tv Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Delivers Remarks on TPP CSPAN August 1, 2016 6:30pm-7:31pm EDT
i believe trump's campaign sop stop is in portland, maine, when portland is in first congressional district so i'm not sure how that works. the new york thing i don't get because there's no indication new york is in play and it's historically democratic. host: do you think she was emboldened by the big primary wins? >> it could be. i would think trump would do fine in upstate new york it's just that new york city will be resistant to his candidacy. host: hector coles, apple valley, california. jim on the democrats line. caller: thank you for taking my call. i have been watching this for a long time. you had a caller a few minutes ago that said the emails are hurting hillary clinton. i worked with security officer for
32 years with the government, 20 in the military and the rest with -- as a civilian. the security manager or security officer for the -- for that area that hillary and the state department worked in had to accredit the system. that's the guy who made the mistake and that's who they should be looking at. enough on that, the emails don't count. every command i ever worked with had insecurities within their system and that's simply because whatever goes out on a wire through the air or is discussed in an unsecure room can be tapped. n.s.a. knows it, d.i.a. knows it, c.i.a. knows it and so does
the army security agency i was a member of. going on to the comments that have been going on the last few days. trump made one big mistake when he attacked the khan family. the guy was a veteran. he died defending our country. my god, what's going through trump's head to do something like that? he has gotten 12 million americans on the republican circus train and the bridge is out up ahead. i hope that the whole nation votes democratic from the top of the ticket down to the bottom of the ticket. host: that's jim in california. we look at other races house races. first, a couple of tweets here. trump displays his bleeding heart a grandiose sense of self, violating social norms throwing
tantrums is disturbed. and a question we did the senate a moment ago. does anyone seriously believe that democrats won't -- >> prime minister lee hsien loong and mrs. lee, welcome back. thank you for making time in your busy schedule and thank you for your long-term support of american business in singapore and southeast asia. we're thrilled to have senior members of the singapore government with us tonight, including dr. vivian valla crishnan, minister of trade and ministry, minister in the prime minister's office, and acting minister for education. in addition, we have three members of parliament from singapore including christopher desouza, rahannahhannah mu, khia
young, young. we're honored to have the united states contact of commerce, penny bridgekirk as well as assistant secretary kumar. we couldn't be here today if not for the efforts of singapore ambassador to the united states, ashook and his embassy team. i thank them for the hard work they did with the chamber and consul staff to make this evening possible. i want to recognize ambassador to singapore kirk wagger and we appreciate your role even beyond singapore. thank you very much for being with us. i'm also proud to welcome back former ambassador to the united states chan hen chi a great friend of the chamber and
council. we have ambassadors from laos, myanmar, chile and philippines. we also have to recognize our sponsors which we could not have held tonight without their support so thank you very much and those sponsors are a.i.g., b.d., c.m.a. group micron, philip morris international procter & gamble, t connectivity and visa. prime minister lee, your visit to the united states marks the 50th anniversary of u.s.-singapore diplomatic relations. it's significant that singapore is the only southeast asian country to be welcomed to the u.s. with a state visit during the the obama administration. with over 179 billion cumulative
foreign direct investments as of 2014, the united states is the largest foreign direct investor in singapore and singapore is tied with australia to be the home of more f.d.i. than anywhere else in asia. the u.s.-singapore free trade agreement has been described as the united states' most successful f.t.a. globally. since the f.t.a. took effect in 2004 u.s. exports have increased over 50%. singapore was one of the p-4 who first initiated foreign t.p.p. which now includes eight additional countries, including the united states. i don't want to steal too much thunder but safe to say t.p.p. would not have existed if it were not for singapore. beyond the economic tides the relationship has had an important security and military dimension.
