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National Govt & Politics
Trump defends tariffs as U.S. brings in billions in new revenues
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Trump defends tariffs as U.S. brings in billions in new revenues

Trump defends tariffs as U.S. brings in billions in new revenues

Trump defends tariffs as U.S. brings in billions in new revenues

A day after his top economic adviser conceded that American companies and consumers would be paying for new tariffs levied on several hundred billion dollars of imports from China, President Donald Trump on Monday defended his latest trade moves against Beijing, as some GOP lawmakers said the tariffs amounted to nothing more than a new tax.

In a series of Monday morning posts on Twitter, President Trump said there was 'no reason' consumers should have to pay higher prices for the Chinese goods, arguing they should seek out imports from other nations, or buy American instead.

On Sunday, the President's top economic adviser acknowledged that President Trump has been wrongly saying that China would be paying for the new import duties - instead, the American companies buying those items would pay the extra tariffs, with billions in extra revenues going to Uncle Sam, and higher costs possibly being passed on to consumers.

"These massive payments go directly to the Treasury of the U.S.," the President acknowledged last week - as the amount of import duties being collected by the U.S. Government should grow even more with the decision to increase tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on some $250 billion in imported Chinese products.

The aggressive emphasis by Mr. Trump to levy new tariffs on China, as well as tariffs on imported steel and aluminum has already had a direct impact on Uncle Sam's bottom line, as the amount of import duties collected so far in 2019 is almost double where it was a year ago.

Figures released last Friday by the Treasury Department show through April, the feds have collected $39.3 billion in import duties - that's up from $21.8 billion at the same point in 2018.

For many economists and lawmakers, tariffs are no different than taxes.

"Every time you hear about U.S.-imposed tariffs, remember that they are taxes on Americans," said Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). "@POTUS is boasting that he loves collecting big taxes on Americans."

"Trump’s tariffs will only lead to higher consumer prices for ordinary Americans," said Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA).

President Trump last week predicted the latest round of tariffs on Chinese imports would bring in $100 billion to the U.S. Treasury - and that's a red flag for Republicans, who worry it might get in the way of GOP tax cuts.

"I know of a big company that told me that the tax cuts specifically helped them but that the tariffs are almost equal in punishing them," Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said on ABC's This Week.

And as more in tariffs are being paid - it also raises the question of whether that will impact consumers.

But the other option to increasing tariffs is one which President Trump repeatedly presses - the decision of buying items made in the U.S. - as the higher cost of imports from other nations would make higher-priced American products more competitive.

It's a protectionist type of argument which runs counter to what the Republican Party has backed for decades.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board last year said, "Mr. Trump may be the first openly protectionist President since Hoover."

“Buyers of product can make it themselves in the USA (ideal), or buy it from non-Tariffed countries,” Mr. Trump tweeted, as all sides will get to watch what happens in coming months in terms of economic impacts, if this trade war continues.

The Treasury Department estimates the U.S. will collect over $69 billion in tariffs in 2019 - up from $41 billion in 2018, and $34.5 billion in 2017.

