tv Washington Journal Bethany Allen- Ebrahimian CSPAN April 3, 2018 7:14pm-8:01pm EDT
eastern on c-span. later in the evening, more about dr. king with a discussion on the legacy of his career and the direction of the civil rights movement today. that is live from memphis, that event begins life at 8:00 p.m. eastern. contributing reporter for followe foreign policy. in a general sense, how do the two countries each other? guest: before trump took office jingping consolidated power, they saw each other as partners. there's a strategic distrust between the two, but cooperation at arms length. what we have seen since trump took office with his tough rhetoric toward china and xi jin
gping's assertive attitude, you are looking at a bit more distrust and a stronger sense of competition and a stronger sense of rivalry. host: what is the source of distrust or are there several sources? guest: several sources. president trump used china as an economic enemy. i think he has used that term. on china's part, they see the uss trying to contain their ambitions, their territorial ambitions in the south china sea , their ambitions to contribute more to global institutions and to have more military power around the world. on both sides, there's definitely a sense of increasing tension. host: with that in mind, talk about the placement of tariffs from the united states on certain products, the retaliation from china. you saw what happened and what is the larger implication? guest: earlier in march, president trump took the step
that he had set his administration on course last year when he asked for investigation into whether or dumping,'s steel aluminum dumping created a national security risk for the our steel and aluminum industries have been hollowed out the past few years. after that report came back, it seemed to recommend the tariffs and that's what he did. he slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum and not just on tim china, but many countries including our allies like japan, south korea, and european countries. that is what trump did. china immediately stated that they were strongly opposed to that and they would be considering their own retaliatory measures. chinaas happened now is has implemented its own retaliatory tariffs on what
hundred 28 u.s. products -- 128 u.s. products, including pork and wine. these are about $3 billion worth up to 25%. host: our guests will continue on with us, but she has talked about some things economic included. you can give us a call. republicans --(202) 748-8001. democrats --(202) 748-8000. independents --(202) 748-8002. on our also email us and twitter feed. let's hear from the president earlier back in march talking about this idea of putting tariffs on chinese products and the justification for doing so. here is president trump you [video clip] . [video clip] china, weicular with will be doing a section 301 transaction. -- trade action.
it will be about $61 billion and that's really a fraction of what we are talking about. i have been speaking with the highest chinese representatives, including the president, and i have asked them to reduce the trade deficit immediately by $100 billion, a lot. so that would be anywhere from to maybe something even more than that. but we have to do that. the word i want to use is reciprocal. when they charge 25% for a car 2%go in and we charge further car to come into the united states, that's not good. that's how china rebuilds itself. the tremendous money we have paid since the founding of the wto, which has actually been a disaster for us, it's been very
an unfair to us. the arbitrations have been very unfair. the judging has been very unfair. knowingly we always have a minority. host: that is president trump talking about this. in the long run, who gets hurt economically more -- the united states or china? exports of steel and aluminum to the u.s. really are not that much. for the steel industry, we do import quite a bit of steel, but most of it is not from china. it's around 2% to 5%. , which% comes from china is why these tariffs have been levied on 70 countries around the world. -- so many countries around the world. these tariffs are not the way to stop chinese you'll don' steel dumping. it is sent to a lot of countries and then it comes to the u.s. this is not solving the problems of chinese steel dumping. this is just going to hurt the u.s..