singapore air force pilots train in the united states and u.s. combat ships rotate through singapore. as a result of the strong political, economic and defense ties, singapore has served as an anchor for the united states pivot to asia. now it's my honor to introduce the president and c.e.o. of the u.s. chamber of commerce mr. tom donahue. tom has led the chamber almost 20 years and as a result of his leadership the chamber has played a dominant role in defending and promoting free enterprise and free trade in the united states and beyond. tom, thank you for all you've done to advance american business interests and thank you for your partnership tonight. mr. donahue: thank you very much. good evening everyone and welcome to the u.s. chamber of commerce. i'd like to join alex in they
thanking all of you for being here and thanking our sponsors this evening. your support in every way for this meeting and this relationship is very important. we gather to celebrate the friendship between the united states and singapore and our robust commercial partnership. just think, last year we celebrated the 50th anniversary of singapore's independence. this year, we mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relationships between our countries. some of the most iconic u.s. brands have been in singapore since well before its independence. tonight we look forward to remarks from our honored guest the prime minister, and a thoughtful discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing the asia pacific region. i said this many times before but it bears repeating especially during this unusual
u.s. election. american leadership and commercial engagement in asia remain vital to peace security, and prosperity across the globe. the chamber is viguously opposing any proposal that would cede american influence in the region to other powers. we are a leading proponent of the trans-pacific partnership an effort we can't and won't give up on because the stakes are just too high. we know how important the asia pacific region is to the united states and indeed to the entire world. america has both strong strategic and commercial interests in the asia pacific. the u.s. has always looked to singapore to help us navigate this important area of the world, its wisdom and its
insights are invaluable to us. as is often the case, progress in bilateral commercial relationships are driven by the private sector but not without great partners in government. the american business community has such a partnership in commerce secretary penny pritzker. she is the voice of business within the u.s. administration and the bridge between business in and outside the administration. she not only listens carefully to what business has to say when she agrees, she acts on it. as president obama's chief commercial diplomat, she has been a strong proponent of the u.s.-singapore relationship. she clearly understands that it is based on shared interests values, and objectives.
and i will get this to come up. she has built strong ties with the prime minister. the two have held many important discussions in meetings across the world. most recently, in california, at the u.s. asean leaders summit hosted by president obama. secretary pritzker understands business because she's run one. she understands t.p.p. is the linchpin of america's future influence and engagement in the asia pacific region and she is fighting hard, harder than anyone i have seen other than the people working in this building, let me say, to make this happen, and she knows that the u.s.-singapore relationship is one of america's strong and enduring anchors in the region. she's been a good friend to
business and excellent commerce secretary and a great supporter of the partnership between our two countries. it is my pleasure to introduce her tonight. please join me in welcoming secretary penny pritzker. [applause] secretary pritzker: tom, what an extraordinary introduction. it's wonderful to be here at the chamber withul of you. thank you for hosting us, the chamber of commerce and u.s.-asean business council. you've always been great friends, great supporters and done so much for our relations around the world and i thank you for hosting us this evening but frankly for all the great work you do every day. ambassador wager you are a
great representative of the united states in singapore and ambassador mapoori, we are thrilled to have you here in the u.s. ladies and gentlemen, it's my pleasure tonight to introduce tonight's honored guest, prime minister lee hsien loong of singapore. from our first meeting two years ago, to the conversation that we shared just shortly before we came into this room, it's clear to me that prime minister lee and i both agree that the united states and singapore's economic partnership is indispensable. both the prime minister and i know that our strong commercial relationships have helped promote security and stability across southeast asia that, our deep trade and investment ties have helped deliver prosperity and opportunity for both our
people, and the greater u.s. engagement in southeast asia is good for the united states, good for the people of singapore and good for countries across the entire region. i'm also pleased to see the prime minister's wife here with us this evening. among other things, madam ho is c.e.o. of to temasek and world-class business leader whom i have great admiration for. she always happens to be a fellow stanford graduate which never hurts. i fondly remember our conversations at apec several years ago and it gives me great pleasure to welcome you and the prime minister here to washington. in recent years, we've celebrated important milestones in the u.s.-singapore relationship. in 2014, we marked 10 years
since the completion of the u.s.-singapore free trade agreement. in 2016, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of singapore's independence and we have admired your progress, raising singapore's per capita g.d.p. from $516 per person in 1965 to $52,888 in 2015. this year, we're honored to welcome the prime minister and madam ho to washington to commemorate another milestone. 50 years of u.s.-singapore diplomatic relations. tomorrow's state dinner is an opportunity to rejoice in our five decades of friendship and reaffirm our shared hope for a more prosperous future. as everyone in this room knows
the rebalance to asia is a cornerstone to the obama administration's foreign policy and singapore has been an inexpensible -- indispensable partner in the region. we have worked closely together to complete the negotiations of the trans-pacific partnership to promote greater regional integration across asean to combat global climate change, and to confront terrorism and violent extremism. from a purely economic perspective, the importance of the u.s.-singapore relationship is difficult to over-state. the u.s.-singapore free trade agreement was our first bilateral trade agreement with an asian nation and has been a resounding success for both of our countries.
