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tv   Tillerson Mnuchin Ross  CSPAN  April 8, 2017 5:00pm-5:22pm EDT

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after meeting with the chinese president this week, president trump was on twitter earlier today to say, it was a great honor to have president xi jinping and his wife as our guests in the united states. tremendous goodwill and friendship was formed, but only time will tell on trade. yesterday, secretary of state rex tillerson, treasury secretary stephen midocean, and commerce secretary wilbur ross spoke to reporters about president trump's meeting with the chinese leader and the future of bilateral relations. this was an off-camera briefing from mar-a-lago in florida. sec. tillerson: the two leaders had positive meeting and they agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect. the two presidents review the current state of the bilateral relationship and noted the
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importance of working together to generate positive outcome that would benefit the citizens of both our countries. trump noted the challenges caused by chinese government intervention and its economy and raised serious concerns about the impact of china's industrial, agricultural, technology, and cyber policies on u.s. jobs and exports. the president underscored the the to take steps to level playing field for american workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access. the two sites noted the urgency of the threat of north korea's weapons program. their commitment to a de-nuclear rise korean peninsula and committed to fully implement un security council resolutions. they agreed to increase cooperation and work with the international community to convince the dprk to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons
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programs. candid sides had discussions on regional maritime security. president trump noted the importance to adhere to norms in the east and south china seas and to previous statements on non-militarization. ofalso noted the importance protecting human rights and other values deeply held by americans. the two presidents agreed to elevate existing bilateral talks to reflect the importance of making progress on issues. they established a new high-level framework for negotiations, the u.s.-china comprehensive dialogue to be overseen by the two presidents and have four pillars, the diplomatic and security dialogue, the comprehensive economic dialogue, the law enforcement and cyber security dialogue, and the social and cultural issues dialogue. to two sides agreed undertake an ambitious agenda and schedule to show progress and achieve meaningful results.
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president trump welcomed president xi's invitation to visit china at a future date. like to turnould it to treasury secretary mission. sec. mnuchin: thank you. thatld like to reiterate we had a very productive two , andwith our counterparts specifically we had a meeting this morning that was a breakout of the first comprehensive economic dialogue. we had very direct and frank conversations about how we would work together. secretary ross and i will be leading that jointly and we will be focused on trade, investment, and other economic opportunities between both countries. we focus specifically on a more balanced economic relationship, , and weally on trade
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focused on the desire to have a very specific action items, both in the short term for the next time we get together, as well as what the goals are over the year, so i think we think the restructuring of the dialogue and having specifically a breakout that will address comprehensive economic opportunities across our different agencies, both here and within china, i think we felt was very productive, a very good start and how we will structure it, and again, very specific things that we talk about to look forward to making progress on in the short term. secretary ross. sec. ross: thank you. in many ways, the most significant thing was a 100 day plan. normally trade discussions, especially between china and ourselves, are denominated in
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multiple years. this has been denominated in the first instance with 100 days, with hopefully weigh stations of accomplishments along the ways. given the range of issues and the magnitude, that may be ambitious, but it is a very big seachange in the pace of discussions, and i think that is a very, very important symbolization of the growing rapport between the two countries. we will take a few questions. >> i want to ask about north korea. the president said he might use trade against china if they cannot rein in north korea. did they get specific commitments from china to do something about the north korean problem. sec. tillerson: the presidents discussions around north korea were wide-ranging and comprehensive, and more focused entirely on both countries'
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previous commitments to dean nuclear rise the peninsula. there was no kind of package arrangements to discuss and resolve this. president xi from their parts of the view that this has reached a ofy serious stage in terms the advancement of north korea's nuclear capabilities. challengessed the that introduces for both countries, but a real commitment to work together to see if this cannot be resolved in a peaceful way, but in order for that to happen, north korea's posture has to change before there is any basis for dialogue or discussions. president trump indicated president xi that he welcomed any ideas that president xi and china might have as to other actions we can take, and we would be happy to work with them , but we understand it creates
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unique problems for them and challenges, and that we would and are prepared to chart our own course if this is something that china is enabled courtney with us. previous administrations have been very tough on china in terms of human rights file a show in spirit i was wondering human rightsup -- file nations i was wondering if that came up. violations.hts i was wondering if that came up. {indiscernible] as to therson: discussions around human rights in china, i think america's , and they quite clear occupy the core of all our
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discussions. i don't think you have to have a separate conversation, somehow separate our core base around human rights from our economic discussions, our military discussions, or our foreign-policy discussions. they are really in bedded in every discussion, and that is really what guides much of our view on how we will work together. as to syria, i think it was indicated in our statements last night that this particular strike that was carried out on the air base from which the chemical weapons attack was launched was very deliberately considered by the president. that we believe is both proportional and appropriate, and as we said last night, we won't monitor serious response to that strike in terms of whether they attack our own forces or coalition forces or whether we detected that they are considering or mobilizing to
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undertake additional chemical weapons attacks. i would say at this point that the future would be guided by how we see the reaction. >> i wonder if you talk to the chinese about cracking down on any bank? commerce: as you know, find the second-largest telecom company for making equipment in recently, soillion they recognize that that shows our clear determination to crack down on that sort of activity. treasury obviously manages multiple sanctions programs, some specifically towards north korea, and we have had direct conversations with our counterparts in china about working with us on this. did you do anything that will make it easier for americans --
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there wasin: i think an acknowledgment by them on the trade issue that we do need to get to a more balanced trade environment. we did begin those discussions today, but i would emphasize there is a lot going on in two days, and although we had some specific conversations as secretary ross mentioned, the plan is for us to develop a 100 day plan, and we would expect to see some very specific items on that. >> will you move forward with the plan -- sec. mnuchin: i would just comment, as you know, the currency report will come out in the near future, and we will address that when it comes out. sec. ross: as two of their trade issues, you would not have expected us to reach agreement in a few hours of meetings of issues that are far more complex
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and deep-rooted, but 100 days is a very short time for trade. >> could you discuss the environmental -- what was your response? did china ask for more commitments from united states on that issue? sec. ross: that was not a major part of the discussion, nor do i recall the chinese specifically raising it. was there anticipation the president xi would come with some sort of gift for president trump, direct investment, to demonstrate the chinese commitment to having more jobs? was hiss: the best gift presence and the relationship built up a between our president and president xi. >> what was president xi's hopes? reportede media is that president trump was invited to china.
