tv Washington Journal Michael Fuchs CSPAN November 18, 2017 2:59am-3:30am EST
which focused on trade issues nuclearh korea's program. on washington journal, we discussed the trip with an official from the obama administration. this is half an hour. >> at our table this morning is the former deputy assistant secretary of state for east asian affairs from 2013 to 2016. also the senior fellow at the center for american progress. i want to begin with the president. after returning from asia, this is what he had to say about what was accomplished during that trip. >> we have established a new framework for trade that will ensure reciprocity to enforcement actions, reform of international organizations, and new fair trade deals that benefit the united states and our partners.
there is no task too great and no goal beyond our reach. my fellow citizens, america is back and the future has never looked writer. >> michael. >> i think what the president was somethingout that was a little divorced from the reality of his trip. let's take a step back. for decades, the united states has played a central role in upholding peace and stability and prosperity across the asia-pacific through our alliances, partnerships and through dealing with a very
frank a straightforward way with adversaries like north korea and with competitors like china trying to make sure that everybody is able to benefit from a peaceful and stable or region. that is a relatively fragile peace. it takes a tremendous amount of diplomatic work to keep that going. president trump did over the last couple of weeks was feed some tremendously profound anxiety amongst a lot of our allies and partners in the region about credibility of american staying power in asia and the kind of really we have and whether or not we will continue to prioritize the same thing that we have that have benefited everybody. >> and watch weight did he do that? >> first and foremost, think he dropped thely priority list when it comes to asia. when he was in china, it was
clear he did not take questions from journalists during their press conferences, something that american president and american officials have fought for repeatedly. president obama did fight for it and had also done it on other trips to china. american officials repeatedly fight for that right to do that, to show this is something that is important. whether it is not for their country in china, important in the united states to show there is something that we prioritize. more to the point about human rights, he was in the philippines and warmly embracing strongman leader of the philippines right now, any concerns being raised by the president. no sign that hephilippines righo duterte. there was no sign of raised it n private about the deadly campaign he has gone on since taking office more than a year ago, that is killed thousands of
people in a violent campaign against drug use in his country. these are things that show issues like human rights, show what america stands for in the world and region. it is sending a very different single when we don't address concerns like this. host: what is the impact? what strategic decision do they make or do you see them making because of this? guest: i think there are ramifications of the anxiety in the region which are very clear. president trump in his short acts is the transpacific partnership trade deal, something the united states has bought long and hard to forge in the asia-pacific. president trump has with withdrawn from that. at the same time, what happened is a number of things. the other 11 countries have
moved forward. they will go ahead and write the rules of the road and trade and we are not going to benefit from that agreement nor are we going to be at the table when it comes to actually trying to figure out how we can benefit from trade. china is pushing forward with a broader regional trade agreement . bottom line is that everyone else is moving forward with trying to figure out benefits from trading in the region and president trump unfortunately it withdrawing the united states. host: because he wants to write new deals. guest: that is what he has been saying since day one. to date, there is no sign of him actually getting results on that. he is talking about starting bilateral deals with countries like japan and vietnam. this trip would have been a good place for him to outline what some of the results would have been on those negotiations but he did not do that.
effort has been made in certain corners with japan. effort has been made with vice president mike pence with japan -- he tried to start a dialogue but what we are seeing from these countries in the region is a real lack iof in engaging with the united states because they are concerned about the credibility. the president withdrew the united states from an agreement that we spent a decade negotiating. why would these countries believe that we are going to make good on the promises? host: what do you think is the of japan and china moving closer together or these other countries moving closer together and not including the united states? i think there are a number of different ramifications. on the economic side, china has been growing rapidly.
of -- the countries of asia are integrating economically. it is becoming more difficult for the united states to get what we need. we need to have skin in the game. we need to continue to fight for our interests. by withdrawing us from those multilateral discussions is that we are not there. we do not have a seat at the table. the other countries in the region will continue to move and the united states is not going to have the same alike up.o -- the same leg when it comes to security, the united states has played a very important role behind the scenes and trying to keep the peace in the region. our alliances with south korea, japan, philippines, australia,
and others have made sure that other countries -- china in recent years -- does not try to do something to undermine peace in the region. the unitedity in states weekends, you will see tensions between many of these countries rise. the risk of some sort of miscalculation or conflict over north korea for instances the type of thing we could see. host: we are taking your questions and comments about the president trip to asia. michael is our guest this morning. he will take your questions and comments. did the president argued during the campaign that these were bad deals for americans -- if you seem if you look at the vote results, the people agreed with them.