since the free trade agreement was completed our total bilateral trade his doubled to $47 billion. singapore, a nation of around 5.5 million, is now our 18th largest trading partner. today, the united states has a $10.4 billion surplus in goods trade with singapore. singapore receives the majority of foreign direct investment from the united states into the entire asean region with a total investment stock of more than $150 billion. as i said, it's hard to overstate the importance of this relationship. these investment statistics should come as no surprise. more than 37,000 american companies have operations in singapore and many of our businesses opt to place in the country their regional
headquarters a testament to the confidence in spror -- singapore as the ideal platform for great engagement throughout the region. prime minister lee knows that this promotes shared growth, prosperity, peace and stability. mr. prime minister, thank you for your steadfast leadership and support of the trans-pacific partnership. you have been a consistent, vocal advocate for t.p.p., and you make a very good case. i want you to know that president obama and his entire administration remain committed to securing a bipartisan congressional approval of this critical trade agreement.
prime minister lee is an outspoken advocate for increased trade, for international cooperation, and for technology as a tool to improve people's lives. he takes great pride in singapore's smart nation initiative which aims to improve national wellbeing by embracing cutting-edge innovation. in fact, just moments ago the department of commerce and singapore's ministry of trade and industry signed a memorandum of understanding to increase trade collaboration on smart cities and infrastructure. this november, we will feature singapore at our smart cities conference in chicago and we are encouraging u.s. companies to participate in singapore's first-ever thin tech festival.
today, singapore has a dynamic innovative 21st century economy that reflects the energetic and practical leadership of prime minister lee. prime minister lee understands all the benefits that are possible for our peoples when we work together to create enforceable, mutually beneficial rules for global commerce. ladies and gentlemen please join me in welcoming prime minister lee. thank you. [applause] prime minister lee: secretary
pritzker, mr. tom donohue mr. alex feldman, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. i'd like to thank mr. donohue and secretary pritzker for their kind introductions and thank the secretary for taking the time to be here with us. i'd also like to thank the u.s. chamber of commerce and asean business council for hosting this reception. this is the third time i'm here in four years speaking to this forum and i'm glad to see many familiar phases here. since singapore became independent in 1965, american businesses have played a major role in our economic development. they've invested heavily in singapore, developing infrastructure creating jobs, transferring technology and management prospectuses, g.e. was once the largest employer in
singapore and still has 3,000 people there. sea gate which makes disk drives at one time made more than half the world's disk drives in singapore. they are still a company important to us. they and many other u.s. companies have found singapore to be a good springboard into the region. so, for example in the new economy, we have lucas phones which has got a building in singapore which they called the sand crawler building and it looks like a sand crawler and it's the first purpose built facility outside of the u.s. both sides have taken advantage of our f.t.a. in order to develop our relationship. it's the gold standard in f.t.a. that has promoted trade and investment between our two countries. american exports to singapore have increased substantially and
american banks have been able to expand in singapore because of the f.t.a. as singapore continues with our next phase of development, we still welcome the u.s. companies to come and invest in singapore and one of the areas we are interested in as the secretary mentioned is to develop singapore into a smart nation using data, technology, sensors networking to improve the lives of our citizens and create a knowledge-based economy. america is one of the leaders in this new economy based on innovation, collaboration and critical thinking. and singapore is seeking to attract a new wave of american investment. we are introducing, for example coding in secondary schools, for helping to nurture start-ups and social media and e-commerce and we welcome american companies to
