tv Washington Journal Timothy Heath and Sean Miner Discuss U.S.- China... CSPAN March 18, 2017 8:03am-9:01am EDT
had a feeling of the type of people that president trump, if he were president, would put before the senate. out that with three or four of them that were cropping up as possible nominees , then you zero in on those three or four. i can certainly see why president trump picked this nominee as opposed to some of the other three or four prominently mentioned. >> washington journal continues. host: we are joined by timothy heath, senior international debt corporation.t rand they are here to discuss u.s.-china relationships. thank you, gentlemen. guest: glad to be here. guest: thank you. host: let's talk a little bit
about secretary tillerson who is in t middle of hisrip to asia, to deal with u.s. relationships. he is in china meeting with the president. what are you each hoping to see out of this meeting? guest: i think top of the agenda will be north korea. china has the most and forth on north korea and with this alarming development in their weapons capability, china is best positioned to exert the necessary pressure to get north korea to curtail that activity. secretary of state tillerson i think will be focusing principally on this issue but there are others as well. the trade disagreements that have been lingering between the u.s. and china need to be addressed and i think this will come up. host: what do you think? guest: i think we will also be talking about the u.s.-china trade relationship.
donald trump railed against china for the bilateral trade deficit the u.s. has against china. -- part oft is the -- part of the blame trump has on china is their currency. he has accused china of having a weak currency, so i think tillerson will be laying the groundwork for some talks we will have this year on china's currency come on the u.s.-china trade deficit, and any trade barriers that china has for u.s. goods entering china. later next week the u.s. trade hopefulll go -- will go up for nomination, so once he is in his position in a significant acceleration of u.s.-china trade negotiations. host: let's take a look at the
financial times today, focused on the recent words by secretary tillerson about the new approach to north korea. it says the trump administration is no longer willing to exercise "strategic patients" with north korea and is considering military options after a series of provocations. the secretary of state has said that the declaration marked a break from the obama administration's policy of attempting to contain down yanks belligerence through isolation, sanctions, and -- pyongyang's belligerence. what do you think about his approach? guest: it reflects the reality that this is an extremely difficult problem, and the u.s. has grappled for years in trying to find a way to convince the
north koreans to stop this program. we have tried meeting with the north koreans. the u.s. government has tried containment, tried sanctions, and none of these options have worked. i understand why secretary tillerson has expressed a willingness to consider other options. there are some serious risks in considering military options, but there are also risks in allowing the north koreans to develop a potential nuclear icbm capability that would directly threaten the united states. real hard to see a effective way to counter this. the u.s. has been trying for years and years, and the north koreans keep building these weapons even though their country is getting weaker, there is economy is more frail, and their people are hungry yet
their government is determined to carry this out. host: we are speaking with timothy heath at rand corporation and also sean miner, china fellow and associate director of the atlantic council about u.s.-china relations, both on the defense front as well as the trade fronts. democrats can call and join this conversation at (202) 748-8000. republicans can call (202) 748-8001. independents can call (202) 748-8002. let's take a look at what secretary tillerson said earlier today in beijing about the u.s. relationship with china. >> i am pleased to be here this afternoon in beijing to discuss the way forward, in forging a constructive and results oriented relationship between the united states and china. this is an important opportunity
to follow up on the telephone conversation between president i, and paveresident x the way for high-level engagement. since the historic opening of relations between our countries more than 40 years ago, the relationship has been guided by an understanding of non-conflict, non-confrontation, each will respect, and win-win cooperation. it is important the leaders of our countries engage in further dialogue to develop a common understanding that will guide our relationship for the next half-century. the united states and china are the world does go largest economies and we most -- the world's two largest economies and we must promote stability. let's talk a little bit about the tpp, sean.
trump has rejected it. what has been the fallout with u.s. and china relations? guest: china has been, i think, very happy with the downfall of tpp because the tpp was set to relations with the asia-pacific, from japan to australia. china was not included in this agreement. what is happening is china is now becoming a champion of free trade in asia and the u.s. perception is that the u.sis pulling back in the region. this has created a kind of vacuum and china is looking to fill that vacuum. host: how important is china as a trade partner with the u.s.? guest: china is i think a top three trade partner with the u.s. but the relationship is seriously unbalanced.
