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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.

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  • If you are one of the average Americans who eat 23 pounds of ice cream a year, then Sunday will be a good day for you. It’s National Ice Cream Day, and restaurants across the country are offering deals on cones, cups and shakes. >> Read more trending news  If any food deserves its own day, ice cream would be it. The creamy treat is an $11 billion industry that generates $1.6 billion in wages, according to the International Dairy Foods Association's economic report. According to ice cream makers and retailers, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin are the country’s most successful ice cream markets.  Below are some deals you can snag on ice cream treats this weekend. Note: Not every restaurant in a chain may be honoring the deals, so be sure to check with local ice cream shops to confirm which deals are available before you go. Baskin-Robbins: On Sunday, guests can purchase two prepacked quarts of any ice cream for just $7.99. On Wednesday, July 31, fans can “Celebrate 31” with $1.70 scoops. The deal is valid on 4-ounce single scoops only. Waffle cones and toppings are extra. The deal cannot be combined with other offers and is valid at participating U.S. stores. Carvel: Buy one cup or cone of soft ice cream and get a free cup or cone free all day Sunday. Cold Stone Creamery: Cold Stone Creamery has a buy one, get one free offer when you sign up by Thursday for the Cold Stone rewards program on the company's website.  Dairy Queen: Dairy Queen has a buy one Cupfection treat for 99 cents, get one free offer through Sunday at participating locations. Limit one per customer. Dippin' Dots: Participating Dippin’ Dots locations will be giving away a free mini cup of Dippin’ Dots during a two-hour window on Sunday. Customers should check their local store for the hours. GODIVA Boutiques: Godiva Boutiques will offer 50% off soft serve and parfaits at participating locations.  Johnny Rockets: Get a free milkshake when you purchase an entree on National Ice Cream Day. McDonald’s: At participating locations, McDonald’s is offering a summer deal in which you can get a vanilla cone for $1. Monkey Joe's: On Sunday, kids can get a free ice cream cup with a paid admission while supplies last. This offer cannot be combined with any other offers.  PetSmart: PetsHotel at participating PetSmart locations is offering a free doggie ice cream topped with dog biscuit treats on Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. Potbelly Sandwich Shop: Get a large hand-dipped milkshake free on Sunday when you purchase an entree. Mention National Ice Cream Day at the register to claim the deal. Your Pie: Get a free scoop of Italian gelato with any purchase Sunday. Yogurtland: Buy one ice cream, get one free when you visit Yogurtland on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Kentucky police officials have charged a Louisville attorney with assault after he allegedly attacked a colleague with a Lysol can during a fight in the courthouse. Lindsey Scott, 63, is charged with second-degree assault in the incident, according to WDRB in Louisville. He was booked into and released from the metro jail. >> Read more trending news  Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office officials said another defense attorney, James “J.R.” Moore, was working on some of his cases around 8 a.m. Wednesday in an attorney workroom next to a district courtroom. At some point, Scott entered the room. “Some sort of altercation developed,” Lt. Col. Carl Yates, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, told the news station. Scott is accused of hitting Moore with the aerosol can, causing cuts to his head. When deputies got to the room, Moore was restraining Scott and both were covered with blood, Yates said. The workroom had to be shut down and cleaned of the blood. Surveillance footage released to local news stations by the Sheriff's Office shows the bloody scene, as well as a handcuffed Scott sitting on a bench with blood covering his white suit. Moore was sent to the hospital, where he told WAVE 3 News in Louisville he received about a dozen staples to his head. Scott, who told deputies he was suffering chest pains, was taken to the hospital as well, but was later booked into the jail. Moore later posted a message on Facebook about the skirmish. “Today, I was totally blindsided while peacefully eating my breakfast,” Moore wrote, according to WAVE 3 News. “First thing I felt was a thud. Just a scalp wound. “My friends need not be concerned. All concerns should be for my perpetrator. Something is apparently very wrong in his life. He is a good man.” Other attorneys also expressed shock over the incident, saying both Moore and Scott are well-known and well-liked. Wednesday’s incident is not the first time Scott has been behind bars. According to the Courier-Journal, the attorney was at the center of a sensational court case in the 1980s when, as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps, he was convicted of raping and attempting to kill a fellow Marine’s wife at the Quantico military base in Virginia. Scott, a Louisville native, was sentenced to 30 years in prison, but the verdict was later overturned on the grounds he received ineffective counsel from his civilian lawyer, the Courier-Journal reported. The Washington Post in 1988 covered his second military trial, at the end of which he was exonerated by the military jury of charges of attempted murder, rape, sodomy and abduction. Scott, who had spent four years in Fort Leavenworth, wept silently, the Post reported. “In the tiny spectators’ gallery, Scott’s ailing mother, Mildred, began to shout in a gravelly voice, ‘Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Lord Jesus! Thank the Lord for giving me back my innocent child!’ before she was pulled from the courtroom by four or five supporters,” the Post story read. The Post reported there was one significant difference in evidence between the first and second trials: the recollection of a former security officer at a Zayre department store in Woodbridge, about 12 miles from Quantico, who testified she saw Scott shopping in the store at the time the victim was being attacked on the base. Her testimony backed up Scott’s claim that he had spent the evening of the attack shopping for his pregnant wife’s birthday, which was the following day, the Post said. The victim also had trouble identifying Scott in the days after the attack, saying each time that other men in the photos and lineup resembled him. The Post reported she said she picked Scott out of the lineup because, “He scares me the most.” No physical evidence linked Scott to the crime, the newspaper said. 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'The passport was for personal protection in the event of travel to dangerous areas, only to be presented to potential (kidnappers), hijackers or terrorists should violent episodes occur.' It was not immediately clear how Epstein obtained the passport. Update 12:40 p.m. EDT July 15: Two of Epstein's alleged victims on Monday asked Berman not to allow the 66-year-old to be released on bail pending his trial. Both spoke at his bail hearing in New York. Courtney Wild said she was 14 years old when Epstein started sexually abusing her in Palm Beach, Florida, according to Courthouse News. She told the court that if Epstein were to be granted bail, he would be 'a scary person to have walking the streets,' CNN reported. Annie Farmer said she met Epstein when she was 16 years old and that he behaved inappropriately, though she declined to give details, according to Courthouse News. She also asked Berman not to grant bail to Epstein. Prosecutors said Monday that during a search of Epstein's home safe, authorities found a bogus passport that listed a Saudi Arabia residence, 'piles of cash' and 'dozens of diamonds.' The passport, issued in the 1980s, had Epstein's photo on it but a different name. Prosecutors said previously that federal agents found a trove of nude photos during the raid on Epstein's mansion following his arrest on sex trafficking charges. Update 10:30 a.m. EDT July 15: Epstein will remain incarcerated until at least Thursday, when a judge said he'll likely rule on whether to grant bail to the 66-year-old, CNN reported. Several of Epstein's alleged victims were in court Monday, according to Courthouse News. Prosecutors said Friday in a court filing that multiple victims have told government officials that they want Epstein detained until his trial because they fear his release will give him the opportunity to harass them. Original report: Epstein's attorneys have asked a judge to allow their client to be detained at his Manhattan mansion until trial and offered to put up a 'substantial' bond to ensure his compliance with the proposed terms of his release. Among other things, Epstein's attorneys proposed he be fitted with a GPS device and said their client would agree to ground his private jet. In a response filed Friday, prosecutors argued Epstein should be held without bond due the severity of his charges and his financial means. Prosecutors said they believe Epstein might have tried to influence witnesses after discovering that he had paid a total of $350,000 to two individuals, including a former employee, in the last year. Authorities said that several more women have come forward to accuse Epstein of sexually abusing them since charges against the New York hedge fund manager were made public last week. Officials have said authorities found 'hundreds or thousands of nude and seminude photographs of young females in his Manhattan mansion on the night of his arrest,' evidence which they say eliminates 'any doubt that the defendant is unrepentant and unreformed.' Epstein is accused of sexually exploiting and abusing dozens of girls at his homes in New York and Florida, heading a sex trafficking scheme that saw his victims recruiting other girls to be abused. He pleaded not guilty last week to sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy charges. Epstein avoided significant jail time and federal prosecution in 2008 as part of a deal overseen by then-U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta. As part of the non-prosecution agreement, Epstein pleaded guilty to a pair of lesser charges and agreed to register as a sex offender. He served 13 months in jail as part of the deal. Acosta said his office 'proceeded appropriately, based on the evidence' in 2008, but scrutiny of the once-secret deal, detailed in a series of in-depth reports published last year by The Miami Herald, prompted him to resign last week from his role as President Donald Trump's secretary of labor. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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