continue helping us with our transformation, to take advantage of the many opportunities and the talent in singapore. our growth depends not only on our remaining competitive but also on our region staying stable and prosperous. although there are some dark clouds on the regional horizon, economic and some strategic uncertainties, too asia is still a bright growth spot in the global economy and a peaceful region in the world. it accounted for 2/3 of global growth last year. china and japan are the large economies, second and third biggest in the world. and india is another large economy. southeast asia is a promising emerging market, just 10 separate countries but now with the asean economic community a
more integrated single market. it has 620 million people, most of whom are young eager and hard working. the combined g.d.p. of 2.6 trillion dollars u.s. which will become the fourth largest market in the world. the major economies in the region are already seeked to develop this potential so china has launched its initiative to develop infrastructure in the region. india has an act east policy and amongst ourselves we are also seeking to spur growth through further economic integration. thus we have an asean-china free trade area, an asean-india f.t.a. and asean-japan comprehensive partnership. we are further negotiating a
regional comprehensive partnership including asean plus the northeast asian countries plus southeast asian countries plus asteral asian countries. the different countries are coming together, increasing economic cooperation, widening integration, developing more mechanisms to work closely together but at the same time wanting to stay an open region linked with america, with europe, with the world. so there's potential and promise in asia and american have always understood this. after all, your month -- long standing security presence in asia is the bedrock of our peace, prosperity and security. during the cold war our economy propelled our economic development and your leaders understood the desire for a better life in asia would turn people away from war to peace
and ultimately thwart ambitions of the communist states in asia. america upheld the principles of economic liberalization and free trade and it was in fact the global leaper in -- leader in these principles. you helped to rebuild japan korea after the war and you built an open and fair international trading system under the general agreement on tariffs and trade which multiplied trade and investment. you opened your markets through your friends in asia and the rest of the world too fueling in asia, the east asian economic boom and it was growth through trade, not through war, that made the difference. and the countries became more economic interdependent,
conflict became a remote and unattractive option. today, america has a unique opportunity to anchor its engagement in the asia pacific with the t.p.p. you know the facts, but they're still worth repeating. there are 12 parties in the t.p.p. we represent 40% of global g.d.p., a third of world trade 800 million people of one market. the t.p.p. will be an economic game changer for the u.s. because improved market access will mean cheaper products for consumers, more exports, more manufacturers. they will incorporate in the t.p.p. provisions on human rights, property protection, safeguards for labor and environment. there will be strong standards to support innovation and benefit many u.s. technology giants. but those are just economic benefits. there are strategic significance
in the t.p.p., too. because the t.p.p. is vital for america's engagement in the asia pacific. it adds substance to america's rebalance, which cannot be just about the military or the seventh fleet. it will enable the u.s. and its trade partners to shape the norms of regional economic exchange by setting a high bar for future trade agreements, whether in the asia pacific or beyond. and in pushing the t.p.p. and bringing it about concluding negotiations, the obama administration clearly understands the t.p.p.'s role in securing america's future, not just its prosperity, but its place in the world. we know this has been politically difficult. it's a very tough election year. american people are wary of u.s. global engagement and economic
uncertainty has led to concerns about jobs, worries about competition from overseas. these are all understandable, even valid concerns but we hope all parties will focus on the longer term bigger picture because there are no winners only losers with protectionism. economic development across the world will be blocked less interdependence means the clear advantage of cooperation and interdependence over conflict and war will be weakened and the asia pacific region represents an important growth region. the t.p.p. was going to be bigger more impactful than any of the existing regional trade
