not paid for themselves, as some administration officials said they would. Instead, they have reduced individual and corporate tax revenues by about 8 percent per year, compared to what budget forecasters expected before the cuts were passed into law.

Combined with increased costs from paying interest on a larger national debt, the tax cuts are on pace to add nearly $400 billion to the national debt in the course of the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office.

But Democrats are not inclined toward austerity either. In the first round of Democratic presidential debates, the national debt was barely mentioned.

Still, passage of the budget agreement is not certain. Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Mnuchin, who have led the negotiations in private phone calls over the last week, will have to sell the deal to their parties ahead of an anticipated House vote this week, before that chamber leaves on Friday. The Senate is scheduled to leave for its recess next week.

In her caucus, Ms. Pelosi must wrangle votes from both her fiscal hawks and liberal members opposed to increased military spending. Mr. Mnuchin must secure the president’s signature and wave off critics of government spending such as Mr. Mulvaney.

But the threat of an economically disastrous default on the nation’s debt, coupled with widespread desire to avoid automatic cuts to military and domestic programs, are likely enough for the proposed measure to become law.

“I can’t imagine anybody ever even thinking of using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wedge,” Mr. Trump said on Friday. “We can never play with it.”

Once a deal is enacted, lawmakers have to race to agree on how to allocate the money before Oct. 1, when current spending laws expire.

Meantime, the deficit hawks are getting more disheartened.

“Everybody getting what they want is not bipartisan compromise, it’s irresponsible policymaking that harms the next generation,” said Michael Peterson, chief executive of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, an advocacy group for debt reduction.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tentative Federal Budget Would Raise Spending by $320 Billion

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158074476_64635c03-fbc9-4e66-b951-0f927a68b120-facebookJumbo Tentative Federal Budget Would Raise Spending by $320 Billion United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Pelosi, Nancy National Debt (US) Mnuchin, Steven T Federal Budget (US)

WASHINGTON — White House officials and congressional lawmakers are nearing a deal that would boost government spending levels over the next two years and raise the federal borrowing limit. If passed by Congress and signed by President Trump, it would avert a default crisis this fall and avoid automatic spending cuts next year.

The agreement would raise spending by $320 billion, compared to the strict spending levels established in the 2011 Budget Control Act and set to go into effect next year without legislative action, according to three people familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity to discuss the unfinished deal.

The accord, which negotiators hope to enact before Congress leaves for its August recess, includes equal increases in domestic and military spending, a key demand of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s, according to one person familiar with the talks. It would also include offsetting spending cuts of about $75 billion, far lower than the $150 billion that some White House officials initially demanded.

The deal would lift the debt ceiling high enough to allow the government to keep borrowing for two more years, punting the next showdown past the 2020 elections.

People familiar with the negotiations stressed that the talks were continuing, but all sides have strong incentives to come together quickly. Without action, Congress will either have to postpone departure for its monthlong August recess or rush back early to finish the deal before the government runs out of money, which could be as early as September.

At the White House on Monday Mr. Trump said, “we are having very good talks” on the budget and the debt limit. He said he was pleased with additional investment in the military.

Ms. Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who have led the negotiations in private phone calls over the last week, will have to sell a deal to their parties ahead of an anticipated House vote this week, before that chamber leaves on Friday. The Senate is scheduled to leave for its recess next week.

In her caucus, Ms. Pelosi must wrangle votes from both her fiscal hawks and liberal members opposed to increased military spending. Mr. Mnuchin must secure the president’s signature and wave off critics of government spending like Mick Mulvaney, the acting White House chief of staff, and Russell T. Vought, the acting head of the Office of Management and Budget.

Some Republican lawmakers and officials within the administration want to reject any budget that is not fully offset by spending cuts or that does not carry a promise from Democrats that they would drop liberal policy changes from future spending bills.

But the threat of an economically disastrous default on the nation’s debt, coupled with widespread desire to avoid automatic cuts to military and domestic programs, may be enough for the proposed measure to become law.

