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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  September 29, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT

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just recently the judiciary committee heard justice against sponsors of terrorism in a hearing or had a hearing on the bill. and the supporters of the bill offered powerful and compelling testimony in favor of ensuring that 9/11 families have access to their day in court against the parties directly and vicariously libel for the injuries they suffered. i also take into consideration the concerns of the administration which deals with underlying sovereign immunity and open up u.s. diplomats and u.s. torges for legal action for see if foreign countries pass resip prokohl laws n addition the president has said it would upset long-standing
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let me suggest to our friends that under the facts that we know, 19 of these attackers on 9/11 were saudi citizens. they did not represent the government. this is not giving permission to sue the government under its government actions as much as it is to recognize that these were citizens who operated outside of that realm and to allow these citizens of the united states to have relief. you cannot deny the citizenship of these individuals. i would also suggest that these individuals are common criminals. and why should individuals who have been harmed be prevented from addressing the common crimality because they are from a different country? i make the argument we're not finished with this at this point. i hope there will be further discussions. i do believe that if countries decided to take up and sue legitimate actions of the
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united states in defense of their nation, they would have the full power and force of law of the united states to be defended. i don't believe that will happen. i do believe we should continue further discussion on this very important topic. but as well, having been a senior member, again, on homeland security during the many meetings that we have with the 9/11 families, and ultimately passing the 9/11 legislation as i chaired the transportation security committee, i believe that listening over and over again to the devastation and the need to ensure there are laws to protect this nation that this measure provides the extra opportunity to address the common crimality of individuals whose citizenship lies in one place or another. we should stand, however, in protecting u.s. diplomats, military service, intelligence community members, and i believe this country has the power to do so. so i believe at this point the
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9/11 families, their matter should be addressed and we should address it today. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. donovan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. donovan: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, chairman, for yielding to me. foreign threats should never dictate american policy. that's unfortunately what happened with president obama's eto of this legislation. that a foreign government can hide behind sovereign immunity after slaughtering americans in our own homeland is an outrage. it's no wonder that this bill was passed by congress unanimously. terror victims can already sue individuals for their complicity in an attack. a foreign government shouldn't be immuned from justice simply because it's a government. for those of my colleagues who may be reluctant about voting for an override of this veto, i think chairman goodlatte's
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explanation of the bill should give them peace. there are already nine exemptions to the sovereign immunity law and jasta will not create a 10th. it modifies one of those nine. just jasta is about 9/11 victims who have waited more than 15 years to have their day in court. it's about the families of over 300 people killed that day who lived in my congressional district. it's about my friend, lawrie, whose husband, firefighter joseph, died that day saving other people's lives. i urge my colleagues to put american victims first by voting to override the president's veto and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back the balance of his time of the the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to recognize the gentlelady from new york, mrs. loney, for 2 1/2 minutes
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mrs. maloney: thank you so much for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise to express my support for overriding the president's veto of the justice against sponsors of terrorism act. i understand and give weight to the president's concerns, but i believe that this bill is focused on and applies to overwhelm those attack that is are committed on u.s. soil that harm u.s. nationals. the attacks of 9/11 were singular acts of appalling cruelty. they were targeted knowingly and specifically to civilian noncombatants. they were barbaric crimes that violated all new orleans of civilized conduct, and all of the international conventions of armed conflict. the hijackers of those planes died that day, it is virtually indisputable that there are people who conspired with them in the planning, preparation, excuse, and financing of those
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horrific acts who walk the streets freely in foreign capitals today. they walk comfortably, securely, suggestly, believing that because of a peculiar interpretation of international law they are safe from the long arm of justice immune to any consequences. jasta as it is called is needed to correct some shortcomings in previous legislation and lower court decisions. the bill is needed to make it possible for the survivors and for the families of the victims of savage acts of international terrorism to seek a measure of justice through the civil courts. this bill is needed because both congress and the executive branch have affirmed that civil litigation against terror sponsors, including foreign governments, can have an important deterrent effect. the attacks of 9/11 were roundly condemned by people and governments around the world. so this bill is needed not just by the families of those who
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died in new york and at the pentagon and in pennsylvania, it is needed to send a message to people all around the world, a message that the long arm of american justice will not be deterred, will never tire, and will never falter. as we have done in the past, we will pursue the perpetrators of such savage acts of inhumanity as we saw on 9/11 to their very graves, there is no loophole and there will be no escape. yes, it may be true there are risks in passing a bill like this that may have some unintended consequences, but compare that to the risks of doing nothing and the risks that are very real that are all too present. i urge my colleagues to not forget and to overturn the president's veto. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mrs. maloney: it is a deterrent to future crimes. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. i thank my good fren for yielding and and congressman king for their leadership on this bill. mr. speaker, with all due respect to the president of the united states, the central argument in his veto message accompanying the justice against sponsors of terrorism act, reciprocity, is weak, unsupported, and egregiously flawed. the white house drafters of the veto message either didn't read the carefully crafted bipartisan bill or seeking to conflate the text since jasta only permits access to u.s. courts by waiving immunity for foreign governments not government officials and employees, and corrects conflicting case law except in the cases where someone knowingly aides, abets, or conspires with a state
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department designated terrorist organization. the president is wrong to assert under the haloed principle of reciprocity, u.s. officials and military personnel could be subjected to lawsuits. it's worth noting that nothing precludes that now or ever, but as an argument for veto it simply doesn't pass muster. while sovereignty immunity has its place in the conduct of responsible diplomacy, it is not absolute. as even the 1976 foreign sovereignty immunities act contains nine exceptions n 2008, as you negotiation the u.s. court of appeals for the sick circuit dismissed legal actions against saudi arabia and other defendants holding u.s. courts lacked jurisdiction. other actions by the courts have thwarted the full accountabilities that americans expect and deserve. jasta corrects that. the victims of 9/11 and their greefing families deserve what jasta empowers. a judicial process to discover the unfettered and ugly truth that to this day remains
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cloaked, concealed, and covered up. jasta provides a way to hold perpetrators and enablers of terrorism to account. anyone who has read the recently declassified 28 pages of findings from the house senate intelligence joint inquiry in 2002, despite the heavy redactions, knows the provocative evidence of saudi complicity in 9/11, and that remains unexamined. the 28 pages are filled with names and suspected associations with the government of saudi arabia. mr. speaker, i have worked with and befriended many of the 9/11 family members. many died in my -- from my district, and i can state unequivocally there would have been no 9/11 commission and other historic policy initiatives without them. they have been extraordinary, tenacious, committed, and courageous. on september 20, many of us -- many of those family members gathered outside the white house to appeal to the president to sign jasta.
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two of the remarkable widows from new jersey, laurie and mindy carried this sign on my left, your right, with a picture of president obama and king -- the saudi king from the front page of the "new york daily news." the headline said, don't choose them over us. u.s., united states. the president chose the caning kink and he vetoed the bill. we can correct that today. vote to override. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: there is no doubt at there's so much passion involved in this with the bill's supporters, but as legislators, i'd like to urge
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that you carefully and thoughtfully consider the long-term interests of our country. and i'm pleased to indicate that the scholars that -- and others that will be voting to sustain the president's veto former ael mukasey, the attorney general under george w. bush, steven headly, the former national security , visor for that president richard clark, the former white house counterterrorism advisor for bill clinton and george w. bush, thomas pickering, the
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former united states ambassador to the united nations, all gree that we must be considerate of the long-term interests of our own country. and so for the foregoing reasons and those stated by the national security experts, the international law scholars, the president of the united states, i find that i must vote to . stain the president's veto and mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to override the president's veto. it is the right thing to do. it is the right thing to let
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american citizens have access to their courts for torts, for terrorist attacks that occur on american soil. this bill is a modest amendment to already existing exemptions to the foreign sovereign immunities act. it is the right thing to do. i urge my colleagues to join me in overriding the pres >> the veto allowing victims to sue the saudi arabian government. other issues included cyber security. he was interviewed at the ideas forum. this is 20 minutes. ♪ afternoon.