agreements and if america wants to secure its interests for the future, itself had to take and ratify the t.p.p. or lose the opportunity. as americans say, you have to be at the table or on the middle. for america's friends and partners ratifying the t.p.p. is a litmus test of your credibility and seriousness of purpose. every one of the t.p.p. signatories has had to make sacrifices in order to accept the t.p.p. agreement and jointly bring about this win-win outcome nobody wants to reopen negotiations. everybody would like to have something better but nobody wants to reopen the process with no prospect of doing better and every chance of having it fall apart. asian countries want america to be engaged. we need to know that this engagement will be sustained and
we need to know that agreements will be upheld and that asia can depend on america. your ratification of the t.p.p., therefore, would be a clear statement of your commitment and confidence in our region. so i hope all of you here who have a vested interest in the success of the t.p.p. and in america's friendship and cooperation and trade with asia will lend your voices to support this. america has helped to create and sustain the current world order and the international rules which we all have a stake in and all countries benefit from. no other country has the economic capacity, political strength or soft power to play this role. it is america's responsibility,
minister, thank you very much. that was terrific, as expected. welcome, again, on behalf of the u.s. asean business council, the chamber, madam secretary, let me add the thank yous that everyone else has added. we're delighted to see you here. i have to tell you i first met the prime minister when i was ustr and called on him and was totally blown away, as we got into a conversation, i thought it was one of these courtesy calls and we started talking about trade and he started talking about trade and i had obviously done my homework, i had read the bio, and the prime minister had served as trade minister and finance minister and all of a sudden i'm talking to a policy wonk and i say this
with the utmost respect and admiration and awe and he knew more about my portfolio than i did. and it was just brilliant and then i saw you in action again at the apex summit in australia in your prime ministerial capacity and i saw you, as it were, knock the socks off the other leaders, talking the broader geopolitical matters and for most of the people in this room who are trade policy and geopolitical specialists ranging from from the ridiculous to the sublime, we're going to keep the questions somewhere in that middle range there. so i'm going to start but you should be thinking about the questions you would like to ask prime minister lee. he has graciously offered to
respond to questions from the audience and there is no smarter, wiser, and more knowledgeable leader, i suspect that we could find anywhere and on these matters related to trade and economics and the asia pacific region and just about anything else you want to ask about. thank you. so i'm going to start. you were very polite and diplomatic about the current state of trade politics in the united states. i don't recollect trade politics as unpleasant as they are now in the united states. we've always been proud of the fact that trade politics in the united states is bipartisan. it is indeed bipartisan but not in the direction that most of us would like and many of us are hoping that while you're here
you will be saying to our leaders on both sides of the aisle the kinds of things we'd sort of like to say to our leader on both sides of the aisle. when it comes to singapore, singapore clearly stands out, by any measure, whether it's ease -- world bank's ease of doing business, innovation rankings. singapore stands out at the top of the class on almost every ranking. one of the questions that consistently comes up, though, when you mention singapore is at the top of this list or that list and you point out that singapore is market oriented, free trade oriented. well, singapore is a very small country and that growth trajectory is an anomaly because singapore is such a small country. i would love to hear your observations on the lessons that are transferable in terms of
singapore's economic development and trajectory. you talked about moving into the knowledge economy, clearly these are lessons that are transferable to other countries that are facing competition. we'd love to hear your observation. prime minister lee: we are very wary about teaching other people how to run their countries. it's complicated enough to run our own little place. we have been lucky and successful so far in our journey. not always up but mostly up and the world has changed and we have changed with it. the first thing that matters to us is that our people should understand that our lives depend on the rest of the world, being relevant to them being effective, making a contribution, able to hold our own. it's perhaps easier for us to do that because we are so small