“I can’t imagine anybody ever even thinking of using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wedge,” Mr. Trump said on Friday. “We can never play with it.”

Mr. Trump criticized the Republican Party in 2013 for agreeing to lift the debt ceiling, and Mr. Mulvaney and his allies in the House used a looming debt default in 2011 to force passage of the Budget Control Act, which set the spending caps that the new deal would once again lift.

Since 2014, a succession of budget deals has waived the Budget Control Act caps, and the deal in its current form does not revive them past their expiration in 2021.

Meantime, the federal debt has ballooned to $22 trillion. Despite healthy economic growth, the federal deficit for this fiscal year has reached $747 billion with two months to go — a 23 percent increase from the year before.

“It appears that Congress and the president have just given up on their jobs,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, which blasted out a statement arguing the tentative deal “may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history.”

“The economy is great and able to accommodate changes,” she said in an interview. “But we’re about to make things worse due to nothing other than the lack of political will.”

The rising costs of an aging population, with the baby boom generation drawing Social Security and Medicare benefits, and Washington’s spending habits have led to increases in both federal spending and interest costs on the growing national debt. During the first two years of the Trump administration, the debt increased by more than $2 trillion, in part because of the 10-year, $1.5 trillion tax cut and large spending increases Mr. Trump signed into law.

Lawmakers and officials who once raised alarm over the growing debt — including Mr. Trump himself, who warned in 2015 that debt over $21 trillion would “have effectively bankrupted our country” — have largely fallen silent. In the first round of Democratic presidential debates, the national debt was barely mentioned, with candidates choosing to focus on countering economic inequality and beefing up government programs.

Once a deal is enacted, lawmakers have to race to agree on how to allocate the money before Oct. 1, when current spending laws expire. The House has passed 10 of the 12 spending bills needed to keep the government open afterward, but that legislation will have to be updated based on funding levels from any budget deal.

The Senate has not yet begun work on any of the bills, which need to be reconciled with the House legislation and approved by the president.

“I want to go to work, I want to do our jobs as appropriators,” said Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana and a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “It kind of makes the Appropriations Committee the nothing committee.”

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Facebook Cryptocurrency Plans Have a Problem: Facebook’s Reputation

Westlake Legal Group 16libra-facebookJumbo Facebook Cryptocurrency Plans Have a Problem: Facebook’s Reputation Zuckerberg, Mark E Virtual Currency United States Politics and Government United States Trump, Donald J Stocks and Bonds Social Media Senate Committee on Banking Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation and Deregulation of Industry Powell, Jerome H PayPal Money Laundering Mnuchin, Steven T Marcus, David A Libra (Currency) House Financial Services Committee Federal Trade Commission Federal Reserve System Facebook Inc E-Commerce Consumer Protection Computers and the Internet Brown, Sherrod Bitcoin (Currency) Banking and Financial Institutions

Lawmakers made it clear at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Tuesday that they believe the biggest roadblock to Facebook’s plan to enter the world of cryptocurrency and global finance is the company’s reputation.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra, has been in the works for more than a year. It has an ambitious goal: to offer an alternative financial system that makes it possible to send money around the world with few fees.

But almost immediately, the company has run into resistance from Washington.

“Facebook is dangerous,” Senator Sherrod Brown, Democrat of Ohio, said at the hearing. “Facebook has said ‘just trust us.’ And every time Americans trust you, they seem to get burned.”

The initiative is far from the first effort of its kind. The best-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, is in wide circulation, and it introduced the idea of digital currencies that are free from government control.

But the Libra effort has put a spotlight on cryptocurrencies and amplified the voices of critics who say the technology has little value beyond speculative investing and illegal transactions, like online drug sales.

When Facebook announced Libra in June, it also faced immediate skepticism from people who are wary of the power the social media company has already accumulated. Within days, regulators in Washington were calling for hearings on Facebook’s plans.

