tv Senate Foreign Relations Committee Takes Up NATO Canada and U.K.... CSPAN July 20, 2017 8:00pm-10:28pm EDT
>> tonight on c-span, the senate foreign relations committee considers u.s. ambassador nominations. efforts examined to fight gang violence. south carolina congressman -- on find consensus on major issues in progress. >> the senate foreign relations committee held the confirmation hearing for investor nominations to key u.s. allies. including singapore, italy, the united kingdom -- nominees include former u.s. senator -- president trump's nominee for investor to nato. this is 2.5 hours. [chatter]
foreign relations committee will come to order. we have a number of distinguished nominees here today and we welcome them. we also have a number of very distinguished introducers. we welcome you and thank you for coming to our committee. in order for you to be able to go ahead and do other business today we will defer relative to making opening statements and let you go ahead and do what you need to do. we look forward to those comments and we realize you'll like to go elsewhere. i know senator mcconnel is coming today. why don't we start in the order of seniority. we appreciate so much you being here. >> we welcome you all. thank you for being here today. if you will, begin.
>> thank you mr. chairman and ranking member of the committee. it is a pleasure to be back here. sit the second time in less than a couple of weeks. it's not often i darken the door but as long as a president keeps nominating texans i promise to keep coming back often. she is truly someone that needs no introduction but i be live her one any way. had the pref lij of serving alongside of caykay. she is tireless. you she would not stop until she achieved her
objective. most importantly she always did what she thought was the right thick thing for texas, whether it was working for republicans or democrats that was always her guiding star. as i think about the type of individual best suit today represent the u.s. i can't think of no one better than kay.kay is not and was in the afraid of working across the aisle. it's the way she was able to get so much done on behalf of the nation. she has been a fierce advocate for families. it is no
exaggeration. during her time her she served on the intelligence committee, the armed services committee as well. i know strong di ploemt si prepare her well for our duties guided her committee work and will prepare her well for our duties in brussels. no, sir one better prepared to successfully navigate and strengthen our relationships on the world stage. kay will do it and do it with poise and grace. i look forward to supporting her confirmation confirmation. thank you mr. chairman and members of the committee for allowing me to say a few words on behalf of kay
bailey hutchison. she helped lead organizations like the united way of bluegrass, ymca of central kentucky and the center for rural development. she also served on the board of trustees of our shared alma mater at the university of kentucky. the senate confirmed. it is a new partnership, her ability to build consensus among international stake holders served her well at the u.n. and also makes her an ideal candidate to be the next
ambassador to canada. they are closely enter connected share agoing a common history and set of values. it is founded on trade relations relations. the relationship with canada is spar particularly important from ken kentucky. it is the commonwealth number one export market maintaining the strong relationship between our two nations is vital. so she has the luck was named in alternative delegation in 2007. in the general assembly, she represented the united states
position on the new partnership for development. her ability -- among international stakeholders for a common goal served her well at the u.n., and also makes her an ideal candidate to be the next ambassador to canada. the united states share a common history and set of values. there's a strong bilateral relationship founded on robust security and trade relations. the relationship is particularly important for kentucky. as for thousands of kentucky jobs. canada's number one at market. maintaining the strong relationship between our two nations is vital. she has the necessary skills to continue the long history of friendship between our nations. her work will continue to serve very well. i would also like to
recognize joe craft, another extraordinary ken ken kentuckian. thank you for allowing many we to testify in behalf of kelly. i appreciate your consider kration. we look forward to her nomination. >> thank you. if you feel like you want to help open the floor you're welcomed to also leave. thank you so much for coming. thank you both. senator cruz. >> mr. chairman and members of the committee, it is a privilege to join you this morning especially with the great honor of introducing my friend and a true texas legend, senator kay bailey hutchison. many of you served with her and know her well as a friend and colleague.
all of you i know respect kay and when you saw her successor. >> i don't think that's the case. >> but i have to say, i think kay bailey hutchison is an extraordinary choice. the president has chosen well and i am confident that the senate will agree there that assessment. kay's history in texas, she was born in galveston and grew up in lamar. she has her law degree at the university of texas. her husband having served in the texas house and also in the state republican party and their two children are the joys of her life. hutchison began her career in the texas house and served our home state for 20 years where she built a
distinguished record of service ton senate armed services committee and defense and military sub committees that will give her direct and powerful insight into the security issues facing europe and north america. few states men have the qualifications, relationships and graftas that she brings to this position. after year of inadequate resourcing she lead to rebuild our military and help prepare to meet the new demands of the global war on terror. after the conflict she lead the first senate to the region. there she met with nato leaders to discuss the future of our nato endeavor and to bring stability to the region. in fact she toured every major conflict since her arrival in 1993. from bosnia to iraq
senator hutchison made it a priority to meet with commanders in areas of combat and to make sure that they had the resources that our military need today carry out their mission. she has a heart for the men and women serving our nation. her commitment will serve her well in this new role protecting americas and our ally's interest as u.s. ambassador to nato. she also has an eye for talent. when i arrived in this body in my office among the staff we had a john cornin mafia. we had a rick perry mafia as part of the staff. there was no bigger group than the kbh mafia which is a large chunk of our team because she has such a good eye for talent and she trains them well. that will serve her well as our ambassador. it is to represent
america and strengthen friendships and alliances. i'm prod to support her nomination. >> thank you for being here. we have had two very strong willed senators in this seat. so we can save the best for last. i will introduce senator rubio. >> it is to be the ambassador and to the republic. it is a cofounder and managing partner of iron hill investments. he was the chairman of the port authority of new york and new jersey responsible for sea ports, bridges, tunnels and the world trade center. it was the lower manhattan corporation which was formed after the 11th of september of 2001. it is for two years from 2001 to 2003. he
was a senior adviser from '09 to '15. both in new york from 1990 to 2011, spent 23 years where he was cohead of the division. he has been honored by the american jewish committee. national conference for community injustice, liberty science center, boys and girls club of new jersey and new jersey alliance for action. as you can see he has strong links. it is very typical of florida. but i know him as a resident of florida and i have known him for
quite a while w. i'm excited. it will be an important ally. he is deeply qualified for this and we are grateful for his willingness to serve his country. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. >> senator lieberman. >> thanks. it's good to be back here. let me say first just a loud sincere amen to all of the positive words said about kay bailey hutchison. i'm honored to be here to introduce to the committee kay t. mcfarland. k.t. kayt. -- you can see it in the documents before youchlt if you had a chance to meet her you probably appreciate it. it is in a very unique way about the ark of kayt. t.'s life and service. she worked as an assistant when he was national security adviser in the national securities and
stayed with him through the nixon and ford administrations. the second is from mcmaster who kay t. has worked with as deputy national security adviser. we are in the sixth decade. it has taken us through the opens and downs of life. it allows high principal they will bring with them if confirmed to singapore
it is to the important country that are such great allies. i thought that i would tell you two story to indicate briefly who these people are. on election night the first time i ran for the u.s. senate when i -- this friendship has taken us through the ups and downs of life. great ask -- people of character. a commitment to living an ethical life -- they will bring -- theem -- to singapore spirit of patriotism and honor. i can remember improving the relationship between the important countries -- that are such great allies.
i tell you two stories to who theseecently people are. on election night the first time i ran for the u.s. senate got elected i was an underdog. it was very close. it wasn't until well after 11:00 p.m. i felt confident enough to go down and declare victory. we all remember the maxum that has a thousand parent defeat. it had filled up amazingly as returns begin to come in. somebody came over to me and said somebody named mcfarednessland on the foechbltphone. it was such a draw back. i went and took the call. she said she had arn narmt new york. if you need a place to live for a while why don't you use it. i got swept up. about a
month later because she is going to stay with our kids until they finish school. i had one of those moments where you say where am i going to live? i remember the call and they graciously had my as their tenant as five or six months. i would add that she once operated a shelter far homeless senator and did it well. the second is a very different kind of story. you'll note on her resume her work life has been divided into two. one of them is a story that says a lot about her. in 1995 allen's first wife now died within a short period of time.
they left a son who was essentially alone. it's a long story but the bottom line is that they stepped forward and adopted luke and have raised him as their child. it really says a lot about them. i grew up with a phrase that if you save one life it is as if you saved the entire world. they saved one life. so for all of these reasons, both professional and personal, i recommend mcfarland. i truly believe she deserves your support, that she deserves
nonpartisan support from the senate. thank you very much. >> we thank you both very much for being here. before i turn to senator menendez, who's going to introduce our next ambassador nominee, y'all are welcome if you wish to go about other business. we really do appreciate both of you being here and elevating our meeting. senator menendez. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we generally say that the united states and the united kingdom have a special relationship. and indeed there are few other nations with whom our bilateral relationship is as expansive and important as the u.k. that relationship is based on shared value, democracy, respect for
human rights and having shaped many of our foreign military engagements around the world. we can navigate uncertain waters. they tried to handed this endeavor -- it crumbles in their execution. -- i state of new jersey have no doubt that would johnson is a for the task -- would be an excellent representative of the united states. ceo johnson as chairman and of the johnson company, ceo of new york desk -- one of two things i disagree with him. event -- he has a wide ande of civic and enter -- diverse and the council of
foreign relations. as humans states continues to sort out the practical implication of birds including future trade deals, his successful private sector experience will be critical. he expresses -- and his appreciation for the importance of our robust security relationship and operations with united kingdom. he has spoken of how he will draw on the knowledge of his experience as -- with people whom he has met and his extensive management experience will be an asset. he has assured me that he will consult with his committee, which really good to hear from our nominees. the important that our embassy in london -- continue strengthening the default twitter true nations. tradeween our two nations >> think you so much. i apologize for not knowing -- we thank you for the interaction.