you can see that the world just -- you you just look across the water and it's another country above the horizon. it's harder to do that when you are a big country like america if you look out from kansas the horizon is far away, even the east and west coast is very far away. i know, i spend a year living there. and therefore it's a different perspective, and yet the world matters enormously to you and somehow people have got to understand that. i think secondly it's a world which changes on us very rapidly and as it changes, we have to follow on and track that. so we started off doing economic development based on basically manufacturing of labor intensive things. we made bed sheets, we made pajamas, we assembled transistor
radios. as we wanted to keep on climbing, we found we had to change our strategy to emphasize skills. we had to emphasize technology. we have to upgrade our people's education and they had to be prepared to learn new jobs as they did. that you have to do that not just once, but many times. because after the first time, the world changes again and you have have to change again. we are in the midst of that now. growth may be slow but change is not slow. change is fast and technologies are taking over different jobs, old jobs, old skills. to go from them to new jobs is a tough business and it's just the person on the assembly line who has a problem. the lawyers, some of them may have a problem because in doing legal research, you don't send a young lawyer anymore. you unleash your a.i. program and it combs through and it
misses fewer things than your young man or young woman. so we have to keep on changing with the world. i think thirdly, what we have tried to do in singapore is to reconcile the needs of economic growth and development which means being rational, efficient competitive, with the needs of building a nation which is where you have to work together, where you have to sense the nontangible things, we have to have to safety nets and willingness to work as one nation. it's acute for us because we are both a city and a country so in one place you have the dilemma. whereas if it were new york in america, while new york can be very dynamic and you have a ballast, a base, all the way through the midwest and the
south. london is the same with great britain. london prospers, britain not quite so so in had brexit, london voted for stay and england voted to leave. we are both in one place and we can't both stay and leave. you have to reconcile that and find the right balance and then you can sustain growth and you can maintain confidence in the system in people's own future, and in our ability to change with the world. it's very broad, but these are some of the things which we think about. ms. schwab: a lot of topics we have been talking about here, i wish we were talking more about some of these topics. can we ask you about t.p.p., the trans-pacific partnership negotiations were actually launched at the end of the bush administration. the obama administration picked it up and ran and made a negotiation, did a deal.
we now have two presidential candidates that are not terribly friendly about t.p.p. one of the arguments that has been raised in favor of t.p.p. has been, well, if we don't do the trans-pacific partnership then quote, china will write the rules. now, that is perhaps a euphemism for others will write the rules. it's been taken by some to be anti-chinese. it sort of plays into the geopolitics. the i'd be interested in your thoughts on this, because one of the things that i think a large number of people in this audience are hoping is that in your travels, while you're here, you'll be talking some more about the benefits of the trans-pacific partnership. that's one argument that a lot of people have used here and there's been some push-back on
that. prime minister lee: well, your relationship with china is not a zero tum -- sum exercise. you will compete but also cooperate. if you have more trade with china, china gains, you gain, too. that's what's been happening. people in america often talk about the threat from things made in china, sold cheap in wal-mart. but, in fact, your exports to china have grown very rapidly. and it's been a plus for any number of american industries all the way from boeing to cars to pharmaceuticals to insurance services. so when it comes to t.p.p., you can say, well, it gives america a head start because you are in on a major trade agreement which includes a big part of the asia pacific, in fact, a significant part of the world but actually what are you looking for is a longer term where you have free
trade in the whole of asia pacific. the ideal was to do it in apec. that was the initial motivation for apec, trade liberalization in the asia pacific. initially china was not in but china came in early after two or three meetings. and you want to have free trade in the asia pacific including all these countries but honestly speaking, i think even with a very great ambition, that's too hard to do straight away because if you wanted to have japan china, america, and all the other countries in just the first three would keep you busy reconciling the difficulties before the rest of us got a word in so it's not going to happen but you do want to move and you can move piecemeal and then it's messy, it's overlapping, but it covers the ground and hopefully