Read More

News

  • Dish and Sling subscribers in metro Atlanta without an over-the-air antenna have been missing CBS46 (WGCL-TV) the past few days and they might lose Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast, as well, on Monday. >> Read more trending news   Dish, which has often been the most aggressive in negotiating with cable and broadcast networks among service providers, is currently at an impasse with all regional Fox Sports networks, recently purchased from 21st Century Fox by Disney. Dish and other providers pay fees to owners of channels and pass those costs on to consumers. Most of the time, those deals are negotiated behind the scenes. Every so often, networks decide to play hardball by publicizing the dispute and occasionally pulling off blackouts in hopes viewers would blame the service provider. Fox Sports South and Fox Sports Southeast are the primary carriers of Atlanta Braves games, airing 154 this year. Dish subscribers would miss out on games starting Tuesday, July 23 with a two-game series against the Kansas City Royals followed by a three-game against the Philadelphia Phillies and three more with the Washington Nationals. The Braves are currently leading the National League East. A spokesman for Fox Sports regional networks declined to comment but the networks have been posting ads on Facebook with the headline “Keep My Home Teams” and featuring a phone number and website.  Dish provided this statement:  “DISH’s goal is to keep these channels available to our customers. We are unsure why Disney, the new owner of these channels, decided to involve customers in the contract negotiation process at a point when there is still time for the two parties to reach a mutually beneficial deal.” Dish had a previous conflict with Fox Sports that lasted from 2013 to 2015 and kept 50 weekend Atlanta Braves off the air over three seasons. Why did that happen In 2013? Fox Sports bought the rights for games that were originally set to air on Peachtree TV and asked for extra money from the cable and satellite carriers. Everyone said fine – except Dish. Dish has said Fox was asking for too much for rights. Fox didn't budge until 2016. Meanwhile, in the other current Dish dispute, Meredith Corp., owner of several TV stations, including CBS46, decided to pull its stations off Dish Tuesday and a resolution has not happened yet as of Saturday night. 
  • A man was hitting his wife Sunday morning when he was shot by her son, officials said. >> Read more trending news   Harris County deputies said the 17-year-old shot his stepfather around 2:20 a.m. while the man was beating the boy’s mother, KPRC reported.  The stepfather was flown to a hospital for treatment. His condition is unknown.  It is unclear if the teen will face any charges, KPRC reported. 
  • A dispute between a Georgia lawmaker and a man she accused of verbally attacking her in a Cobb County store dominated headlines over the weekend.  State Rep. Erica Thomas, who is serving her second term representing an Austell-based district and as vice chair of her caucus is one of the state’s top Democrats,  posted a tearful Facebook video on Friday afternoon. The African American resident discussed her encounter with a white man at an express lane at Publix in Mableton.  He took exception that Thomas, who is nine months pregnant, was flouting the 10 items or less rule.  'This white man comes up to me and says, 'You lazy son of (expletive). You need to go back where you came from,'' she posted. 'Sir, you don't even know me. I'm not lazy. I'm nine months pregnant.' At this point in the video, she’s bawling as she dabs her eyes with a tissue. “Yes, I had 15 items but I’m nine months pregnant, and I can’t stand up for long,” she said. The video has been viewed over 117,000 times since it was first posted and amassed nearly 3,000 comments.  Within hours, Kathy Griffin and other celebrities tweeted #IStandWithErica.  Teresa Tomlinson, a U.S. Senate candidate, said “all sane people of good conscience” support Thomas.  Many called on Publix, which said Saturday it was cooperating with local authorities, to release a tape of the incident. The company has not yet said whether it will — or whether one even exists.  In a statement released Saturday, the supermarket chain said, “At Publix we are committed to creating a safe and welcoming shopping experience for all our customers.” A day after the incident, during a planned interview at the store with Channel 2 Action News, Thomas found herself face to face again with the man she accused of verbally attacking her. Eric Sparkes, who had also reached out to the news station, had shown up to talk to the store’s management about the incident. With Thomas standing a few feet away, Sparkes said he noticed she had about 20 items at the express lane and when he turned to her to complain, she “berated” him. He then said he laced into her. “I stated, ‘You’re a selfish little (expletive).’ I did say that. That’s all I said after that and I walked out of Publix. Her words stating on Twitter, and her video, stating I told her she needs to go back where she came from are untrue. I am Cuban.” In a subsequent interview with Channel 2, Thomas said, “I don't want to say he said, ‘Go back to your country,’ or ‘Go back to where you came from.’ But he was making those types of references is what I remember.” MORE: Trump’s ‘go back’ attacks roil Georgia politics The incident came days after President Donald Trump’s remarks that four liberal congresswomen should “go back” to their home countries — and after a Gwinnett County Democratic activist had a nasty run-in with a Trump supporter at a grocery store on the other side of Atlanta’s suburbs. The blowback for Trump was immediate, as both Democratic and Republican politicians labeled the tweets as “inappropriate” and “racist.”  In the Thomas incident, some Republican sleuthing revealed Sparkes had made critical comments on social media about Trump, leading them to believe he was a Democrat. Republicans also criticized Thomas and other Democrats for sending out a fundraising plea on the incident that asserted “no woman should be subjected to this type of behavior from anyone while living their lives.”  The Georgia GOP had some of the harshest words: “Raising money on fabricated stories, lies and false narratives. Just business as usual for the Georgia Democrat Party and those they put in office.”  The state Democratic Party and other leading Georgia Democrats, meanwhile, have tweeted their support for Thomas and her side of the story. “You keep lying,” Thomas said in a tweet Saturday night directed at Sparkes, “we have witnesses that will testify!”
  • The reign of 'Avatar' as the top-grossing film of all time is over after a decade. 'Avengers: Endgame' has toppled James Cameron's sci-fi movie to become the highest-grossing box office film in the world.  Variety reported that the Disney and Marvel blockbuster has made more than $2.7902 billion at the global box office Sunday, surpassing the $2.7897 billion gross for 'Avatar.' The announcement was made at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday afternoon, according to The Hollywood Reporter. >> Read more trending news  “A huge congratulations to the Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Studios teams, and thank you to the fans around the world who lifted Avengers: Endgame to these historic heights,' Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Alan Horn said in a statement. 'Of course, even with the passage of a decade, the impact of James Cameron’s 'Avatar' remains as powerful as ever, and the astonishing achievements of both of these films are ongoing proof of the power of movies to move people and bring them together in a shared experience. The talented filmmakers behind these worlds have much more in store, and we look forward to the future of both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Pandora.” In June, 'Endgame' returned to theaters with about six minutes of new footage in an effort to dethrone 'Avatar.' It was initially released in theaters in April. The news comes after a slate of new Marvel projects were announced at Comic-Con. A new ensemble franchise, 'Eternals,' was announced, with Richard Madden, Kumail Nanjiani, Lauren Ridloff, Brian Tyree Henry, Salma Hayek, Lia McHugh, Don Lee and Angelina Jolie. Marvel dominates half of the top 10 highest-grossing films in the world. A list of the top 10 all-time worldwide box office grosses is below. 'Avengers: Endgame' - $2.7902 billion 'Avatar' - $2.7897 billion 'Titanic' - $2.1875 billion 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' - $2.0682 billion 'Avengers: Infinity War' - $2.0484 billion 'Jurassic World' - $1.6717 billion 'Marvel's The Avengers' - $1.5188 billion 'Furious 7' - $1.5160 billion 'Avengers: Age of Ultron' - $1.4054 billion 'Black Panther' - $1.3469 billion
  • One person was struck by lightning and seven others nearby were also injured by the impact Sunday, officials said.  >> Read more trending news  A group of people was at Clearwater Beach near Frenchy’s Rockaway restaurant when a man was struck by lightning around 12:42 p.m., causing him to have a heart attack, officials said.  He was taken to a hospital and is in critical condition, officials said. Another person was taken to a hospital with burn injuries. Three others were taken to a hospital with unknown injuries. Another three people refused transport. Lifeguards had left their towers around 12:30 p.m. as severe thunderstorms began to roll through the area.  “Beachgoers should take cover and go to a safe place when lightning and thunder are present,” officials said.
  • The carcass of a minke whale washed up along a Massachusetts beach Friday.  >> Read more trending news   They are not endangered or threatened but the species of whale is part of an unusual mortality event since 2017, with 59 documented deaths along the Atlantic coast from Maine to South Carolina, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Fisheries. They are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Heavy equipment was needed to move the 23-foot marine mammal, considered a young adult, the Cape Cod Times reported. Minke are the smallest of what are considered the great whales. They grow up to 35 feet and weigh up to 20,000 pounds. Their common name comes from a Norwegian whaling spotter named “Meincke” who mistook a minke whale for a blue whale.  A necropsy will be performed Monday.