i think we have an extremely distinguished panel here today. i'm glad all of you are here to gather. appreciate the weight you are serving our country in the way that you have. we will consider as you all know that the u.s. ambassador canada are largest single trade partner has been 2017 -- from the cold war to today, and has stood shoulder to shoulder with the united states -- north american aerospace command, better known as norad. canada's military and important in a partner -- we have close intelligence sharing and law enforcement ties. relationship of the united states -- a close relationship with our neighbors to the north. this week minister trudeau -- can it also supports -- north american free-trade agreement. the loss of conversation with our nominee to the u.s.
permanent representatives of nato. they face a threat of an increasingly antagonistic russia which has occupied the eastern regions of the ukraine, country once considered a contender -- contender fernando's membership. it has increased performance -- in recent months years -- individual member states are members of -- airstrikes against isis. maintaining a strong relation of nato. not just on the united states, but all members meeting their commencements on the fence, we thank you for being here to do that. we look to the nominee the master of the united kingdom as well and the united states most critical allies -- bilateral u.s. relationship is stone into a whole network of military intelligence and trade partnerships. gathered by terrorism -- resist russian aggression and drive
economic growth. the united kingdom is not just deployed military -- it has helped us build the international framework that includes the united nations and nato together. our countries work together to help make the world safer and more prosperous place. we think of her being here. we also chance to get the nominees to the ambassador to also havere we positive and strong relations. italy is now on the un's continuesouncil and to play a key role in europe and the mediterranean security policy. being here. for lastly we will consider the nominees in singapore, one of our strongest security partners and southeast asia. rotation of most u.s. naval in the region.ng singapore is also a key economic trade partner to the united states in the region. our strategic ownership -- maintains peace and stability.
we thank you for being here. ofeally am elated that all you are here together. if think you have done an outstanding job for our nation -- i know you're honored to be honored to this. without a return toward establishing number. you, on the welcome all five of our nominees and their families. first i want to thank each of you will be willing to serve your country, and your family session you recognize this cannot be done without a supportive family. beingve positions nominated are extremely important -- important to our country. chairman, i hope you will be lenient as far as time limits are concerned. these are extremely important countries and i know members may have questions one asked in him more than one witness.
we have nominees that we do questions for record. a note they're well aware that. i would ask that you give that personal attention. there is a volume issue here. i know we will not be able to get through all the questions, we want to us directly -- these questions are important. i ask that you recognize because of the country here and the importance -- this is our opportunity to get important issues -- that you will be responsible for. pleasure to have -- hutchinson back with our committee. different experience on the others' line, we thank you very much. i know you do an incredible service to our country and nato. nato is so important to our .ational security
we know that russia's aggression is a major concern to many of our nato partners, and her strategies on how we deal with brushes -- the ukraine and georgia, moldova, it's a real challenge to nato really not in stand is a continued challenge to nato. he will have your place when we look forward to working with you and this committee. -- how we can formally observed the work of nato and have third presented of our committee's work directly with our ambassadors. i thank you very much for that suggestion, i thought it was excellent. it's all for the countries that are represented here, a common thread. democratic countries that share forre important to us intelligence gathering and sharing of intelligence
information. major trading partners better critic the important to our economy. many of these countries share directly in our military burdens . whenever we need help it is those countries that we turn to first that can help us in regards to our national security. -- close closed partners. the chairman as i always raise issues concerning human rights. bring your looking at for democratic countries that -- ,aybe a not as important promoting american values is always important our strengths are in our values, our values are respecting the rights of all citizens. it relates to singapore, we have our issues. singapore does not protect people against discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. they also ranked near the bottom in the protection of many human .ights issues
their personal reporters bring 100 51st out of 180 nations in the world fast freedom -- world press freedom index. missions such as burma, cambodia, and malaysia. we will be asking we will be asking you how you represent american values. is singapore a friend and a major trading partner as to how we can get advancements on these universal human rights which i believe are very important. i really did enjoy the conversations i had with several of you. i want to underscore a point in regard to mr. johnson, there is a real genuine desire to work with this committee, members of congress to further the missions of the united states in the countries that you represent. i look forward to a robust discussion and thank you all for your willingness to serve this country. >> thank you for your comments. senator hutchinson, we are glad
to have you back. since you have done this so many times on this side of the dais, we thought it would be good for you to lead off. at least the first five rows are similar numbers and friends. it may be that the entire audience is that. we hope so. please feel free as you come to your turn to introduce your family and friends here with you. we thank them for their willingness to support you in the effort you are getting ready to undertake. senator hutchinson, thank you for being here. >> thank you so much mr. chairman. i don't have my two teenagers here. many of you knew them when they were little babies. they are both back in dallas. i have my neighbor from virginia. >> we do hope to get you to nato by the time school enrollment starts. >> thank you.
it is so important that my son start school on time. i thank you both for acknowledging that. i also want to thank you mr. chairman and ranking member for your courtesy throughout this andess and your leadership the way you work this committee together. i appreciate all the members of this committee. i know how much you spend in time and effort to make sure that our foreign policy, our ambassadors, our state department, our military are covered in the senate. you do a great job, and i thank you. i am not used to being on this side of the podium. i have had many great years here. i am here to have an opportunity to represent our country in a different way, but in an area which i'm very familiar. as my colleagues have said
before, i have visited troops in harm's way in every conflict we have had and i was in the senate. -- have had when i was in the senate. bosnia, kosovo, iraq, and afghanistan. client met with the military and -- i met with the military and diplomatic leaders as well. our diplomatic side, which is one i hadn't been as familiar with, is amazing. were stillthe serbs shooting from the hills, our ambassador resided in a bombed out building that did not have running water. officet on a cot in his to serve our country when we first went into bosnia. i visited afghanistan right after our troops started going in. stayed in a russian
a hangartitution, in the russians had built in afghanistan was the only place troops could sleep. there were hundreds of cots under this leaky roof hangar, and all they had with them is a duffel bag with their uniforms. they were making their way for the building of a hospital, for the building of barracks, so that those that followed had a place to do their job. that is what our people do in the foreign service and military. my appreciation for them is boundless. i look forward to being an effective partner for our policies, for our military, for our allies who are also making sacrifices for our mutual defense. nato is the most successful defense alliance in history of the world. it was formed in 1949, and at
the time president truman said, following two terrible world wars in that century, "by this treaty we are not only seeking to establish freedom from oppression and use of force in the north atlantic community, but we are also actively striving to promote and preserve peace throughout the world." it was determined that an alliance between europe and north america sends a message of solidarity that would deter aggression and help avoid a third world war, and in the event of conflict make action against a common enemy more effective in protecting freedom for its democratic members. nato -- does nato exist to onvent attacks on allete -- any ally? yes. nato has evolved into much more. today's security environment now encompasses a much broader array
of challenges, including asymmetric warfare, terrorism by isis, al qaeda, and other extremist elements seek a caliphate. rogue nations such as iran and north korea have developed ballistic missile capabilities and maybe close to developing nuclear weapons, a threat to all the 29 members of the alliance and our partners. russian disinformation campaigns and maligned influence targeting nato allies and partners seek to undermine western democratic institutions and principles and sow disunity in our long transatlantic bonds. in its evolution, many questions are raised. does every country in the alliance meet its commitment? no. improvements are in order. president trump called for a stronger effort from allies not
meeting the wales pledge on investment. 20% ofdp on defense, and total defense expenditures on defense modernization. allies need to meet this commitment. we also stand firm on article 5. president trump has said that each ally should honor the pledge to increase spending because it will make all of our efforts more robust, our deterrence credible, and the cost of collective defense will not unfairly rest on the shoulders of american taxpayers. i believe as you have said in your opening statements that the shared values of democracy, protection of human rights, individual liberty, and rule of law bind all nato members. -- this bond must be reinforced because it does unite us. i have said as a u.s. senator
and will continue to say that this alliance is something like the world has never seen. our allies have been on our side throughout history. our allies have especially been with us in afghanistan, which has been a tough road. over 900istan, where troops of our allies and partners have given their lives along u.s. soldiers for more than 15 years. our nato allies are our core partners in diplomacy and the battlefield. our partners are a first resort in dealing with old and new threats to the security of our people. the strength of this alliance benefits every member. if confirmed, i hope to represent the integrity of the american commitment to be a formidable enemy and a reliable ally. america should be both. in closing, i want you to know
how much i appreciate the hard work you do. i have been there, and i know that everyone of you love america like i do. and you are here to make sure that our country is the strongest and safest for all of your constituents. and i want to make sure that we are able to preserve what our forefathers and mothers gave to fornd fought for, and died in many instances -- security, freedom, and an indomitable spirit. >> thank you so much for your comments. i would like to express our thoughts and prayers with senator mccain and his family. ,hank you chairman corker ranking member cardin, and members of the committee. thank you to leader mcconnell who has been such a dear friend to our family for decades, and
