President Donald Trump's obsession with building walls has apparently gone global. 
 
Trump recently suggested to the Spanish government it should build a wall in the Sahara desert to address the migration crisis, according to Spain's foreign minister Josep Borrell. 
 
Spain has experienced a surge in migration, particularly over the past year as thousands of people attempt to make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe. 
 
The European country has seen over 30,000 migrants and refugees arrive by sea so far in 2018, making Spain the top destination for migrants arriving via the Mediterranean. Moroccans represent the largest single nationality arriving in Spain, but people are coming from other countries in Africa as well.
 
Nearly 2,000 people have died attempting to make the journey across the sea to Europe in 2018 so far. 
 
Trump famously called for a wall to be built along the US-Mexico border to stop illegal immigration to the US during his 2016 presidential campaign, and now apparently feels it can help Europe as well. 
 
When Spanish diplomats told Trump building a wall across the Sahara desert would be no easy feat the president said, "The Sahara border can’t be bigger than our border with Mexico," according to Borrell. 
 
The Sahara desert is roughly 5,000km long. Comparatively, the US-Mexico border spans roughly 3,200km. 
 
Beyond the sheer size of the Sahara, the other challenge to building such a wall is the fact Spain would need permission to do so from the African countries the massive desert stretches across. 
 
Borrell spoke of Trump's Sahara wall suggestion at a lunch in Madrid this week, but did not clarify when the president made these remarks. But The Guardian reports it could've been when the Spanish foreign minister accompanied King Felipe and Queen Letizia to the White House in June.
 
When asked for more details on Borrell's comments, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry told The Guardian, "We can confirm that’s what the minister said, but we won’t be making any further comment on the minister’s remarks."
 
It seems Trump struggles to avoid discussing his desired border wall in almost any context, and on Tuesday said a recent visit to a 9/11 memorial in Pennsylvania gave him more inspiration for his vision. 
 
"They built this gorgeous wall where the plane went down in Pennsylvania. Shanksville. And I was there. I made the speech. And it’s sort of beautiful, what they did is incredible," Trump told Hill.TV in an interview on Tuesday. "They have a series of walls, I’m saying, 'It’s like perfect.' So, so, we are pushing very hard."
 
Trump's plan for a border wall along the US-Mexico border has encountered many obstacles in US Congress. The president has repeatedly claimed that construction on the wall is underway, but this is inaccurate. 
 
 
Tribune...
The US has not granted South Africa an exemption on its increased steel and aluminium tariffs, this after the department of trade and industry (DTI) made representations to the US government.
 
The DTI issued a statement expressing its disappointment on the matter on Monday, following a teleconference between Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies and US Ambassador CJ Mahoney.
 
US President Donald Trump however signed proclamations granting a select number of countries exemptions until June 1, Bloomberg reported. These countries include the European Union, Mexico, South Korea, Australia, Argentina, Brazil and Canada.
 
The US is imposing a 10% ad valorem tariff on imports for aluminium products and 25% ad valorem tariff on imports for steel.
 
Davies had made two written submissions to the US and the SA Ambassador to the US Mninwa Mahlangu also engaged with the White House National Security Council Staff, State Department, the Office of the US Trade Representative and Commerce Department on the matter. Davies also had teleconferences with Mahoney and other US trade officials on March 22 and again on April 30 – when SA learnt its fate.
 
Similarly SA’s steel exports in 2017 only accounted for 0.98% of total US steel imports. However the exports represent 5% of SA’s production and this equates to 7 500 jobs in the steel supply chain, the department said. “SA will be disproportionately affected both in terms of jobs and productive capacity,” the department reiterated in its arguments to the US government.
 
The department also argued that SA is also grappling with the steel glut and has control measures in place to avoid transshipment of steel from third countries.
 
SA also offered to restrict its exports to a quota based on the 2017 exports level, but this was not enough to convince the US.
 
Collateral damage
 
The department also pointed out that some of the exempted countries are the “biggest” exporters of steel and aluminium to the US. 
 
According to the department the exempted countries accounted for 58% of steel imports and 49% of aluminium imports to the US in 2017.
 