a tariff like this, there will be wto cases that come into play. it really alienates our allies letter asking what do we do to deserve this? it is not clear how in the long run it will really solve the problem. host: a larger geopolitics, we went to china for help on north korea and other issues. how do those efforts get impacted by these tariffs specifically? guest: that's a difficult question and that's part of an issue of the strategic rivalry we have with china. the fact is that we do need china's help, especially on north korea. 90% of north korean exports go to china. china is really north korea's only ally. any kind of pressure that we want to levy on north korea cannot really be effective without china's help. and we see that even as trump has accepted an upcoming meeting with kim jong-un. what we saw last week is that
kim made a trip to beijing to see xi jingping. and that shows whether we want it or not, china has a really big role. it is very difficult on the one hand to ask for china's help and on the other hand try to push them away or harm them. host: this is bethany allen-ebrahimian. she is a contributing reporter for foreign policy. the first call comes from roger and alabama on the line for independents. you are on with our guest. go ahead. caller: china and united states has to work together with each other on this because if one fails, the other does. i am one of the noncollege , part ofwhite males the idiots that got us in this mess to start with. host: that need of dependence on each other, is that a reality? guest: roger was definitely
right about that. china and the u.s. have the two biggest economies in the world. they are heavily intertwined. we have to with each other when it comes to global trade issues, when it comes to even security situations. that is absolutely right. host: democrats line, eric's next in maryland. hi. thatr: i always assumed since we started trading with china that everything would be taken to the d wto. if you had a problem or trump had a problem, the information he got back from his investigation or wherever he got the information from should have been taken to the wto. you make the case. they rule. and that's why we trade with people. i don't understand where trump gets the authority to just slap sanctions on other countries.
guest: well, certainly these tariffs are going to be taken to the wto. you can count on that. not just china but other countries whether it's south korea or european countries, they will very likely bring this to the wto. it's important to note that the u.s. has taken many trade cases to the wto and won, including cases against china. host: aside from the retaliated tariffs that china has put, have we heard a formal statement from china on the united states actions? guest: the foreign ministry spokesperson has delivered remarks on this and they are understandably not happy. host: from maryland, democrats line, robert, go ahead. your next. caller: good morning to both of you. as someone in national security and has been his whole career, i certainly agree that we maintain
a robust steel and aluminum industry. we maintain key allies as mexico can travel by land and maintain it. the question i wanted to ask is what it has been -- i guess, what's your thoughts on if subsidies had been the case? it's kind of an indirect way to do it, but in terms of maintaining these two industries. guest: in terms of steel and aluminum? i think that president trump looked at a variety of possible ways to address this. i think there is a distinction to be made, which you hinted perhaps between the steel and aluminum industries. in terms of military grade aluminum used in fighter jets and the electrical grid, we are down to one plant in the entire united states that actually produces that. if that were to close, the only
other plants that make this are outside of this hemisphere. the middle east, russia, iceland. that does seem to be a concern. steel on the other hand, we have many countries produce the kind of steel that we would need. that is less of a national security concern in reality. host: aside from economics, how much influence does china have in the united states overtly or covertly? guest: that's a question we are trying to look at now. if you look at australia and the discussion in australia, in the past year and a half, what is happening there is equivalent to our debate about russian influence here. for australia, it's china. they have seen in the past decade or so chinese money coming in rather covertly into their political campaigns, influencing candidates. lotsave seen in particular of attempts to control the chinese diaspora there.
initial investigations here in the u.s. have revealed some similar trends, some similar phenomena with tight control the chinese diaspora here. attempts to insert money into our political debate, into our narratives here, that is something that right now we are kind of at a snowball effect. there's a lot of increasing interest among the fbi and our security agencies. you have seen marco rubio, ted cruz pay more attention to this. it is certainly something that will be a building debate in the months to come. host: this specific legislation and some of the elements promote the agenda of foreign governments to report as foreign agents and forces universities to disclose donations from foreign sources of $50,000 or more. wire those important when it comes to china? guest: we talked about the
foreign registration act because russia was forced to register. it was an old law passed in 1938 the has a lot of gray areas. there's a lot of ways that people or companies or nonprofits or donors who do have ties to foreign countries or foreign political parties don't have to register. there's a lot of perhaps foreign influence that we are not aware of. what this law would do is try to exactly -- is a media outlet that has editorial control and foreign funding from the government, they would have to register. that means other chinese media funded outlets here. with universities, there are concerns about confucius institutes. they have attempted in some