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sec. tillerson: the president did except the invitation of president xi to visit china. visit,itation was for a and the president said he would look at the dates and work with them to see when a visit might occur. >> {indiscernible] those exact way stations are the matter of negotiations itself, but directionally, the objective is to increase our exports to china and to reduce the trade deficit we have with them. would you said there is a recognition by the chinese, and acknowledgment of the trade issue that needs to be more balanced? what did they say exactly? it seems like it was off message for them. sec. mnuchin: i don't think it
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was off message at all. similar economic interests, and there are areas they clearly want to work with us, and a secretary ross said, the objective is for us to increase our exports to them. it is a very big market, and there will be more opportunities for both exports as well as investments. -- sec. ross: what i was going to say is simply that it was a very wide range of products that we discussed, not a particularly limited one, and the most interesting thing to me was they expressed an interest in reducing their net trade balance because of the impact it is having on money supply and inflation. that is the first time i have heard them say that in a bilateral context. >> we were informed that president xi was informed of
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syria strikes during dinner yesterday. i was wondering if you could say what the reaction was from the chinese? and also since the three of you are here, we saw three of you in the photo in the situation room as it was playing out. {indiscernible] if you could say what role you were playing, which are thoughts were? sec. tillerson: the president did directly inform president xi new the end of the dinner yesterday evening has the missiles were launched were impacting, which was at about 8:40 p.m. last night. the president told president xi x that we had launched a asike against syria
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a result of president bashar al-assad's strikes, including killing women, children, and babies. the president provided president number of missiles launched and explain the rationale behind it. president xi i think expressed an appreciation for the president letting him know and providing the rationale and said , as it was told to me, indicated that he understood that such a response is necessary when people are killing children. china has issued its own statements. i am sure those are available to you. i have read them on the wire services as well. as to the situation room, before i turn it to the two secretaries to give you their color on what was going on, i think it is toortant for everyone recognize a couple of things on the syrian attack.
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was an overwhelming success. i think the performance of our military and expertise and the power of what the u.s. military is able to execute on a fairly short planning window was extraordinary. i think all americans and indeed all of our allies in the free world should take great comfort in what occurred with that strike last night. americans should be very proud of their men and women in uniform. not onlyhin: i would echo what secretary tillerson said, but i think you should know the treasury department has very important functions in terms of sanctions and other intelligence, financial intelligence functions, that i have been participating in on the national security council. the treasury department does participate in that.
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we will be announcing additional sanctions on syria as part of our ongoing effort to stop this type of activity and emphasize how significant we view this and we expect those will continue to effect onportant preventing people from doing business with them. >> {indiscernible] sec. mnuchin: again, they will be coming out in the near future, but i would say we view sanctions has a very important tool, whether north korea or syria, the sanctions are very important and we will use them to the maximum effect. mostross: to me, the dramatic thing about being in the situation room as he was making the decision was the aramis -- thoroughness of the supporting information that when into it, the consultation he did
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with a wide range of advisors, and the a seriousness and thoughtfulness with which he made this very great decision. strikes of the themselves, my understanding is they took out something like 20% of the entire syrian air force, so it was huge, not just in terms of number of planes, but relative to the scale of their air force. , youcretary tillerson talked about the -- is that accurate? and can you comment if that will be your content and depends on the success of the operation? sec. tillerson: the runways were not the target due to the construction of those runways. our military estimate was we could not do serious damage to the runways. they are very thick and constructed in a way that the ordinance used, while it would
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have been damage, the damage would have been easily repaired in a matter of hours, so the targeting was selected very liberty to render the airbase essentially an operable as an operating base, and that means taking out all the infrastructure, the fueling capability, all the support infrastructure, hangers, and indeed there were a number of syrian aircraft destroyed on the ground. those were the targets selected for that very specific reason most of the fact that planes may be landing in and out of there, they are not refueling and are not able to initiate activity from that airport today. that theare reports united states is investigating the russian role in the gas attacks itself. how far are you along in the investigation? have anyerson: i don't particular information that i think would be appropriate to share with you at this point.
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obviously we continue to gather the information we can through our intelligence sources and shared sources from other countries as well, and so i don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on that at this time. >> thank you. >> one more. >> russia has come out strongly against the attack, calling it an act of aggression. do you have a response to the russians? sec. tillerson: i am disappointed in the response of the russians because it demonstrates their continued support for the assad regime, and in particular their continued support for a regime that carries out these type of for rent us attacks on their own people, so i find it very disappointing, but said they i have to tell you not all that surprising. there were reports that trump was planning -- {indiscernible]
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sec. ross: the practice is to announce executive orders and memorandum when they are issued, not in response to rumors. >> {indiscernible] a topic init was not today's session, but we have been looking very carefully at that and the alternatives, both through economic, energy generation, and from a nationals could point of view. sec. mnuchin: i would just comment that obviously any such foreign investment would go through the normal process. thank you. ♪ c-span, where history unfolds daily. a 1979, c-span was created as public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to today by your cable or satellite provide

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