tv Fareed Zakaria GPS CNN April 8, 2018 10:00am-11:00am PDT
this is gps, the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. today on the show, the tussle over trade. >> we have a problem with china. >> will the tit for tat with china devolve into a trade war? and what to expect from john bolton, the president's new national security advisor who reports for duty on monday. i'll talk about it with obama
national security advisor tom donovan. what does it mean to have so many military men in civilian posts. i'll talk to another former military man, admiral mike mullen. why the dutch have closed up in prisons and may shutter many more. but first here's my take, amidst the noise coming out of the white house this week, on one fundamental point donald trump is right. china is a trade cheat. many of the trade documents have been laughing ly -- in measured
pros and great detail it points out that china has failed to implement trade reforms. all of which directly contradicts beijing's commitments when it joined the world trade organization in 2001. washington approached china's entry into the world trading system no differently than with other countries that joined in the mid 20th century. as countries were admitted into the system, the free world opened up its markets to the new entrants and those countries lowered barriers with their markets, that's how it went with nations such as japan and south korea. but there were two notable factors about these companies, they were relatively small compared to the size of the global economy. this meant that washington and the west had leverage over new entrants. south korea had 30 billion
people and a gdp of $41 billion. then came china, with 1.3 billion people, and a gdp of 2.4 trillion when it joined the wto in 2001. the chinese seem to recognize that once they were in the system, the size of their market would ensure that every country would vye for access, that this would give them the ability to cheat without much fear of repri reprisal. the scale and speed of china's entry into the world trading system was a seismic event. a report says that a quarter of all jobs lost in america between 1998 and 2007 can be blamed on china's imports. china has managed to block some
of the most successful technology companies, foreign banks often have to operate with local partner who is add zero value, it's essentially a tax on foreign companies, foreign manufacturers are forced to share their technology with local companies that reverse engineer their products and compete against their -- the targets are american companies whose secrets and intellectual property are shared with chinese competitors. the trump administration may not have chosen the wisest course forward, alien ating key allies, working outside the wto, but it's frustration is understandable. previous administrations exerted pressure privately, worked within the system and tried to get allies on board all with limited results.
getting tough on china is where i'm willing to give trump's unconventional methods a try. nothing else has really worked. for more go to cnn.com/fareed and read my "washington post" column this week. and let's get started. you heard what i had to say now let's hear from someone who played a central role in china's entry into the world trade -- he's also been president of harvard university. so isn't it fair to say that china has been taking advantage of the world trading system, been protectionist, favored it's own companies, is that basic
critique right? >> there are rules in china that i would very much like to see changed, but if you ask have we benefitted enormously from trade with chandlina, the answer is y. all kinds of products at much lower prices and that raises the spending power of american workers because of our ability to trade with china. large numbers of jobs have been created because of the opportunity to export to china. we have with all the problem had a much healthier diplomatic relationship with china because of the tremendous integration that has come because of trade. so the right way for us to be dealing with this is through global institutions, acting globally, because the kinds of issues that are legitimate are issues that the europeans have, are issues that people in other parts of asia have, and that's
the approach we should be taking to china, not an approach of discarding all the world's mechanisms for dealing with trade disputes and making our own unilateral threats. >> but people say those things take too long, they won't get the chinese attention, you know, these kinds of things have been tried in the past. >> don't be confused. chandl china had a global trade surplus of 10% of gdp. the world said that was a problem and that trade surplus is down by more than 80%. the world said chandlina had th wrong currency, china has sent a billion dollars troppropping up their currency. there are plenty of problems
that need to be addressed. but the right way to address them is having the rest of the world having our back, rather than driving the rest of the world to be on china's side, which makes it so much easier for china to resist us. we have no evidence that this strategy as yet is going to produce results. what we know is that the tariffs that china is likely to impose will cost jobs of people who would otherwise have been involved in exporting to china. and probably even more important, what we know is that we're shooting ourselves in the foot because what china sells are inputs to american producers, steel, for example. when those input prices go up for america, and they don't go up for the rest of the world, because we're taking the unilateral approach, american producers are at a disadvantage all over the world. so this is a strategy, you see it in the reactions in the
markets that is hurting american producers in toto and reducing their prospects and ultimately will reduce american jobs as well as profits. so, yes, let's address world problems, but let's not do it alone, with threats that we're already backing off of only a few days after having issued them. >> i got to ask you before i let you go, about another stock market related thing. the president of the united states going after amazon, first of all is he right on the substance and what do you think of the president singling out a company like amazon as he has done in the past? >> whenever a company is as large as amazon, antitrust authorities should be paying attention. i have no reason to think that there's been an abuse, but i certainly haven't done an investigation and it's certainly the job to look for predatory pricing and look for a variety
of evidence. what is not the problem of the president of the united states is to go on a jihad against a company because he does not like the activities of a person that is privately owned by its ceo. that is the kind of thing that happened in meousilini's italy. that's the kind of thing that happens in total -- should be concerning to business people everywhere, because one company can be singled out at one moment, and another company can be singled out at another
moment. the essence of the most successful countries in the world economically almost without exception, is that they are governed by the rule of law, and when you look at less successful companies -- the most distreasuring along economic trend of the trump administration is the shift in approach from the rule of law to the rule of deals. and that's what's behind this amazon attack, that's what's behind a variety of the ad hoc tweets with respect to particular companies and i think over time, that's a very serious thing. >> larry summers, pleasure to have you on. next on gps, the president's new national security advisor starts tomorrow. what can we expect from john bolton. we will ask a former national security advisor.