cases to censor discussion on campus about sensitive issues such as taiwan or tibet. at this point, they are not have to register, and our contracts with universities are very opaque. we don't know how much money the universities are getting and what conditions are. this law would attempt to help bring transparency to those agreements. host: from our republican line from washington state, hello. caller: good morning. the question i have today has to do with chinese tariffs on american exports prior to 2018. the tariff issue has been going on the united states ever since the united states has existed and before the event states existed -- the united states existed. prior to 2018, and the last two decades, what chinese tariffs have been placed on u.s. exports? guest: the remain a lot of nontariff barriers and a lot of
barriers to foreign investment in china. china did not enter the wto until 2001. they have made many promises in 2001 that they would further open sectors of their economy to foreign investment. slowopening up has been and in some cases not particularly existed. nt. there are large sectors of the chinese economy, including infrastructure and key industries such as steel resources, that are not open to foreign investment at all. their other forms of nontariff barriers. there was an interesting case last year in which chinese internet censorship floated the possibility of it being a nontariff barrier. for example, google cannot operate in china. apple faces a lot of barriers there. there are these kinds of barriers. host: one of the things that
constantly comes up in this discussion on trade tariffs whether it's the trade deficit between our two countries. factor that into the discussion and how much of a concern should this be as far as the deficit between imports and exports? guest: that depends on your perspective. for president trump, it's a very large concern. i personally don't feel it's a very large concern. that's the feel of economics right now. china has an export-based model. many other countries around the world have trade deficits with china. and really regardless of your perspective on it, the thing is that you cannot just simply have a goal of getting rid of a trade deficit. it is not that simple. complex factors come into play. this is our goal. we are going to get rid of that deficit. that should not be the goal. that should be a result of a
change in your economic model porsch for changing your stratec approach to trade. as a goal, it does not make a lot of sense. host: michael from illinois, you are on. caller: i would like the lady to comment on this point. i believe that this problem started 30 or more years with the business class in this country committing treason, shipping our jobs over to china, doing all this technology transfer because you cannot set up a company in china unless you give them access to all your technology or whatever is involved. so it's actually our business community because of greed and self-interest that have created this problem. china would still be a itrd-rate power today if
wasn't for the treasonous business community in this country. they destroy the middle class. when we go to what with china, it's the middle class that's going to have to get killed trying to defend this country. that's my comment and i would like her to respond. .uest: sure if yo the idea shipping jobs abroad, we get something in return. wanting to get in return is lower consumer prices. if you have ever shopped at walmart for example, they are things the tories lee made -- and briefly made in china and cheaper than anywhere else. when you have lower consumer prices for daily goods, that contributes to a higher standard choppers --rever for average shopper's, lower middle class, working-class shoppers. they can increase their quality of life. i think a problem that we have in the u.s. is that we have not put enough resources into creating more jobs to replace
the ones that were shipped abroad. on the question of tech transfer , i would certainly agree with you that these technology transfers are a major problem. what happens is chinese companies with basically the support of the government colors our companies -- coerce are companies here and say we will not partner with you unless you transfer technology. there is a coercion coming from a powerful chinese state. what we need here is for the powerful u.s. government to back up u.s. companies and to say you don't have to do that and to put pressure on china to end that practice. i would agree with you. the technology transfer is a major concern. host: this idea of china when it steals intellectual-property, how rampant is that and how much of a concern is that to the united states? guest: it's a huge problem and is absolutely rampant and has
been for a long time. we were talking earlier about maybe covert chinese influence operations in the u.s. one of their main targets is our science and technology. china really wants what the u.s. has and they have been extremely successful in the past 10 to 15 years. let's use the word stealing billions and billions of dollars technology or intellectual property that u.s. taxpayers have developed with their own tax dollars. that's a huge concern. it's difficult to know exactly how to stop it because here's an example. you have a chinese graduate student who comes to the u.s. and has actually been cents by the cla and he steals some military secrets from his graduate school and brings them back to china.
how do you prevent that without basically shutting down all of our acceptance of graduate students that would harm us more than help us? it's a very difficult issue and one the u.s. is trying to grapple with. robertack in march, lighthizer appeared before the finance committee to talk about this idea of intellectual property theft. you can see the hearing in total one you go to our website at c-span.org. here's a portion with the trade representative on that topic. [video clip] allen-ebrahimian > >> the first question that we ask is do we have a problem with ip theft? and we do. going back to 1991, george herbert walker bush brought at 301 against china for failure to protect ip. , none ofe from clinton which amounted to much. system ofd a dialogues over the time in the wto.