more from china that it sells due to a number of factors such as china has many non-tariff barriers like licenses and quotas for products to go into china, and they subsidize many of their companies and protect them from foreign products and foreign investment. this unbalanced relationship has continued for a number of years and i think now we are seeing that come to a head. host: steve is calling in from port st. lucie, florida, on our independent line. caller: good morning, how are you all today? host: we are good. what is your question? caller: just telling the american people to start planting the victory gardens right now, get it in early as soon as the snow melts because it looks to me there is no way china -- we will pay china back and if we cannot pay them back we will go to war, and that looks like exactly what these
guys' plans are. war with china over north korea next wee host: let's give tampa bay chance to respond. respond.chance to guest: clearly the u.s. and china have many issues that i do not think the chinese are interested or able to engage in a major war with the united states. to be clear, if we talk about a war with china we talk about a systemic conflict that would destroy the global economy, and it is hard to see how any country would be willing to risk the destruction of their own nebulousor some very or unclear goals. in my view, i do not think the chinese have expressed an interest in going to war with the united states or any country. host: what do you think? guest: u.s. trade tensions are a
serious matter and i think these can be overcome diplomatically because the u.s.-china relationship is very important to the global economy. we are seeing negotiations, the very beginning of negotiations on how to alleviate any of its problems in this relationship. i think they will be done diplomatically. m,t tosk you about tweets the president sends and how that can affect the u.s.-china relationship. he tweeted north korea has been behaving badly, they have been playing the united states for years and china has done little to help. it is definitely an unorthodox way to conduct diplomacy and send messages. my perspective is the chinese are wrestling with how to interpret these tweets. there are formal diplomatic
mechanisms to communicate messages and to communicate policies from the u.s. to china. the chinese are used to dealing with thoughts, and the tweets are an innovation that certainly serve president trump well politically and in other venues. diplomacy, i think it is something that the chinese are still trying to understand and interpret. host: nick is on the line from daytona beach, florida, our republican line. caller: good morning, folks. i was speaking with some business friends yesterday and i tell you, we are not seeing you fellas international experts but ofare stumped, short preemptive nuclear action or just accepting and living with north korea with this capability. i guess you guys have a lot more input on a conventional aspect.
it is starting a conventional conflict. north korea has so much artillery on their border but there is no way to deflect conventional weapons raining on south korea. they are buried everywhere. i guess my question would be, what do you think south korea and japan are willing to do potential he, even on their own, considering they are the closest vulnerability on the conventional side with north korea, and do you see a solution besides preemptive nuclear action or acceptance? guest: excellent question and i think you put your finger right on the problem. .here is no obvious solution i think if there was a more obvious solution the u.s. government would've been interested in pursuing that years ago, but you have laid out some pretty grim options. it is not necessarily nuclear war versus north korea building
but likelyapability a conventional conflict with nuclear weapons possibly next in, versus the -- mixed in, versus the other option. what can south korea do? they have accepted at least to adte, the deployment of a th missile-defense system which offer some protection, but a very worrying scenario is if the u.s. carries out some sort of strike against north koreas nuclear weapons, and they retaliate with those weapons you mentioned, there is very little that can be done in south korea to prevent their shells from raining down all over their cities and countryside. that is a frightening possibility. again, it is a very difficult problem and unfortunately i do
not have an excellent recommenon on how to solve this. host: whaarur thoughts? is -- i think china would not say china is the only way to help the situation but china has to play a key part. the u.s. has to do is find a way to convince china to play a bigger role here. what i mean by that, china has a fear that north korea will collapse or north korea will unify with south korea and basically china will have another u.s. ally on its border. is convinceo happen the chinese that north korea is heading for collapse anyways and they will have a failed state right on their border, and the refugee situation alone would be a serious problem. if the u.s. can convince china that it is in china's best interest to help with the north korea situation there can be a lot done. one of the ways we have seen that is the chinese have agreed
to limit coal exports from north korea to china. the chinese were not fully complying with that agreement until just now, just this month. last year they were violating that, so now china is putting pressure on north korea economically by limiting one of its major sources of revenue, so this is a key moment. guest: i agree. china is really our best hope at this point, and this is exactly why secretary tillerson is engaging china. host: what was china's response to the deployment of the thad missile-defense system? guest: china is extremely upset and the reason has to do with geopolitics. in the chinese eyes, the thad system is less about north korea