senator paul, who made me feel right at home. it is an honor to be with you today as the president's nominee to be the u.s. ambassador to canada. i am humbled to be entrusted with this responsibility to lead our engagement with such an important friend, ally, and neighbor. i have not made this journey alone. with me today are my husband joe, two of our children, jane and kle, my brother mark and his wife elizabeth, our close friend john. my daughter mia is preparing for her wedding in two weeks. our other grandchildren and children are watching from oklahoma. although my parents, dale and bo away, they gave me love and an unwavering faith in god. i appreciate the confidence that
president trump, vice president pence, and secretary tillerson have shown in me, and is confirmed, i commit to work every day to live up to their trust in collaboration with the most talented and dedicated public servants. they are truly exceptional. on a personal note, i am a testament to the fact that this young girl who grew up 670 miles southwest from here can be nominated by the president of the united states as the first woman to serve as the ambassador to canada, anything is possible when you work hard. i know that senator shaheen knows this firsthand as i have been so inspired by her public service. my first diplomatic experience with canada was in 2007 when i represented the u.s. government with the american people at the opening of the un's general assembly. while serving several multilateral negotiation teams, i experienced how the american
canadian relationship can be a powerful force around the world. i share the president's believe that the u.s. is deeply fortunate to have a neighbor like canada. just three weeks after his inauguration on february 13, president trump posted prime minister trudeau. as president trump said that day, our two nations share much more than a border. we share the same values, we share the love, truly a great love of freedom. and we share a collective defense. american and canadian troops have continental together, sophomores together, and forged the special bond when two nations shed blood together. the economies of the united states and canada are similarly intertwined. we are one another's number one trading partner. if confirmed i will work tirelessly to enhance our economic ownership. andmost successful
integrated economics relationship between any two countries in the world. 400,000 people crossing the border every day is a testament to the strength of this relationship. i believe we can do better. if confirmed i will seek new opportunities to create jobs for both countries while creating free and fair trade to ensure that american businesses and workers can compete on a level playing field. a significant part of our economy is our energy relationship, the world's largest. if confirmed i would advance our shared goals of energy security, a robust energy grid, and a strong and resilient energy infrastructure. recognizing that our cooperation on energy is inextricably linked with the environment, i will also work to advance our shared environmental goals, stewardship of our common watersheds, landmass, wildlife, farm life,
and the air we breathe. from coast to coast, as the canadians say, the atlantic, pacific, and the arctic. the u.s. canada border is the longest shared border in the world. we in kentucky know two things about borders. we have seven states with whom we share a border. the only trouble comes when they go home after losing to the kentucky wildcats. the u.s. is fortunate to have a neighbor that shares a strong commitment to democratic values and works tirelessly to promote peace, prosperity, and human rights around the world. canada is our partner in norad and nato, and it is with great appreciation that i acknowledge the canadian troops that served bravely alongside americans throughout our shared history. if confirmed i will be a respectful steward of this
partnership with canada. thank you for this opportunity to be with you today. >> thank you for your comments and willingness to serve in this capacity. mr. johnson. >> i would like to offer my family's prayers to the mccain family. chairman corker, ranking member cardin, and distinguished senators, i am deeply honored to be here before you. grateful -- i am grateful for president trump uniting the -- nominating me to be the ambassador to the united kingdom. i am deeply humbled that i be able to act as an ambassador to the president in american people. both family history and personal experience confirm to me that public service is both a privilege and obligation, and that the ties between the united states and united kingdom are profoundly important. today i am joined by my wife,
suzanne, my children jamie, jack, and mostnd gratifying, my 97-year-old mother, who during world war ii served in the navy teaching celestial navigation to navy sailors. she inspired me the importance of service and love to the country. i can assure you that she expects nothing less of me. and if confirmed, i will not disappoint. i am committed to the united states's historic partnership with the u.k. almost 100 years ago, my grandfather opened the first johnson & johnson facility in the u.k. that company is there to this day. during world war ii, he also served in the military to help
small and medium-sized does this play a direct role in the u.s. wartime partnership with the united kingdom. this special relationship endures today. i first traveled to the united kingdom more than 50 years ago and have been back many times for both business and pleasure. i care deeply about the united kingdom, our relationship with it. if confirmed by will devote all of my energies to strengthening and deepening their relationship. chairman corker, ranking member carter, and senators, as the u.k. undergoes a complex transaction, politically and economically, there are challenges for the united states. i believe i can make a contribution by drawing both on my business and philanthropic experience. i have had the privilege of managing many organizations, bringing people from diverse
backgrounds and perspectives. it is my belief that diversity of experience and expertise are strengths in achieving shared goals and priorities. in my years working with the robert w johnson foundation to improve health care for americans, i learned the value patience andand -- tenacity. the 40 year multibillion-dollar effort to reduce smoking is one example. after my daughter jamie was diagnosed with lupus, i lost the alliance -- launched the alliance for lupus research. i did this not only for my daughter, but to help the 1.5 million americans that suffer from lupus, 90% of whom are women. to bring together this organization with the best scientists, organizational
structure, figuring out how to raise money. we are now the world's largest funder of lupus research, nongovernment funder of lupus research to cure or prevent lupus. owning the new york jets has taught me the importance of commitment and perseverance. >> [laughter] >> ight, exactly. is our 10e of that year effort to build a stadium. it is very difficult to build a stadium. we accomplished the objective. we built a privately funded $1.6 billion stadium in new jersey. if confirmed by the senate, my mission will be to strengthen america's special relationship with the u.k. the u.k. has been our most steadfast ally in promoting freedom, fairness, and the rule
of law. my first task will be to know the talented professionals at the embassy. i have been thoroughly impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the men and women of the state department. and the embassy is home to many of our best people. i want to inspire and enable our embassy to provide exemplary service to american citizens and businesses. if confirmed,d, -- my goal would provide strong leadership to preserve this critical relationship. thank you very much. >> we appreciate your comments and willingness to serve in this capacity. mrs. johnson, based on my experiences over the last few weeks, we could use a little help with celestial navigation on health care. >> [laughter] >> mr. eisenberg. >> mr. chairman, i give very
much. mr. ranking member, members of the committee, thank you. it is with sincere humility that i appear before you today. i am most grateful to president trump to make me his nominee for a position of ambassador to the italian republic and republic of san marino without compensation. i would also like to express my thanks to secretary tillerson for his support and confidence. i am humbled for this opportunity to serve our country should my nomination be confirmed. since server rubio -- sarah rubio was so kind to say a few words, i would like to depart from what i was going to do and read my history and interest in serving our country in italy. although it is interesting to
note senator menendez, where he here, would testify that i lived many years in new jersey while i worked in new york. 20earned there are some million americans of italian descent. largestfident that the percentage of them live in new jersey and new york, and hence they are my neighbors and the closest -- neighbors and closest friends. iwill depart and talk on why want to do this. as senator lieberman pointed 'st, helen mcfarlane distinguished careers if confirmed. this is hard for me to depart from script. it was a day not too dissimilar
from this. it was a sunny day, and i had a meeting that had been called suddenly and drew me from my original point of departure. that morning i was met by two police officers by the port authority of new york and new jersey, who asked me to get into their car and informed me that the port authority, the towers had been struck by two airplanes. it began one of the most difficult periods not only in my life, but in the lives of our country and our world. my wife was picked up and brought from new york to our home in new jersey. i was brought to an extent -- to a makeshift station in new jersey while we waited for survivors to come, and learned
of the pentagon and crash in pennsylvania. i was asked to organize what staff we had from the police, who were always there, always professional and respondent. it is amazing, there are these plates in your life that change. there is birth, marriage, graduation -- it was one of those unique shifts in life that changes us all forever. we put together a makeshift organization and tried to identify who was lost. person atthat the windows on the world had been lost that morning. the head of police who had climbed to the seventh floor and called me to say he was coming up to get me learned that i wasn't there and died that day. i learned over the subsequent days that we had lost 84 people with whom i worked, and
thousands of americans. the port authority is a unique bi state organization. it was the day before i was to retire from the office. i remained for 90 days after the. i traveled from our jersey headquarters to what was then called ground zero. i tested as a spectator amongst heroes. i served coffee, i gave hugs, i saw the families. it hurt. the following few months, as my term came to an end, governor pataki of new york asked me to serve in the lower manhattan development corp. and asked me to -- to chair the transportation committee. clearly the hardest task of my life. said to thethat, i
people in those commissions, to the family of the port authority, and to my children and grandchildren who sit behind me, i pledge that if any opportunity ever came up for me to contribute to the welfare of our country economically or through security, i would do whatever it takes. if confirmed, i pledge my faithful service and thank you for this opportunity. >> thank you for those touching comments and your desire to serve in this capacity. this mcfarlane. mcfarlane. >> thank you so much for sharing that with all of us. we were all someplace september 11. to thank you, chairman corker and ranking member cardin and
numbers of the committee for the in a of addressing you nomination to be the ambassador of singapore. i would like to thank joe lieberman for the kind introduction and relationship that stands half a century. senator lieberman is a man that encourages us all be better people, and we are all the better for having him in our lives. i am deeply humbled by dr. henry kissinger's letter, which senator lieberman referred to, endorsing my nomination to be in this position. beginning with my first job as a freshman at george washington university in 1970 and continuing through my years at oxford, m.i.t., the reagan administration, and coming full circle when i joined the trump administration in the very same west wing office that i started working 45 years before.