our grandchildren or children will have the wisdom and basis on which to take the next step and rationalize simplify, expand and make a less imperfect cooperation. so the t.p.p. is one big part of what's happening in asia pacific but there are other pieces, as well. there's this thing called a regional comprehensive economic partnership which covers a lot of the countries on the western side of the pacific, including china and japan and korea and china and korea are not in the t.p.p. but some of the other members are. and asean has got an economic community amongst itself so it's a very messy patch work but it covers the whole of the asia pacific. with the t.p.p., you are part of the game. and you are setting the rules well you have help to set norms and expectations which will cover many economies and one day others will be able to join you and if you ask whether the chinese will join the t.p.p.,
initially they looked at it very much askance, now they're looking at it quizzically. it's different. they're still skeptical but they are not hostile. they are trying to understand this what will it take? they're not ready yet but one day, i think, they are not averse to the idea of being part of this group. i think they believe you want to set high rules and make sure that the entrance fee is not too low, to put it mildly. but i don't think they rule out being part of the party. so i think there's -- well, if you call that setting the rules i think it's not a bad thing to do. ms. schwab: thank you very much. there are individuals with microphones out there for questions for prime minister lee. let me ask that you keep your questions brief. keep them questions rather than
statements. and identify yourself before you ask, and your affiliation. and since we have these lights in our face, it may be hard for us to see you at first but i need a first question. >> welcome back, mr. prime minister. since you and susan mentioned geopolitical issues as part of your expertise could you comment on the south china sea in terms of the recent decision, next steps, particularly whether you think there's a fundamental change on china's part about how their policy is playing in the region and the world, or just a tactical ploy for g-20. prime minister lee: your last sentence? >> do you think there's been a change in china's basic policy unannounced as a result of the
decision leading to more nuanced policy to reduce tensions or is it a tactical pause until the g-20 meeting and maybe the u.s. election? prime minister lee: i don't think the chinese have changed their policy as a result of the decision. they rejected ity have meltly they said so before, they said so after but they have said they made a decision what they want to do in the south china sea and i think they will maintain that over the long term. they have said that they have a nine dash line claim that is historical indisputable. they haven't quite exactly specified in legal terms what it is which is being claimed but they said this is ours and well, the others, we can talk, but what is ours is ours. i think that the ruling of the tribunal has been -- well, has made a strong statement on what
the international law is. ideally, international tribunal rulings set the order for the world because ideally when you have disputes between countries it's much better to have an arbitration and adjudication based on acknowledged principles than to fight it out and see whose guns are more powerful and speaking from the point of view of a small country, this is all the more fundamental important principle. when we have had disputes with our neighbors, we've done that. we've gone to arbitration or adjudication. sometimes we win, sometimes we don't. sometimes, before the matter is adjudicated, we reach a settlement and well, it's an impartial, objective peaceful way of resolving issues. and ideally all problems in the world could be settled like
that. but the world is not like that and big power particularly have interests which sometimes lead them not to follow this path. for example the u.n. convention on the law of the sea, under which the recent tribunal rule, america signed it but hasn't ratified it so america is not bound by un clause so that makes it harder for to you take a position when other countries follow or don't follow the provisions of the u.n. convention so when you look at china and see the stance they're taking you wish it were otherwise but it's not unprecedented. i think in the south china sea none of the countries want to push it to the brink. they have interests, they have claims.
