tv Washington Journal Michael Fuchs CSPAN November 17, 2017 11:37pm-12:07am EST
>> at the daily state department briefing, heather now word answered a question about the row among state department staff. with.ave spoken under secretary tom shannon. i have spoken to the deputy terry secretary about this. they are extremely involved in this process. i know that they feel that we could do more to talk to our people. i think they understand and appreciate that there might be a morale issue in the building. i have seen and have talked to people and will be frank, that sure, there is a morale issue in the building. that is why i say, folks, hang in there. we have a lot of work to be done. please do not give up, do not give up on a building, do not give up on what america is doing. do not give up on the importance of this career. doing. >> president trump recently completed a trip to asia, which focused on trade issues and the
trade. program. we discussed this trip. this is half an hour. >> at our table this morning is s, he served from 2013-2013-2016, also a senior fellow at the center of american progress. i want to begin with the president at the diplomatic room in the white house, after returning from asia, this is what he said about what was accomplished. >> we have established a new framework for trade that will -- reppoppo saw city saw city through organizations and new fair trade deals that benefit the united states and our partners. we have laid out a pathway towards peace and security in our world where sovereign nations can drive, flourish, and prosper side-by-side. >> mrs. our beautiful vision for
the future -- this is our beautiful vision for the future. this is a future where the stream is only possible if america is strong, proud, and free. as long as we are true to ourselves, faithful to our founding and loyal to our cities -- citizens, there is no task too great, no goal beyond our reach. my fellow citizens, america is back. the future has never looked brighter. >> michael? michael: i think what the president was talking about there was something it was a little bit divorce from the reality of his trip. let's step back. for decades the united states central role in upholding peace and stability and prosperity across the asia-pacific through our alliances, partnerships, and dealing in a very frank and straightforward way with adversaries like might -- north
korea and competitors like china, trying to make sure that everyone is able to benefit from a peaceful and stable relationship. it is a fragile peace these days . it takes a tremendous amount of diplomatic work to keep that going. what the president did in the region, i think over the last couple of weeks was cede some tremendously profound anxiety amongst a lot of our allies and partners in the region about stayingity of america's power in asia, and the priority we had, whether or not we under president trump will continue to prioritize the same things we have in recent decades that benefited everyone. host: in what ways did he do that? michael: i think you house completely dropped human rights from the priority list of the united states when it comes to asia. when he was in china it was clear he did not take questions
from journalists during a press conference. this is something that american presidents and american officials have fought for a repeatedly. either.d obama did not michael: he has done that on other trips. american officials repeatedly fight for that right to do that him a to show this is something that is important. whether it is not for their country and china, it is important to the united states to show this is something that will be your ties. -- prioritized. more on human rights -- when he was in philippines, embracing the strongman leader of the philippines, there was no sign of any tension, any concerns being raised by the president, noecially in public and science he raised in private either about the deadly campaign that the president has gone on to take office more than a year ago that has killed estimates of thousands of people in a violent campaign against drug use.
again, these are things that show raising issues like -- human rights show what america stands for in the world and in the region. is sending a different signal to the people of the region when we do not directly addressed concerns like this. post: what is the impact? what do these countries do? what strategic decisions do they make or do you see the making because of this? michael: i think the ramifications of the anxiety of the region are clear. first, president trump and -- in one of his first acts rid -- withdrew the united states from a transatlantic partnership. that was something america had tried to forge. president trump has withdrawn from that. with it he has withdrawn credibility. at the same time, a number of things happened -- the other 11 countries have moved forward without us. they will go ahead and write the
rules of the road in trade in asia. we're not going to benefit. nor are we going to be at the table when it comes to actually trying to figure out how we can benefit from trade in the region. second of all, china is pushing forward with a broader regional trade agreement called the regional comprehensive economic partnership. bottom line here is everyone else is moving forward with trying to figure out how we benefit from trade in the region. president trump, unfortunately, is withdrawing the united states. host: he says he wants to write new deals. michael: that is what he has been saying since day one. today, there is no sign of him actually getting results. he has talked about starting bilateral deals with countries like japan and vietnam. this trip would have been a good place for him to outline some of the results on those negotiations. he did not do that here. host: has ever been made? michael: in certain corners with japan, for instance.