i'm also thankful for the strong endorsement of the president's current national security adviser, h.r. mcmaster, that sent a letter to all of you. he is a man of great intellect and strategic vision. i would like to thank secretary tillerson for the opportunity to work with them and the people people at the state permit. -- able people at the state department. i would like to thank president trump for believing in me and selecting me for two of the most important positions in his administration. i would not be here today without the encouragement of 2005,ccain, because in the two of us stood outside in the rain outside the naval football stadium and he encouraged me to run for office. i think all of us wish him and his wonderful family god speed, and as he slays yet another dragon. i would not be
able to take on this responsibility if not for the support of my very large family. my husband of 33 years and our five children, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and our five grandchildren, almost all of whom are sitting right behind me. if confirmed i would also not presume to take on the responsibility without the support of embassy singapore. it is home to 19 government agencies and especially to the expert in early talented and dedicated foreign service officers who served there. the men and women of embassy singapore are the best of the best. i would consider it an honor if you allow me to serve with them. why singapore? first arab economic relationship is robust. we have a bilateral trade agreement since 2004 and the first such agreement we have had in asia.
the u.s. has a healthy trade surplus of $20 billion in goods and services. u.s. businesses invest over $180 billion in singapore, twice as much as we invest in china, five times as we invest in india. 4200 american businesses have headquarters in singapore. more than 30,000 americans lived there. we have a close security relationship. when america closed its basis in the philippines in 1990, singapore stepped up to make its facilities open to us. we signed the u.s. singapore memorandum of understanding, which was expanded by two follow-on agreements since then. we have aircraft operating out of singapore, our combat ships rotate out of their naval base, and the u.s. coronado is currently in singapore harbor, and my daughter sitting behind me, lieutenant mcfarlane, is one of the sailors that took the
coronado through its sea trials and commissioning into the fleet. third, we have a lot in common. we are both melting pot nations where people of different religions and cultures come together to create a meritocracy and democracy. our economies are dynamic, entrepreneurial. we urge them to go forward in their human rights agenda, to current human trafficking, -- cu rb human trafficking, and we urge them to expand their political freedoms, treatments -- freedom of speech, assembly, and freedom of press. senator cardin, i agree with your remarks. on march 30, 1981, ronald reagan spoke to the afl-cio in washington. and in that speech he added a couple sentences talking to the people in poland. there were polish dockworkers
trying to strike under their leader. president reagan made a few comments and nobody remembered them, because within a few minutes he was shot and narrowly survived an assassination attempt. the polish people heard him. when the iron curtain came down and the polish people were free, the first president of poland said what kept them going in their darkest moments of taking on the communist empire were the words of ronald reagan and others to demand their rights. and so i understand the power of what you are saying. i hope if confirmed by would be able to use the bully pulpit in the same way. thank you. if the senate does confirm my nomination, i see my job as the steward of all aspects of the close relationship with singapore. it is a security relationship
because they stand at the entrance to the south china sea. it is an economic relationship because it is the gateway between east and west. i would do so as the chief opponent of american values. -- proponent of american values. is confirmed as ambassador, i look forward to working with all members of this committee and administration to advance our interests. >> without objection the two letters you entered will be added to the record. i am struck by the deed sense of duty you all have, the desire to serve our country, and look forward to your confirmation. questions andy save them for interjection. cardin: each of you have an impressive background. your testimonies here today has
been very much in keeping with the impressive backgrounds that you have. mr. eisenberg, i want to first thank you for your testimony. when we think we have tough days here, i will recall your eyewitness testimony about 9/11. i recognize exactly why we are fighting so hard for the security of our country. thank you for sharing. that was inspirational to all of those. ms. mcfarlane, i thank you for reminding us of the great moments in american history where our leaders have stood up to oppression and countries that proposed policies controversial to universal values. singapore is a small country. it is an important country. it is one of the economic powers. it is the gateway to the china
seas, which is important for national security. buts a democratic country, it is a country that does not protect the human rights of its citizens against discrimination. it is a country that doesn't do well on freedom of the press. where ouruntry ambassador can further the hopes of the people of singapore who want to see their country protect these rights. i thank you for the statement you made. i am satisfied by your response. i just want to let you know that you have support on both sides of the aisle to reinforce nderican values in singapore a across the region you will be operating. there are countries that are problematic when it comes to basic values. your mission working with other u.s. missions can very much
further u.s. values. i will be checking in with you and all of the ambassadors about how we are proceeding on promoting american values, what specifically you have done in regards to your speeches, who you meet with, the priorities to supervise on those there advance american values. i look forward to that. you have a very impressive background. i want to give you a chance to respond to one of the statements he made. -- statements oyu made. this was made in 2013, before russia invaded ukraine, certainly before they influenced our elections. you said president putin deserves a nobel peace prize. i wanted you to respond to that. >> thank you for the kind words.
and thank you for the chance to set this record straight and put that into context. >> i regret it was a little tongue-in-cheek. at the time president obama had laid a red line down on syria's use of chemical weapons and was unwilling to carry out that line. when secretary kerry said perhaps if syria were to give up its chemical weapons, we would think differently, the russians wanted to broker that deal. secretary kerry, the russian foreign minister, and syrians agreed that russia would take the lead to dismantle syria's chemical weapons program. we flashforward two today. unable or unwilling to do it. putin deserves no prize for that.
i certainly feel that as you pointed out, the invasion of ukraine and other things the russians have done, perhaps with president putin's personal direction, i have a different position today. sen cardin: thank you for clarifying. i want to give it to -- pivot to russia. ukraine is continuously under attack by russia. there is a continuing presence in georgia and moldova. what can nato do working with those countries in order to shore up their capacities to deal with the aggression of russia? >> it is one of nato's primary focuses, the aggression of russia. and ukraine of course, georgia as well. i would say first of all the european reassurance initiative is an effort to strengthen the
areas that are most vulnerable. we have four battle groups, one in each of the baltic states, plus poland. the united states is leading in the one in poland, and canada is leaving as well, u.k. is leading as well, and romania. i think we are beefing up defenses for an aggressive russia. pleased that the administration has sent kurt volker over to ukraine as a special envoy, because i think to the wholen russian aggression in ukraine is so important. as nato has said, there is not going to be business as usual with russia as long as they
violate the agreement they made regarding ukraine. >> i want to point out that we hope within a matter of days we will pass legislation in regards to russia that includes a ono-like commitment to unify the misinformation of tax that russia -- this information attacks that russia is doing in europe. we are trying to give you additional tools working with our nato partners for best practices against aggression in russia. >> i think congress is doing the right thing to put those engines in place. -- put those sanctions in place. i know everyone is working to make sure it doesn't have unintended consequences. that is also an initiative that was made in the may 25 meeting nato, heads of state of
that there would be more of a ,ocus on this hybrid warfare warfareof russian cyber to interfere with several democracies within our alliance. that is a focus of nato. i think you are -- think your bill will give us more strength. sen. cardin: we will use your investment in the house to get it passed. thank you. sen. young: i want to thank all of our nominees. we have, from my perspective, a very competent qualified panel of distinguished individuals who i think will serve this country well. ms. hutchinson, i enjoyed our visit. i would like to continue the conversation. we began in the office about the inf treaty.
in july 2014 our department of state issued a report that said the following, "the united states is determined that the russian federation is in violation of its obligations under the intermediate range nuclear forces treaty not possess, produce, or flight test a cruise missile with capability of 5500 kilometers or to process or produce launchers of such missiles." the state has issued its latest report in april this year, again certifying that russia "continued to be in violation of its obligations under the treaty." while russia has been developing and testing the missile in question for years, on march 8 this year, vice-chairman of the joint chiefs of staff testified that russia deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to nato and two facilities within the nato area
of responsibility. my question to you is this -- given our threats to the troops in europe and our nato allies, as a nominee to serve as a messenger of nato, do you think we should take tangible and urgent steps to make sure that russia doesn't gained military advantage based on this treaty, should we compel russia to comply with the treaty? >> absolutely. we should reinforce our efforts to get russia to comply with the vision ofd it is the the american defense department, state department, that russia is in violation. we are consulting with our allies. there are many views about what should be done to continue to encourage and push the russians to make this agreement. i will say, senator young, we are also beefing up defenses.
we have ballistic missile defense capabilities that are within the treaty we had signed, but wewell, we didn't, are complying with the treaty. our effort to build up our missile defense in several countries in the alliance also are a signal to russia that we are serious about this treaty. sen. young: i am encouraged to hear that the pressure campaign will ratchet up, continue, and no doubt evolve. i look forward to continuing to work with you, assuming you are confirmed. i would note this is a good segue, the latter part of your response to my question, the inf is a to portray the -- is a two part treaty.
russia is not complying. it has become a one-sided treaty, which defeats the whole idea of a treaty. meanwhile, according to the commander of the pacific command, in april, over 90% of when and based missile forces -- land-based missile forces in china fall within this range that is limited in the inf treaty. china not a party to this treaty, but the point is that the world has changed since the inf treaty was signed in 1987. it begs the question if russia fails to return to compliance, without delay do you believe we should withdraw from the treaty? standpoint,nato there has to be a consensus. some of our allies are concerned that a withdrawal would make russia more aggressive. i think we have to consult -- i
know the state department and defense department are looking what are our best efforts to apply what leverage we have for russia to comply. i think we have to look at all the factors before that decision is made. answer.ng: it is a fair it is a complicated question. we will continue to work with this. i hope you will keep the committee informed. >> of course. i am sure it will be on everyone's mind. sen. young: to end here, ms. craft, congratulations to you. i have little doubt you will serve with distinction in this new role. i am going to perform a task, since you invoked the kentucky-indiana rivalry. >> [laughter] sen. young: i see the coach behind me, for whom i have great respect. consider this a diplomatic test.