during that time on at least 10 different occasions, china made specific commitments not to do certain things in the space. it has not kept any of them. we start with the proposition that one of the most important parts of our entire economy is the ip protection. it's an extreme competitive advantage to the united states and the core of a number of sectors that you do not think of high-tech. we have done a study and will put that study up quickly. the members will have that as soon as we possibly can give it to you. at the study of about 200 pages and it documents this very serious problem. host: we are talking about u.s.-china relations with bethany allen-ebrahimian. she's a contributing reporter. from indiana, republican line, an thi this is jessica. caller: i'm a nonprofessional
with a nonprofessional with the seventh grade education from warsaw, indiana. i'm calling to say i'm a mother protecting her children and i have a right to do that. i want to comment on all this nonsense brouhaha about everybody wanting all the money for all the electronics because i have an issue. of homeless and i love my children and i don't have a cell phone. i'm using a company phone to simply say to my children i love you. all this nonsense about wanting more money for electronics is bs. host: we will go to david in michigan on the democrats line. caller: i just heard you say that lower prices helped create a higher standard of living. and increased spending that not only causes a consumer demand also increases a higher standard of living and is what used to fuel the american economy. we don't have that now with lower prices. the lower prices and shipping
jobs as part of the race to the bottom. sure, it allows people to afford products, but these are cheap products. these are not products that are made here. it does not feel the american economy. it is higher wages and consumer demand that is created by the spending of people making money with the jobs that used to be here. it's what used to create and fuel the american economy. we are indulgence now -- in the doldrums now because of lower prices and trying to increase the standard of living that way. host: we will let our guest responsd. guest: another way to increase the higher standard of living is higher wages. we have not put the resources into developing sectors or retraining people whose jobs have gone abroad. that is something that hopefully we can work more towards in the future.
here issort of issue that a lot of jobs have disappeared because of automation and that is simply not a trade issue. host: this is ted in washington state on the independent line. caller: i've a couple of questions for the guest there. right after the election, there was a big thing about trump getting 300 patents or other things in china that he had been waiting for that gives have rights on stuff there. i just want to know what that has. the second part of my question is the stuff they make in china, just like the last of him and said, is cheap. used to be able to go buy a toaster and it would last 20 years. now you buy toaster and it lasts maybe a year. all the money that just came back, this is the other question.
we just allow the corporations come back and gave them a tax break for taking jobs overseas and let them bring that money back and they are going, we're going to get a couple of bonuses. that's the money that was taken overseas and that's where the money for our middle class went. host: thank you. guest: i will address the issue of the cheap goods coming out of china. that's really a function of the level of development of china's economy. for example, we think of goods coming from japan these days as high-quality and being expensive and high-tech. that wasn't always the case. in the 1950's and 1960's as japan's economy was being developed, it was made in japan to be cheap, poor quality goods. quickly the quality of their goods improved. i would fully expect that to happen with china and it's already happening as some of the
clothing factories and really cheap goods, those factories have left china. they have got to places with left development -- less-developed economies like vietnam and bing bangladesh. it's not a function of china per se but if function of a moment in time where the economy was not developed. host: we are looking at u.s.-china relations. (202) 748-8001 --republicans. (202) 748-8000 -- democrats. and independents --(202) 748-8002. here's a headline. what happened? month so basically, last the national people's congress, which is china's rubberstamp legislature, passed an amendment that would get rid of term limits on the president of china. so that basically pave the way
to be dictator for life if he so desires, which he probably does. this was not necessarily a shock. this has been rumored for a couple of years. specifically on october when there was the last major party congress, xi jingping wrote from president and did not establish -- broke from president did not establish a successor. we did not know who would be coming after him. that's indeed because no one is coming after him. china isave seen in what we have seen in many other countries around the world in the past few years, which is increasing authoritarianism. i just got back from moscow. it certainly feels authoritarian putinin many respects as has really weakened russia's democracy. putin has played politics
to keep himself and power. i would think that what we see is that for some countries, for some strong leaders in some countries, they feel this is the best way to take their country forward or it's a power grab. the power, was the justification for such a consolidation of power? guest: apart from the power grab, which is the most significant aspect of this, it is true that xi jingping is seen as a very strong leader that puts china first above everyone else. that way he has similarities to trump in some ways. in the past five years under the tenure of xi jingping, china has become far more assertive. it has been able to articulate a global foreign policy which it had not been able to. one thing that xi jingping has done is to crackdown on corruption.