That concern was obvious on Tuesday when members of the committee questioned David Marcus, who leads the company’s cryptocurrency initiative, for more than two hours. Mr. Marcus was asked about a range of Facebook controversies, from lax protection of the private information of its users to Russian disinformation on Facebook’s platforms to claims that is tries to muzzle conservative viewpoints.

“Why in the world should Facebook of all companies do this?” asked Senator Brian Schatz, a Democrat from Hawaii. “Maybe before you do a new thing you should make sure you have your own shop fixed.”

Mr. Marcus, adopting a conciliatory tone, said the company would do its best to fight fraud and to earn back the trust of the more than two billion people who use Facebook’s services regularly.

“We’ve made mistakes in the past,” Mr. Marcus said. “We have been working, and are working hard to get better.”

The Senate session was the first in a day of Capitol Hill hearings involving the technology industry. House lawmakers were set to question multiple tech executives at an afternoon hearing focused on competition issues as part of a broad antitrust inquiry. And Google executives were scheduled to face questions at another hearing on the subject of whether the company censors conservative voices.

Facebook officials will also have to answer more questions about the company’s cryptocurrency plans in a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday.

Some lawmakers and regulators — most notably at the Securities and Exchange Commission — have been raising concerns about the legality and usefulness of cryptocurrencies for some time.

The involvement of Facebook, which has faced an onslaught of controversy over the last two years and is expected to pay a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, has put a charge into those discussions.

Last week, the chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome H. Powell, said Libra raised “serious concerns” around “money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability.”

“I just think it cannot go forward without there being broad satisfaction with the way the company has addressed money laundering” and other issues, Mr. Powell said as he testified before the House Financial Services Committee. Central bankers from Britain, China, France, Singapore and the European Central Bank have all voiced similar concerns.

President Trump also criticized Libra and Bitcoin, writing on Twitter last week that the digital tokens were “highly volatile and based on thin air.”

And at a news conference on Monday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also raised questions about Libra and other cryptocurrencies. Facebook has “a lot of work to do before we get to the point where we’re comfortable with it,” Mr. Mnuchin told reporters.

The issue provides a rare instance when the Trump administration is lining up with Democrats rather than other Republicans. While Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee lashed into Facebook, several Republicans on the committee voiced support for Facebook and its new initiative.

“I just think we should be exploring this and considering the benefits as well as the risks,” said Patrick Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania. “To announce in advance that we have to strangle this baby in the crib seems wildly premature.”

But not all Republicans on the committee were so positive.

Martha McSally, a Republican from Arizona, said “I don’t trust you guys.”

And Tom Cotton, a Republican from Arkansas, worried that conservatives would not be treated fairly in the Libra system, echoing a frequent Republican talking point about the liberal bias of tech companies.

Mr. Marcus, a former PayPal executive, was handpicked by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, to lead the Libra effort.

Facebook’s role in the project will be run through a subsidiary company called Calibra, led by Mr. Marcus and other top Facebook employees. If the Libra digital token become popular, Calibra could build a business around offering customer financial services, including loans and other actions traditionally offered by the banking industry.

A separate entity called the Libra Association, whose proposed board would include more than a dozen partners in the tech and financial industries, would manage the cryptocurrency system once it is up and running, which Facebook is hoping to do next year.

Mr. Brown asked if there was any amount of opposition that would convince Facebook to scrap Libra.

“Is there anything that elected leaders can say that will convince you and Facebook that it should not launch this currency?” he said.

Mr. Marcus said that the company would not move ahead with the project until the concerns of regulators are answered.

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Trump’s Aides, Not Eager to Defend His Tweets, Also Don’t Condemn Them

WASHINGTON — When President Trump defended neo-Nazi protesters in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, one of his top aides took the rare step of publicly condemning what he said.

Gary D. Cohn, who served as his top economic adviser at the time, said in an interview with The Financial Times that “this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups.”