>> [laughter] sen. young: i'm going to play a brief audio clip. this audio clip is from december 10, 2011. i would just like to get your response. >> [indiscernible] sen. young: can you hear that? no timeouts for indiana. >> [laughter] sen. young: you can respond in writing if you prefer. i suspect i will be hearing from thousands of kentucky residents as well. i have nothing else mr. chairman. thank you for indulging me. >> thank you senator. >> i believe that is a first.
senator menendez. sen. menendez: mr. chairman, i have a procedural conflict, and that is that the birth and scope of the nominees and institutions for which they have been nominated makes it impossible in five minutes to pursue the issues that i certainly want to. to the extent that there is opportunity for a second round, i would urge you. i will be looking for substantive answers in order to move forward with the nominee. >> i would be glad to accommodate both. you -- canez: thank graduations to all of you. two quick questions. do you believe that nato is obsolete, and secondly do we haven't unequivocal commitment to article five? >> absolutely. sen. menendez: which one is
absolute? >> the commitment to article five. first of all nato is not obsolete and i think the president has acknowledged that with defense,ing including general mattis, secretary tillerson, and secretary stoltenberg, i think the president realized immediately that it is an important and successful alliance. he has made the commitment of course to america's support of article five, and so has the vice president, the secretary of defense -- sen. menendez: you are role in asserting that would be very important. i appreciate your service. ms. mcfarlane, judgment in a united states ambassador is incredibly important. i know that senator cardin
lightly touched with you your see justin that president putin is the one that deserves a nobel peace prize. i look at a regime that bombs indiscriminately citizens in syria, that i believe had the complicity to allow the syrians to continue with their chemical weapons. i look at some of your other comments that have been made in the past on islam, terrorism, people in the middle east -- look, they are arabs, they will say something that is going to upset you. on waterboarding, it is something worth doing. on obama, a dereliction of duty. he was playing a lot of golf that summer. sounds a lot like what was going on now. i can go on and on.
if confirmed, you are going to a country which is critically important in the south china sea, how we deal with that issue which has questions on issues of human trafficking, who also has a significant population that is part of our challenge in the world, can you tell me that your judgment is better than the comments you have made in the past? >> thank you very much for the question. me to thinkant for of this as a different kind of position. in the past when i have been a media commentator, it was to perhapstain points, and points drawn very sharply. as an ambassador, is confirmed, it is a diplomatic mission, it is to take direction from the secretary of state and the president, and the united states government positions.
that is the image i want to project. as far as representing american values and judgment and the whole role of an ambassador in promoting american interests and way of life and america's core values, those i would promote absolutely. america is a big tent. sen. menendez: the u.s. ambassador must represent that entirety. >> absolutely. sen. menendez: if you were to be confirmed, how would you work to make sure that singapore and the united states seek common interests in the south china sea, particularly out of time when singapore thinks about the balance of its interests between china and the united states? >> it is a topic i have discussed with the singapore foreign minister when he was in washington, not only the
security relationship, but the south china sea. singapore has said any of these militarized contested islands, that international law should prevail. it also is in a neighborhood where they have to recognize the interests of all the countries. the fact that they have allowed us, and in fact embraced us to have rotation of appointment of our aircraft, our military vessels in various singapore naval bases, i think is an indication that they want to work with us. their sailors buy their military equipment from the united states. it is a security relationship that, if i am confirmed, would not only want to endorse now but -- sen. menendez: my question is tilt thatyou help balancing that they are doing between china and the united states in our favor? >> the singaporean government,
because we have a lot of shared values of democracy and rule of law, they have indicated in many ways that they value our relationship and don't want us to leave. one of the things i think is so important and why i was adjusted in singapore for myself, as someone who is spent a lot of time studying asia, i look at singapore and the entire region as critical to national security. if others conclude we are not interested in being an indo-a power.is -- pacific a lot of the importance of the mission that i would have is not the normal bilateral relationship, but encouraging them to believe that we are there. the fact that singapore is going
to be the chairman in 2018, taking on the direction of cyber threats and defense, that is something we can encourage with them. they say if they are looking for a cyber partner, they look to the united states and not others. there are opportunities to increase that security relationship and i hope that would be one of my primary missions. it is not only the economic interests we have in singapore, but strategic interests. it is a gateway to the south china sea, an economic trade route, but also a security route. sen. menendez: ottowa my fellow -- i don't want my fellow new jerseyans to think i'm ignoring them. i have a series of questions for the other candidates. sen. rubio: thank you for being here. president trump intends to modernize nafta. what do you see as your role in that modernization negotiation?
>> thank you for your question. 23 years ago when nafta was signed, there were some aspects of the economy that were not yet conceptualized. being confirmed, i have not had a role in writing any of the policies, however is confront i am looking forward to working closely with the ambassador and secretary of commerce to promote the priorities for the nafta negotiation. sen. rubio: mr. johnson, as i shared with you yesterday, because of my lifelong being a my of the miami dolphins, support for you is painfully difficult, but i will do it for the good of the country. i think we can agree that the country would be well served if tom brady of massachusetts was nominated as ambassador to brazil. >> [laughter] sen. rubio: perhaps that can be
arranged before september of this year. >> i'm glad we got that that. sen. rubio: i don't know why people are laughing. i am very serious about it. done.k we can get this on the u.s.-u.k. relationship, obviously a very close historic length -- i don't know if there is a rival to it in terms of relationships. what do you see as the most important issue in our bilateral relationship? >> if i look at that relationship from a macro standpoint, it is protecting and enhancing that relationship, which has been very valuable to the u.s. for a long time, going back to world war ii. it was coined in world war ii by winston churchill, but it was a relationship that goes back even further than that. it is one based on trust and
working together through thick and thin for many decades. the security relationship is fundamental to that. that is based on trust and competence, and sharing information and being innovative to the task at hand, which keeps changing. the world is getting more complicated with cyber and various types of terrorism that are occurring. it is challenging us to be innovative and creative and work together even stronger. this will continue to be an important relationship. very important. sen. rubio: mr. eisenberg, we have known each other for a while. i think above all else you can confirm that it does not snow in florida. i want to ask you this, because this is not often pointed out. italy has the eighth largest
economy in the world. it is basically the equivalent of the russian economy, which receives amount of attention. also i think a testament to their capabilities. i would ask if you are premiered -- you are prepared to commit to press our italian partners to increase their defense spending as part of an obligation to our treaty lines through nato. they have the capability to do it. that is a point that has been stressed by multiple administrations. andgo back and the record you will see multiple presidents that have made the same request. we'll mean this in an adversarial -- we don't mean this in an adversarial way. $2 trillion, but is a significant economy to contribute to our national defense. it has not been just this administration's position, but
that is imy answer to will continue to strive to have italy pick up a greater portion of the expense for defense but i would like to note that as we speak italy is defending the mediterranean that is now experiencing probably the most dramatic immigration and refugee problem in europe. they have 180,000 depart from libya with a significant amount of casualties, are entering great and unusual expense, they will probably take into hundred thousand and they are retaining andin italy -- 200 thousand they are maintaining within italy almost 90% of that immigration refugee problem
while at the same time they maintain 30,000 u.s. troops on five distinct military bases, they had the second largest commitment in both iraq and afghanistan of troops on the ground so in many ways their efforts and what they have achieved is quite meaningful. they have committed as recently during the meeting with the prime minister and the president here that they would continue to honor their agreement to move it to the nato 20% by 2020.f >> thank you. senator kane? >> thank you, mr. chairman. congratulations to each of the witnesses, very important relationships. i want to start with miss craft quickly. i'll be with great kentuckyians/ . tomorrow and over the weekend
there is an amazing remote the remote access medical clinic where people who don't have health insurance gather from all over the southeast of the united states to get free treatment from volunteer doctors and nurses and it is an amazingly uplifting event because of the hundreds of volunteers, many from kentucky and virginia and elsewhere and it's an amazingly heart-breaking event. every time i go and i've been going since 2002 to work the registration table it reminds me of when i was a missionary in honduras and that was the way that health care was done in that country, which is the second poorest country in the americas. to see it in my own commonwealth is heart-breaking but the valor of those who participate will be an really impressive thing and i'm looking forward to being with them tomorrow. kay bailey, congratulations, i'm so excited you are the nominee and i'll be real blunt. my oldest was deployed with the european reassurance initiative
on the border with russia last year. when he was there doing his exercise in lithuania, others, russia was engaged in fiber attacking our election and an amazing effort in montenegro and plan b to assassinate the prime minister, assassinate opposition leaders, all to try to keep montenegro out of nato. russia now engaged in activities to destabilize nato exercises happening there. and watching that going on and, frankly, i was very, very worried in the early days of this administration to hear the president basically suggest russia wasn't doing anything wrong but, also, to say that nato was obsolete when the entire 1200 members of my son's battalion were deployed there in harm's way doing work i thought was important. your nomination sends a signal that the nato relationship is an important one. i don't think the administration would have asked somebody of your qualification if they didn't mean to send a signal
that whatever the earlier statements or thoughts about nato, there's now a commitment and as you shared with me yesterday, if you wondered whether there was a commitment to the seriousness of the relationship, you wouldn't have accepted the nomination. and so, i'm very, very happy to see you before this committee. and i'm very anxious to get you confirmed as quickly as we can because i think this is krin bleed important. to miss mcfar lan, senator menendez asked questions about statements and it is a bit of a burden being a commenter. you've commented sharply and your statements are mostly self-explan tory but one i was curious about. when there was press around your earlier position on the national security council, one thing often mentioned in accounts i was curious about because it never was a quote from you. i don't even know if it was accurate, that you were in favor of the brexit vote, approved and were happy about its outcome.