vice president mike pence has begun a dialogue with one of his counterparts in japan, trying to start a dialogue. fundamentally what we are seeing from some of these countries in the region is a lack of interest on their part in actually engaging with the united states and they way on these deals because they are concerned about the credibility. this president withdrew the and understates from an agreement we had spent a good part of a decade negotiating. why would these countries believe right now that we are going to make good on the promises that we are going to make on these. host: what do you think is the benefit of japan and china moving closer together, or these other countries moving closer together and not including the united states. and what trade deal or other alliance? michael: on the economic side, china, obviously has been growing rapidly in recent decades. what it means is that the countries of asia are
.ntegrating economically it is becoming more difficult for the united states to make sure that we are getting what we need to get in terms of advantages on trade, investment, that could help create jobs here at home out of our relationships with these countries. we need to have skin in the game. we need to be there fighting for our and just -- for our interest. what is happening in those discussions, we are not there. we do not have a real seat at the table. the other countries will continue to move forward and figure out how they can benefit from one another, investing with one another. the united states will not have the same leg up. when it comes to security, we are seeing another side. this is a dangerous one. of the united states for decades has played an important role, sometimes behind the scenes and try to keep the peace in the region. are alliances with south korea, japan, philippines, australia, and others have made sure that other countries china, in recent
years do not try to do something that might undermine peace. as credibility of the united wea you willds -- see tension between these countrieskens, rise. of risk of some sort miscalculation or conflict over north korea, for instance, is the type of thing we could. host: we are taking your questions and comments about the president's's trip to asia, he is calling it a success. we want to know what you think about it and what you want to see him do on national security issues like how to address north korea, etc.. michael is our guest here. -- the president argued during the campaign that these were bad deals for americans. it seems, if you look at the results, people believe him. they grade with him, these have been bad deals, cut from the obama administration and previous administrations.
how do you argue, what evidence you have that these were not bad deals? michael: i do not think that is the question we should be asking. i think the question is, regardless of what you think about tpp or passed trade deals, the u.s. south korea free-trade agreement, the question is whether or not the united states should be trying to lead in crafting the agenda in the region on economic trade deals that would advantage america. advantage of american workers and create jobs here at home. what the president is doing is not saying, hey, i would like to and at for instance the tpp figure out how we can strengthen it to make sure it could advantage american workers if i do not think it is being -- is doing that. what he has done is basically said, i am packing my bags and going home. i am happy to have individual conversations with each of you about what we can do, but there is not a lot of receptivity. the result of the end of the day is that we are not able to shape
the rules of the road like we would have been able to if we were actually engaged. host: bert from columbus, georgia, republican. good morning. bart: i love how these progressive liberals always spout the president trump -- president obama's policies and they do not realize that when you come up from a position of president obama did and lead from behind, you have a lot of money leaving the country, a lot of corporations leaving, a lot of jobs leaving. when you go out and you get out of these trade deals that are -- we are in and we turn around and say, look, we don't blame y'all for taking advantage of us because we did a bad deal. what we are going to do is change it. we are going to make good deal.
we are going to get out of the bad deals and get a good deal that way our economy will become stronger. host: bert, i want to take your point because this was something said on the campaign trail as well. you heard from conservatives that president obama was seen as weak. president trump is now showing strength by saying, these are bad deals, we want out. michael: i think you cannot confuse strength with hyperbolic over-the-top rhetoric. that is not strength. loud talking points are not strength. strength is showing results. i think, when you look at asia in particular, we have to go back decades. this is not about obama policy versus trump policy. this is about american interest, and about what american administrations going back decades, republicans and democrats have been trying to do to advance american interests in asia.