“South Africa is therefore not a cause of any national security concerns in the US nor a threat to US industry interests and is not the cause of the global steel glut.
 
“Instead, South Africa finds itself as collateral damage in the trade war of key global economies. South Africa is concerned by the unfairness of the measures and that it is one of the countries that are singled out as a contributor to US national security concerns when its exports of aluminium and steel products are not that significant,” the DTI said.
 
The department raised concerns about the impact this decision will have on the competitiveness of SA steel and aluminium products in the US. The department believes it is likely to displace SA products out of the US market in favour of the exempted countries.
 
“South Africa is also concerned that the measures are implemented in a way that contravenes some of the key WTO (World Trade Organisation) principles.”
 
The department said it remains open to engage with US authorities to find a “mutually acceptable” outcome and encouraged domestic exporters to continue to engage with US buyers.
 
 
Fin24

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump at the White House carries symbolic as well as real value.

The two leaders have met once before – on the sidelines of the 2017 G7 meeting in Italy. But this is the first official visit to the White House since Trump’s election and since Kenyatta’s highly controversial 2017 re-election.

So why the visit, and why now?

The White House has cast it as an opportunity to deepen the strategic relationship between the two countries, and to advance mutual interests in trade, security and regional leadership by way of reaffirming

Kenya’s position as a corner stone of peace and stability in Africa.

For Kenyatta, it’s an opportunity to reset Kenya’s position as a leading regional actor and Africa’s “ambassador”.

From a strategic perspective, Kenya has been a crucial player in the war on terror given its frontier status with Somalia. It has been a central player in the UN African Union Mission to Somalia force that’s seeking defeat the Al-Shabaab terror group.

Kenya has suffered retaliatory action as a result of its role. Twenty years ago it was one of the first countries in Africa to bear the brunt of Al-Qaeda with a lethal terror attack in Nairobi. This placed Kenya firmly in the position of a strategic player, ensuring the success of the war on terror in East and Central Africa for which the US has strategic interests.

So Kenyatta’s visit will seek to consolidate continuing US military support. This will be through various channels, among them the counter terrorism partnership fund and the combating terrorism fellowship programme. He will also want a commitment to the US’s continued military at Manda Bay and Camp Simba, a Kenya naval base for anti-terrorism operations.

Kenyatta has recently played a lead role as regional broker by hosting a number of peace initiatives in the South Sudan peace process. Despite US reservations, the most recent peace accord appears to be holding, with Kenya taking some credit for the tentative success.

The US will seek to ensure that Kenya continues to play a constructive leadership role and a guarantor of the peace process in South Sudan given its tremendous leverage on that country’s leadership.

Other pressing issues will include trade and foreign direct investment. Here Kenyatta will have to tread carefully given Kenya’s increasingly close ties with China.

And Kenyatta will have his work cut out trying to navigate Trump’s world. How he manages to gain meaningful compromise from an unpredictable and beleaguered host will be keenly watched both at home and far beyond.

Banking on trade

In many ways US-Kenya relations is in uncharted territory. And given Trump’s penchant for bilateralism, Kenyatta will hope to master the art of the deal by minimising the negative impact of “America first” agenda on Kenya-US trade relations.

During Barack Obama’s presidency, imports from Kenya more than doubled . In 2015, 12.3% of US AFRICA FDI went to Kenya. But Trump’s “America first” stance has led to a review of Africa partnerships as well as a renegotiation of bilateral trade agreements.

Amid this policy uncertainty, Kenyatta will want to discuss how to boost trade relations to augment Kenya’s domestic economy given the very broad economic agenda he has set himself to transform the country. Kenya’s economy had suffered from electoral volatility and a slowdown in foreign direct investment, particularly from the US. Kenyatta will be keen to explore how to jump start this with his US counterpart in addition to ensuring the continued robustness of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) from which Kenya has greatly benefited.

The Kenyan president can point to the fact that it remains a destination of choice for many US corporations that have established themselves in the domestic economy. These include Coca-Cola, General Electric, Google and IBM.