and more about china. depyingieve the u.s. the system and the associated radar in south korea and japan, to build an early warning network and in the event of a major conflict they will be able to see chinese missiles as they are launched. that would give the u.s. an advantage in responding to that, so this is that the crux of a lot of the chinese frustration. they feel the u.s. is building a coalition that will give it an advantage. also it you roads china's odes china's er influence the have been building. guest: there is also some signs that thad is putting pressure on china. china has put economic pressure on north korea in order to get it not to install the thad installation. tillerson said, the u.s. thinks the economic retaliation against
south korea is inappropriate and troubling. we ask china to refrain for such actions just from such actions. this is part of the play china in certain areas with strength so if you show strength to china, china will react. host: levi from charlotte, north korea -- north carolina, on our democrat line. caller: good morning, everybody. leaders thatot two got no brain at all, but nothing but for their self. i don't care what china do. i don't care what north korea do. these guys will knock heads and can't nothing cool them just trump is one of them guys that once he says he will do that one
thing, he is going to do it. folksot know that these got this idea he is going to change. i have been knowing him ever since he was a little kid, i have been following him up. i know he was spoiled from his daddy and he ain't never changed. he was born with a silver foot in his mouth and he ate never going to change. host: let's give timothy a chance to respond. nts at the caller hi relationship between shooting paying and north korea's leader -- china's president and north korea's leader. under kim jong un on, that relationship has deteriorated. they simply do not get along, china and north korea. relations have become antagonistic.
this is complicating china's efforts to put pressure on north korea and complicating the situation overall. in fromck is calling bellefontaine, ohio, on our republican line. caller: how are you today? host: we are good, what is your question? caller: i want to know what these people have been watching here. i did not get the same information that they did from these conferences there. i thought they went very well. and i don't think that president trump doing a bad job. host: jack come up which conferences are you referring to? caller: the one in south korea and china, the talks there. host: ok.
caller: like i say, i thought they went very well, and i did not get any impression that china was upset with the u.s., ad missilesng the th in south korea, that is not what i heard. host: do you want to respond? guest: i think china is responding as it predictably would to that installation. it is responding pretty aggressively in terms of rhetoric against the u.s. and south korea. in terms of the tillerson trips to asia, the meetings he is having to have gone pretty well. he started in japan and that was more about shoring up relations,
about there is still some uncertainty, about the u.s. backing japan and south korea and our alliance, and i think he has done a good job with that. the japanese prime minister came out and gave very positive statements about his feelings about the u.s.-japan relationship, and the same thing with the koreans, the acting president was very positive in his words for the u.s.-korea relationship. mentioned, ias i think they are upset about the ofd installation and most their anger is going toward u.s. korea rather than the but the u.s. is seeing some of it. guest: i would agree the press conferences between the chinese and u.s., what we have seen so far, have gone as expected. you are right the chinese are not necessarily looking to have a bad relationship with the united states, and i do not
think the chinese leadership have a negative view of president tru. i think they want a good relationship and want to work with the united states. they have issues they disagree with but the sensitive issues may not come up in press conferences. they are handled behind-the-scenes. aty tried to do their best press conferences when you have a senior leader present, to put a good face on things and emphasize cooperation. there is a lot of positive momentum in the u.s.-china relationship right now, but there are issues that diplomats are also working on. host: we are talking to timothy heath, the senior international defense researcher at the rand corporation and has worked more than 16 years on the strategic operation and tactical levels in the military and government.
miner,ine minor -- sean china program the manager and research associate at the peterson institute for international economics. sean, i have a question for you. president trump has repeatedly on the campaign trail talked about currency manipulation and called china a currency manipulator. is that correct, and how do you expect the trump administration to address this? guest: i would say it is an outdated allation. china corols its currency very closely. 2014, mostly005 just most years it was manipulating its currency, making it cheaper. that facilitated the great chinese export boom.
during that time, the u.s. failed to respond under president george bush and barack obama, the u.s. never labeled china a currency manipulator. now china has changed to an and is keeping its currency from becoming weaker, trying to keep it strong. this time labeling china a currency manipulator does not make sense. i think the talks about china's currency should focus more on the future trajectory of china's currency over the next five or 10 years, how will it manage its currency, and what is china's exchange rate going to look like versus u.s. dollars and versus its trade partners? host: tim is calling from addison, texas, on the democrat line. korea: obviously, north is not a rational player, but how do we think they will react to tillerson's statements?