it has been on the economic side, which has benefited the americans for decades, but also the security side. this is one of the important points we need to keep in mind, there were massive wars fought in the asia-pacific. in recent decades. wars that cost americans tens of thousands of lives, not to mention the head cronje -- had casualties in the region itself. this is something that our policy in asia has been trying to prevent. we have been successful. that takes a lot of hard work, not just on the trade side, but the diplomatic side. host: michael served in the obama administration as the former secretary of state for east asian affairs. he also served as special advisor to the secretary of state for strategic dialogues from 2011-2013 when clinton was the secretary of state. also deputy national security for the clinton campaign. paul, sarasota, florida,
democrat. ask if youted to could describe please the current military relationship between the philippines and the united states. at the recentone meeting between president trump the president about that relationship. especially the joint military exercises? ofhael: i think this is one the difficult relationships the u.s. has right now the region. the relationship with the philippines is a treaty alliance that goes back decades. it is important for the united states. that manything administrations, republicans and democrats have tried to build up. when the president was elected in the philippines, we became faced with a difficult decision, which is we had a democratically elected leader in the philippines, a treaty ally of the united states began to directly undermine the rule of
law and respect for human rights in his own country by embarking on this deadly campaign against drug users in his country. the human rights concerns are awful right now in the philippines. administration tried to do in his last months in office was to try to step back a little bit from some of the corporation -- cooperation with the philippines of a security side make sure we were not undermining our interest and making sure we were not publicly embracing the president to show that we were very concerned about this relationship. embraced trump has president duterte to. not raise concerns about his human rights record. that is a disturbing signal the united states is sending. i think in the long run it will be detrimental to our interest. at the same time it is a paradox, president trump has had a warmer personal relationship with president duterte. at the moment there is less friction in the bilateral relationship.
on the military side, we continue, i think that is good, to remove forward -- to move forward in cooperation with the military and making good on the deal that was a military deal struck under the obama administration with the previous philippines administration to boost altera corporation. that is a -- boost military cooperation. that is a good thing. what is worrying, is a lack of concern on the u.s. part about human rights. host: kate, an independent. kate: hello. i am sorry you are not still in the state department. our props are being knocked out from under our domestic government and institutions. they will be nearly impossible to resurrect. anyway, my point was, what is absent that i hear so much
lately is any talk of what is going to be done for the american people. i come from the midwest, where we need, desperately, public transportation connection with the rest of the world. needed health care and we education beyond high school that is affordable, more than affordable, i don't see why we cannot have it in general. book published by barnes and noble ago, every publication i guess of mark twain -- a re publication of mark twain. he has an interesting -- this is 100 years ago, a very interesting take on our involvement with the philippines
back then. i imagine you are familiar. host: ok. michael: i think your point is exactly right. the first priority of the and americanident foreign-policy is to make sure that we are dancing interest of the american people. when it comes to asia policy, from the things we saw on the truck trip in the last couple of weeks, i think there are two points. first, the things we should not be taking for granted, that was the point of making earlier about the instability in asia. it was not that long ago that again we fought wars in this region because of the severe instability. what we had been doing in recent decades is the hard, diplomatic work, the quiet work, oftentimes much i to make sure it does not happen again. keeping peace in the region so americans are safe. the onend point is
about trade and economic relationships. trade has become a divisive issue in this country. there are a lot of concerns. sometimes they are fair. whether youf thought the tpp or the u.s. south korea free-trade agreement were good or bad for the american people, the point i think we should all agree on is that the united states needs to being gauged and needs to be leading in trying to force the best economic arrangements with our partners around the world as possible so we can create jobs here at home. population, vast the world's biggest countries and the world's biggest economies, we have to be engaged there and trying to forge those trade agreements. host: mark, chester, virginia, republican. challengeuld like to the question about no seat at the table. when those the countries over their bargain, they should be
doing the best for themselves. they all have in common -- they all want to do business with the an on state. we will have a seat at our table when they come to negotiate with us. and strength,lts if we have been negotiating a trade deal for 10 years, that does not sound like a very good result. start over, look out for our country first. host: ok, mark. michael: -- the biggest things we have going for us is the inhibition -- innovation, the creativity of the american economy and worker. that will continue to make us desirable for other countries to want to do trade deals with and make sure that they are investing and working together with us to benefit mutually. , in asiaion really is in particular now is how will we
do that. what president trump did unfortunately when he was in vietnam and gave a speech to a room full of officials and ceos from across the region been basically said we are not win to be cheated by you anymore. that is not the kind of attitude that will get these countries to come running to us and want to negotiate better trade agreements. downyou need to do is sit with them, and the right venue, and you need to show a willingness to actually engage with them. make trains with these other countries, like we all do when it comes to deals. those other ways in which we will get the best results for american workers. unfortunately what is happening now is, based on what we have seen in the last year or so, they countries in asia summit which are important economic markets for the unit states are becoming more and more hesitant about doing what you suggested, which is running to the table to wants to strike a deal. in the long run, that will hurt our economy. host: a few minutes left.