Kenya-China relations

Kenya’s relationship with China has been growing in leaps and bounds. This is clear from the rise in foreign direct investment flows from China over the past 10 years.

In addition, China has firmly developed a substantial economic and trade strategic relationship with Kenya – from manufacturing to infrastructure development. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the US. The wide gauge railway project, among many others, has established Beijing as an indispensable developmental partner.

To reflect this importance, one of Kenyatta’s first foreign trips was to Beijing.

This growing closeness has caused concern in Washington. The US is keen to retain its traditional sphere of influence and is often wary of other players, particularly China, chipping away at it.

The Conversation

With the increasing trade war with China, the US will seek reassurance that its interests in the region will not be compromised by Beijing’s increasing aggressive overtures in Kenya as well as in the region more broadly.

 

David E Kiwuwa, Associate Professor of International Studies, University of Nottingham

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

United States President, Donald Trump, has called his Nigeria counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, “so lifeless,” after their April meeting.
 
Buhari and Trump met at the White House on April 30. Both leaders discussed issues bordering on fighting terrorism and economic growth.
 
Punch quoted Global business newspaper, Financial Times, in a recent publication, as saying that as Trump is set to welcome President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, the newspaper, in an article titled, ‘Africa looks for something new out of Trump,’ claimed that the US leader described Buhari, whom he met officially in April, as ‘so lifeless.’
 
The paper added that Trump warned his aides that he never wanted to meet someone ‘so lifeless’ again.
 
“The first meeting with Nigeria’s ailing 75-year-old Muhammadu Buhari in April ended with the US president telling aides he never wanted to meet someone so lifeless again, according to three people familiar with the matter,” Financial Times claimed.
 
Trump had, at a meet-the-press held by the two leaders, praised the Buhari administration. He commended the President’s effort in tackling corruption and insurgency.
 
The 72-year-old American president had then called Nigeria one of the most beautiful places on earth, adding that he would love to visit someday.
 
 
Source: Punch
The dollar dipped Tuesday in Asia after Donald Trump hit out at the Federal Reserve’s interest rate rises and accused it of not backing his economic plan, while most equity markets edged up ahead of highly anticipated China-US trade talks.
The greenback has been on the ascent in recent months as US borrowing costs have gone up and the economy improves, but it stumbled after Trump’s latest criticism of the central bank.
 
In an interview with Reuters, the president said he was “not thrilled” with the rate rises under new Fed boss Jerome Powell, repeating comments made last month about the bank’s tightening measures.
 
 
When asked if he believed in the Fed’s independence, he refused to say yes, telling the reporter: “I believe in the Fed doing what’s good for the country.”
 
Trump also accused the European Union and China of manipulating their currencies, adding that Beijing was weakening the yuan to offset the effects of US tariffs.
 
While analysts said it was unlikely Trump’s remarks would make much difference to the Fed’s decision-making — Powell has said in the past “we don’t take political considerations into account” — the greenback was weaker against most other currencies.
 
The Fed is expected to raise rates twice more this year.
 
The pound and euro enjoyed some much-needed buying, while the yen was also up.
 
Higher-yielding and emerging market currencies — from South Korea’s won and the Indonesian rupiah to the Australian dollar and Mexican peso — were also higher, having come under pressure last week from the Turkey financial crisis.
 
Stocks rally
After the previous day’s broad gains, equity markets fluctuated as traders turn their attention to the China-US talks, which are due Wednesday and Thursday.
 
By the close Tokyo was up 0.1 percent, Hong Kong added 0.6 percent and Shanghai rallied 1.3 percent.
 
Seoul jumped one percent and Singapore and Wellington each gained 0.1 percent, while Taipei and Jakarta also rose.
 
Sydney shed one percent.
 
In early European trade London and Paris each dipped 0.2 percent, while Frankfurt shed 0.1 percent.
 
The trade meeting will be the first since the world’s top two economies started imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of goods, with the Wall Street Journal saying they are aimed at smoothing the way ahead of a November summit.
 
They also come despite Washington continuing to push through fresh measures slated for Thursday.
 
However, JP Morgan Asset Management global market strategist Tai Hui said: “Given the little progress made on the US-China negotiations in the past six months, investors’ expectations are still low.
 
