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Scott Horsley

When Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rolled out her "Green New Deal," calling for clean energy, universal health care and guaranteed jobs, one of the first questions she got was: How do you plan to pay for it?

The New York Democrat argued that ambitious programs can easily be financed through deficit spending.

President Trump has named Tomas Philipson as acting chair of his Council of Economic Advisers. Philipson, who is already a member of the council, is a University of Chicago professor who specializes in the economics of health care.

He previously served as a top economist at the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Philipson takes over from White House economist Kevin Hassett, whose departure was announced on Twitter last month.

Updated at 7:34 p.m. ET

Stocks rallied Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified about challenges facing the U.S. economy, adding to expectations that the central bank will cut interest rates later this month.

The Fed had hinted at such a cut in June.

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Updated at 9:25 a.m. ET

Hiring rebounded strongly in June as U.S. employers added 224,000 jobs. That's well above the pace many forecasters were expecting, and a sharp pickup after a disappointing May.

A monthly snapshot from the Labor Department showed unemployment rose slightly, to 3.7%, as more workers entered the job market.

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The U.S. and China have agreed to restart trade talks, and the Trump administration will hold off for now adding new and costly tariffs on some $300 billion in Chinese imports.

President Trump announced the trade truce after an 80-minute meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

"Basically we agreed today that we're going to continue the negotiation," Trump told reporters Saturday. "We're going to work with China on where we left off to see if we can make a deal."

Updated at 9:55 p.m. ET

President Trump issued a surprise invitation to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a handshake meeting this weekend along the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.

The invitation came in a tweet, as Trump wrapped up meetings with other world leaders at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Updated at 3:30 am ET

On his way to the Group of 20 summit in Japan, President Trump complained about all of its members that take advantage of the United States. But once he arrived in Osaka, he appeared to set aside those concerns, using a rapid-fire series of meetings to flatter his fellow leaders and boast about improving ties.

Summits like the G-20 being held this week in Japan are often a chance for geopolitical speed-dating. President Trump has meetings scheduled with at least eight world leaders over the next three days. None is more consequential than his sit-down Saturday with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The two big, very different personalities will be jockeying for global power and economic might, with hundreds of billions of dollars in trade on the line.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged Wednesday but signaled it is ready to cut rates in the future if necessary to shore up a slowing U.S. economy.

The central bank's rate-setting committee said the economic outlook is still generally positive — with low unemployment and solid consumer spending. But trade tensions, a slowdown in manufacturing and sagging business investment have injected more uncertainty into the crystal ball.

Updated at 6:41 p.m. ET

Ronald Reagan's former budget director, David Stockman, calls Art Laffer "the greatest Fake Economist to ever come down the pike."

Laffer helped popularize the notion that tax cuts pay for themselves through faster economic growth.

It almost never works out in practice. But Laffer and his namesake curve remain darlings of Republican politicians.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Thursday that the Trump administration is determined to make China play by the rules of international trade.

"You know how you get from here to there?" Kudlow told an audience at a pro-trade think tank in Washington. "You kick some butt."

That's not the kind of dry, technocratic language one usually associates with trade negotiations. But it's another example of how President Trump has turned international commerce into a highly unusual spectator sport.

Updated at 4:46 p.m. ET

Hiring slowed sharply last month, as U.S. employers added just 75,000 jobs. The unemployment rate held steady at 3.6%.

The monthly snapshot from the Labor Department suggests businesses are increasingly cautious in the face of the Trump administration's ongoing trade wars.

In the health care industry, there are few brands more well known than Johnson & Johnson. The maker of consumer staples ranging from Band-Aids to baby shampoo has faced a number of controversies in its 133-year history. Now it is contesting charges that it contributed to the nation's opioid epidemic.

During and after the Great Recession, people turned to disability rolls in large numbers to make ends meet. This accelerated what had been going on for a generation, as the federal government's disability insurance program saw steady growth.

When Courtney Hering started working at Kohler Co. seven years ago, she was continuing a long family tradition.

"My mother, she's been here 39 years," she says. "My dad worked here for 14 years. And my grandfather on my dad's side, he worked here as well."