i was curious if this was accurate reporting and given we have a uk ambassador nominee, i was curious, if that was true, what did you think was positive about that vote? >> i don't specifically remember saying it in those terms but, at the time, um, i said that it's, you know, when, the important thing for the british people to decide what they want to do. i don't think it's for anybody to tell them what to do and was encouraged by the fact the british people in very large percentage and numbers were taking it on their own authority to make a decision. >> so, you didn't have a personal opinion yourself about whether the removal of the uk from the european union was a good thing or bad thing. >> i do remember making a statement that, um, and again, i don't want to, i know this is an important issue and don't want to speak off the top of my head but said
something along the lines if the british choose to do that on their own, that might present opportunities for them in bilateral trade agreements with the united states or other relationships. >> i don't want to catch you flat-footed on this, either, because i may ask that in writing. >> sure. >> with a reference and have you follow up on that. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. senator paul? >> congratulations to all of you for your nomination and as a proud father of two kentucky wildcats particular congratulations to my fellow kentuckyian. sometimes when we put things forward we don't get the whole truth. we heard a bit from the senator of indiana about a particular game in 2011, as we go forward but i think the leaders have already staked out that as a new focus. >> thank you, senator.
we make for nato to a certain extent, but the rest of your job is with the a department, not the pentagon -- the state department, not the pentagon. the pentagon's job is to deter attack but the job of the state department is one of trade and friendship. it is important that your role in the world as you undertake the role as ambassador, you must foster peace. involved withwas secretary weinberger and the weinberger doctrine, we only go to war under certain certain
would you think about our role in the world? >> thank you, senator paul. i worked for secretary weinberger and helped craft of these each he delivered, it was the weinberger doctrine. there were several points and these were guidelines of when the united states should consider going to war. one of the considerations would be to protect vital national interest. we would do so with a clear idea of what was required and also had the full support of the american people and our objective would be to win and to prevail. that has guided your own thinking in national security issues and i appreciate the opportunity to discuss it. >> thank you, senator.
thank you to all the nominees for your willingness to serve. senator hutchinson, thanks for the opportunity for a great conversation about the role of nato. let me ask how do you intend to convince our nato allies to stay the course with us in afghanistan given how much they have sacrificed, how will we make that argument to our vital nato allies? >> thank you very much. afghanistan is hard, it is hard for america and it is hard for all of our allies. we know that al qaeda is rising up in afghanistan. thread, it is a common threat to all of us and
our allies have never slack when we have asked for certain numbers of increased help or capacity. up, they haveepped stepped up for 15 years in afghanistan. now ine stepping up iraq. but they tough duties are there. they have been with us and it is our common threat. al qaeda is our common threat. isis is our common threat. to ask all ofe
them to stand firm. >> hallock you shape -- how would you shape nato cyber strategy. aboutf us are worried cyber issues. does a cyber attack on a nato ally trigger article five? to see whate have kind of attack we would be addressing before we talk about whether it would invoke article five. meeting in leaders may as well as the previous defense meetings of nato have made it more of a focus and more of a awareness of the cyber
and thet russia processesce with many in many of our allies countries and i think cyber is going to continue to be more of an emphasis of nato as we go forward but i think the leaders have already staked out that as a new focus. >> thank you for your willingness and service to step up to this role. i had the chance, the honor, to travel with senator mccain to singapore along with senator boraaso to the regional security conference and was struck how broadly our regional allies and partners express concern at withdrawal from tpp. how will the trump administration, you if confirmed as ambassador, undertake economic statecraft and given some grave concerns i think
about security issues in the philippines and elsewhere in the region where isis is make something advances, how will you work with counterpartss to confront the growing threat of terrorism in the region? >> thank you very much for that question and particularly your interest in asia, southeast asia. first of all, we have a bilateral trade agreement with singapore, as you know. it's the first one we've had with any asian nation and very successful for the two of us. when the administration pulled out of the tppp, i had the opportunity to meet with the singapore foreign minister, not knowing i was eventually going to be sitting before you hoping to be confirmed to be the ambassador to singapore. and he said, you know, we understand. we have a strong and robust relationship we want to continue. what the administration has said is that the u.s.-singapore free trade agreement is one would be a foundation, it would be something they would use as a template to have bilateral economic relations with other countries.
when president trump withdrew from tpp, he said he felt the best interests of the united states would be served by bilateral trade agreements. i don't know, i've been out of the administration two months and not sure where the shish yous go but that would be the first. the second one is the security relationship. one of the reasons that i was interested in this position and when it was offered to me was excited about it, is because i, too, had heard in my position as deputy national security adviser, i've heard from a number of counterparts from other countries and they made the same point you are making, there was concern the united states was lessening its commitment to the region, not as concerned what was happening in the south china sea. they saw as an increasingly aggressive china, building a blue water navy and kind of muscling across the asia-pacific region. so one of the things i would hope to do with singapore and
then work with the other ambassadors if they're confirmed if we're all confirmed, the other ambassadors in the southeast asian region, to put this at the forefront. vice president trump went to indonesia and met with the president. trump will make a trip to the far east in a similar capacity and so i think part of it is just to show our interests, our commitment then to keep, let them know we're not a waning power, the united states is not a declining power, this is not an inevitable thing that will happen. we are just as committed to the region as ever have been and continue to be even more committed to the region and we are proud it is not in decline. america's greatest days are ahead of it and we hope they will be with us. >> i hope to have the opportunity to work with each of you and the countries you've been nominated to advance that shared and important goal to continue to strengthen our alliances and role in the world and to work in a bipartisan way and mr. chairman you've played a critical role on this committee advancing that vision.
thank you and to your families thank you for supporting your public service. mr. chairman? >> thank you. senator? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you very much for being here. congratulations on your nomination. >> thank you. >> the thing about canada, second largest trading partner of the united states, wyoming's second largest export market, 2016, this two-way cross-border goods traded i think $17.7 billion. we work closely together. canada the largest supplier of u.s. energy. can you talk a bit as ambassador how you promote american exports and expand the trade relationship between our two countries?
>> thank you for your question, senator. if confirmed i'm going to work very closely with ambassador and secretary of commerce ross to promote the priorities of the trump administration agenda with nafta and also with the different areas of soft wood pim ber,, other industries benefit the american prosperity and people, both small businesses and large businesses. >> the same follow-up with you, mr. johnson. the united states-united kingdom, incredibly successful relationship. can you talk a bit about as the united kingdom is leaving the european union, you know, what opportunities exist, what challenges exist, great trade and investment between the two countries. >> thank you very much for that question, senator. and if confirmed, brexit will create, i'll be working on brexit, trying to help congress, the president, secretary tillerson figure out what opportunities and challenges that we can have access to.