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thank you for being here. there has been an override of and itsident's veto would allow citizens to sue foreign governments. you have been against this. what does this mean, from the cia perspective? misguidedislation is and does not take into account national security interests. from 9/11y emotions that are palpable and the amilies are
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looking for justice. there is no evidence the saudi's were responsible for the attack. is asaid, i think this dangerous slippery slope we are getting on and they are going to start to passed similar legislation that will call the united states into court for frivolous charges and allegations and i think it is more than just going after the saudi government. come back to that controversial issue, but staying on the issue of the senate, it was 97-1. you go to senators and you say,
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"you are hurting national security if you do this." what do they say to you? >> a number of legislators recognized downsides to this and there are considerations and i find it hard to believe that they are supporting this override. i think many of them recognize the impact on national security interests. broader than this issue, what for overseas?end bel assets the attacked -- case?ed to some core -- court case. arabia hadsure saudi
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nothing to do with 9/11? >> clearly, saudi citizens and there was support. again, the report said -- theree is no senior were no senior officials involved in any way. individuals may have been identified in a joint inquiry report. saudis.ntified some you can bring individuals and organizations to court. bringing a foreign government in opens update floodgates for across-the-board. there is an out that they sponsor terrorism. secret that saudi
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arabia is not obama's favorite ally or the most popular country. saudiyou argue that arabia is an ally in the fight against global terrorism? do they play confusing roles? >> i spent years in saudi arabia and my principal work was frustrating. they were not forthcoming with information and cooperative. after the many attacks that took place in saudi arabia, they did a complete 180 and they are the best. they are engaged in operations -- they have many terroristilled by
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groups. i am concerned by how the saudi government will interpret the legislation, but i think they are committed to ridding their communities and their region of this. >> the downside is huge. >> very huge. not just in context of saudi arabia. there is tremendous you venture -- tremendous investment in this. do they want a court ruling that awards the litigants? >> what are the issues? >> there are concerns about this legislation and what this could have for the future. there could be financial and economic concerns on how assets
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, despiteattached and the need for our cooperation, the congress takes it so lightly that they will go forward, despite what the 9/11 report concluded. it will allow the saudi government. >> are you going to the hill to argue? i i was on the hill today and had a public statement about what i see as tremendous downsides of this legislation and i hope that the house upholds the veto. the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and all of the officials recognize how bad this legislation is for our interests. >> let me talk about the
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national security interests in the broader muslim world. we have had this conversation in the past and you have essentially argued that we cannot win the war against radical islamic extremism without muslims. i have talked to a lot of people in the intelligence community who have argued that donald trump hurts the national security interests. do you agree? is this a hindrance to carrying out your work? that sayand comments the religion is the source of to problem is detrimental our interests and understanding
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this. i have met with presidents and prime ministers and they are outraged that the muslim community has been ineffective by this cancer. these individuals have a distorted and perverted presentation of islam and they pursue these psychopathic agendas. they recognize they have a leading role to purge their communities of these influences. driven byviduals are this ideology that is not rooted in islam. psychopathic and absolutist. you are either with us or against us. the caliphate wants to -- samuel huntington referred to this as a
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clash of civilizations. wedgeant to draw a between them and the modern world. >> what would you say to donald trump about the impact of this kind of discourse? >> anybody who promotes this characterization of the problem, how thesescribe comments are being interpreted and how this feeds a narrative that terrorist organizations are propagating and it does not help cancer that has taken over so many of our communities with the underlying conditions that exist, the political this franchise meant,
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the lack of opportunity. this perverted version of a religion preys upon a sense of hopelessness and, by making comments that are incendiary and are viewed as attacking a people furthersunity, it only extremist views. comments come forward and there are others who say, "you know, you are right." >> there is no room for cooperation? >> there are primus comments that have fed this. whohere are a lot of people support this.
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citingre muslims who are scripture, seemingly devout, having broad support in the muslim world and it doesn't add up when you say it does not have anything to do with islam. it looks like a form of islam. what is the response to this? it may not past the smell test. >> people can take the jewish or thristian faith and distort i to use it for violent agendas. there are individuals who think they are the vanguard of the judaism, christianity, hinduism, or others. they have a distorted interpretation of their faith and the overwhelming majority of muslims do not support this kind of violent agenda. there may be some individuals who are radical inside of
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islamic faith or even extremist. of this violence, it is something we have not seen. from some materials, about muslimsrns killed by terrorist attacks and there was urging of al qaeda to be more surgical. is hard for the mastermind of 9/11 to argue. l makes no distinction and they had an anti-shiite influence. killed,h the innocents god will sort them out. iran, iraq, cover the south china sea, russia --
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but i have seven minutes. i want to read you something that clinton told me in an interview about syria. the failure to build up a against fighting force that left a big vacuum ism has now filled. that sounds like a critique of obama. is she right? an opportunity to shape the outcome of the conflict? happened that none of us were able to foresee and like it is today,
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taking over large swaths of territory. there were different types of arms againstook up a side. assad.time -- against at the time, there was an extremist spectrum and it has grown larger. there is an opposition with all sorts of different stripes. looking back with 20/20 pushedht, we could have the objectives and the goals. libya, we gott liked out and is not democracy flourished and peace and security broke out.
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treasuret blood and and it does not rebuild societies. you can take care of certain threats with military force. but the use of military force brings another day. how are you going to rebuild out of the rubble of airstrikes what you need for the future? syria is the most complicated and vexing issue i have ever had to deal with in 36 years, because there is so many internal and external actors, competing interests as they try to bring an end to the assad regime -- interviewer: for the sake of american credibility, was it a mistake not to enforce the red line of 2013? mr. brennan: serious -- syria's chemical weapons arsenal was virtually destroyed, equipment that worried u.s. national security experts as well as
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israel for many years. it was all because of that threat of use of military force that russia put the screws to syria to destroy their chemical weapons. we are better off for that. however, in light of subsequent events, the bloodshed has continued. we can speculate what might have happened if bombing took place. i think the middle east has frustrated a lot of those objectives for many years. credibility, you talk to foreign intelligence chiefs all the time. was u.s. credibility hurt by not enforcing a redline? mr. brennan: i think a lot of people were disappointed there was not follow-up action. israeli officials were glad were's chemical weapons destroyed. people look back on it and say credibility was hurt because of not just not following through the bombing, but subsequent
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events. issues.wer: two more on russia, can you assess for us the question -- is russia trying to, in essence, tax our election? [laughter] interviewer: shall i repeat the question? russia has tremendous capabilities in the server room. we know they have used those to extract information from networks, to get access to e-mails. we also know the russians have been very active locally in trying to influence political developments in a variety of countries, including engaging in election politics and manipulation in countries overseas. i think the u.s. government right now is very much aware and working on the issue of who get into andng to intrude truth in the electoral systems. one of the real benefits of our
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elections is, they are state-owned. it is very dispersed, diverse, not a thing you can just get into a system and have access to all the precincts and other things. there is an effort over -- jeh johnson is reaching out to states, offering assistance. publicly that a dozen and a half states have asked for assistance from the federal government to safeguard systems and protect against this. what we do at cia is look at ilities,s' capab intent, things i have done in the past, and look at whether something that looks like a duck and flies like a duck, whether it is something. [laughter] [applause] interviewer: i am going to mark that down as "yes." [laughter] interviewer: i am just going to note that as a yes. mr. brennan: we are duckhunting.