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. he's been in office fewer than 450 days, but president trump is about to welcome his third national security advisor. first there was michael flynn, then h.r. mcmaster and now mcmaster is gone and next monday john bolton is set to begin. he served as ambassador to the u.n. as a recess appointee, in recent years he's been a fox news analyst. he has a record and reputation of being decidedly hawkish. now he will have the president's ear on all matters related to national security. bolton's new job is the same one
that my next guest held under president obama. tom donovan. tom, you know the job better than anyone, what do you think is driving these changes? what is donald trump unhappy about that he thinks changing this pivotal person, really the first person he talks to about national security and literally the last person he talks to every day. why is he doing it? >> there's been an unprecedented change over during the first year plus of the trump administration. i think the turnover among senior jobs is about 50%, i think the turnover is an average of 25% in previous administrations. i think it seems to be his management style. i don't think this level of turnover is constructive. but it seems to be the
president's approach to the job. but you do have a really unprecedented level of turnover in these jobs. in general, not just the national security advisor. >> what makes a successful national securitiy advisor? >> it's a key job in the government. it's not confirmed by the senate, it's one of the most powerful jobs in the government. this person spends as much time with the president each day as anybody or any advisor in the government does. the model that's been followed in the last 25 or 30 years has been the model put together during the bush 41 administration. and that model really is to view the national security advisor, a principal advisor to the president but also an honest
broker and manager of a system within the government. you're aiming to get the president timely and well informed decisions and options. and i'll tell you, dwight eisenhower said, a good process won't guarantee you a good outcome, but a bad process will guarantee a bad outcome. the iraq war is a good example of this. what this job isn't, by the way, it isn't a policy advocate job in the public, it's not a television talking head job, it's really a job that brings together a team in the most coherent, effective way for the president. >> what i look at most bizarre incompetence in the administration. they roll out a travel ban, that then gets almost predictably
rolled back and they want to go after chandlina, which i think good idea. then they go after steel tariffs, most of which we get from our allies, so they have to give exemptions to two-thirds of the countries exporting steel. every time they wheel something out, it gets some kind of predictable reaction either legal or -- and then they wheel it back. is that the kind of thing good process can avoid? >> it was predictable that you would have issues there. the role of the national security advisor and the role -- it is meant to ensure that a president, before he makes a decision, as he's making a decision has all the appropriate
inputs into that decision, all the appropriate agencies, the perspectives, that you do this in a coherent way, that you try to anticipate problems, and most importantly, and i would say this to my staff all the time, about 30% of the job is getting the right policy decisions, about 70% of it is implementation. most importantly, do you have an implementation plan, in both of the cases you outlined, both the national security advisor -- and by the way real structural and important issues would have been implemented better and we would have had better achievement of u.s. interests. >> you've written, tom, about one particular issue which is russia, and you point out as many people do, as the start of it at the heart of it we have to acknowledge that the russians did interfere in our election process.
but the bigger challenge is to make sure that the russians don't do it again and this is not going to be easy. o outline what it will take to either ensure and encounter the 2018 -- >> the refusal to acknowledge and criticize russian interference in the united states. we're in the an actively -- russia is behaving contrary and attacking u.s. interests across the board. it is brazenly engaging in illegal activity, aiding and embedding war crimes, including election interference, not just in the united states, but in europe and in mexico.