you're right, the, exactly, the relationship has been robust. it's not as big as canada. i think it's about $200 million in trades and services. there are million jobs on either side of the atlantic that rely on that relationship. and our job is to encourage, as i said in my opening testimony, the overall relationship with the uk has to be enhanced. we want to enhance it and leave it better than we found it and a big part of that is trade. i don't know if that's a direct answer. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> ms. mcfarland i want to talk about kind of the area of the world that you have been nominated to serve. you know, i was in singapore last month with john mccain who
you mentioned and how he encouraged you for your service and we have been, went there for an international defense conference, security conference following the time that we went to vietnam. so, we'd just been there meeting with leaders there. but it has been a strong partner of the united states in trade, as well as security. it's also a major focal point in that whole part of the world. can you talk a little bit how important u.s. presence in that region, specifically singapore, as ambassador how you plan to further strengthen the cooperation between the two. >> thank you for your question and your interest in that part of the world. i think you and i agree it is going to be an extremely important part of america's
future, as well. a lot of economic estimates, 60, even 80% of the world's economic growth next decade will come from that region. the united states has 4200 american companies headquarters in singapore up from about 3700 about two years ago. and singapore acts as the hub of a lot of the economic interests throughout the region. so, in other words, if there's an american company headquartered there, it will do business in singapore but also may do business in other nations in southeast asia, malaysia, indonesia, etc. given that trend, i think it is an important place for the united states to be to advance commercial interests, as good as they are no could be a lot better. it's an area of the world that we do not want to forsake. increasesof the world in its economic relationship. home ofremains of the security relations.
if you look at a map, the strait of malaca is the gateway all trade from europe, the middle east, energy trade has to go past singapore to all of asia. american trade from the west coast goes the opposite direction through there. it's important for us to have an economic present but also a security presence. singapore understands its responsibility as a small nationstate. only 5.5 million people and land mass about four times the size of washington or for a new yorker like me, like new york city without staten island. so it's a small place but it plays big. close to 4% ofs its gmp on defense and out of every, of its entire national budget is spent a number of things but one out of every three or four dollars is spent on defense. a lot of that military equipment
they buy is american military fivess which as you know planes from your part of the --ld and trains in wyoming as you know, singapore buys planes from your part of the world and trains in wyoming. singapore military, because it is a small area, they have bases elsewhere, they have training facilities in the united states. and in other parts of the world that they then use that equipment as they come home to singapore singapore. i think those things, the fact it may be small, have a small population but it's a hub for so many things and it's an important part of the world that we need to be in and, particularly, as you mentioned, as the other countries look and wonder about our commitment because those are the swing states. if we somehow are not present economically or not present in a security sense, that's a part of the world that will make its own separate deal and it is a part of the deal we may not be heavily involved in for hundreds of years. thank you. >> congratulations to each and every one of you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. very much. i've been fond of senator rubio's earlier comments and i just want to say that i don't
think that's going to be possible because co-owner robert kraft is a very close friend of donald trump so i don't think there is any chance of brady leaving the country until he quinns wins at least two or three more championships. at that point, whatever he wants. that's our approach. you understand that, mr. johnson, very much, notwithstanding the competitive advantage the jets would receive with that. >> i'm open to it. mcfarlandask you, mr. -- miss mcfarland, rigorous enforcement on sections on north korea is essential to get north korea to the table. singapore has an important role in that effort.
panelited nations expert has assessed that north korea continues to evade sections -- sanctions. that panel support -- report linked them to a company involved in the sale of conventional arms. it was identified as a front run by north korean intelligence agencies that sell equipment in violation of human sanctions. organization published a report that a ingapore company is involved deploying luxury goods into north korea into finance of un security council sanctions. singapore needs to investigate those allegations and make sure singapore is not using its open trading environment to evade actions.
-- evade sanctions. would you ensure that we get full compliance with the north korean sanctions? >> as president trump has said, north korea nuclear proliferation program is one of the most immediate crisis we face. whether it is a technology issue or whether it is proliferation for goodsent points going to north korea of any type, it is important that we have the international agreement and enforce them. you have my complete confidence that if i am confirmed we will do that. it is hard to get the attention of north korea and less china gets involved. we have to make sure the pressure is intensified so that
north korea does come to the bargaining table. island isof northern very important to tens of millions of irish in the united states. following his nomination by president clinton, senator george mitchell chaired the party negotiations that ultimately produced the good friday agreement of 1998, it ended years of bloodshed but a crisis in northern island -- northern ireland has presented the formation of a government there. since january the democratic unionist party has been in form alt talks to new government. -- election has resulted
they were the only party in northern ireland that opposed the agreement. minister's coalition dup.ormed with the it is troubling because of the british government is at the guarantor of the good friday agreement. all of these factors raise serious concerns, especially since the northern irish voted overwhelmingly against brexit. even as there is a goal set by prime minister may that she wants a hard brexit. could you talk about that issue
and how you would represent the united states? >> senator, i thank you for that very complicated question. because, it's a, it reflects the complications of what's happening in northern ireland and its relation to both the u.s. and the uk. the good friday agreements, as you pointed out, that were shepherded by the u.s., uk and irish themselves, led to roughly 19 years so far of peace relative peace and tranquility from a period very turbulent. these are complicated issues particularly now if inject , brexit into the equation as a factor, major factor, you have issues border, you have border issues, trade issues, immigration issues, a lot had been done as you've commented on with supporting jobs along the border to harmonize the relationship and to try to have a better understanding between secular beliefs that were the cause of some of the unrest. i pledge to you because i know this is an important issue, that if confirmed i will spend a lot of time trying to do anything i can do to facilitate the establishment of, you know, establishment of understanding and try to pick up on what you did in '98 to establish this and try, because it's in our best,
the u.s. best interests to have a stable uk, including northern ireland. >> thank you for that. more attention you pay to it i think is the greater the lickly hood the peace will hold. it's the economic integration largely, customs integration issues, security issues that have really helped integrate northern ireland into europe and with ireland itself. so, the more the brexit starts to fool with that formula is the more it could lead to a delay in the full integration which i think ultimately is what the
people of northern ireland need to finally bring a permanent peace and tranquility to their country. thank you, sir. >> thank you to all nominees for your willingness to serve the country, welcome to our families in attendance and appreciate the fact you are willing to serve our country, truly appreciate it. i've had a chance to visit all of you about the work you'll be pursuing in various countries you'll be representing and alliance, of course, so important and critical to the safety, security of europe and the united states and i look forward to working with you in years to come upon confirmation. i serve as chairman of the east asia subcommittee, i'll spend the rest of my time sending
questions your way. we've had a lot of conversations already that even senator markey recently brought up about north korea and covered one of the companies i was going to talk about. recent reports as he mentioned found to have been doing business with pyongyang, doing business there and north korea luxury goods store. as ambassador, how do willwill you approach that situation, see -- how do you approach that situation, see a report and find out information about a company doing business in violation of a u.n. resolution or u.s. law like we passed last congress dealing with north korea sanctions? how do you approach this or work with the government of singapore or any nation, for that matter, how do you work within asean to spread greater awareness of the need to address sanctions and fully enforce them and how do you deal with that within the trump administration? >> thank you, senator gardner. i do, if confirmed, look forward to a long and fruitful conversation with you as chairman of the east asia subcommittee.
i think i would start with embassy singapore not only foreign service officers economic officers as well but members of the commerce department, special trade rep and other communities. the first step would be to find out, ok, what's going on? what are these companies? what's their economic tie and what potentially is their mel -- is there military type to north korea -- tie to north korea? working through the state department as well as people embassy singapore would work with home agencies some 19 including the agriculture has a repetitive reptive. they value our support at the united nations. and that is worth something.
i think the ability to go to a friendly country and say this is what we have determined, this is what the united nations has determined with regard to a company of yours, how will we work together to stop this? singapore has said, their leaders, the prime ministers and others have said they, too, are concerned about the threat of north korea and as senator markey pointed out, the only way that north korea is ever going to get to the point of potentially giving up its nuclear weapons or changing attitudes they feel pressure. and where are they getting the pressure. we've had a number of sanctions against north korea but there has to be secondary pressure and that, as secretary tillerson has said with regard to north korea specifically, china looks that north korea as a strategic asset. to see it their minds as a strategic liability.
>> you talk about the fact that if we are not present in the region, that from a security standpoint creates a challenge for u.s. leadership. we have trying to create a long-term ageist draghi, what do you think the key points should be to build that presence there overall? >> yes. i think that in the conversations i've had with you, the direction you're going i think is very much in consort with what the administration, secretary tillerson and others have said is their goal in the asia region. one place i think offers an enormous amount of future opportunity is cyber. singapore and the united states have both benlen named two countries best at and take most seriously the whole issue whether intellectual property defense, cyber defense or cyber hacking. he'll be chairman much the association of southeast asian
nations in 2018, they have already said they want the cyber issue first and foremost not only for singapore but other countries in the region. singapore's goal to be the first smart nation where they use digital technology, use logo rhythms to help various aspects of society, civil society. i think that represents the future. the world is going in the cyber direction, the internet of things and singapore stated their interest in doing that, we know we have an interest in doing that and both are very vulnerable, we are the most connected countries in the world but that leaves us with great vulnerabilities, as well. so, i would think that's a place to look. not only i would be interested in looking at with singapore but any work that you are doing as you proceed with this legislation you are proposing. >> thank you. thanks to all of you for your service. >> thank you. senator murphy?
>> thank you very much, mr. chairman and to you all for your willingness to serve the country. senator hutchison, i'm sorry we didn't get to serve together in the senate but am glad the siren of public service has called you once again. i wanted to ask you a question about the role of counter-terrorism within the nato alliance. i think there are still pretty glaring vulnerabilities in europe with respect to their ability to share information about terrorism threats both to europe and to the united states. as if the united states were trying to thwart terrorists' attempts without the fbi with 50 different state law enforcement jurisdictions voluntarily cooperating with each other. is this an issue that should be left to the eu to figure out and to the eu ambassador or is this a proper subject for our nato ambassador to engage with countries through that forum to try to improve the ability of european countries to share information perhaps through new mandatory procedures regarding counter-terrorism threats?