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interviewer: you are the big duck hunter. at the 15th anniversary of 9/11. the overarching question that the typical person wants to know, i think, from the cia -- are we safer than we were 15 years ago? on the one hand, we have obviously develop systems to fort complicated multinational plots. on the other hand, we are living in the age of self-radicalized lone wolf attacks. take a minute and talk about where you think we are, 15 years after that terrible, world-changing event. look atnan: you vulnerabilities, you look at threats, and you look at mitigation capabilities you have in order to mitigate those threats. you look at the vulnerabilities. compared to 9/11, this country is a heck of a lot safer than it was then, because of improved
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security at our airports, at our borders. much better interaction between the federal government and state and local governments. information is moving at the speed of light. it is a much more difficult environment here for these overseas terrorist groups to operate. now, you look at the threat. you see with the continued growth of the digital environment and the ability of overseas terrorist organizations to reach into the country, be in the digital realm, and guide and direct individuals to carry out attacks. with the growth of isil and the lethality of al qaeda, the threat is still significant. that we have vulnerabilities that have been reduced, the threat is significant both from a standpoint of they are trying attacks out strategic and the one offs, somebody who has an automatic weapon or is going to drive a bus into a crowd. we have done it good job working
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with international partners. we are going upstream and two places in syria where a lot of external operations of isil are some other mosul and areas. we are disrupting a lot of their plans and activities before they get to the execution phase. that is what we are trying to do, keep them away from our homeland and stop them before they get close to actually strapping on that suicide vest or picking up that weapon. the fbi deserves a lot of credit. homeland security does as well. the interaction between different elements of this great country as well as the international architecture that we have created -- i will go back to what we started talking about. provide significant amounts of information that feed into the system, that allow us to disrupt these threats. it would be an absolute shame if this legislation in any way influenced the saudi willingness
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to continue to be among our best counterterrorism partners. brennan,er: director thank you for joining us today. i appreciate it. [applause] >> on c-span, secretary of state john kerry on trade and the tpp. the house debate on overriding the president's veto of the 9/11 lawsuit bill. later, cia director john brennan on global threats and the 9/11 bill. "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. thursday morning, democratic congressman david price on the recent police shootings and the 2016 campaign. then, republican congressman steve king of iowa on the latest government funding efforts and the 9/11 victims lawsuit bill. watch "washington journal" live at 7:00 a.m. eastern. join the discussion. >> wells fargo ceo john stumpf
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testifies at his second congressional hearing about an authorized customer accounts. we will be live with the house financial services committee at 10:00 a.m. eastern come here on c-span. deputy secretary of state tony lincoln testifies about the civil war in syria and its impact on other middle east countries. we are live thursday with the senate foreign relations committee on c-span3. you can also watch live at or listen live on the c-span radio app. >> this weekend, c-span cities tour, along with our comcast cable partners, will explain -- explore the literary life and history of pueblo, colorado. >> it is the railroad and the steel industry and the coal industry that bring pueblo as a city to where it is today. i think it speaks to how this is a natural place to settle, with
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the arkansas river. people still keep coming back to this place because it is a natural place to build a city. c-span2, ambern colorado state university professor and author of "making an american workforce -- the rockefellers and the legacy of ludlow." it talks about a deadly strike between miners and the oil company of john d rockefeller junior. amber: he walks out to the car and tell him to turn around. he says, i cannot guarantee your safety. >> author matthew harris discusses the debate over religion and revolutionary america. matthew: they did not talk a lot about religion at the constitutional convention. one of the only thing they said did not have to believe in the bible or some form of christianity to hold public office.
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>> on american history tv on c-span3, here about the ludlow massacre during the colorado coal strike of 1913-1914. we will visit the west museum and talk with it. or, victoria miller, -- talk with its curator, victoria miller. the torilla: many generations up way blow children learned how to tell time by this whistle. ofthe c-span cities tour pueblo, colorado. c-span3, working with our cable affiliates and visiting cities across the country. >> now remarks by secretary of the futurekerry on of u.s. trade and the tpp trade agreement. he spoke at the wilson center and commented on the passing of former israeli prime minister
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shimon peres. this is 50 minutes. [applause] interviewer: good morning. i was afraid i could not see over the podium. it worked out. i am j harmon, president and ceo of the wilson center, recovering politician, and very delighted about this event this morning. let me welcome a few guests. switzerland,r of the ambassador of latvia, our former chairman, ambassador joe gilden horn, and his wife alma and daughter kathy, and a number of our cabinet members and dearest supporters. thank you all for coming. in august, i went with my
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eight-year-old grandson and if you family members to poland. itsnd has greatly faced role in world war ii as the killing field for more than 3 million jews and others. walked a trail into the woods, where members of my own family were forced to march to one, where they were shot in the back with 250 others. seeing that level of depravity up close is a brutal experience, one of the world should never repeat. then, there has been rwanda, and serve the needs of -- has been rwanda, and now syria. some countries have tried to address the growing horror -- half a country displaced, and historical artifacts and towns reduced to level. sayshe new york times" it
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250,000 people are cowering in basements in east a little with no food, no future. 100,000 of those our children. stopping the killing and addressing the refugee crisis is complicated because there are so many agendas. those who try to help, like angela merkel, face challenges in their own political parties. but one man keeps trying. no matter how daunting the odds, that man is secretary john kerry. decades of our friendship and collaboration, i have never admired him more. thank you, john, for coming to the wilson center for the first time as secretary of state, and for addressing a different subject directly in our sweet spot, the importance of trade. i was one of 25 democratic members of congress who voted for trade promotion authority in 2002. i gather that number went up to
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28 in 2015. out of 186. you do not have to take it from me. ceo's have written an op-ed in "the washington post" today about why trade and the transpacific partnership is good for america. arnie sorensen of marriott and the head of xerox. is that the anti-trade wings of both political parties are growing. that is dangerous for the u.s. economy and our national security. so again, president obama and secretary kerry deserve enormous credit for continuing to push for ratification of tpp, which is, in my view, the cornerstone of the u.s. rebalance to asia. please welcome our 68 secretary of state, former five term member of the senate and chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, the indomitable john kerry. [applause]
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sec. kerry: jane, thank you for a wonderful introduction. i hugely appreciate your support, your counsel. and obviously we are living in complicated times. i want to thank you for many, many years of remarkable service to our country. jane was her mining me as we were walking up here that we were, by happenstance, on a flight together not so many years ago. of she secretly informed me the offer from the wilson center and said, what do you think i ought to do? i told her in a nanosecond she should take this job. and i am not sure she did it in a nanosecond, followed my
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advice, but she did it, and i think we're all better for it. she is one of the countries leading voices on intelligence, national security issues, on capitol hill. today as president of the wilson center, she has contributed enormously. thank you very, very much. [applause] sec. kerry: before i dive into our main topic for today, i just want to say a couple words, because i know everybody here is mourning the passing of one of the world's great statesmen, a giant of history, a founding father of israel and a true perez. for peace, shimon about 30et shimon years ago, when i was a younger senator. and ever since, i have to tell been onmon has
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inspiration, a source of tremendous wisdom and insight, and most importantly, a real friend. himd shabbat dinner with i think last year, and listened to him talking well into the night, sharing incredible wisdom . and at age 92 or so, which he was then, incredible energy and commitment to going on into the future. and he always said, don't lose your curiosity. don't lose your projects, your sense of what you have to continue to do. and i think it is those projects and that vision that kept him going forward. he dedicated his life to the cause of an israel that would be ,afe, secure, democratic, free and the homeland of the jewish people. he never lost that vision. so many times when i was traveling over there so frequently to meet with the prime minister, he would express
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frustration, frankly, with the lack of the seizure of opportunities. but he always felt restrained and necessarily respectful of the incumbent prime minister, having been prime minister himself. so he never inserted himself inappropriately in the dialogue. i can tell you he was impatient for peace for his country, and inpatient for the lost opportunities that were passing by. when i was at the library dedication a number of years ago, he spoke, and was one of the most eloquent people. and i went up to him afterwards and was chatting with him, and i noticed he had just jotting down notes on the back of an envelope or piece of taper, and gave one of the most elegant, moving eeches of the day.