jd, oakland city, democrat. like to know, since china owns so much of our debt, do we have any kind of leverage to get them to come to the trading table? michael: that is a great question. obviously the u.s., china economic relationship is one of the most problematic aspects of our policy in asia right now. balancea very difficult the united states needs to be striking. on the one hand there are lots of ways in which china is unfairly treating american companies. they subsidize many exports, giving them an unfair advantage in our market and others. at the same time they are placing significant taxing and restrictions on the investments that american businesses can make in china. they are disadvantaging american companies and workers in many ways. the question is, have you deal
with that effectively to get them to change those policies? what president trump talked about on the trail, terrace of 40% i do not think are the way to do this. i think that would start a trade war with china would be bad for both countries and the amerco workers, in particular -- american workers in particular. we need to show china that we will be tough. we might have willingness to act -- come down hard on them in specific areas am a show them that we are not going to continue the kind of relationship on the economic side that we have had. i did not see that from president trump. i would like to believe that he is going to push harder and try to start -- strike a better deal of china. we do have a real leverage because of the power of our economy. i have not seen it yet. host: what is the state of the state department under rex tillerson question mark how many positions are open?
michael: i have served in the state department for seven years . i came to know the building very well, respected the people there trend asleep -- tremendously. the people that work there are the backbone of american foreign-policy. they are the backbone of american health around world. while secretary tillerson on the policy side i think is trying to strike a balance in this administration, trying to do what he can on the dramatic side -- to platonic side, unfortunately his view of the state department, i think, is completely wrong. he seems to be approaching it like a ceo would when you're told you have to cut a percentage of your budget. that might work for a company like exxon mobil. the problem here is what drives the state department budget are the interests of the amerco people and american foreign-policy. you cannot just say, we want to cut that by 30%. that unfortunately is what he is
doing. while he figures out how he wants to cut the budget at the state department he has not been filling in the jobs. when it comes to asia right now we have great foreign service officers, we do not have a white house appointed ambassador to south korea. we don't have a white house appointed assistant secretary of state for east asia. these should be concerning issues when it comes to trying to implement u.s. foreign policy. host: kurt, republican. to, as far as inling the positions of -- the state department, i think it kind of goes back to the congress and how slow the democrats are, as far as getting these people confirmed. i havee other thing is not heard you say one good word about the trump administration so far that i have been listening.
that is understandable because you come from a obama era individual from the state department. host: let's end on that note. do you see as a positive action from this administration, when it comes to asia policy? michael: look, i think that there are a few areas in which the it ministration is doing a solid job. to our alliances japan for instance, while i have some concerns, the president has actually forged a very good relationship with his counterpart. that was on full display when the president went to tokyo the other week. i think that is a crucial part of american foreign-policy when it comes to asia, whether economic or security-related. that i think is a very positive thing the president has done. i think there are other aspects of his policy, u.s. policy in
asia so far that are positive. the u.s. defense department appears to have restarted freedom of navigation operations in the south china sea on a regular basis, something i think we need to be doing to show the freedom of navigation is an interest of the unites states. it is something that we will defend. policy are our pieces of across the region the trump administration is actually doing a good job of. it is the broader policy in the region. the relationships i think he is forging with some of these countries that i think is overall disturbing. host: michael, we appreciate the conversation. washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up saturday morning, chuck marr of the center on budget and policy priorities discusses federal government tax pending. ronald rubin, the former
enforcement attorney at the consumer protection bureau talks about the future. on our spotlight on magazine segment, we feature esquire and writer discussing oxycontin. these sure to watch washington journal live at 7:00 eastern saturday morning. joining discussion. josh -- join the discussion. this weekend on book tv, live coverage of the miami book fair. at 10:30 a.m.day eastern, chris matthews on the political life of bobby kennedy. best-selling biographer walter isaacson on da vinci, caesar con and his immigration to the united states and nbc news on katie to uncovering the truck campaign. live coverage continues sunday, 10:30 a.m. eastern on how spear
tactics are used to input is public opinion. charles sykes offers his thoughts on the conservative movement. van jones weighs in on partisan politics. collegeident of spelman looks at race relations in the united states. coverage lives we can of the miami book fair this weekend on c-span two book tv. >> as grants nighthawk walked into the room first, he was wearing military camouflage, fatigues with the blood drop in one right here. the initials kkk on his chest embroidered across his beret on his head were nights of the clue clucks clan. on his head he had a semi-automatic handgun. he came in and was followed right behind him by mr. kelly, the grand dragon, in a dark blue suit and tie. when the nighthawk entered and turned the corner and saw me he
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