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American Indians tribes to Protest against Trump Administration and its approval of Dakota Access oil pipeline in Washington

The protest comes as a federal judge in Washington is weighing a request by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to halt construction of the last section of the Dakota Access pipeline pending the outcomes of their lawsuit seeking to stop the project

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FILE - Oscar High Elk, 26, of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, prays as he and other members of the tribe prepare to evacuate from the main opposition camp against the Dakota Access oil pipeline near Cannon Ball

Washngton, March 7, 2017: Members of American Indian tribes from around the country are bringing their frustrations with the Trump administration and its approval of the Dakota Access oil pipeline to the nation’s capital.

Tribal members were planning to gather at the National Mall on Tuesday to begin four days of activities culminating with a Friday march on the White House dubbed the “Native Nations March on DC.”

Tribal members and supporters plan to camp each day on the National Mall, with teepees, a ceremonial fire, cultural workshops and speakers. Native American leaders also plan to lobby lawmakers to protect tribal rights.

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On Friday, a march of about 2 miles is planned from the Army Corps of Engineers office to the White House, where a rally is scheduled. Organizers didn’t immediately have an estimate on how many people or tribes planned to take part.

“We are calling on all our Native relatives and allies to rise with us,” said Dave Archambault, the chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. “We must march against injustice. Native nations cannot continue to be pushed aside to benefit corporate interests and government whim.”

The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The protest comes as a federal judge in Washington is weighing a request by the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes to halt construction of the last section of the Dakota Access pipeline pending the outcomes of their lawsuit seeking to stop the project. The tribes say that section of the pipeline, which will pass under Lake Oahe, a large Missouri River reservoir, will threaten their water supply, sacred sites and religious rights. The judge is expected to rule this week.

Friday’s march will begin at the Corps of Engineers office because the agency manages the Missouri River and last month gave the pipeline developer, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, permission to finish the project. The company expects to wrap up the work and have oil flowing this month.

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The two tribes feel they weren’t properly consulted about the pipeline route, which the government disputes. They also maintain their treaty rights were violated when the government changed its mind about doing further environmental study of the Lake Oahe crossing after President Donald Trump took office in January.

“This fight against the Dakota Access pipeline has been the tip of the spear of a powerful global movement calling for the United States government and Donald Trump to respect indigenous nations and people in our right to water, land, sovereignty, and culture,” said Dallas Goldtooth, an organizer with the Indigenous Environmental Network. (VOA)

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U.S. Commerce Department Recommends White House on How to Proceed with Auto Industry Tariffs

Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its "Section 232" national security report shrouded in secrecy.

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Auto industry, tariffs
Robots swing a cab and bed into place for a new heavy duty pickup truck on the assembly line where Chevrolet Silverado trucks are being built at General Motors Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan, Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

The U.S. auto industry urged President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday not to saddle imported cars and auto parts with steep tariffs, after the U.S. Commerce Department sent a confidential report to the White House late on Sunday with its recommendations for how to proceed.

Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its “Section 232” national security report shrouded in secrecy, which will make it much harder for the industry to react during the next 90 days Trump will have to review it.

“Secrecy around the report only increases the uncertainty and concern across the industry created by the threat of tariffs,” the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association said in a statement, adding that it was “alarmed and dismayed.”

“It is critical that our industry have the opportunity to review the recommendations and advise the White House on how proposed tariffs, if they are recommended, will put jobs at risk, impact consumers, and trigger a reduction in U.S. investments that could set us back decades.”

Representatives from the White House and the Commerce Department could not immediately be reached.

Auto industry, tariffs
Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its “Section 232” national security report shrouded in secrecy. VOA

The industry has warned that possible tariffs of up to 25 percent on millions of imported cars and parts would add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially devastate the U.S economy by slashing jobs.

Administration officials have said tariff threats on autos are a way to win concessions from Japan and the EU. Last year, Trump agreed not to impose tariffs as long as talks with the two trading partners were proceeding in a productive manner.

“We believe the imposition of higher import tariffs on automotive products under Section 232 and the likely retaliatory tariffs against U.S. auto exports would undermine – and not help – the economic and employment contributions that FCA, US, Ford Motor Company and General Motors make to the U.S. economy,” said former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, the president of the American Automotive Policy Council.

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Some Republican lawmakers have also said they share the industry’s concerns. In a statement issued on Monday, Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski said she fears the Commerce Department’s report could “set the stage for costly tariffs on cars and auto parts.”

“President Trump is right to seek a level playing field for American businesses and workers, but the best way to do that is with a scalpel, not an axe,” she added. (VOA)