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was long aan who towering figure of moral leadership. as i listened to jane talk about what is happening in syria, never has there been a moment when we need our global sense and personal sense of morality or than now. shimon peres will be hugely missed. a great gap exists now. and everybody who knew him, admired him, was inspired by him and by his example for the pursuit of justice and peace, i will continue to remain motivated and inspired by him. and i hope his memory will be a blessing for all of us. days, the world will pay its final respects to shimon peres. i hope to be able to carve out the ability to go and share that. morning, i am truly
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delighted to be here with you to share with all of you a discussion about the connection between america's strategic leadership and our policies on trade. there could not be a better place to do that than here at the center, given woodrow wilson's personal demands, personal history with the subject. back in his college days, wilson competition, where the question centered around protection versus free-trade. the sites were chosen by taking a strip of paper out of a hat. when young woodrow wilson, the protection, he toured the strip to shreds and promptly returned to his seat, because nothing, he declared, was going to propel him to
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advance arguments for a cause he felt was so flat-out wrong. this episode took place in the 1870's, telling us something not only about wilson's dogged personality, but reminding us that we have been debating the virtues of free trade and debating the value of close economic ties to other countries for a long, long time. this is an issue that has been around. it is settled at times. we have moved forward continually. and yet it comes back to haunt the political debate. our first secretary of state, thomas jefferson, said that all the world would gain by setting commerce at perfect liberty. of course, that did not stop a lot of his contemporaries from arguing precisely the opposite. and remarks were so frequently focused on the subject that one
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early 19th-century congressman joked that the dictionary " should beof "man changed to "an animal that makes arrif speeches." this question of trade reflects a larger question we have been posing to ourselves throughout history. should we use our many advantages to help lead the world, or should we stand apart from it and pretend that we can somehow survive on her own? -- our own? should we engage far beyond the border's edge, or use our coasts as barriers to try to keep the world at bay? whatever the answer at a particular moment, there is no evading the fact that america, from its earliest days, has been a maritime nation, a manufacturing nation, and an
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agrarian nation, all at the same time. and through the years we have ties thatverseas, helped us to sell our products abroad and to establish our country's reputation as a land of innovation and opportunity. increasingly, we came to understand as a country the link between our well-being and that of other people, while others increasingly drew a connection between their destiny and hours. you have to think about that. it is a long continuum we are talking about that this debate is about today. 1865, as our wards and slavery neared its successful conclusion, the italian patriot garibaldi declared that the american question is about life for the liberty of the world.
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40 years later, president theodore roosevelt chose to advertise america's arrival as a global economic and political power by ordering a convoy of u.s. battleships, a great white fleet, to circumnavigate the earth. and i still, as i go to some countries in various parts of the world, hear people talk in terms of history about the importance of that display, and the meaning of america's engagement as a consequence of that great journey. as president woodrow wilson sought to keep america out of exactly aan war that century ago was slaughtering the young generation on the battlefields of the somme, the verdun, we understood it. ultimately, our commercial interests, combined with our sense of right and wrong, drew us into that conflict and thrust american leadership into a spotlight that has remained critical and bright at the same
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time, ever since. so, the world that we live in is a world that is far more complex than the one i just described. it is more crowded, more interdependent, less hierarchical, more influenced by withate actors, and filled connections between economic issues and social, political, and security concerns, all melded together inextricably, intertwined. but for all the changes we have lived through that brought us to this new and complex world, the basic question persists. what is america's role in the world, and how should we play it? today, the answer, in my judgment, much more clear almost
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-- after almost four years as secretary of state than it has been in my life -- that is that we, the united states, have to lead. our leadership requires us to pursue high standard, innovative initiatives like the transpacific partnership, or tpp, a proposed agreement that is not only about boosting our economy at home and deepening our commercial ties in key markets, but an agreement that is also about strengthening our national security and strategic leadership in asia and across the globe. to fully understand the importance of this landmark trade deal -- and it is landmark. it is unlike any trade agreement that i voted on, and i voted on many, 1984 until i left the senate 3.5 years ago, four years ago. different. different because there are within the four corners of this agreement environmental standards that never existed before.
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there are labor standards that never existed before. and so we need to begin with a very fundamental proposition in understanding this agreement. either the united states of america is an asia-pacific power , or we are not. and the not carries with it serious consequences. we cannot just stand up and say to the world, we are a pacific power. we have to show it. in interactions and in our choices. you cannot pick and choose where and when we want to be involved. we cannot talk about the rebalance to asia. asia onebalance to day, and sit on the sidelines the next, and expect to possibly send a credible message to partners and to potential partners around the world. not at a time when international friendships are based, through a
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large measure, on consistency of action and consistency of purpose, and consistency of partnership. for more than a century, that consistency is exactly what leaders in asia have come to expect from the united states from leaders in both parties. and there are a host of good reasons for why they have come to expect that. the first is geography. is one of thetes few nations that straddles the divide between the eastern and western hemispheres. after that, the strong economic bonds we have already developed in the region -- five of our top 10 trading partners are in asia. , south korea, australia, new
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zealand, and the philippines stands out. withur close consultations our partners, and our shared diplomatic agenda that covers a host of mutual concerns, including counterterrorism, nonproliferation, climate change, several security, detection of the ocean environment, sustainable fishery practices, maritime security, human trafficking, just to mention some of the most prominent. finally, asia-pacific countries are major actors on two additional issues that touch on vital national security interests of the united states, and they would be affected by us turning our back on an agreement already reached, prompted and promoted by us, led by us,
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first, the provocative north korean attempts of nuclear weapons and element of long-range nuclear missiles that violate you want to could council resolutions. the dangers posed by these activities but now and in the future or a genuine threat to the united states and our allies in the region. it is essential that we work closely in every way about all of our values and interests. from a position of strength with our partners, south korea and japan as well as china, russia and others who have stakes in the outcome with the dprk. with the help of these nations and china is critical to further intensify the pressure on north korea to take it to reckless behavior. and to maintain our unity.
