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tv   Inside Story 2018 Ep 96  Al Jazeera  April 7, 2018 3:32am-4:01am +03

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i've been negotiating with the officials from the prosecuting judge and it does seem as though it's likely to hand him self in later on saturday he's won some kind of i suppose you could call it a humanitarian reprieve early on saturday morning supporters are holding a mass remembrance ceremony salute late wife but it's who died in february of last year she was a very popular figure within those workers' party saluda will attend that ceremony and it does seem as though his lawyers have indicated he will hand him self in the u.s. has slapped new sanctions on some of president vladimir putin's key allies they target seven russian businessmen and seventeen senior government officials the white house says the penalties are in response to what it calls moscow's damaging activities and alleged meddling in the twenty sixteen u.s. election u.s. president donald trump is moving to end the practice known as catch and release it
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allows immigrants caught in the u.s. without proper documents to be freed while the immigration cases play out in court and british police of boosting their presence on london's streets this weekend after a series of stabbings in recent days police have held an emergency meeting with community leaders after a dramatic rise in the city's murder rate of the past two months on thursday alone five stabbings took place in separate locations within a matter of hours those are the headlines inside stories next. the u.s. president raises the stakes in his trade dispute with china and he's also threatening
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to take aim at europe it may be just a negotiating position but it also raises the question is the global consensus around free trade coming to an end this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program i'm daddy and for decades there has been a broad international consensus free trade as goods protectionism is bad well close markets make nations poorer and the free flow of goods across borders alternately benefits everyone but now that idea is being challenged from an unexpected corner the u.s. has always been the world's biggest champion of free trade but donald trump is threatening allies and rivals alike with duties and tariffs his main target so far
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has been china but on thursday he made it clear he doesn't see china as the only problem in many respects i think we're going to have a fantastic relationship long term with china but we have to get this straight now we have to have some balance and that goes for other countries and it goes for other places if you look at the european union it's very solidly against us in terms of trade it's very good for a look at a younger shaking her head yes you know about the european union it's like it's almost we can't even do business they send their cars over here they said everything over here we don't want to take our product. so we can't let that happen well now china hardly the world's most open country when it comes to trade finds itself a vocal defender of free trade and globalization. google me if the easiest unilateral reason and the truth protectionism it gives to wishes of china and the international community will fight to the death at any cost we will resolutely
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fight back and take new measures and protect the interests of our country and the people while trump said off the current trade tensions when he imposed wide ranging duties on steel and aluminum they didn't specifically target china but they still provoked a response beijing an ounce tariffs covering three billion dollars worth of u.s. imports these were focused on agricultural products including pork wine and fish the u.s. up the ante this time slapping levies on china's tech and industrial sectors these affect goods worth fifty billion dollars china responded in kind outlining tariffs on fifty billion dollars of american goods including soybeans cars and chemical products and now washington is mulling duties on another hundred billion dollars of chinese imports well it's worth noting that only the steel and aluminum tariffs are in effect so far leaving a window for a negotiation over the arrests. on
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the panel today i'm joined from singapore by deborah elam she's the executive director at the asian trade center in hong kong andrew young get international china strategist and in birmingham that's in the u.k. scott lucas is joining us he's a professor of international politics at the university of birmingham welcome to you all deborah trungpa saying that we've already lost the trade war we don't have a trade war with china if it's not a trade war what is it well that's a good question i think we're at the beginning of a trade war i don't think we're quite in the middle of what could be a full blown trade war although we haven't really had one so it's kind of hard to define what one would look like but if you were in the middle of one i think this is what it starts to look like this escalation counter escalation threat retaliation except so if we're not in one we are perilously close to being in one
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here's the thing though deborah you the u.s. is allowing sixty days for feedback and it hasn't really specified when the tariffs woods take effect so effectively some people saying trump is leaving a window open for talks is that what he's doing here is he leaving some sort of room for negotiations possibly when there's actually shorter than that he has there's a thirty day comment period here and the entire process by the u.s. side has been held under something called section three a one under which the united states although it of course it's a unilateral decision by the u.s. but under which the united states has effectively one calendar year or so to make a determination and that brings us to about august tenth aug eleventh that is remarkably short for the kind of complex negotiations that would have to take place especially when the two parties really haven't yet begun the discussions so i think that while we might be able to resolve these kinds of issues whatever those issues happened to be and that's a separate issue. i'm sure we'll get to in