with respect to china, what do they make of trump taking one position publicly and members of his administration taking different positions, making conflicting statement not just one time but consistently? thirdly, do we believe that the president has informed opinions? just have to get this out there. seems to be that he is making things up as he goes, and i do not say this as a partisan. it seems to be just factual that he makes things up and then consistently lies. i just wonder what the impact of that is, if any. host: go ahead, timothy. guest: thank you for your questions.
korea will how north respond to secretary tillerson statements, it remains to be seen what the united states will do. the north koreans are already predisposed to distrust the united states and fear the u.s., which is why they are building these weapons in the first place . i think they are in a watch and wait mode. as far as your comments igarding president trump, like to point out most u.s. presidents often say one thing as political candidates and that once they are in office they realize that the position they advocated on the campaign trail is much harder to implement them i thought, and they change. this happened under president bush, president obama, president clinton, so it is a common phenomena. president trump has been in office just a few months.
he does not have a lot of government experience. i expected to be a adjustmentn which where he learns positions he advocated as a candidate feasible -- are feasible and which ones are not feasible, in which case you will have to change. in fromilip is calling northbrook. caller: thank you for taking my call. my question is this. we used a conventional military option primitively and that did not work -- preemptively and that did not work and we had to do something more serious, how do you think the world of public opinion would look at a preemptive orike, either conventional nuclear? host: go ahead.
guest: thank you for the question. i think how the world would look at a preemptive strike would depend in large part on how it played out. preemptive strike that was a disaster and resulted in north korea launching its artillery barrage and mass casualties escalating conflict getting out catastrophe. be a it would be hard for the u.s. .nd china to try and manage the u.s. probably would seek serious criticism under that scenario. even if it was a surgical strike that was very clean, so to speak, and did eliminate the threat, there will be consequences coming out of north korea. it would be very hard for north korea's leader not to want to retaliate militarily, so it is very hard to protect what would happen in that situation.
way, you're talking about a tenuous situation with a high potential for things to go wrong. option.very dangerous i understand why the leadership is frustrated. they are worried if you do nothing, you allowed north korea to develop a nuclear bomb that could threaten the united states. but there is a reason why previous leaders, presidents, have looked at this and hesitated to carry out a military strike. the: sean miner, talk about trade relationship, the imbalance in the trade relationship. you mentioned president trump's pick for u.s. trade representative, robert white heiser. he was on capital hill this week for his confirmation hearing . [video clip] >> it should be a priority if you look at our trade deficit as an indicator of what is going on in the global economy. china is a good part of our
problem, the most substantial part of our problem. andink we have to engage talk to china. but i think we also have to think about new remedies. we have to strongly enforce our trade laws. we have done a good job in the steel industry understanand others' leadership. but i think we have to do it in other products also. i think we have to think of more systemic approaches. some of that may be going to the wto or taking other actions to engage. i think this president is very focused on this issue. i think his views on the subject , i don't know his views, but i believe they are close to yours on the degree to which this is a problem and how it has to be addressed. i'm eager to work with this committee and the ways and means committee to find a responsible ,ay to address this problem
this chronic imbalance. sean, what do you think about this comments and what can congress do? the united states has taken china to the dispute several times over the past couple of years. this has been effective bringing china to a more fair table in terms of international trade. i think this is a good avenue to continue down. there are other ways to pressure china as well. areask there are other where we need to target china, including its use of subsidies and especially for state owned enterprises and also the way it blocks foreign investment. one of the things the ama administration had been doing was negotiating a bilateral treaty with china. this was more than eight years
in the making. we made a lot of headway in terms of getting china to narrow its restricted list of investment. while it did not narrow it enough, i think we should continue to negotiate that and try to get china to open investment so u.s. companies can go in. host: jeremy is calling from roxana, illinois, on our independent line. good morning, jeremy. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. i wondered why we have all of these doctrines in the united states and overseas we have to make this big trade agreement with china. why don't we just reopen our factors and make our own products in the united states? i'm not understanding why we tonot open our own factories make our own products for the united states. guest: it is a great question.
part of the problem with the number of factories that closed over the past 10 or 15 years is with china. but a lot of the problem, and this goes unmentioned, is partly automation. thalost a lot of workers replaced them with machines, so machines are doing a lot more work humans used to do. if we reopen factories, these factories would employ a lot less people than they would 10 or 15 years ago. this is the problem with creating a bunch of new factories here. what i think would have been would have been completing the trans-pacific partnership. the issue here is the u.s. is already a very open economy. and we allow imports from most of the world with very low tariffs.