>> well, thank you. i think that is a very good question. i definitely think it is in nato's purview. and i think the president, president trump, brought that up and nato has now affirmed that cyberterrorism is a threat in many instances. it could be in a communication system, it could be in any kind of a business disruption and it could be in our military communications or military activities. so, i think it is in nato's interests. they have already agreed that it
will be one of the focuses and one of the main focuses. nato is somewhat like the united states senate or any group that has different threats and different constituencies. some members of nato are more concerned about russian aggression. others are more concerned about terrorism and counterterrorism, depending where they fall geographically. so, i think it is very much a common threat and it should be in the purview of nato. >> i think it probably is in the purview of nato and also in the purview of eu. i think we need to apply as much pressure as possible to clean up these vulnerabilities in part because they are all our vulnerabilities, visa waiver countries in which these threats can land on our shores without any security screen. i thank you for that. >> your point is also very important that nato and the eu are also beginning to do more sharing than they have ever done before. >> mr. johnson, i know you have a question when i wasn't here
earlier. brexit and future of britain's relationship with the eu. but i wanted to talk to you about the conversation around a free trade agreement with britain. there's been talk within this administration of engaging in talks with britain with respect to a free trade agreement. there's great worry, i am in the category of those who worry that if this is placed before a bilateral negotiation with the eu on what we call t-tip, it's going to provide an incentive for other countries to exit europe because they can get first in line for a trade agreement with the united states. do you think that it's appropriate to negotiate a free trade agreement with england, britain, before we have engaged in a trade agreement negotiation with europe as a whole? >> well, thank you for that question.
thanks for that question, senator. yeah, brexit is going to be a complicated, a complicated series of agenda items going forward and one of them is free trade and how, and how that's played. i mean, the bilateral trade between the u.s. and that country and what impact that has, positive or negative. and so, i think that has to be factored in. my, i suspect that we're going to have to wait until this process unfolds a little more so we figure out what the pieces are. and, as ambassador, i would be, if confirmed, i would be talking to the political and business leaders and opinion leaders in the country to figure out what vulnerabilities and what opportunities there are for american businesses and americans and you point out there's every one of these, every one of these factors whether it's negotiating a bilateral agreement or even looking at, even looking alt
-- at cybersecurity like you just were talking about, this is gonna, everything is impacted by brexit and our ability to kind of protect and project what's in our best interests as this unfolds. >> and i don't expect you to answer the precise question but i would just caution you on this issue. it's one thing for our president to cheerlead brexit, another to reward them for what would be fodder for groups pushing for other countries to leave the eu, as well. i appreciate you giving more thought to that issue. >> thank you, senator. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> say the making of a diplomat there. senator menendez? >> i've been asking this question so it is not personal but just a continuing effort.
ms. mcfarland do you speak or malay?tamil >> no. my undergraduate degree was chinese studies and i studied chinese intensively those years. my dissertation, i did not have an opportunity to finish. my mandarin is very, very rusty. one of the first things i would do is look forward to trying to see if i could remember back 40 years and try to refresh that. >> ok. do you speak italian? >> yes. , was her miss on the opening gratified by the introduction of sen. rubio: my wife and i have been resident of florida for almost a decade but very remiss
in not addressing the fact that nine of my 16 immediate family are sitting behind me and our residents of the garden state. my wife judy, we just celebrated our 50th anniversary. i would like to introduce my wife and my oldest daughter, sbands, unfortunately my daughter could not be here, they have three children who also will be voters in the state of new jersey. i would be remiss if i did not recategorize my origins. we will continue to take italian lessons so i can speak more than that opening phrase.
>> i don't think that not speaking the language disqualifies you. i'm going to create a continuing record so we have equity at the end of the day regardless of who the nominee is. in that regard. ask if mr. johnson could speak british english? [laughter] >> let me ask you with a simple yes or no answer, do you think that russia sought to interfere in our presidential elections last year? >> yes. >> i don't know the answer, i think there is enough investigation and discussion going on. i would like to reserve
judgment. >> with 17 intelligence agencies, you don't have a view? >> i think it is likely. >> i have not studied the evidence on the inside. andn just go by what i read it looks like it could have butened, maybe did happen if i did a complete analysis with all the information, i would be able to give you much better -- >> i believe from reading the material everyone has had an opportunity to read that it looks as if the yes, i would have to investigate this further and learn more but i do believe you. from what our intelligence communities have said and what has been in the newspapers and other media, there is a good likelihood yes. i also think it is important that we know the extent and how it was done and that's what the
investigations are meant to do. >> the reason i ask the question, it may seem unrelated to your nominations but the fact is the senate passed 98-2 sanctions, very rare these days we get 98-2 votes, on russia for, among other things, enter interfereing in our elections. when i heard your answer senator hutchison to senator murphy about cyber attacks and nato, how you describe the different elements of a cyber attack would be, we need to have our ambassadors abroad making clear, unequivocal advocacy in which the countries in which they are assigned to join our multi-lateral sanctions effort, whether it be iran, also part of that legislation or whether it be russia. i'm a little worried, with all of the public knowledge, i'm not saying that they affected the election. the mere fact that they tried to affect the election should be of
great concern from the average citizen to the president of the united states. and we need our ambassadors to be advocating that point of view as it relates to sanctions, when this finally passes the house and signed by the president. i hope we can count on you to do that. in that regard, mr. eisenberg, in reference to that legislation one of the concerns i have to italy, while they have complied with sanctions it has relatively close relations with russia and has indicated interest in doing more business with iran. as my colleagues have noted, we expect this legislation soon to pass the house. how will you engage with the italians on maintaining economic pressure both on russia and iran? >> if confirmed, senator, i would intend to become more decisively involved in that discussion. but, i would note that italy is
80% reliant on its energy resources from russia and libya. but, they have continued to maintain very substantial support on the sanctions. and i have no reason to expect that i would not continue to encourage and try and help them to live up to that. >> i appreciate their energy challenge and you're right. but, as a nato ally and dependent upon the united states as a major element of that, we need them, as well as other european countries some of you will be nominated to, i don't have doubt about great britain but nonetheless to be engaged in making sure that because the european union by unanimity one country breaking away breaks sanction also of the regime. if our multi-lateral regime is broken, we have a real challenge returning to the international order.
i applaud that commitment to your work. if i may take one last moment mr. chairman to mr. johnson, i appreciate the answer on peace and justice in northern island something wereland' , spoke about when you the other problem with great britain right now is it's a critical ally for us, critical to the national security and interest of the united states. s with what irritant happened in the area, the grind a concert with some leaks. will you work as our ambassador to assure the united kingdom that our commitment to security and our confidentiality in terms of the sharing of intelligence is going to be preserved? >> thank you, senator, i certainly will. >> i have questions for the senator that i will submit to
the record. >> it i want to follow up on senator menendez' point, because your response to russia's interference in our elections, i fully appreciate that you haven't studied up on the issue, but i feel and this congress feels very strongly that russia presents an extreme danger to america, that's why we're going to enact some stronger sanctions, taking away some of the discretion of the president regarding sanctions with russia. the countries that we have ambassadors, that's the only one of the 4 that currently does business with russia and it's very possible they're going to be impacted by the sanctions. we have to work very closely with our european partners for sanctions to work against russia.
europe is more vulnerable than we are to the activities that russia is doing. so it's in their interest that we have strong unity between the united states and europe in enforcing sanctions against russia. but there will be business interests and perhaps some governmental interests in italy that will resist some aspects of we at least can't get a pass so we can continue to do this. that weakens the whole fiber, the whole fabric of our sanctions regime. and we're going to have to have a strong voice against russia that if they continue to interfere in our countries, they're going to pay a heavy economic price. are you prepared to be that person? >> if confirmed, i think i can deliver that message and execute that message. >> ok, thank you. i want to thank you all for your willingness to serve.
i do want to reiterate, especially in italy, uk and nato. russia will do everything it can to destabilize and to pose a threat to democracy and i think it is rare that the congress of the united states senate has acted in the way that it has. regardless of what people may or may not think happened during the election, and i do think they did attempt to interfere, there's no question their goal is to destabilize democracies and i know that each of you will be strong advocates for that not occurring. i want to say in particular to italy, i know you won't be the ambassador to the vatican, but on my recent visit there, i was struck by the public relations campaign russia had done to hold it up as the protector of
christian and the fact that the pope and others seemed open to that. so i think, you know, there's a lot of work that we have to do there. and that mostly is in relation to what's happening in syria. and then finally i would just say this, in addition to passing a bill 98-2, this committee unanimously and the senate has adopted a major effort to end modern slavery around the world, and all the countries that you're going to, slavery interests and in our own country, i know you will have questions about trafficking and everything, but we do hope that you will be advocates on that human value. the record will remain open until the close of business on friday, we would like to get and a number of you have family issues and you have to get to countries before school starts and that type of thing. it's an unusual time in the
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