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a minute the time is not that long for a very intensive set of negotiations that have to unfold and really young chinese state media is saying that beijing has many more weapons in its arsenal to deploy against the u.s. in the event of a trade war what sort of retaliation can we expect from china well it would look at these terrorists. in fact this is only constitute only a small part of china's export to the united states because nowadays as china's economy is weaning ourselves away from too much dependence on the exports so it is the economy is shifting towards internal consumption shifting source services whereas if you look at all the american saw if. for example the retaliatory terrorists from china account for a sizable proportion of america's exports to china for example soybeans
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and also call's a ton of being the biggest customer so that's point number one. china is talking at those big ticket items particularly those items which hurt president trump constituency the secondly they're all of course other weapons for example. china of course. has a deficit in terms of trade in services now this trauma administration's rhetoric about the huge trade deficit of course the tray only refers to the tray inputs but you it completely ignores the tremendous trace surplus america enjoys in trade in services which oil are so tonic and also retaliate on services. and thirdly of course is the nuclear option which of course with china as well
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which is of course side. it's not. a big huge invest in u.s. treasuries so by buying less u.s. treasuries is going to push. us interest rates and will hurt the u.s. economy but of course in turn you were hurt china when i saw you guys that were hurt china as well then how willing is beijing to cut how willing is beijing to come to the table and and find some sort of deal or possibly given to the u.s. and give the u.s. some sort of concessions which then trump can say well here are the concessions that we've gotten from china and that's a win for him well i think the other problem of course is there are genuine grievances on the part of the united states apart from which there was is china is perceived to use measures which force american companies in china to share their intellectual property and of course there are could say sions of right intellectual property theft so i think that these are. genuine grievances by american
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companies operating in china and somehow china has called the address that but just focusing on that even balance again ignores the fact that there is both in a train services as well where united states enjoys a huge surplus. scott locus in your opinion what is the president's justification in doing all of this is it strictly over the issue of intellectual property is it over national security which we've heard that arguments being thrown about as well this is all about national security do you buy that and what problem are these terrorists really supposed to address well if you take if you assume a coherence here there is an issue as we've heard over and electoral property and the supposed. of it by china has been a longstanding issue but this is not been a coherent process we need to realize that the politics behind this and that is the united states initially tried to impose steel and now you many of tariffs at the
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start of march but instead of directing them to china because china doesn't export much steel to the united states it hit american allies canada brazil germany south korea japan so at the end of march the united states was forced effectively to pull back those steel and now you many of tariffs on the same day that they pulled back those tariffs they then made the announcement which said ok now we're going to aim at china by imposing the duties on sixty billion of goods so in other words it was partly because of the misfire over the impulsive imposition of the still aluminum tariffs that they took this political not economic book little decision now the second problem the second factor is is that up very quick decision at the end of march is actually divided the white house we know about donald trump we know he said loudly yesterday i would impose duties on more chinese products we know that he has hard right advisers like steven miller who is goading him into this but
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there are other advisers including his new economic head larry kudlow who actually think that tariffs are not the way to go with this and that's why this window that you've talked about whether it's thirty days where that sixty days whether it's until august means that not only is there the negotiation between the u.s. and china i think you're going to see a negotiation within the white house. but how far they actually go with this could this backfire on trump in a way a scot i know you're speaking to us from birmingham but it's a lot of the products that china decided to impose tariffs on like soybeans like or like pork for example they seem to be hitting a lot of the states in which trump won in so could that could this plan backfire absolutely i mean i've got an uncle who's a farmer and already you've got farmers in those core states that you're talking about in the midwest many of them that decided the election for donald trump in two thousand and sixteen and those folks are concerned and they're saying if these tariffs are implemented and if china does retaliate we're the ones that are going