they want to maintain them. but nobody wants to go to war and in particular, i think the southeast asian states, philippines, brunei, vietnam -- all of them have substantial bilateral interests in china. trade, tourism, investment aid. therefore, while this is a thorn in their relationship, it is not the whole relationship and therefore it will be a problem not solved for a long time but i don't think it's going to lead to a complete souring and complete breach. it needs to be managed. there are things you can do to calm things down, to make it less likely that you have a mishap which goes out of control. we have a declaration of conduct on the south china sea. it's just a declaration of good intentions. we are negotiating a code of conduct on the south china sea
with china, which is going to be binding but therefore will be more complicated to attain. we hope to make progress in small steps like having a code on unplanned encounters at sea. what happens if two ships come almost eyeball to eyeball, how do i avoid physically bumping into one another or exchanging fire or spraying each other with water hoses which has happened before. and to have a hot line between the capital so can you talk and defuse issues. i think these modest measures we can do but solving the problem to have countries having taken possessions, claiming sovereignty, claiming right to maritime sea bed resources to have countries balk -- walk back from those and say it's not so
absolute, it wasn't quite clearly mine after all, i think we have to wait a long time to see that happening. very few countries do that. >> ms. schwab: thank you. is that the media table? ok, then i'll come back to you. >> dennis wilder, georgetown university. how do you respond to the trump supporter who says the free trade agreement with singapore didn't do me any good. the free trade agreement with korea didn't do me any good why do you think the t.p.p. is anything i need? the singapore citizens got the benefits. prime minister lee: singapore? >> the singapore citizens got the benefit of the free trade agreement from their point of view and this is a very serious
position held by serious people in the midwest. they're not just people who are crazy or under-educated. if you look at the median economic -- income of these people, all of these free trade agreements didn't help them. how do we respond to that? prime minister lee: well, there are a couple of injuries to the question. the old textbook solution answer was to say trade is mutually beneficial. i buy, you sell, obviously i wanted to sell to you or i wanted to buy from you and you wanted to sell to me so at the end of it we both must be happy otherwise we wouldn't have done it and if we're prevented, than an opportunity has been lost. it's a bit of an over-simplification because we're talking about two people but here we're talking about two countries so if my company sells to you, my company benefits, your consumer benefits, but your
company competitor may lose out compared to me, who was making the same thing. so question is how are the net benefits distributed within the country? there are winners there are losers and somehow in the process you have to make good the losers so the benefits are reasonably widely distributed. when countries negotiate trade agreements, i think this political process comes into play. when the usdr negotiated trade agreements, i think their internal process talking to different states and different senators and congressmen, what their interests are who has chewing gum, who has airplanes who has i.t. who has pharmaceuticals, the usdr knows all about that. if he or she is not an expert in domestic politics, he can't do his job. and when the chinese negotiated
with you, not a free trade agreement but just a trade agreement, bilaterally, before they joined the w.t.o., and the prime minister who did that on the chinese side, premier who did that with you. i can't remember who was your trade rep then. he knew exactly which states made which things and he negotiated a deal with you which made sure every state got something. this is a political leader in a communist state who has no votes to worry about. he knew what needed to be done. so when you negotiate with singapore, i have no doubt that your usdr knew exactly what needed to be done and did a good job protecting your interests and advancing your interests. and it may be in pharmaceuticals. it may be in media, the new economy. it may be in access for your
airplanes or automobiles or banks. it doesn't mean that every single american was party to every single item on the deal but the usdr has done a good deal, you got something out of it. the other side got something out of it, sure. but that's what win-win trade is about. so if you say i didn't get something, i think if you take a very narrow approach you might be able to establish that. you might also be able to argue that within america, you could have done a lot more to make sure that the winners and the losers shared the benefits and the rust belt had more help becoming less rust belt and the midwest particularly which has not got a -- doesn't get a direct benefit, gets something out of this. that's necessary it's part of making the political economy of
trade work. but if we abandon that and say we don't want to have free trade, let's go back to the days when we had the united auto workers dealing with general motors and the big two or three and that's how cars shall be made and americans will be better off well, it may be detroit will be better off but i think america is worse off. i think america is better off with doors open and america is big and wealthy enough to be able to make good detroit. and should. i mean, i'm not taking sides but there will be those who benefit less or those who don't benefit and i think that that your political system should look after them. ms. schwab: thank you. well said. yes, sir? >> good afternoon.
my name is proser sterling from oracle corporation. mr. prime minister,. prime minister lee: corporation? at singapore has established itself as a business -- regional business hub, a regional services hub, a regional research hub and a regional data hub, data has become increasingly important for all businesses and the way businesses function. particularly the way businesses function across the pacific. and what that has to do with transpacific value chains. as data has this importance, it is important to know what singapore's approach is to data what their approaches to smart cities and smart nations. could you talk about the pathways that you