what the t.p.p. would have done would have been to lower barriers for u.s. products in a very large range of countries. japan, australia, chilly, vietnam -- chile, vietnam. these countries in some cases have high barriers for u.s. products. trump mentioned harley davidson in his state of the union speech. has a very hard time selling their motorcycles abroad. in some cases, countries tax harley davidson by 100% tax which does not allow them to sell motorcycles in the country. t.p.p. would have allowed harley and other companies to sell these products at very low or zero tariffs abroad and open up a wide number of opportunities for u.s. companies. these are the kind of trade deals that will help bring factories back to the u.s. in terms of china, we still need
to move forward on trying to get them to lower barriers to our exports. host: tommy is calling from akron, ohio, on our democratic line. caller: good morning, kimberly. greetings from ohio. i would like to get a response from both gentlemen on this scenario. kim is a saber rattler. what happens if something irritates him and some of his missiles land in china or russia? what kind of response will we get from them? a slap on the wrist or will we see real action in case he does go rogue on these countries? thank you. host: tim? guest: interesting scenario. i had not thought about it, honestly. right now, north korea is try not to antagonize russia and china. but i could envision down the
road where the north koreans, for whatever reason, might become more unpredictable than they already are. if they did fire weapons into russia or china, i think first off you have a serious crisis and the chinese would respond if it landed in china with some troops they have right on the border. plenty of troops on the border. they would let the north koreans know in a very aggressively they will not tolerate missiles landing in their country. if was determined this was the start of some kind of serious attack on china, i think you could have a real conflict. tos is a little bit hard make a judgment on because it is so removed from where we are now and we would have to know a lot more of what is going on in the thinking of the north korean leaders if they came to that point. i am not able to do that. guest: i will just say quickly
north korea has very few friends, and china is one of them. i would say it is very unlikely north korea is going to do something serious to antagonize china directly. host: tim, we talked a little bit about china's response to the deployment of the thaad system. according to the newspaper, secretary of state -- tillerson said china's economic retaliation against south korea for its decision to deploy the thaad system was inappropriate and troubling and washington asked beijing to refrain from such action, although the u.s. acknowledges china's opposition he urged china to address the threat that makes thaad necessary. talk about that from a defense standpoint and then i will ask sean about the economic impact. guest: i think the secretary
sent the right message. thaad deployment is fundamentally about the security of our ally. china may have concerns. as the secretary pointed out, china's real source of concern should be the north koreans. if north korea stopped galloping nuclear weapons -- developing nuclear weapons, the reason for deploying the thaad would be severely undercut. the u.s. would not need to deploy thaad. the fact that north koreans continue to build weapons and other options have proven ineffective or have not worked, that leaves the united states and south korea little option but to try to protect themselves by deploying these kind of defense systems. china, until it can answer the argument that it is not doing -- putting sufficient pressure on north korea to curtail their weapons program, china's argument is very hard for south korea to except in my view
because it is essentially telling the south koreans they should accept much greater vulnerability simply because beijing does not like a particular weapon. host: sean? guest: china has been putting pressure on south korea economically to reject the thaad press ond has put south korean companiesre and exports from south koreto china. i think this is having the opposite effect of what china wanted. itsa is trying to get friends to realize this is a precarious relationship and china can pull the plug. this is galvanizing south koreans to say we are not going so thishina bully us, is a tactic china employees in many areas and i think it has the opposite effect it wants. host: we are talking to timothy heath of rand corporation and
sean miner of the atlantic council about u.s. china relationship. , republicans,call and independents. line nowublican is chris calling from silver spring, maryland. caller: i can see the administration calling democracies to task on economics as well as military in asia as well as your. i know from the past allies can cause problems. my real questions are, where do the russians stand? north korea has advanced weapons systems. china supported the current leader's uncle he eliminated. that interfere with
chinese imperialistic plans? i will hang up and listen. thank you. host: tim. guest: thanks for the question. he touched on several very important issues. one is where russia plays ouin the north korea situation or relations with china. i think it is a very complex answer to that. the russians do see great utility in partnering with the chinese to push back against the united states and try and so thee u.s. alliances, russians support the chinese to some degree. but at the same time, the chinese and russians have the animosity and distrust that goes back a long time. beneath the surface of what appears to be a friendship, you will find growing distrust between those two powers. so it is a very interesting relationship. i call it kind of like a marriage of convenience.