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-- should it not. the second security issue is prompted by competing territorial and maritime claims the south china sea. if countries put their trust in the diplomacy, and accept the rulings of international courts, the south china sea problem can be solved peacefully. if countries choose instead to be aggressive and taking unilateral steps outside the norms of international behavior and creating new military infrastructure, then tensions may continue to rise in a way that benefits no one. and increases the possibility of confrontation and conflict. as i have said many times, united states does not take a position on the merits of any individual claim, but we have made clear our insistence on
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freedom of navigation and aviation and because we have argued repeatedly that differences ought to be resolved in accordance with rule of law, we do recognize properly rendered legal adjustments by properly recognized institutions. here again, our presence, our influence is essential for the protection of our own interest believe me, that presence is welcomed and highly valued by from throughout asia. i just met with our partners in new york just the other day. to a person, they talked about reliance on the united states in
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terms of our leadership, the importance of our presence in the region and the importance of tpp for those nations that a party signed up and are prepared to go forward and be part of it. here's the bottom line, when crises arise in asia, the impacts are felt in the united states. that leads to this elementary and undeniable truth, it is in our interest to be able to have a positive influence on the course of events in asia. the second fact leads inexorably to a third. the transpacific partnership will reinforce our status as a world leader intimately connected to the dynamic economies of the pacific rim, the fastest-growing economies in the world. it will help strengthen norms and standards that are important to us, not just other people or to everyone else in the region, but important to every citizen
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in the united states. let me be clear, the reverse is also true. if we reject tpp, we take a giant step backwards. we take a step away from this idle platform of cooperation. we take a step away from our leadership. we take a step away from the production of our interests and promotion of universal values. we take a step away from our ability to shape the course of events in a region that includes more than a quarter of the world's population. and where much of the history of the 21st country is going to be written. there could be that tpp is not simply a standalone deal that just affect some trade barriers and hair for its. it is a -- care of rates. -- tariff rates. it is a vehicle for raising the
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standards of doing business and standards and expectations between countries regarding transparency and accountability and resolution of conflicts and commerce. it deepens our commercial bonds. it steers us towards closer commercial ties and diplomatic ties. it enhances our national security. it gives us greater credibility and cooperating with our pacific partners on a long list of shared challenges that i've mentioned a moment ago. you don't have to take my word for it, but i'm expressing -- is the consensus view among top military and defense experts and officials of both political parties and the monkey leaders at home and abroad and among
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ex-presidents and secretaries of state across the board. consider whether wide-ranging group of generals, admirals, secretaries of defense had to say, if we fail to secure this agreement, our allies and partners would question our commitments, down our resolve and look to other partners adding that america's prestige, influence and leadership are on the line. consider what my old colleague, senator john mccain said, if tpp fails, america's leadership in the asia-pacific may very well fail with it. beyond our borders, consider the choice laid out by prime minister lee of singapore, not
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-- aruging the importance of tpp, the prime minister observed that where we wind up over the next half century, really depends upon whether we go towards interdependence and therefore peaceful cooperation or whether we go to self deficiency, rivalry and a higher risk of conflict. simply put, tpp is a key way to gauge american engagement in the asian pacific and parts of our own hemisphere and around the world. it is an essential platform to developing closer diplomatic strategic relations. it embodies the recognition are part that in this era, there is no such thing as standing still. no matter how much people resist, i know there is resistance, no politician, a political party, a person can stop what is happening because
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people have an ability to communicate more effectively with each other than ever before. no one is going to turn that off. if united states just continues to will be cap in the past, while others do more and more, we are not going to be holding our own. we are going to be falling behind. make no mistake, if we retreat from this agreement, every government in the region, every business, every commander of every army and navy will notice. they will notice it in a way that does not work for the united states of america. it will be a unilateral seating of american influence and power with great consequences. -- grave consequences.
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if we can count on the united states, where else should return -- we turn? if america will not enter into partnership with us, why should we look to washington for guidance? the inescapable bottom line is that with tpp, we will be far better positioned to enhance our national security and protect our interests from the globes most dynamic region, we will be without this agreement. from my perspective as secretary of state, the strategic case for tpp is not just crystal clear it cannot be more vital to the national security interest and long-term strategic goals of the united states of america. i can tell you from my years of
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serving as a senator and being concerned about all issues economic, it is directly connected to the economic case for our country. the basic commercial arguments for tpp are well known. the facts are often misconstrued. because of a certain mythology that has grown up about this agreement, it has somehow developed in ways that really demand an effective answer. most recently when i was in europe, i found this. in germany and elsewhere. there is a huge mythology that
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has grown up because he been so focused on dealing with other issues that people don't understand completely how this works for them. i want to lay out the primary components of this as plainly as possible. this is a critical agreement in every way. it would unite nearly or to percent of the global economy. stretching from countries like canada, chile on one side of the pacific to japan and australia on the other. it is predicted to lift incomes for american workers. it will open up more markets to our farmers, ranchers, businesses of every size. these are markets that include tens of millions of the class american consumers. it will abolish $18,000 of foreign taxes -- 18,000 foreign taxes. it will abolish 18,000 of those foreign taxes and reduce or eliminate tariffs on textiles, car parts, fruits, vegetables,
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beef and other grown in america were made in america goods. -- or other made in america goods. it will level the playing field for our products by ensuring that those products are treated the exact same way we treat those products that are coming from abroad. tpp is also an agreement that is designed for the realities of the 21st century. this is an age where if you're going to grow your company, the economy, you have to export. why? because 95% of the world's customers live in other countries.
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95% of the world marketplace is over there somewhere. in another country. shut down and start raising tariffs and get into trade wars, we went there once and we got a great depression. we have been there. you can't sell to yourself and expect to be able to compete and grow and lead. this is an era where trade in services is accelerating. all around the world. on price move overland land, sea, air, cyberspace, when globalized surprise change means
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goods crossed orders multiple times. tpp was negotiated with the dynamic nature of our economy front and center. not going to stand here and test your credibility by claiming that his is the key for every economic ill. it does not. the trade agreement is or can be. i know that a lot of people question the value of trade or point to trade today is a reason for slow growth. i don't know how you get there. given the fact that 95% of customers or elsewhere in most countries are exporting and that is how you grow, these claims
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about the problems of those are simply not accurate. please, trade is not what is responsible for the complex economic challenges that we face in the world today. just consider all of the force of the going to shaping the modern economy. above all, technology. technology is what is changing jobs more than anything else. the movement of capital. research, markets, natural resources, human resources, education, training, infrastructure, not too much intangibles like inspiration and innovation and creativity and drive. the ability to go to garage work out of your car for a year and a half. find some capital and get an angel investor and start something up. brilliantly available so you can make products for the world. far more than any trade pact whatsoever, the things i just listed of the things that i do drive an economy forward with the absence of which hold it
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back. let's be clear, i know this well because i worked hard in the senate for trade adjustments. yes, there's dislocation that happens. it is not trade per se that brings dislocation, artificial intelligence is going to bring to its location, technology is good to bring dislocation, if you can do more with less human hands into a faster, everybody in the world will choose to do that. let's be clear, it is not -- what we have to do is not look at trade itself as a problem, it is the lack of adequate response the social structure that does not deal with that dislocation problem. does not make sure that people have ongoing education, transition, ability to have health care despite the fact
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that they may be in that transition, those of the things that make a difference. incomes that rise as a consequence of the work product that everyone is engaged in. everybody in this room and everybody in america knows, we know this well, the tax system of our country is names of books with individual pages written on behalf of one company alone is not working for all of the american people. it is not trade that did that. it is what happens here in washington and the login process. nobody is promising that tpp is going to solve all of our social or economic challenges. let's understand where the real culprit is and deal with it. i can promise you that are rejecting tpp, i refusing to participate in it, our competitiveness is going to suffer.