These are prosperous times in America. The country is plump with jobs. Out of every 100 people who want to work, more than 96 of them have jobs. This is what economists consider full employment.

The economy has grown for almost 10 years, making it one of the longest economic expansions in U.S. history. And over that time, the job market has come back. It grew slowly at first, then steadily, finally reaching a point at which there are many more openings than job seekers.

The escalating trade war between the U.S. and China may be painful for American consumers and companies but Trump's supporters say the battle is long overdue.

Learn more by watching the video above.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Trump administration is preparing to add tariffs — or taxes — on virtually everything the U.S. buys from China. But the president offered reassurance that in some cases, waivers will be granted, so Chinese goods can be imported tax-free.

The administration has offered similar waivers from its steel and aluminum tariffs, putting the Commerce Department in the awkward position of literally picking winners and losers.

Trade negotiators from the U.S. and China wrapped up two days of what President Trump called "candid and constructive" talks on Friday but failed to reach agreement. The Trump administration raised the stakes for future negotiations by boosting tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

While the trade war with China is rattling financial markets around the world, another trade skirmish is about to play out in the supermarket — in particular, the produce aisle. The Trump administration is preparing to level a new tariff — or tax — on fresh tomatoes imported from Mexico.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

U.S. employers added a better-than-expected 263,000 jobs in April, as the nearly decade-old economic expansion shows no signs of slowing. And the unemployment rate dropped to 3.6% — the lowest in nearly 50 years.

In March, the jobless rate was 3.8%. A monthly snapshot from the Labor Department showed solid hiring in services, construction and health care.

Updated at 8:42 a.m. ET

The Commerce Department says the U.S. economy picked up steam in the first three months of the year, after a rocky finish to 2018.

Gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 3.2% in the first quarter, up from 2.2% at the end of last year. That's a significant turnaround from six weeks ago, when many analysts expected a slump in GDP growth to just 2% or less.

A pickup in consumer spending contributed to the improved outlook. Retailers enjoyed strong sales gains in March after a lackluster February.

The grounding of Boeing's troubled 737 Max aircraft could pinch U.S. economic growth, some analysts say, but the government reported Thursday that aircraft orders were strong enough last month to lift a key indicator.

Orders for durable goods jumped 2.7% in March, fueled in part by strong demand for commercial aircraft. The Commerce Department reported that orders for civilian aircraft soared 31%.

Here's a little encouragement for last-minute tax filers: Your chance of being audited by the IRS this year is as low as it has been in decades.

Years of budget cuts have hollowed out enforcement of the nation's tax laws. Now, even the Trump administration says those cuts may have gone too far.

Adjusted for inflation, IRS funding has been cut by about 25 percent since the beginning of the decade. And staffing for tax enforcement has fallen by nearly a third.

Updated at 12:41 p.m. ET

The Trump administration is preparing to slap tariffs on billions of dollars' worth of imports from Europe, in retaliation for what it calls unfair subsidies of Airbus jets. The proposed tariffs would cover not only aircraft but also wine, cheese, woolen suits and other signature European products.

Who says a dollar doesn't go as far as it used to?

When it comes to dollar bills, a new report from the federal government says they're lasting more than twice as long as they were at the beginning of the decade.

And that's upending an old argument about replacing the dollar bill with a $1 coin.

Updated at 8:45 a.m. ET

The U.S. labor market bounced back strongly in March after a lackluster showing in February.

U.S. employers added 196,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday. That's a big improvement from February, when revised figures show just 33,000 jobs were added. But it's a slowdown from the last three months of 2018, when monthly job growth averaged 233,000.

President Trump said he wants to appoint former Godfather's Pizza CEO and Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board.

"I find Herman to be an outstanding person," Trump told reporters during an Oval Office appearance with the vice premier of China on Thursday. "I would think he would do very well there."

Updated at 3:08 p.m ET

Frustrated by the large number of Central Americans who have been entering the country from Mexico, President Trump doubled down on his threat to close the Southern U.S. border.

"I'm ready to close it," Trump said Tuesday. "If we don't make a deal with Congress, the border is going to be closed, 100 percent."

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