“Ongoing negotiation is good news, and that’s what the market is riding on at this stage, but a sustainable agreement to end this tension still seems unlikely at this point.”
 
He added: “If China’s earlier offer to buy US products and open up its market did not convince the US to de-escalate, it would take more creativity from Beijing to reach a compromise.”
 
– Key figures around 0810 GMT –
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 22,219.73 (close)
 
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 27,752.79 (close)
 
Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.3 percent at 2,733.83 (close)
 
London – FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,580.80
 
Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1535 from $1.1479 at 2030 GMT
 
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2836 from $1.2791
 
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 110.01 yen from 110.11 yen
 
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 30 cents at $66.73 per barrel
 
Oil – Brent Crude: UP five cents at $72.26 per barrel
 
New York – Dow Jones: UP 0.4 percent at 25,758.69 (close)
 
The Guardian
 

United States President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill that imposes tough new conditions that have to be met before sanctions are lifted.

The Zimbabwe president Emmerson Mnangagwa has said that his country is open for business, but this new law – the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act – could scupper those plans as far as the US is concerned.

The United States law says that in order for sanctions to end the election has to be “widely accepted as free and fair”. The other condition mentioned is that the army has to “respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all persons and to be nonpartisan in character”.

In the days following the poll, six opposition supporters died in clashes with the army, which has led some to question about its neutrality.

Zimbabwe is also required to take steps towards “good governance, including respect for the opposition”.

The United States has criticised the treatment of opposition supporters and in particular key opposition figure Tendai Biti, who has been arrested in connection with the post-election violence.

“The United States government is gravely concerned by credible reports of numerous detentions, beatings, and other abuses of Zimbabweans over the past week, particularly targeting opposition activists”, State Department spokespersonHeather Nauert said.

“We call on Zimbabwe’s leaders to guarantee Mr Biti’s physical safety and ensure his constitutional and human rights are respected.”

The United States began imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2001. The sanctions imposed in Zimbabwe target individuals, as well as banning trade in defence items and direct government assistance for non-humanitarian programmes.

However, Emmerson Mnangagwa’s pledge for free and fair poll has been marred by post-electoral violence that claimed seven lives after soldiers opened fire in Harare’s crowded streets last week.

 

Source: Report Focus News

European companies can be protected from new U.S. sanctions on Iran, a junior British foreign minister said on Tuesday, after President Donald Trump withdrew from an international agreement designed to deny Tehran the ability to build nuclear weapons.
 
As Washington’s so-called snapback sanctions are reinstated on Tuesday, a new EU law to shield European companies will also take effect to try to mitigate what EU officials say is their unlawful reach beyond U.S. borders.
 
“If a company fears legal action taken against it and enforcement action were taken against it by an entity in response to American sanctions then that company can be protected as far as EU legislation is concerned,” Alistair Burt, the British minister of state for the Middle East, told BBC radio.
 
“It is a commercial decision for companies whether they continue to work in Iran.”
 
 
Source: PMNEWSNIGERIA
U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged on Sunday that his son met with Russians in 2016 at Trump Tower to get information on his election opponent Hillary Clinton, saying it was “totally legal” and “done all the time in politics.”
 
The Republican president had previously said the meeting was about the adoption of Russian children by Americans.
 
Trump’s morning Twitter post was his most direct statement on the purpose of the meeting, though his son and others have said it was to gather damaging information on the Democratic candidate.
 
In a post on Twitter, Trump also denied reports in the Washington Post and CNN that he was concerned his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., could be in legal trouble because of the meeting with the Russians, including a lawyer with Kremlin ties.
 
He repeated that he had not known about the meeting in advance.
 
“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!” Trump said.
 
Political campaigns routinely pursue opposition research on their opponents, but not with foreign representatives from a country viewed as an adversary. Russian officials were under U.S. sanctions at the time.
 
Special Counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether Trump campaign members coordinated with Russia to sway the White House race in his favor. Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied his government interfered.
 
One part of the inquiry has focused on a June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower in New York between Donald Jr., other campaign aides and a group of Russians.
 