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our economy will fall a step the hunt we will miss out on opportunities in some of passes current markets on the planet because we will not have subscribed to the very agreement we asked everybody else to subscribe to. yes, we need to have a national debate about the tpp. that debate ought to be based on facts, not on exaggerated and misguided fears and negative mythology. they have been voices of everything a generation, including our own that insist that protection, trade wars will produce prosperity and more openness to trade will ruin our economy. the facts sustain this, those voices have consistently been proven wrong. i've heard these calls over the course of my crew. near seneca my participating in the debate on each trade
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proposal that was passed were debated in the course of 30 years. i listen to predictions of doom and gloom every single time. guess what? every time the united states of america continue to grow, continue to outpace other countries, continue to create jobs, continued to compete. today, we posted the strongest, most innovative, most creative economy in the world. i'm not saying that each trade deal has not had some winners and losers, sure. that at the transitional issue we talked about. good agreements succeed in making economies more efficient. there were productivity and competitiveness. they stretched paychecks by giving consumers a broader range of affordable choices. increase vital export opportunities for our farmers and ranchers and manufacturers and giving businesses large and small the ability to hire more workers at higher wages by
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selling or goods and more services to customers abroad by electing the marketplace which is accessible to even the smallest business in america today. tpp will do all of these things but with one added positive twist, any country that science tpp is signing on to the highest level standard trade pact ever reached. these standards on labor, the environment and other key issues are not part of a side deal was reached and easily ignored as you know happened with respect to nafta.
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i complained for years about the fact that both labor and environment for not being enforced. they are in this deal. this means that each participant has to keep the promises they make or face tough sanctions for every violation. this is not just a matter of economic fairness, this is central to our strategic interests. why? higher standards mean more open markets, safer workers, safer workplaces, cleaner environment, stricter intellectual property protection. less corruption with increased transparency. that are government and greater accountability. these elevated standards can give to people across the pacific rim a window into a future of reform and human
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rights, a smoother and more equitable path to prosperity and ample reason to build up this -- businesses and never turn to tearing down society and resorting to conflict. this is part of how you fight extremism. here is one more thing to remember: if we don't that these rules, and advance our values in the context of our trade agenda, you can have no doubt others will be all too eager to fill the void and move in the direction of lower standards or no standards at all. right now, there are already countries in the region the gray shading agreements on their own that leads us out. you can bet that those agreements are not focused on protecting workers rights or clean air for thing water or intellectual property or a free and open internet.
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the choice for us is clear. help define the shape of global trade and strengthen our security and leadership at the same time. or cede the playing field to countries and actors who don't care about high standards, who would rather ignore the rule of law and would prefer the united states of america to take a backseat in the asia-pacific. let me be clear, we cannot renege on this deal and think that that somehow gives us an advantage and trade or on any other issue. we can't withdraw from tpp and still be viewed as a central player in the pacific rim and undisputed force for peace and prosperity across the globe. we cannot disengage without consequence or advocate our responsibilities. and still expect the world to observe high standards and trust us to keep our word. the question is not trade, but urgent matters, public safety,
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stability, security. our partners worldwide need to know that they can always look to the united states for principal leadership. no uncertainty, no doubt. the transpacific partnership will send that message loud and clear for the nations of the pacific rim and countries across the globe. to conclude with a brief story. on this day, 75 years ago, a young baseball player named ted williams of the boston red sox stood on the threshold of greatness. it was the last day of the season and williams began the day with a batting average that rounded up to 400. a figure that only a handful of baseball giants had exceeded -- succeeded. the manager told him he did not expect to play. the scheduled doubleheader that
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day was meaningless. once could sit on the bench and not run the risk that is average would drop. williams responded, of course you would be in the lineup. if he was right to make history, he would do it on the field, not sitting in the dugout. the night before, williams paced the streets for hours and able to sleep. in the afternoon when he dug his spikes into the batter's box for the first time, he said, he had been shaking like a leaf. maybe can guess the rest. he hits a single the first time appeared than a home run. then another single and another. by the end of the day, he had raised the average to .406. a number that no other player has approached cents. -- since. what does this have to do with tpp? i don't think i'm stretching. [laughter]
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for me, the lesson is, and what claims did -- williams did is you are and how you are viewed by others and what you think of yourself depends on what you do every single day, it is not enough to point to what you might have been able to accomplish in the past, it is about making a commitment to higher standards, demonstrating that every commitment you are going to show it every chance you get. in the same way, tpp is not necessary to show that we can lead. we have been doing that for a long time. by voting yes, we can show we are not about to sit in the dugout and dwell on what we achieved in the past, we are committed to doing more in the future, aiming higher, pushing back the boundaries of what is possible and fostering greater
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prosperity, and higher batting average for us and our partners along the pacific rim. to do so, just like ted williams the playing field that is level and fair to all. bottom line, i believe tpp is absolutely essential to the economic well-being, national security, continuing sustaining leadership in asia of the united states of america across an ever-changing globe. i hope that in a few weeks when the election is over and congress returns to washington to finish the people's business, it will take up an approved tpp and take other steps to preserve and protect and defend the best interests of our beloved country. thanks again to the wilson center for inviting me here. [applause]
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>> one question. in keeping with the wilson center tradition, secretary kerry will take a question. i will pass on my own question. the woman with her hand raised. wait for the microphone. >> thank you for your service and all the work you have done up until today. thank you for the very comprehensive presentation. i am a vietnamese-american. i hope everyone listening to you understands clearly, i have one question which includes two
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parts. have you talked to our presidential candidates about this? and, how do you think we can get the consensus in congress? >> i'm not allowed -- i'm out of politics. i'm not in the business right now of engaging with the candidates. i made this piece today because there is an important debate taking place across america. it is important for people to hear the facts, which i think i laid out today very clearly. vietnam has signed up, they will benefit enormously. i might add, vietnam, the fastest-growing countries in the region will have labor unions that have a right to strike and engage in negotiation.