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to be hurt we've got u.s. businesses some u.s. businesses that are worried about their supply chains being disrupted and of course we've even got the american stock market you know in trouble always likes to say how the stock market is rising because of him not necessarily true but the reality is partly because of fears over a possible trade war that stock market is now turning downwards and that politically doesn't look good either as scott just one more question to you before i cross over to deborah and andrew because we're just reading now that you were mentioning could lower moments ago in what he's just said is that china's response to the tariffs has been satisfactory what do you think that means well i think it means that the line right now that politically is being held is that all of the advisers behind trump are saying you know we're not happy that china announced its tariffs in response to us they shouldn't have done that but again behind the scenes behind the scenes you've got the fundamental choice which is the white house has announced tariffs on up to sixty billion of goods threatening to on one hundred
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billion more of that now that's just what they've announced implementing those tariffs is a far different matter especially with the domestic situation we've just discussed so in private who wins that battle the protectionist around trump people like peter navarro the commerce secretary wilbur ross or is it those who question whether tariffs are going to. both of us which is in private larry kudlow steven manager of the treasury secretary or do they somehow find some compromise between those two rather different positions andrew young china has formally challenge the u.s. is tariff decision at the world trade organization what do you make of that response by china and why are we potentially going to see a lengthy legal battle here well of course china's main contract tack is that the united states is throwing away all the all the rules over the beauty oh and china has been as storms
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a supporter of all that obvious hero from which it benefits and that's really the first thing that ton of dance is to challenge the american action under the rules now at this stage of the game i think is a game of chicken. for the time being so the trauma administration is raising all the stakes against china's retaliatory measures trum administration seems to be doubling down on that the bones but that's the just the initial stage of a and actually a rivalry a great power rivalry between the united states and china not only on the trait fun but of course the economic front don't forget the tumble ministration specifically targets the bait in china two thousand and twenty five agenda which of course encompass all these ten big an area is where china hopes to dominate the
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world so the americans will say well hey you know china's now talking these areas of dominance and then you china succeeds so where is the united states so in effect that this is more than trade this is about economic come pick the competitiveness this is about economic dominance and you. extend the evil look at the. in the broader fund it is really quick paul ryan really beyond the economic field as well for example. president trauma's low challenging time as one of china's main replies on taiwan i mean the reason we lease of reason and that one of the taiwan travel act really touches on the very concept of a one time one child policy and then the alliances military alliances form which upin with austria with india strengthening the china containment policy so i think
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that we are at the stage. of of the game where we're seeing really big power rivalry at play which tray is only one of the many many firsts haitian and deborah president trump also set his sights on the european union he said that barriers in european markets have made it nearly impossible for u.s. companies to do business there. is this going to escalate now with the european union how much of all of this has to do with this broad pattern of protectionism that scott was talking about just a moment ago well i'd like to say that there's a clear strategy that's driving all of this i think you might be able to sketch out a path of great power rivalry something like that that you know sitting here dispassionately and looking at this you would say well that's clearly what's being being driven out of the us but i'm not convinced that this particular group has
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that kind of of long term strategy and focus i think what is happening are short term decisions that are being made by a very small group of people. some of whom have the knowledge that it they need to make the kind of decisions that they're taking but many of whom do not have that knowledge and the challenge that we're facing. is that these are micro decisions being taken in the day the minute the hour that are adding up to increasing challenges and so for example trump's complaints about the european union i think came out of essentially nowhere and i don't think he's received any kind of. concrete briefing any kind of assessment that points out to him the ways in which the european union has somehow blocked american exports i think that is trump speaking off the cuff and suddenly that becomes part of u.s. policy that now is causing scrambles inside of washington yet even i was in even though i had a cough and deborah hall of any of the people are struggling even if he is speaking
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off the cuff and this is no if this is not really a far longer term a strategy doesn't what trump say have the potential to throw the global trading system into full on crisis yes this is the problem with having donald trump as president right now in this particular circumstance especially surrounded with a very small group of people some of whom are frankly dealing in an alternative universe most notably peter navarro who he relies on quite heavily at the moment for driving policy views of the china which is i think partly how we've gotten to this particular point where we are unleashing potentially one hundred fifty billion dollars in sanctions against china for what is unclear set of objectives again if the united states had been very clear about what it is that it wanted it said we want to go after china for ip violations or for technology transfer but i think the u.s. could have made a very compelling case could have gotten