On Monday, Mr. Cohn’s successor in the West Wing, Larry Kudlow, steered clear of the latest flare-up of Mr. Trump’s inflammatory language.

“That’s way out of my lane,” Mr. Kudlow said when asked about the president’s weekend tweets, in which he said four Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries they came from — even though three of them were born in the United States and all four are American citizens.

“He’s tweeted what he’s tweeted,” Mr. Kudlow said. “You’ll have to talk to him about that.”

Almost two years after Charlottesville, when Mr. Trump refused to condemn white supremacists after their deadly clash with a crowd protesting them, presidential statements widely condemned as racist are still putting White House officials in the awkward position of having to defend comments they privately wish Mr. Trump had not made.

But they are also causing less heartburn in the West Wing than they used to.

After Charlottesville, Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a White House adviser, issued her own statement on Twitter, saying there was “no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-nazis.” It was a notable corrective to her father.

On Monday, Ms. Trump declined to comment on her father’s latest remarks, which even some Republican lawmakers called “racist and xenophobic” and said demanded an apology.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who was giving an unrelated briefing on cryptocurrencies on Monday, could not so easily avoid being asked about Mr. Trump’s tweets. “I do not find them racist,” he told reporters, but he added that the president “speaks for himself on that.” Mr. Mnuchin had also defended Mr. Trump’s comments about Charlottesville.

When asked if Mr. Trump’s tweets were racist, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting director of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, said on CNN: “No, I see that as presumably political hand grenades.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157996323_ac50e735-195e-45d3-821b-e459129c3120-articleLarge Trump’s Aides, Not Eager to Defend His Tweets, Also Don’t Condemn Them United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Race and Ethnicity Omar, Ilhan Mnuchin, Steven T Kudlow, Lawrence A Giuliani, Rudolph W discrimination Charlottesville, Va, Violence (August, 2017)

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, who was giving an unrelated briefing on cryptocurrencies on Monday, was asked about Mr. Trump’s tweets. “I do not find them racist,” he told reporters.CreditAnna Moneymaker/The New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was similarly dismissive of the idea that the attack on the congresswomen was racist. “He’s just pointing out that all they ever seem to do is attack America,” he said.

And Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said Mr. Trump’s “intent” was not “in any way racist.” Mr. Short pointed to the fact that an Asian immigrant, Elaine Chao — who also happens to be married to Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader — serves in the president’s cabinet as transportation secretary. “This is not a universal statement that he’s making,” Mr. Short said. “He’s making it about an individual member of Congress.”

Neither the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, nor one of Mr. Trump’s most visible television defenders, Kellyanne Conway, weighed in on Monday. And other White House officials acknowledged privately that Mr. Trump’s statements were difficult to defend.

But in interviews with a half-dozen current and former White House officials, many said Mr. Trump’s comments, which relied on an age-old racist trope to further an us-against-them political strategy Mr. Trump hopes to ride into his re-election, did not at a “gut level” rise to the level of the Charlottesville crisis, in which one protester was killed. After that incident, Mr. Cohn even drafted a resignation letter, though he ultimately did not submit it to Mr. Trump.

More frustrating to many internally, they said, was that Mr. Trump interrupted an intraparty Democratic fight between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the freshman congresswomen known as “the squad” by uniting them against a common enemy in the White House.

Administration veterans said they had long ago become immune to thinking anything Mr. Trump said would stick to him for more than one news cycle. Indeed, even a year after Charlottesville, Republican lawmakers who distanced themselves from the president had come back to embrace his tax overhaul and his selection of Brett M. Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

And many of the corporate executives who quit Mr. Trump’s business councils in protest have since dined privately with Mr. Trump at the White House. Mr. Trump’s poll numbers, meanwhile, have remained steadily in the low to mid-40s, showing no prolonged drop-off because of any particular crisis.

Two former White House officials also claimed that on the subject of the Democratic congresswomen of color, the truth was that many Americans agreed with Mr. Trump. One campaign official said that if Mr. Trump succeeded in forcing Democrats to embrace as progressive leaders members like Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, whose remarks her own party has sometimes struggled to defend, it could hurt them.

