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US Trade Deficit Hits All-Time Record During Trump Presidency

U.S. Trade Deficit Hits All-Time Record During Trump Presidency
On today's episode of Loud & Clear, Brian Becker and John Kiriakou are joined by Richard Wolff, a professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst and founder of the organization Democracy at Work. Prof. Wolff’s latest book is “Capitalism's Crisis Deepens: Essays on the Global Economic Meltdown.”

President Trump has promised repeatedly to bring the trade deficit under control. Instead, it has exploded. The latest figures from the Commerce Department show that the US last year ran a trade deficit of $891.2 billion, the largest in American history. The deficit with China hit a record $419 billion, despite the President's trade sanctions against that country.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen testified today before the House Homeland Security Committee. The testimony focused on the Trump Administration's policy of family separation at the border and the deaths of migrant children in federal custody. The testimony is taking place as President Trump prepares to veto a resolution from Congress overturning his border wall state of emergency. Isabel Garcia, co-founder of Coalición de Derechos Humanos, joins the show.

Scores were arrested earlier this week in Sacramento, California as police repressed demonstrations demanding justice for Stephon Clark, an unarmed 22-year-old African-American man who police shot and killed in his grandmother's backyard in Sacramento last year. The Sacramento County district attorney and the California Attorney General announced in the past few days that the two policemen who killed him will not face any charges. Brian and John speak with Jamier Sale, an organizer with the ANSWER Coalition and was one of the activists who was arrested on Monday night.

In a ceremony marking the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for demonstrations on Saturday, which he called "a day of anti-imperialism." Oppositionist and self-described president Juan Guaido is holding rallies the same day. And Guaido called on Venezuela's public employees to join his efforts to overthrow the government. Arnold August, a lecturer, journalist and author of the book "Cuba-US Relations: Obama and beyond," joins the show.

Last night, Senator Chris Murphy announced new actions were being taken to force to the Senate floor a bipartisan effort to rein in US support for the war in Yemen as early as next week. The resolution, sponsored by Republican Mike Lee, Democrat Chris Murphy, and Independent Bernie Sanders, has broad bipartisan support, but probably not enough to override an expected presidential veto. Kevin Zeese, the co-coordinator of Popular Resistance, at, who has just returned from a peace delegation organized by CodePink to Iran, joins Brian and John.

Wednesday's weekly series, In the News, is where the hosts look at the most important ongoing developments of the week and put them into perspective. Jacqueline Luqman, the co-editor-in-chief of Luqman Nation, which hosts a livestream every Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. on Facebook, and Sputnik news analyst Walter Smolarek, join the show.

Wednesday's regular segment, Beyond Nuclear, is about nuclear issues, including weapons, energy, waste, and the future of nuclear technology in the United States. Kevin Kamps, the Radioactive Waste Watchdog at the organization Beyond Nuclear, and Sputnik news analyst and producer Nicole Roussell, join the show.

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