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it is a remarkable -- who could have imagined that 25-30 years ago? this is a sea change. this is what changes relationships and provides opportunities to people. i will let jane answered the other part. i apologize. >> we understand. we are grateful that you took the question. the wilson center is prohibited by our charter from lobbying congress. that doesn't mean we can't express our opinion. many members of the wilson staff, we are in violent agreement with the case for tpp. the problem is the rhetoric in this campaign and the miss impressionists that trade and tpp will take american jobs. i would answer by saying as ambassador carla hill, former
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special trade representative, the retail case has to be made better to each member of congress. they have to understand that jobs will grow, not just appear -- disappear. congress come i hope will vote in the lame-duck session that there's no indication yet that the issue will be put up for a vote. i want to thank everyone for coming. secretary kerry has to leave. [applause] one more thing, go sox! [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] journal live every day for the us policy issues that impact you. thursday morning, north carolina democratic congressman david price on the recent police
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shootings and the 2016 campaign. the latest on government funding numbers. watch c-span's washington journal 7:00 eastern on thursday morning. oncoming up, the veto bill.ding the 9/11 >> the override is the first -- this is 50 minutes. er our foreign sovereign immunities act and
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threatens to strip all foreign governments from immunity from judicial processes of the united states based solely upon allegations by private litigants that a foreign government's overseas conduct has some role or connection to a group or person that carried out a terrorist attack inside the united states. this would invite consequential decisions to be made based upon incomplete information and risk having different courts reaching different conclusions about the culpability of individual foreign governments and their role in terrorist activities directed against the united states. which is neither an effective nor coordinated way for us to respond to indications that a foreign government might have been behind a terrorist attack. second, jasta would upset long-standing international principles regarding sovereign immunity, putting in place rules that if applied globally could have serious implications for u.s. national interests. the united states has a larger international presence by far than any other country, and
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sovereign immunity principles protect our nation and its armed forces, officials and assistant professionals from foreign court proceedings. these principles also protect u.s. government assets from attempted seizure by private litigants abroad. removing sovereign immunity in u.s. courts from foreign governments that are not designated as state sponsors of terrorism based solely on allegations that such foreign governments' actions abroad had a connection to terrorism-related injuries on u.s. soil threatens to undermine these long-standing principles that protect the united states, our forces and our personnel. indeed, reciprocity plays a substantial role in foreign relations, and numerous other countries already have laws that allow for the adjustment of a foreign state immunity based on the treatment their governments receive in the courts of other states. enactment of jasta could encourage foreign governments to actress prosally and allow
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their domestic courts to allow jurisdiction over the united states or u.s. officials, including our men and women in uniform. for allegedly causing injuries overseas via u.s. support to third parties. this could lead to suits against the united states or u.s. officials for actions taken by members of an armed group that received u.s. assistance, misuse of u.s. military equipment by foreign forces or abuses committed by police units that received u.s. training. even if the allegations at issue ultimately would be without merit, and if any of these litigants were to win judgments based on foreign domestic laws as applied by forpe courts, they'd begin to -- foreign courts, they'd begin to look at the u.s. assets held abroad to settle those judgments with serious financial consequences for the united states. hird, jasta threatens to implicate relationships even with our closest partners. if jasta paren acted, courts
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could accuse u.s. allies or complicitity to be sufficient to open the door to litigation and wide-ranging discovery against a foreign country. for example, the country where an individual who later committed a terrorist attack traveled from or became radicalized. a number of our allies and partners have already contacted us with serious concerns about the bill. by exposing these allies and partners to this sort of litigation in u.s. courts, jasta threatens to limit their cooperation on key national security issues, including counterterrorism initiatives at a crucial time when we are trying to build coalitions, not create divisions. the 9/11 acts were the worst acts of terrorism on u.s. soil and they were met with an unprecedented u.s. government response. the united states has taken robust and wide ranging actions to provide justice for the victims of the 9/11 attacks and keep americans safe from
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providing financial compensations for victims and their families to conducting worldwide counterterrorism programs to bring criminal charges against culpable individuals. i have continued and expanded upon these efforts. both to help victims of terrorism gain justice for the loss and suffering of their loved ones and to protect the united states from future attacks. the jasta, however, does not contribute to these goals, does not enhance the safety of americans from terrorist attacks and undermines core u.s. interest. for these reasons i must veto the bill. signed, barack obama, the white house, september 23, 2016. the speaker pro tempore: the objection to the president will be spread at large upon the journal. the question is will the house on reconsideration pass the bill, the objections of the president to the contrary notwithstanding. the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, is recognized
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for one hour. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, for purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the ranking member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from michigan, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on s. 2040, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, voted 97-1 to te override the president's veto. i urge my colleagues to follow the senate's action and vote to override this to seek redress against any foreign government that chooses to sponsor a terrorist attack on u.s. soil. the question is whether we should allow those who harm our
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citizens to hide behind legal barriers not required by the constitution or international law or permit u.s. victims to hold those who sponsor terrorism in our country fully accountable in our courts. i think the answer to this question is clear and i hope my colleagues will join me in overwhelmingly overriding the president's veto of jasta. the changes it makes to existing law are not dramatic, nor are they sweeping. jasta amend the anti-terrorism act to make clear that any person who aids, abets or conspires with a state department foreign terrorist organization is subject to civil liability to injury to a u.s. person. it amends the foreign sovereign immupets act to add an exception to foreign sovereign immunity to acts of international terrorism sponsored by a foreign government.
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the president objects this change to the law on the ground that it upsets principles of foreign sovereign immunity and by so doing our interests will be threatened. the president's objections, however, have no basis under u.s. or international law. the foreign sovereign immupets act already has nine exceptions, including the territorial tort exception. this exception provides that a foreign country is not immune from the jurisdiction of our courts for injuries that it causes that occur entirely within the united states. consistent with customary international law, jasta for terrorism cases removes the current requirement that the entire tort occur within the united states and replaces it with a rule that only the physical injury or death must occur on u.s. soil. jasta makes this change because under current law, a foreign nation can provide financing and
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other substantial assistance for a terrorist attack in our country and escape liability so long as the support is provided overseas. for example, under current law, if the intelligence agency of a foreign government handed a terrorist a bag of money in new york city to support an attack on u.s. soil, the country would be liable under the foreign sovereign immupetsanth tort exception right now. however if we change the fact pattern slightly so rather giving a terrorist money in new york city, the money is provided in paris, the foreign state will not be subject to liability in u.s. courts. this is a troubling loophole in our anti-terrorism laws. when congress enacted the foreign sovereign immunities act it put in place exceptions, including an exception for tort claims involving injuries that occur in the united states. however, the courts have not consistently interpreted those
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exceptions in such a manner that they cover the sponsoring of a terrorist attack on u.s. soil. jasta addresses this ininconsistency with a concrete rule that is consistent with the nine exceptions to fonch sovereign immunity. jasta ensures that those including foreign governments who sponsor terrorist attacks on u.s. soil are held accountable for their actions. we can no longer allow those who injury and kill americans to hide behind legal loopholes denying justice to the victims. i urge my colleagues to vote to override the president's veto and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, the
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september 11, 2011 attacks on the united states constituted the deadliest foreign attack on american soil in our nation's history. their impact has been immeasureable as evidenced by the fact that we are still grappling with their cultural and policy with their policy implications. 15 years later, their powerful emotional effect on americans remains as strong as ever. those who lost loved ones or were injured as a result of this horrific attack deserve our deepest sympathy and our help. and it is in this vein that we consider whether to override the 2740, thes veto of s.
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justice against sponsors of terrorism act, which among other things amends the foreign sovereign immupets act of 1976 to create a new exception through the act's germ grant of foreign sovereign immunity. the bill's supporters present compelling and sympathetic arguments in favor of ensuring that the 9/11 families have access to a well-deserved day in court. in this veto message, however, the president raised a number of serious substantive concerns about the potential unintended consequences of this legislation. first that the president stated
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undermine theould effectiveness of our nation's national security and counterterrorism efforts. african, other nations may become more reluctant to share sensitive intelligence in light of the greater risk that such information may be revealed in litigation. moreover the president raised the concern that this legislation would effectively allow nonexpert private litigants and courts rather than national security and foreign policy experts to determine key foreign and national security policy questions like which states are sponsors of terrorism.
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econd the private -- the president's assertion that enactment of s. 2040 may lead to retaliation by other countries against the united states given the breadth of our interests and expansive reach of our global activities. while it seems likely at this juncture that s. 2040 will be enacted over the president's veto, i remain hopeful that we can continue to work toward the enactment of subsequent legislation to address the president's concerns. i understand that the moral imperative of enacting legislation in this manner. but i am sensitive to the
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seriousness of the concerns that the president raised. i had expressed the hope during floor debate on this bill that congress and the president could work together to find a better balance that would still nabble 9/11 victims to seek justice while tempering the president's concerns. there is no doubt as to the passion of the bill's supporters through advocating -- bring to advocating the victims of the september 11, 2001 attacks, a passion that i share. as legislators, however, we must be given not only by understandable emotions, but by thoughtful consideration of the long-term interests of our country.