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a coalition of the willing to gather could have really brought together some interesting things could have gotten a nice negotiation together could have had constructive dialogue with the chinese i don't think that's what has happened and now instead of having a clear outcome we have an escalating tit for tat retaliation that is potentially spiraling out of control and bringing in the european union and all of asia and this is a quite dangerous situation scott lucas i see you're nodding along with what deborah has to say from singapore but isn't it fair to say as deborah was saying that's the united states does have a lead. shittim at problem with china when it comes to ip and i'll just put this figure out the u.s. trade representative has said this that a seven month investigation seven month long investigation found that chinese theft of american ip currently costs between two hundred twenty five billion dollars and six hundred billion dollars annually so isn't trump right in trying to do something
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to address this problem something that the obama administration was unable to do what i think deborah said it quite correctly and that is there were is a specific issue here about ip and technology transfer but there are procedures by which the united states could have brought the case either in direct talks with china or in multilateral discussions involving other countries who are also concerned with these issues but instead of pursuing that the trumpet ministration is using a sledgehammer to crack a nut and the reason why they're using that sledgehammer of sweeping tariffs let's be honest here it is not directly about the ip issue because deborah's quite right here that is is that certain trump administration officials who were led initially by the white house chief strategist steve bannon from the very outset said they wanted a confrontation with china they weren't shy about it now even though bannon has departed some of those people who are close to him like steven miller then peter
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navarro will have the ear of the president so this is a political move in part with all the issues that andrew pointed out have to do with influence globally influence in the pacific region where the united states or at least these advisers see this as either we win or china wins now when you play that type of zero time zone sum game no one wins and let's be honest here no one wins if these tariffs are implemented. then you are going to have an effect on the global economy and if these tariffs are implemented ironically the power that is most able to cope with those tariffs is not the united states which is far more exposed in terms of its producers and consumers but it's the chinese who are going to be able to respond to that through a centrally planned economy much more effectively than the americans can if people say it's war andrew liang on the subjects of war there is an argument that emerged
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after world war two in fact that's what that says that if countries are engaged together in trade then they are less likely to engage in political or military battles how much of that is being tested right now and what do you see as the way forward well one of the main problem of this kind of confrontation is the frustrations felt by the united states and indeed other western countries that all the efforts spending a pos to take it's trying to. bring china into the group will norms as it were. kind of a rule of law and then of fair trade and all these value systems seem to have failed because the basically there was a lack of we allies ation the time is unlike any other western country and then time is unlikely to copy the western kind of mormons and value systems because
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basically each country is quite different and in spite of the fact that tahn is a one party state nevertheless china has succeeded in raising a lot of these people out of poverty and in growing china into the second largest economy the world so i think that there was a lack of understanding a kind of frustration that the west's efforts in trying to make china more like the west has failed so i said i am do not exported but to up with sli america is. well china of course as i say it cannot allow to be coerced. by the west once again hawking back to the days when china was being invaded the so called centuries of humiliation that is really. deep in china's national psyche and of course on the way a pall flew a person in the sea china would not have
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a would not be cannot afford to be seen by his people to knuckle under so john is going to retaliate john is going to defend his own interests and taking the states to the but i think at the end of the game this is a no brainer i think american top advisers some of them have written books on trade and apart from the on the tray side there are the chinese halls for example john bolton has been a very hawkish guy who's in charge is now in charge of. foreign relations for them american foreign policy so i think that this is also a kind of rye read between powell rai seeing china as a potential challenger and herein lies the danger of the so call to see the trap and i think both countries realize this so i think that we are at the beginning of a game of chicken but i think that both sides realize that ended with a put they've got to go back to the negotiating table i the open e.
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or behind the scenes all right we will see what happens thank you very much deborah elms from singapore andrew young from hong kong and scott lucas from birmingham thanks for joining us and thanks for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story join the conversation on twitter our handle is at aging inside story from myself and the whole team here and down by for now. i.
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