Email released by Donald Jr. himself showed he had been keen on the meeting because his father’s campaign was being offered potentially damaging information on Clinton.
 
Donald Jr. said later he realized the meeting was primarily aimed at lobbying against the 2012 Magnitsky sanctions law, which led to Moscow denying Americans the right to adopt Russian orphans.
 
President Trump has repeatedly denied that his campaign worked with Moscow, saying “No Collusion!” Last week, however, he adopted his lawyers’ tactics and insisted “collusion is not a crime.”
 
While collusion is not a technical legal charge, Mueller could bring conspiracy charges if he finds that any campaign member worked with Russia to break U.S. law. Working with a foreign national with the intent of influencing a U.S. election could violate multiple laws, according to legal experts.
 
CNN reported last month that Michael Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer, was willing to tell Mueller that Trump did know about the Trump Tower meeting in advance.
 
Trump’s lawyers and the White House have given conflicting accounts about whether Trump was involved in crafting Donald Jr.’s response to a New York Times article last summer revealing the Trump Tower meeting with the adoptions rationale. Trump’s lawyers acknowledged in a letter to Mueller’s team in January 2018 that Trump dictated the response, according to the Times.
 
Trump has stepped up his public attacks on the Mueller probe since the first trial to arise from it began last week in Alexandria, Virginia, involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
 
The federal tax and bank fraud charges Manafort faces are not related to the Trump campaign but Manafort’s close relations with Russians and a Kremlin-backed Ukrainian politician are under scrutiny in the trial.
 
Trump’s attacks on the special counsel’s investigation have been rebuffed by Republican leaders in Congress who have expressed support for Mueller.
 
“The president should be straightforward with the American people about the threat to our election process that Russia, Putin in particular, is engaged in is ongoing,” Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
 
One of the president’s personal lawyers said on Sunday that if Trump is subpoenaed by the special counsel, his lawyers will attempt to quash it in court. Any legal battle over whether the president can be compelled to testify could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the lawyer, Jay Sekulow, said on ABC’s “This Week.”
 
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded last year that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election with a campaign of hacking into Democratic Party computer networks and spreading disinformation on social media. American intelligence officials say Russia is targeting the November congressional elections, which will determine whether or not Republicans keep control of both chambers of the U.S. Congress.
 
 
Source: Reuters
 
 
 
 

State terrorism comes in many forms, but one of its most cruel and revolting expressions is when it is aimed at children.

Even though U.S. President Donald Trump backed down in the face of a scathing political and public outcry and ended his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from their parents, make no mistake: His actions were indeed a form of terrorism.

That he was defiant until his back was against the wall points not only to a society that has lost its moral compass, but has also descended into such darkness that it demands both the loudest forms of moral outrage and a collective resistance aimed at eliminating the narratives, power relations and values that support it.

State violence against children has a long, dark history among authoritarian regimes.

Josef Stalin’s police took children from the parents he labelled as “enemies of the people.” Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco and Augusto Pinochet all separated children from their families on a large scale as a way to punish political dissidents and those parents considered disposable.

Now we can add Trump to the list of the depraved.

Amnesty International called Trump’s decision to separate children from their parents and warehouse them in cages and tents for months as a cruel policy that amounts to “nothing short of torture.”

Many of the parents whose children were taken away from them entered the country legally, unwittingly exposing what resembles a state-sanctioned policy of racial cleansing. And federal U.S. officials have said despite Trump’s about-face, children who have already been separated from their parents — more than 2,000 of them — will not be reunited with them.

Immigrant children are shown outside a former Job Corps site that now houses them on June 18, 2018, in Homestead, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

In any democratic society, the primary index through which a society registers its own meaning, vision and politics is measured by how it treats its children, and its commitment to the ideal that a civilized society is one that does everything it can to make the future and the world a better place for youth.

Abuse and terror

By this measure, the Trump administration has done more than fail in its commitment to children. It has abused, terrorized and scarred them. What’s more, this policy was ludicrously initiated and legitimized by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a notorious anti-immigrant advocate, with a Bible verse that was used historically by racists to justify slavery.