Mr. Trump trained his criticism specifically on Ms. Omar on Monday when he defended his weekend tweets.

“I hear the way she talks about Al Qaeda,” Mr. Trump told reporters on the South Lawn. “When she talked about the World Trade Center being knocked down by ‘some people.’” Mr. Trump said that “these are people that in my opinion hate our country. Now you can say what you want, but get a list of all of the statements they have made. And all I’m saying: that if they are not happy here, they can leave.”

If his staff was not eager to publicly defend Mr. Trump, he showed on Monday that he was happy to do it himself. When asked whether it was worrisome that many people viewed his tweets as racist, Mr. Trump said that “it doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”

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As Nations Look to Tax Tech Firms, U.S. Scrambles to Broker a Deal

Westlake Legal Group merlin_148265940_3d34f4ca-6938-496a-86fd-8da1c7681316-facebookJumbo As Nations Look to Tax Tech Firms, U.S. Scrambles to Broker a Deal United States Politics and Government United States International Relations United States Economy Trump, Donald J Treaties tax evasion Mnuchin, Steven T International Trade and World Market Income Tax Great Britain Google Inc France Federal Taxes (US) Facebook Inc Customs (Tariff) Corporations Corporate Taxes Amazon.com Inc

WASHINGTON — For most of the 21st century, wealthy nations have engaged in a race to the bottom on corporate taxes, cutting rates in an effort to poach business activity across borders. Very quickly, that script has flipped.

Developed countries are now moving to impose new taxes on technology companies, like Facebook and Google, that have large presences in their citizens’ daily lives but pay those countries little tax on the profits they earn there.

France moved on Thursday to become the first country to impose a so-called digital tax of 3 percent on the revenue companies earn from providing digital services to French users. It would apply to large companies, numbering more than two dozen, with robust annual sales in France, including United States-based Facebook, Google and Amazon. British leaders also detailed plans on Thursday to impose a similar tax, of 2 percent, on tech giants. And the European Union has also been mulling a digital tax.

The digital revenue grab is pitting traditional allies against one another, threatening to set off a cascade of tax increases and tariffs unless political and economic leaders work out a multinational agreement to avert them. Late Wednesday, the Trump administration said it would pursue an investigation into whether France’s tech tax amounted to an unfair trade practice that could be punishable with retaliatory tariffs. Administration officials, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, have also raised concerns about Britain’s move.

The French tax, which would exact a bigger toll on foreign companies than French ones, has been denounced by the American tech industry, along with Democratic and Republican leaders, who are looking for ways to avoid such one-off decisions by more closely coordinating international digital tax arrangements.

Administration officials have tried to shape an effort being led by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to broker an international system for taxing digital profits. A lobbying flurry has broken out in Washington to influence the negotiations.

And in its attempts to show international leadership — and not go it alone, as Mr. Trump has in his trade wars with China and other partners — the administration is pushing the Senate to vote next week on a package of long-foundering updates to international tax treaties, which could demonstrate to allies that it is serious about leading the effort to broker a digital armistice.

Countries have competed to reduce corporate tax rates, and attract business activity both physically and on paper, for two decades. The average rate tracked by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has fallen seven percentage points since 2000, to just over 21 percent today. France and the United States both cut rates substantially for 2018, with Mr. Trump’s signature tax cuts bringing the American rate of 21 percent right to the international average.

Technology companies’ revenue has surged worldwide, but not their tax payments, prompting many wealthy governments to complain that digital businesses are not paying their fair share. The European Union calculates that digital company revenue is growing more than four times as fast as revenue for other multinational companies, partly from ad sales to European consumers.

Because the firms have relatively light physical presences in Europe, they benefit from the current system, which taxes companies based on where their operations and assets are — and not where their sales are generated. The European Union has said this has allowed tech companies to pay less than half the effective tax rate of other multinationals, and European leaders want to tax them in a way that takes into account where their users are.