that these have been bad deals that have been cut by the obama administration and previous administrations. what evidence do you have that these are not bad deals? guest: i do not think that is the question we should be asking. the question is regardless of what you think about tpp, for instance, or path trade deals -- past trade deals, 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 of america? what the president is doing is not saying, hey, i would like to look at the tpp and try to figure out how we can strengthen this so that a good advantage american workers. what he has done is said, i am packing my bags and i'm going home, and i am happy to have individual conversations about what we can do, but there is not
a lot of perceptive and he on the other side. -- on the other side. the result is that we are not able to ship the rules of the road like we would have been able to if we had been engaged. host: from columbus, georgia, republican. caller: good morning. i love how these liberals always outt president obama -- sp president obama's policies and they do not realize that when you come up from a position of weakness like president obama did and you lead from behind, you have lots of money leaving the country and corporations leaving the country, and lots of jobs leaving the country. when you get out of these trade deals that we were in for weakness, we turn around and say, we do not blame ya'll for taking advantage of us because
we did a bad deal. so what we are going to do, we are going to change it. we are going to be into good deals -- that way our economy will become stronger. your pointt to take because this is something that was set on the campaign trail and you have heard from conservatives -- president obama was seen as "weak." president trump is showing strength by saying, these are bad deals. guest: 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 resolve. inn you look at asia particular, you have to go back decades. this is not about obama policy versus trump policy. this is about american interests and what american administrations going back have
been trying to do to advance. it has been on the economic side which is benefited the american people but is also on the security side. this is one of the points that 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, intense casualties in the region itself. this is something that our policy in asia has been to prevent and we have been successful. that takes a lot of hard work. serve in the obama administration as the secretary of state for east asian affairs. advisor toved as the the secretary of state when hillary clinton was the secretary of state.
paul, florida, democrat. caller: i wanted to ask you if you could describe please the currents military relationship between the philippines and the united states. recentthing done at the meeting between president trump and president duterte about that relationship, especially the joint military exercises? guest: i think this is one of the very difficult relationships that the united states has. the relationship with the philippines is an alliance that goes back decades and that is an important one. it is something that many administrations have tried to build up over the years. last year when president duterte was elected president of the philippines, we became faced with a difficult decision which is that we had a democratically of the leader
philippines begin to directly undermine the rule of law in respect for human rights in his own country by embarking on this deadly campaign against drug users and his country. the human rights concerns are awful in the philippines. what the obama administration tried to do was to try to step back a little bit from some of the cooperation with the philippines on the security side while making sure we were not andrmining our interests not publicly embracing president duterte. what president trump has done so president duterte date, not raise any concerns about his human rights record. confusing signal and will be detrimental to our interests. a warmer trump has had personal relationship with president duterte.
at the moment, there is less friction and tension in the bilateral relationship. on the military side, we continue to move toward in terms of the cooperation between our on theies in making good deal that was a military deal struck under the obama administration with the previous philippines administration to boost military cooperation between the countries. that is a good thing. is a lack of ag concern on the united states part about the human rights. is in missouri. caller: hello. i'm sorry that you are not still in the state department. our props are being knocked out. they will be nearly impossible to resurrect. what is absent that
i hear in 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 we need of the world, health care, and we need education beyond high school that is affordable. i do not see why we cannot have it. book published by barnes & noble several years ago -- a republication of mark damned human race.
" he has a very interesting take on our involvement of the philippines -- back then. guest: i think your point is exactly right. the first priority of the american president and american foreign policies to make sure we of theancing interests american people did when it comes to asia policy and some of the things we saw from president trump's trip, there is overarching points. there are things we should not take for granted and that was the point i was making earlier about stability in asia. it was not that long ago that we thought the wars in this region because of the severe instability there. what we have been doing in recent decades is the heart of o-matic work -- the hard diplomatic work of trying to make sure we keep the peace in the region.