Read more: The Bible's message on separating immigrant children from parents is a lot different from what Jeff Sessions thinks


In the name of religion and without irony, Sessions put into play a policy that has been a hallmark of authoritarian regimes.

At the same time, Trump justified the policy with the notorious lie that the Democrats have to change the law for the separations to stop, when in actuality the separations are the result of a policy inaugurated by Sessions under Trump’s direction.

Trump wrote on Twitter that the Democrats are breaking up families.

Yet according to the New York Times:

Mr. Trump was misrepresenting his own policy. There is no law that says children must be taken from their parents if they cross the border unlawfully, and previous administrations have made exceptions for those travelling with minor children when prosecuting immigrants for illegal entry. A “zero tolerance” policy created by the president in April and put into effect last month by the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, allows no such exceptions, Mr. Trump’s advisers say.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen actually elevated Trump’s lie to a horrendous act of wilful ignorance and complicity.

This is an extension of the carceral state to the most vulnerable groups, putting into play a punitive policy that signals a descent into fascism, American-style.

The New Yorker’s Marsha Gessen got it right in comparing Trump’s policies towards children to those used by Vladimir Putin in Russia, both of which amounts to what she calls “an instrument of totalitarian terror.”

Both countries arrest children in order to send a powerful message to their enemies. In this case, Trump’s message was designed to terrorize immigrants while shoring up his base, while Putin’s message is to squelch dissent in general among the larger populace. Referring to Putin’s reign of terror, she writes:

The spectacle of children being arrested sends a stronger message than any amount of police violence against adults could do. The threat that children might be removed from their families is likely to compel parents to keep their kids at home next time — and to stay home themselves.

Children screaming for their parents

Within the last few weeks, heart-wrenching reports, images and audio have emerged in which children, including infants, were forcibly separated from their parents, relocated to detention centres under-staffed by professional caretakers and housed in what some reporters have described as cages.

The consequences of Trump’s xenophobia are agonizingly clear in reports of migrant children screaming out for their parents, babies crying incessantly, infants housed with teenagers who don’t know how to change diapers and shattered and traumatized families.

The Trump administration has detained more than 2,000 children. What’s more, the Trump administration has lost track of more than 1,500 children it first detained.

In some cases, it deported parents without first uniting them with their detained children. What is equally horrifying and morally reprehensible is that previous studies, such as those done by Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham in the midst of the Second World War, indicated that children separated from their parents suffered both emotionally in the short run and were plagued by long-term separation anxieties.

It’s no wonder the American Academy of Pediatrics referred to the Trump administration’s policy of separating children from their families as one of “sweeping cruelty.”

Christopher Baker, 3, holds a sign that reads ‘Which baby deserves to sleep in a cage?’ as he attends a Poor People’s Campaign rally with his mother in Olympia, Wash., on June 18. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Trump has mobilized the fascist fervour that inevitably leads to prisons, detention centres and acts of domestic terrorism and state violence. Echoes of Nazi camps, Japanese internment prisons and the mass incarceration of Black and brown people, along with the destruction of their families, are now part of Trump’s legacy.

Shameless cruelty now marks the neoliberal fascism currently shaping American society. Trump used children as hostages in his attempt to implement his racist policy of building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and to please his white supremacist base.

Trump’s racism was on full display as he dug in to defend this white supremacist policy.

He likened migrants to insects or disease-carrying rodents. In the past, he has also called undocumented immigrants “animals.” This is a rhetoric with a dark past. The Nazis used similar analogies to describe Jews. This is the language of white supremacy and neo-fascism.

Long history in the U.S.

But let’s be clear. While the caging of children provoked a great deal of moral outrage across the ideological spectrum, the underlying logic has been largely ignored.

These tactics have a long history in the United States, and in recent years have been intensified with the collapse of the social contract, expanding inequality and the increasing criminalization of a range of behaviours associated with immigrants, young people and those populations considered most vulnerable.


Read more: Fascism’s return and Trump’s war on youth


The horrible treatment of immigrant parents and children by the Trump regime signals not only a hatred of human rights, justice and democracy, it lays bare a growing fascism in the United States in which politics and power are now being used to foster disposability. White supremacists, religious fundamentalists and political extremists are now in charge.