comeverage people in china authoritarian government does not have as much to do with their daily lives as the corruption and the bribes that they are required to pay. if they can make your lives better and get rid of the official corruption, that is great. so he is actually pretty popular as far as we can tell amongst many people in china. i think there's definitely a fear that if he leaves, his successor will not be as successful at cracking down on corruption. perhaps the crackdown may not be permanent. many people do see his policies as being good for china in the long run and see him as being able to continue those policies as a good thing. host: no sense of somebody he is grooming and the long-term to assume things in his personal family or cabinet. guest: exactly. there is no apparent successor . host: let's go to date, ohio. tom, you're up next. caller: i want to say something.
automation does take some businesses, but we are still building plans and mexico -- plants in mexico and china. the local news here today had a hard farmer on there. the prices for bacon may go down in america because of the tariffs china put on. they can put all the tariffs they want on our food because groceries are going up and that is what everybody has to have, stuff to eat. this makes no sense at all. it's a communist country. byare committing treason building their military up. this is what made america america and strong. and we are shipping and out of the country. to hell with the politicians. the only thing they can agree on is to bring people in with lower wages and ship businesses out of our country. guest: on the point of food,
america is a major food producer. i do not think these chinese tariffs are going to affect our ability to eat. host: from indiana, democrats line, mary, you're on. caller: thank you and good morning. i'm going to go with the beginning when we had things made in the usa. a do you commit a fire that lasted 25 years. -- a dehumidifier that lasted 25 years. now it only lasts two years. now i know two people who had theirs sort out -- short out and catch on fire. we are paying a great price for shoddy material. they are not built as well as we used to build things in the united states. we have got to bring our jobs back. host: thanks.
any truth to what she is saying as far as the quality of products? guest: i can't speak to that. host: when it comes to china's military, we talked about fronts. what is the general u.s. attitude toward the chinese will take? -- for the chinese military? guest: the chinese military has received huge increases in funding. they have posted a percent growth year on year in military -- 8% growth year on year in military funding. they have started building a second aircraft carrier. what you see is china really trying to bring their military into the 21st century so that they can fight and win a modern war. that is one thing that they have said they wish to be able to do. certainly the u.s. sees this with consternation. it's a more complex story than that. if you look at for example
u.s.-china military to military relations between the two, the relationship is quite good. this is very true in particular of the navy. we are not in a cold war situation. there's a lot of dialogue between the militaries. there's a lot of understanding and i would say especially on china side that while they want to be able to fight and win a war, they don't want to get into a war with the u.s. i think the u.s. does not want to get into war with china. we are in a situation where they may be in the future increasing tensions as china works on becoming more assertive in the world. they built their first foreign military base in djibouti. they're looking at perhaps building others. it is something to watch with caution but not alarmed. host: who is the enemy than to china if they are building up? who are they most concerned about? guest: the united states. their most immediate concern is the string of u.s. bases in asia.