they see some shared interests at the moment that there is little warm affection between those powers for one another. in terms of the south china sea, we have not talked a lot about that. but it is certainly a huge issue between the u.s. and china. it is a huge issue for asia. the chinese building these artificial islands and putting more weapons on this islands is very intimidating to countries in the south china sea. the chinese efforts to try to enforce what they claim is their problem for the united states because this is a critical water space for the u.s., for our military to travel through, and for our merchant shipping. i do not think the u.s. will toept any chinese efforts stop our access to those waters. host: let's talk about how effective secretary tillerson can be. times"ece in the "japan
says he is getting mixed reviews. the new secretary of state with no prior explains in government, is he ready to offer new strategies? experts interviewed were split over the question. some called it empty rhetoric. how much sway do you think secretary tillerson has now? guest: i think the readiness of the trump administration to re-examine long-standing assumptions about all policies is not necessarily a bad thing. there have been a lot of assumptions that have become given wisdom over the years. i understand why a lot of the new officials are re-examining them and trying to take another look at all options to deal with these extremely difficult problems. secretary tillerson's statement i read as an example he is trying to take another look at military options and other
options to deal with north korea . they will carry through their policy review and come to a conclusion, weighing all the pros and cons. i don't necessarily see it as a bad thing to re-examine all assumptions. certainly, it depends on what decision is finally made as to how to deal with the issues. guest: i think the question really is about how we can accept foreign policy. signs fromn president trump's circle. i think that may be detrimental to how we conduct foreign policy the future. a clear sign of that is trump's recent budget proposal which they did you would like to cut state department budget by 28%. here we have secretary tillerson going to asia trying to reject an image -- project an image of stability and come up with solutions. does he have that power back behind him right before he takes
the trip the president is trying to cut his budget by a huge amount? host: zach is calling from our democratic line in pennsylvania. isler: my thoughts on this it is a bad time to want to drain the swamp, especially when it comes to national defense. the stabilize a lot of these guys teetering toward self-preservation. they see us around the world in all of these wars, a lot of them and just -- unjust. i think they posture in a defensive manner, not an offensive manner. then we take a president with a staff with no experience and expect them to navigate these waters and relationships that are long-standing. in order to navigate these
waters, you have to have a history of how these relationships work. right now, we have an administration that has zero experience in government and looking at things from a business point of view rather than what serves the people best. that is my comment. host: tim? guest: thank you, zach. i agree the political situation around the world is unprecedented in terms of how complex and difficult these problems are. even areas that were extremely stable and prosperous like europe are under intense stress. new problems are emerging that would have been very difficult to conceptualize 10 or 20 years ago. i remember as a youth thinking the e.u. would last for a very long time. it never occurred to me it would be on the verge of breakup. and yet, here we are. there is the brexit and the various selections in europe
that suggest more people are frustrated and is satisfied with the state of affairs in europe. in asia also, you have resistant problems getting exacerbated by ne leaders by kim jong-un who showing himself to be even less experienced than the previous leaders and more willing to take risks. this is making for a much more unstable and complex environment. i agree having a mix of d foreign policy hands to navigate these issues is important. i do see sometimes you need fresh thinking. sure we havelly the right mix yet in our government, but there is an effort to balance experience with new ideas and try to come up with fresh approaches to increasingly complex and still extremely difficult problems spreading throughout the world.
world i think we have a that is changing rapidly. we have the u.s. saying it is going to look at america first and receiving -- receiving from leadership in the world. will have an increasingly multipolar world where the u.s. is struggling, the e.u. is struggling, and we have the rise of china and russia in terms of global players. this is creating a very dangerous environment. see somee are going to serious missteps by other governments coming forward. host: sean, what do we know about the president's business ties to china, the ties of his family business? there is a "washington post" from earlier this month that ina has granted trump 38 trademarks, preliminary approvals for at least 30 trump
-- 38 trump trademarks reopening a debate about the potential of conflict of interest under his presidency. what do we know about this? guest: this is the problem you get when you have a president with a vast business empire all over the world and who really kind of refuses to divest a large majority of those interests. so you are going to have some serious entanglements with many countries across the world, including china. this creates a serious conflict of interest in the effective branch. it is something i am surprised we have not seen congress do more about. they pre-much refused to look further into president trump's ties or pressure him to diverse them -- divest his assets more. david is calling from pennsylvania on the republican line. caller: i have a quick question.