It’s all a logical extension of his plans to deport 300,000 immigrants and refugees, including 200,000 Salvadorans and 86,000 Hondurans, by revoking their temporary protected status.

His cruelty is also evident in his rescinding of DACA for 800,000 so-called dreamers and the removal of temporary protected status for 248,000 refugees.

“Making America Great Again” and “America First” morphed into an unprecedented and unapologetic act of terrorism against immigrants. While the Obama administration also locked up the families of immigrants, it eventually scaled back the practice.

Under Trump, the savage practice accelerated and intensified. His administration refused to consider more humane practices, such as community management of asylum-seekers.

It all functions as short hand for making America white again, and signals the unwillingness of the United States to break from its past and the ghosts of a lethal authoritarianism.

Trump’s admiration of dictators

It’s also more evidence of Trump’s love affair with the practices of other dictators like Putin and now Kim Jong Un. And it signals a growing consolidation of power that is matched by the use of the repressive powers of the state to brutalize and threaten those who don’t fit into Trump’s white nationalist vision of the United States.

There is more at work here than the collapse of humanity and ethics under the Trump regime, there is also a process of dehumanization, racial cleansing and a convulsion of hatred toward those marked as disposable that echoes the darkest elements of fascism’s tenets.

The U.S. has now entered into a new era of racial hatred.

What has happened to the children and parents of immigrants does more than reek of cruelty, it points to a country in which matters of life and death have become unmoored from the principles of justice, compassion and democracy itself.

The horrors of fascism’s past have now travelled from the history books to modern times. The steep path to violence and cruelty can no longer be ignored. The time has come for the American public, politicians, educators, social movements and others to make clear that resistance to the emerging fascism in the United States is not an option —but a dire and urgent necessity.

 

Henry Giroux, Chaired professor for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the Department of English and Cultural Studies, McMaster University

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

President Donald Trump directed the US Trade Representative to prepare new tariffs on $200bn (R2.77tr) in Chinese imports Monday as the two nations moved closer to a potential trade war.
 
The tariffs, which Trump wants set at a 10% rate, would be the latest round of punitive measures in an escalating dispute over the large trade imbalance between the two countries. Trump recently ordered tariffs on $50bn (R692.77bn) in Chinese goods in retaliation for intellectual properly theft. The tariffs were quickly matched by China on US exports.
 
"China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices related to the acquisition of American intellectual property and technology," Trump said in a statement Monday announcing the new action. "Rather than altering those practices, it is now threatening United States companies, workers, and farmers who have done nothing wrong."
 
Trump added: "These tariffs will go into effect if China refuses to change its practices, and also if it insists on going forward with the new tariffs that it has recently announced."
 
Trump said that if China responds to this fresh round of tariffs, then he will move to counter "by pursuing additional tariffs on another $200bn (R2.77tr)of goods."
 
Trump's comments came hours after the top US diplomat accused China of engaging in "predatory economics 101" and an "unprecedented level of larceny" of intellectual property.
 
He said China's recent claims of "openness and globalisation" are "a joke." He added that China is a "predatory economic government" that is "long overdue in being tackled," matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market.
 
"Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator," he said. "It's an unprecedented level of larceny."
 
"Just ask yourself: Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America?" he said later. "This is predatory economics 101."
 
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.
 
"I reminded him that's not fair competition," Pompeo said.
 
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump's watch. Gary Cohn, Trump's former top economic adviser, said last week that a "tariff battle" could result in price inflation and consumer debt — "historic ingredients for an economic slowdown."
 
Pompeo on Monday described US actions as "economic diplomacy," which, when done right, strengthens national security and international alliances, he added.
 
"We use American power, economic might and influence as a tool of economic policy," he said. "We do our best to call out unfair economic behaviors as well."
 
In a statement, Trump says he has an "excellent relationship" with Xi, "but the United States will no longer be taken advantage of on trade by China and other countries in the world."
 
Source: Fin24
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  1. Opinions and Analysis

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