Trump Hits "Allies" With Stiff Tariffs: The Politics Behind a Trade War

Trump Hits “Allies” with Stiff Tariffs: The Politics Behind a Trade War
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Vijay Prashad, the Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research and Chief Editor of LeftWord Books. He is the author—most recently — of “The Death of the Nation and the Future of the Arab Revolution” and “Red Star Over the Third World.”

The Trump Administration today announced stiff new tariffs on steel and aluminum produced by three of the country's biggest trading partners-Canada, Mexico, and the European Union, all of which vowed to retaliate. The decision will likely raise prices on a wide array of products for Americans and may presage a similar move soon against China.

On the regular Thursday series "Criminal Injustice," about the most egregious conduct of our courts and prosecutors and how justice is denied to so many people in this country, the hosts discuss a New Hampshire bill eradicating the death penalty that the governor vetoes, citing police and victims. Paul Wright, the founder and executive director of the Human Rights Defense Center and editor of Prison Legal News and Criminal Legal News, and Kevin Gosztola, a writer for and co-host of the podcast Unauthorized Disclosure.

The European Court of Human Rights has found that both Lithuania and Romania violated the EU's prohibition on torture. The two countries were found to have violated the rights of terror suspects who were tortured in CIA-operated black sites that were set up during the Bush administration. Brian and John speak with Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst turned political activist and journalist.

The Virginia state senate approved a bill yesterday expanding Medicaid coverage to 400,000 low-income residents, putting an end to years of Republican opposition. The state assembly had already approved the measure, and Governor Ralph Northam said he would sign it into law as soon as it reaches his desk. Leo Cuello, an attorney and the director of health policy for the National Health Law Program, joins the show.

The hosts continue the discussion on electronic monitoring on recently released prisoners. Electronic monitoring is a popular government alternative to prison, but it discriminates against the poor, who simply can't afford to pay for the service. And if they don't pay, they go right back to prison. James Kilgore, a research scholar at the Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) who also focuses on electronic monitoring and supervision at, wrote the book "Understanding Mass Incarceration: A People's Guide to the Key Civil Rights Struggle of Our Time," and spent six-and-a-half years in federal and state prisons, joins Brian and John.

President Trump today pardoned conservative political commentator Dinesh D'Souza who was convicted in 2014 of violating campaign finance laws. Trump said that D'Souza was "treated very unfairly by our government." The move was applauded by conservatives on Capitol Hill. He is also reportedly considering a pardon for Martha Stewart and a commutation for Rod Blagojevich. Ted Rall, an award-winning editorial cartoonist and columnist, joins the show.

Karl Marx famously wrote that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, and then as farce. The Cold War was a tragedy. The new Cold War is playing out as farce. That's the thesis of Dr. Jeremy Kuzmarov in his new book, "The Russians are Coming, Again" which you can get from Monthly Review Press. Brian and John speak with Dr. Jeremy Kuzmarov, an author and assistant professor of American history at the University of Tulsa.

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