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speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. king, the chief sponsor of this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: jarninged for three minutes. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from virginia, chairman of the judiciary committee for yielding and let me thank him for the outstanding work he has done in bringing this bill, this legislation to -- historic moment where i hope and urge the house of representatives to join the senate in overriding the president's veto of jasta. i take seriously the objections the president has raised but this bill wasn't drawn in a
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vacuum. prime aerially read by chairman demrat, congressman nadler, chief co-sponsor of the bill and leading sponsors in the senate, all of the president's rejections were addressed and changes were made and this bill is not going to put american soldiers at risk or diplomats at risk. what it is going to do is allow the 9/11 families to have their day in court and seek the justice they have been denied and if the government of saudi arabia has no involvement, no liability, they have nothing to worry about. the fact is, those of us who live in new york and new jersey, no matter where you live, know how much this affected all of us. think of how it affected those families, those who lost the husbands and wibes and children and grandchildren and mothers and fathers. so it's essential that this house today stand on the side of
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those who seek justice, realizing we aren't doing anything at all to put america's lives at risk but seek justice against those who caused americans to die. i thank the senate. i thank chairman goodlatte. i thank jerry nadler, dan donovan who has done so much and urge the house of representatives to join with the senate and overriding the veto of the president of the united states. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: it's my pleasure now to recognize a senior member of judiciary committee, the honorable mr. nadler of new york five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i want to start by thanking peter king and bob goodlatte in bringing this bill to the floor. i rise in strong support of overriding the president's veto
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of jasta. jasta is a carefully crafted narrow bill that would hold accountable foreign governments that provide substantial assistance to a designated foreign terrorist organization that launches mr. allen: attack in the united states. december plight the overblown rhetoric, jasta will not be at peril. they would be protected because jasta applies only to governments. to the extent that a foreign government may pass broader legislation may make a person subject to liability, that country would be engaging in the unjustifiable act of aggression. the strength of the united states makes such action unlikely. attackgue states tend to united states. we must not 9/11 families hostage. 15 years ago on september 11, we suffered the most deadliest
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terrorist attack on our soil. my district in new york was the epicenter and effects felt across the country and at the pentagon and in pennsylvania. we all have interests in ensuring that the families can bring to justice anyone who is responsible for the vicious attack. jasta simply reinstates what was understood to be the law for 30 years, that foreign states, not individuals, not soldiers, foreign states, may be brought to justice for aiding and abetting international terrorism that occur on american soil, whether or not the conduct that facilitated the attack occurred in the united states. some courts have held if a foreign government agent hands over a check to al qaeda in new york to fund a terror attack, that government can be sued in an american court. if the same foreign government funds the same attack by handing over the same check in a cafe in geneva, the government is immune
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from suit. that makes no sense. and it flies in the face of what had been settled law for many years. language law provides jurisdiction to sue foreign states of injury on american soil. this is the international norman not prompted retall tar yore conduct. if a foreign state murders thousands of americans on american soil or provides substantial assistance to a designated terrorist group that murders thousands of americans on american soil, that government cannot hide from justice merely because the actions occurred abroad. this does not target a country. any government brought before a u.s. court will have relief available to it and protections to government privileges during discovery to protect against disclosure of sensitive information. .
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. we have hypotheticals that they would target american citizens. again, if a foreign government uses legislation that mirrors jasta, americans would still be protected because jasta applies to governments and if a government is highly unlikely to -- if a rogue state does in fact authorize suits against american personnel abroad we have a well-established process for defending such actions. according to the office of foreign litigation at the department of justice, anytime foreign lawyers under the direct supervision represent the united states in approximately 1,000 lawsuits, pending in the courts of over 100 countries, closed quote. this is not a new issue for the united states, and we are well equipped to deal with any consequences. we are warned that saudi arabia will be very angry if we approve this bill. that the saudis may retaliate against the united states. may perhaps withdraw some
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investments. history shows that the saudis will do what is in their interest. they need american support and american arms in the volatile middle east where they fear and fight iran and its proxies. they are not going to prefer their emotions to their interests and act against the united states. if the saudi government was not complicit in the attack on 9/11, the plaintiffs will fail to prove such complicitity in an american court, justice will have been served and the saudis will be vindicated after years of suspicion. but if it is proven in an american court that the saudi government was complicit in the attacks on 9/11, justice will have been served, and we, not the saudis, will have justification to be very angry. mr. speaker, this bill was carefully negotiated over more than six years. it passed the house and senate unanimously and the senate ted 97-1 to override the
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president's veto. all that stands in the way for the 9/11 victims and their families is a vote in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. goodlatte: mr. speaker, at this time it's my pleasure to yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry, chairman of the armed services committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i first want to thank the gentleman from virginia for yielding and, secondly, commend him for his work to try to tailor this measure in as narrow a way as possible. i also want to commend the gentleman from new york, mr. king, for his strong persistent advocacy for the families of the victims of 9/11. all of us share in their grief. we have not -- the country has not gotten over that horrible incident, and all of us have contempt for those who carry
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out terrorist attacks and those who support them. my concern for in legislation, however, is more related to the unintended consequences that it may have because one of the key protections that the military, diplomats, intelligence community of the united states has around the world is this doctrine of sovereign immunity. and once that doctrine gets eroded, then there is less protection. and we, the united states, has more at stake in having our people protected than any other country because we have more people around the world than anyone else. so in this congress we can control the laws of the united states, and we can write them narrowly in a fine tuned way to just achieve our objective, but then other countries respond.
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they may not have their laws narrowly defined in such a fine tuned way. they may make them broader. their practice may not have the protections that ours do. so the concern this starts a series of unintended consequences that will increase the risk to u.s. military personnel around the world, u.s. intelligence community personnel around the world and diplomats around the world, and that's the reason you have widespread concern that has been voiced in each of those communities for this legislation. let me just read briefly from a letter from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff that has been available to all members that says, any legislation that risks reciprocal treatment by foreign governments increases the vulnerability of u.s. service members to foreign legal action while acting in an official capacity. that's the concern, that we lower the protections that our
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people have around the world. and remember, when we send our military out, they got to follow orders. they are implementing u.s. policy. they have no choice, and if they are called before a foreign court, if they are required to give testimony in a foreign court, even if they're not the defendant, then they are jeopardized as is sensitive information from the united states. so my point, mr. speaker, is i understand totally the sympathies for the victims as people have esires to override this veto. but we should also keep in mind the longer term consequences for our military who serve our nation all around the world. if it has not already been granted, i ask unanimous consent to include in the record a letter from the secretary of defense and a letter from the chairman of the joint chiefs on this issue.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: mr. speaker, i'm pleased now to yield to a former member of the judiciary committee, now the ranking member on the education and labor committee, the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott. and i yield to him five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, the terrorist attacks perpetrated against our nation 15 years ago killed nearly 3,000 people. no one can fully fathom the grief still felt by families to lose their loved ones in such a horrific way. we understand the need to continue to seek justice against those who may have aided and abetted the individuals that orchestrated these attacks. however, this legislation is not the right way to go about achieving that justice. ja


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