Mr. Mnuchin has spent much of his time discussing the issue at international forums with finance ministers from around the world.

During meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in April, Mr. Mnuchin said it was a “priority” to find an international solution, and he pressed France and Britain to abandon their own tax plans once a compromise is reached.

At the Group of 20 finance ministers meeting in Japan in June, Mr. Mnuchin underscored his concerns, and the finance ministers agreed in their communiqué to work toward finding a common set of rules to close loopholes that global technology companies have been using to reduce their tax bills.

“I’m not in favor of the current digital tax that has been proposed by France and the U.K.,” Mr. Mnuchin said, warning a system of unilateral digital taxes would not work. “We have significant concerns with both of those.”

The United States has called for a tax that is based on companies’ income, not sales, and said specific industries should not be singled out with a different standard. The Treasury secretary has dispatched his deputy, Justin Muzinich, to help broker an agreement. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a “road map” in May, agreed to by nearly 130 countries, toward finding agreement on a global digital tax plan.

France has said that it will repeal its tax once a group agreement is reached. The subject will come up again when finance minsters gather in Chantilly, France, for the summit of the Group of 7 industrialized nations next week. Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, has suggested that France’s tax will help accelerate an international pact.

“We are willing, especially with Steven Mnuchin, to give new impetus during the G7 in Chantilly on the very specific topic of minimum taxation,” Mr. Le Maire said in an interview last month.

The Treasury Department said in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday that it is considering a range of responses to the French tax.

“We have and will continue to urge France to forbear from such unilateral actions and join with us in an intensive effort to reach a comprehensive, multilateral solution,” wrote Kimberly J. Pinter, deputy assistant secretary in Treasury’s office of legislative affairs.

As negotiations persist, administration officials and Republican Senate leaders have worked together to break a decade-long logjam on updating international tax treaties, some of which were negotiated in the early years of the Obama administration.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, moved on Thursday to set up a vote on the quartet of treaties next week, in what would be a bipartisan victory for multinational companies. The package is expected to succeed in garnering the support of two-thirds of senators voting on the issue.

The so-called tax protocols would update existing tax treaties with Spain, Japan, Luxembourg and Switzerland. They would allow companies with operations in those countries to avoid some previous tax penalties for transferring money to their operations abroad, in a provision proponents say would encourage multinationals to invest more in the United States. They would also update the existing treaties to allow for more detailed sharing of information among countries on individual and corporate taxpayers.

The treaties were held up for years by Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who objected to that information sharing. But the Senate Foreign Relations Committee overrode his complaints and voted to advance the treaties last month.

A host of large and powerful trade groups, including the Semiconductor Industry Association and the Business Roundtable, has been urging Senate leaders to approve the measures. “Tax treaties help the U.S. economy by allowing U.S. companies to more efficiently conduct their businesses abroad and by making the U.S. more hospitable to foreign investment,” the groups wrote this spring in a letter to Senator Jim Risch, the Idaho Republican who leads the Foreign Relations Committee.

One of the companies that stands to benefit is a Spanish-owned steel maker with a large plant in Kentucky, North American Stainless, which has been pushing Mr. McConnell and other senators to schedule a vote.

North American Stainless is the subsidiary of Acerinox, and employs more than 1,300 workers in Kentucky. A company executive told a Senate panel in 2014 that ratifying the tax protocol with Spain could boost Acerinox’s investments in Kentucky, by ending a 10 percent tax on dividend payments from the American subsidiary to the parent company.

In pushing for the tax treaties, Treasury officials have argued that they would promote fair and efficient taxation by the United States and treaty partners, reduce the risk of double taxation and help combat tax evasion by improving the flow of information among tax authorities.

A Treasury spokeswoman said the tax treaties were a priority for Mr. Mnuchin and Mr. McConnell and that the Senate’s bipartisan work on the issue would fuel economic growth.

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