the second point is the one about trade and economic relationships. trade has become a very divisive issue in this country. sometimes there are fair concerns. regardless of whether you thought the tpp or the u.s. south korea trade agreements point we or bad, the should all agree on is that the united states needs to be engaged and needs to be leading the trying to board best economic arrangements with our sotners around the world that we can create jobs at home. population --st the world's biggest countries biggestworld's economies, we have to be engaged there and trying to forge those trade agreements. host: marquez next in virginia. would like to
challenge on his question of "no seat at the table." those countries -- they should be doing the best for themselves and they all want to do business with the united states. we will have a seat at our table when they come. as having results in strength, if we have been negotiating the trade deal for 10 years, that does not sound like very good results. i would much rather throw those deals out, start over, and look out for our country first. about i think your point the power of the american economy is absolutely right. the biggest thing we have going for us is the innovation, the creativity of the american economy and the american worker. that will continue to make us desirable for other countries to and makeo trade deals sure they are investing and working together with us.
but the question really is in asia, how are we going about doing that? we cannot do what president trump did, unfortunately, when he was in vietnam and gave us each to a roomful of officials and said, we are not going to get cheated by you anymore. that is not the kind of attitude that is going to get these countries come running to us and want to negotiate better trade agreements. what you need to do is sit down with them and show a willingness to actually engage. make trade-offs with these other countries like we all do. are the ways in which we will get the best results for american workers. unfortunately, what is happening the countries in asia which are important economic markets for the united states are becoming more and more hesitant about doing what you suggested which is running to the table to want to strike an economic deal.
in the long run, that will hurt our economy. host: a few minutes left in our conversation. in oklahoma, a democrat. like to knowld since china owns so much of our debts, do we have any kind of leverage to get them to come to the trading table? host: that is a great question. the u.s. and china economic relationship is one of the most problematic of our policy in asia right now. this is a very difficult balance. there are lots, of ways in which china is unfairly treating american companies. they subsidize their exports giving them an unfair advantage into our markets and other markets, they have the same time placing taxes and restrictions on investments, so they are
disadvantaging american companies and many way. -- ways. how do you deal with that? what president trump talked about on the campaign trail, i do not think is the way necessarily and i would start a trade war with china and that would be very bad. what we need to be doing is showed china that we are going to be tough, that we may have a willingness to come down pretty hard on them in specific sectors that wes to show them are not going to continue the kind of relationship that we have had. i did not see that from president trump. believelike to that he's going to put a little bit harder to strike a deal, but i have not seen it yet. host: what is the state of the state department under secretary of state rex tillerson? how many positions are still
open? what are you hearing? guest: being served and the state department for seven years, i came to know the building very well. aree people who work there the backbone of american foreign-policy. they are the backbone of american power around the world. while secretary tillerson on the policy side is trying to strike a allen's on this administration and trying to do -- strike a balance on this administration -- his view on the state department is completely lost. he is approaching it like a ceo would when you are told you need to cut percentage out of your budget. that may work fine for a company like exxon mobil. what drives a department budget -- the interests -- that
you cannot just say you want to cut that by 30%. that unfortunately is what secretary tillerson is doing. while he figures out how to cut the budget at the state department, he has not been filling the jobs. we do not have a white house appointed ambassador to south korea, we do not have a white house appointed assistant secretary of state for east asia , and these should be concerning issues when it comes to trying to implement foreign-policy. host: curtain montana, republican. caller: hi. filling the positions in the state department, it kind of goes back into the congress and how slow the democrats are as far as people being confirmed. the other thing is i have not heard you say one good word
about the top administration so far. that is understandable because eracome from a obama individual from the state department -- host: let's end on that note. what do you see as success or a positive action from this administration when it comes to asia policy? guest: i think that there are a few areas in which the administration is doing a solid job. aen it comes to our lliance with japan. very goodced a relationship with his counterpart prime minister in japan and that was on full display when he went to tokyo. that is a crucial part of american foreign-policy when it comes to asia whether it is economic or security. that is a really positive thing
the president has done. there are other aspects of his policy in asia that are positive. the u.s. defense department appears to have restarted navigation operations in the south china sea on a regular basis which is something we need to be doing and something we are going to defend. there are pieces of policy across the region that the trump administration is actually doing a pretty good job. it is the broader policy in the region and the relationships that he is origin with some of these countries that i think is overall disturbing.
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middle east analysts discuss what this means for the saudi government at an event in washington, d.c.. this is an hour and a half. mr. jahshan: -- evening, i: good would like to welcome all of you to this special briefing focusing on the shakeup in the riyadh regional and international implications.