japan.e south korea and the u.s. military presence in other parts of asia as well. china feels suffocated by that . they look at their map around them with china to the north -- with russia to the north and central asia to the west. to all the east and southeast they have the united states. they would love for the u.s. to get out of japan and south korea and for the u.s. to stop doing their freedom of navigation operations in the south china sea. they would love that and i think they are working slowly toward that to increase their ability in the next half century. host: we saw this pivot to asia concept. does that still exist in any way, shape, or form in this administration? guest: it exists in a kind of rhetorical sense. there is this time that the trump administration has invoked numerous times of the in the pacific asindo
opposed to the asia-pacific. that seems to be some kind of iteration of the idea of a kind of ideological, moral construct for u.s. involvement in that region. the indo pacific as opposed to the asia-pacific is actually an interesting term because it expands the region we are talking about in terms of u.s. involvement and it brings india and supply. india is a democracy and arrival of china. it's a huge country that is also working to modernize its military although at a slower pace. you do see a little bit of that, but there's not any kind of well thought out strategic plan at the moment. host: rick in alabama, democrats line. caller: good morning. i was stuck on the word retraining. this term is used a lot. america should retrain people for the new economy. i would like to know more
specifically retrain for what industry? does she mean by retrain for what industry? guest: i'm not an economist and i did not focus on domestic affairs so i can't speak to that. host: with everything and play with the current situation and china, what do you look for as far as how we gauge our future and how we establish relations going forward? guest: it's a tough question. what we have seen from the national defense strategy is placing china and russia very people andrivals and countries that are threats to us. -- say i oppose that because that is most certainly how the chinese communist party views the united states. when you read what they say about themselves and their own global interests and if you read
what they say to the united states, it is very clear that asy view the united states an entity that has trying to contain them and restrain them. they want to get past that. that's the reality. think the united states in the 1990's and 2000s, there was a kind of euphoria about china opening up to the world and becoming democratic. naivete aboutmost not just china but many countries in the world. what we have seen in the past five years is that simply isn't true, at least not right now. china will be more authoritarian five years from now than they were five years ago. they're are going to be one of the strongest countries in the world. hack in the united states deal with that going forward? it is quite difficult. how do you walk that line between we understand your tried to push back but we also have to work with you? it is fundamentally different from the cold war because we did
not have economic relations with the soviet union. none of our allies did either, not really. the u.s. and chinese economies are heavily intertwined on both sides. it's a situation we have not been in before. host: have you looked past both countries putting tariffs and we will work with you even though you seest or dco the tariffs as a short-term solution in the hopes of long-term relations moving forward? guest: i do not see the sparking a long-term trade war. president trump wanted to get his point across to china and is looking for a quick and short win. something to play to his base and say i fixed the problem with china. i think that's what he's going to do. it's a concern. a trade war is a concern. i do not see it becoming this particular. these tariffs being the same several years and now, that is when things went bad -- i don't see that happening. host: bethany allen-ebrahimian
is a contributing reporter for seized in washington journal live with issues that impact you. coming up wednesday morning. madeline will discuss his teacher pay and benefits. author and commentator sophia nelson joins us to talk about the 50th anniversary of martin luther king jr.'s assassination. we are live in helena, montana for the next stop on the c-span bus capitals tour. will be onvernor who to talk about policy issues in his state. be sure to watch c-span washington journal live at 7:00 a.m. eastern monday -- wednesday morning. join the discussion. >> tomorrow a discussion on the russian presidential election. president putin's fourth term,
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the literary scene and history. saturday at noon eastern on book tv, we will ask you the role of complex history and divisions in our nation. >> this is the man who gave birth in the 20th century american. whitethe definitive working man's hero. one of them also a very black novelist and the birth of the tulsa race riot. all within 100 miles of one another. sunday on american history tv, we visit the national weather center looking at the campus of the university of oklahoma. >> the stuff we do here at the national weather center impacts everyone. this is a one-of-a-kind facility. it does not exist anywhere else. this is the only national weather center could we are the destination for a state of
oklahoma and for the entire country in the world. everybody is interested in whether and they want to see what is going on in our facility. europe of the congressional research and study center at the university of the home of which holds the paper of 58 members of the congress. memodocument here is a written by the speaker. label personal and confidential. do ifs out what he should he becomes president. you look at step one, take the oath to office. step two, physically take over the office. step three, resign from the house. he would haveing had to do. he would've had to resign his speakership. it would really only be temporarily paid i think this is a really interesting piece of history that many people do not know about. we think about nixon and impeachment, we do not think about the other things that could eventually happened during that time.
watch c-span cities tour in oklahoma saturday at noon eastern. 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on c-span3. working with our cable affiliates, we explore america. announcer: coming up, a discussion on the future of conservatism. the life and legacy of martin luther king jr.. president trump at the white house with baltic leaders. >> conservative commentator william f buckley founded the national review in 1955. to mark the 10th anniversary of his passing, the national review institute hosted a symposium on buckley's legacy. this panel examined today's politics, nationalism, and the future of conservatism. it is 45