you already touched on the t.p.p. and other economic policies as i was calling in. my last question would be what kind of push back we could see from china because of president trump's america first policies and things like that as far as the debt china holds and things like that. could we see any pushback from china in the future? guest: great question. china is doing a number of policies to build up its own country. it has been doing a china first policy for a long time. this is something that is going to be a threat to u.s. exports to china in the long-term. there is an industrial policy where china is focusing on 10 strategic sectors from alternative energy to aviation and semiconductors. this is where the chinese government is using government
funds to help foster innovation and growth in the sectors. a lot of the sectors are a u.s. exports to the region. we are already seeing that. i think we will see increasing trade contingents in other areas including the steel and aluminum sectors as well. host: donald calling from alexandria, virginia, on our independent line. caller: first i would like to say thanks for c-span. second, i have two questions. the "washington post" yesterday statement on the lower side for importance. c-span is bringing this on at 8:00 instead of 7:00. i am wondering if you could give us an assessment how serious an event this is. it seemsd question is, to me i heard a couple of weeks ago china had started or
threatened to cut imports of korea.o or from north was there anything to that? i will take my answers off-line. exports, north korea relies on a large source of its revenue for expor in coal and most of those go directly to china. i do not know about grain. we have seen china put more pressure. they have a quota for the amount of coal china will receive. after april or may of this year, it will not import any more coal from north korea. that will put serious pressure on kim jong-un for the rest of the year. guest: regarding secretary tillerson's visits, they are important visits but it is important to bear in mind he has
not announced a new policy to deal with north korea. he has laid out the u.s. government is considering a range of options. i think once we get clarity on what the u.s. intends to do, you will see a attention and media scrutiny on how the u.s. intends to grapple with this north korea problem. host: glenn is calling from -- glenda is calling from dallas on our democratic line. caller: hello? host: go ahead. caller: i would like to know owe about when we began to china and why we owe china so much money. i would like to know some information concerning that. and i thank you for c-span. guest: regarding china's holding of u.s. debt, w is ally aboutry bonds, china owns $3 trillion in foreign assets and i think around one third of those is put into u.s. treasury
bonds. this is not a bad thing for the u.s. as it lowers the u.s. borrowing cost that we have such a big buyer of u.s. debt. china is actually selling a lot of debt, the u.s. treasury bonds, especially over the last year. it is doing this in connection with its currency because it's currency is weakening because chinese citizens and companies are selling the chinese currency and buying dollars. it is putting downward pressure on china's currency. in order to counteract that and keep the currency strong, china is selling dollars in the market. they are selling them at a gradual rate to not cause any serious problems, so i would not say this is a big issue as many people have said. senior atthy heath, the rand corporation, and sean china fellow and
associate director at the atlantic council, thank you both for joining us today. coming up, we are going to have ashley mitchel, a contributor for "education next." she will be here to talk about her recent piece on the state's foray into crter pre-k programs across the united states. fit, senator patrick leahy former democratic chairman of the judiciary committee, talked to c-span last week about his philosophy going into supreme court confirmation hearings. we will have full coverage on monday of the confirmation hearing on c-span2. [video clip] >> i think of these as a chance for the american people to have a window on how supreme court justices think. the supreme court is one court that does not allow cameras in. i think it is a mistake. i think the american people have a far better understanding of
what goes on as they had cameras. at least in the hearings, there are cameras. you will be covering it. others will be covering it. >> how many confirmation hearings have you done? what number will this be? >> i will have been here for 16. but i was chair of a couple, ranking member of a couple of others. they are all different. they are all fascinating. i go in trying to get some idea of who the person is in front of us because if they are you will never in your life have a chance to ask them another question. >> has the way you prepare for these hearings changed over the years? >> i think in some ways, it is more intense. things i might have considered routine before now i look at more intently. but how do you predict where
they make up? -- may go? i think it is a mistake if anybody goes into the hearing the hearing is the tip of the iceberg. it is the thousands of pages we go through before the hearing. that is the icebreaker. >> do you coordinate with other senators? >> i talked to other senators about what they think and i whod a number of senators are not on the judiciary committee will come up to me and say, are you going to ask this or that? they have an interest in it. to talk is impossible to all of the republicans and democrats. there have been a number of