and we have an effort by the russians to undermine the confidence of the west and the united states. it needs a comprehensive approach, some sanctions will go into effect this week, with respect to the russian oligarchs. i think you need to ensure that our election security steps that we know we need to take, we allocated about $700 million in the last budget go around needs to be implemented. we need to, i think, take additional sanctions in terms of so sections of the russian economy. the last nato summit russia wasn't even discussed. the principal ally -- this is a broader discussion we could have, i think we need to understand that we're in an ideological competitive phase here and we need to look at our civil education in the united
states to understand and appreciate what this democracy means and why it needs problem texted. >> that is a big issue and we'll have you on to talk about it again. next on gps, what the united states can learn from the dutch about prisons. attorney general jeff sessions wants to lock more people up while holland has so few inmates it's shutting down many of its prisons. global lessons when we return. at fidelity, our online planning tools are clear and straightforward so you can plan for retirement while saving for the things you want to do today. -whoo! hello. let's go for a ride on a peloton. let's go grab a couple thousand friends and chase each
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we give you 75 mbps for $59.95. that's more speed than at&t's comparable bundle, for less. call today. . now for our what in the world segment. if you think the trump administration is totally dysfunctional, think again. there are areas where it has been amazingly effective in implementing it's agenda, nowhere more than the criminal justice system. you may recall that in recent years many american politicians on both sides of the aisle have tried to reform america's criminal justice system with good reason. the u.s. has the highest incarceration rate in the world with 2.2 million locked up. tens upon tens of thousands of them for nonviolent drug
offenses. the decades old war on crime has failed abysmally, creating a system that cost the country $80 billion in a single year. but not attorney general jeff sessions. in fact sessions is introducing sentencing and drug directives that harken back to the worst days of the war on crime. he's even outmaneuvered the president's son-in-law jared kushner who's pushed for drug law reforms. the government in the netherlands close d -- the prisn population decreased by half in a decade, going from a peak of more than 20,000 in 2006, to
just over 10,000 in 2016. so why is this happening? be well, embedded in the dutch legal system is a-no one wants to deal with the expense and the inconvenience of a ballooning prison population. for years, dutch courts have done whatever they could to avoid prison sentences. the vera institute for justice noted in a 2013 report that just 10% of convicts were sent to prison in 2004, the rest had fines and -- which is often tacked on to prison sentences rather than in lieu of them. in the u.s., federal prisoners on average stay more than three years, in the netherlands, they may stay an average of just over three months. and unlike american prisons that seem designed to exact vengeance
and destruction on their in -- 33 people are currently serving life sentences in dutch prisons, that's 0.3% of the country's inmates, compared to 7% of-crime in the netherlands reduszed by nearly 39%. there's some evidence that this pragmatism was catching on. 40 years into america's war on crime, prosecutors were encouraged to pursue lenient sentencing, for the first time in decades, the federal prison population went down, but sessions speededly reduced the obama-era guidance. he complained about the slight reduction in the federal prison population. >> it is a factor, i think in
crime in our country. we have got some space to put some people, i got to say to you. >> america has less than 5% of the world's population and more than 20% of the world's prisoners. the goal should not be to fill prisons, but in a responsible way to empty them. next on gps, the generals in the people's house, what to make of all the men in the trump administration, i'll talk to michael mullen, the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. david. what's going on? oh hey! ♪ that's it? yeah. ♪ everybody two seconds! ♪ "dear sebastian, after careful consideration of your application, it is
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the president's national security advisor. mcmaster was of course preceded by michael flynn, also a retired general. is this too many military men in the people's house? i asked retired admiral michael mullen, he was the u.s. military's highest ranking officer when he served as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff under presidents bush and barac barack obama when y barack obama. when you look at the current number of generals in the administration, it feels like in a democracy, one of the key cardinal features has always been civilian control of the military. do you worry about this? >> i worry a lot about it.
the number of people who have come up to me and said how comfortable they were with secretary mattis, with general kelly, with mcmaster, and this administration, i don't share that comfort, i think jim mattis has been extraordinary in his ability to lead the pentagon and lead in what has been a very chaotic administration in very challenges and dangerous times, that said, what i worry about over time is that we -- to the degree we are active on the political side, if you will, without being a politician, without running for office, we actually undermine the institutions we care the most about, the military that we all grew up in. i have worried about this for some time. one of the ways i would describe it is i have been in down tries where the generals and the
admirals give the people comforted. that is not a country that americans want to grow up. it's something i have been extremely concerned about since the trump administration came in. >> as you said, the core issue it seems to me, the worry is about his military people who are supposed to be impartial become political actors and you see that more with general kelly, who is not only the president's chief of staff, but has played a political role in jumping into political disputes with democratic congresswomen, things like that. that must have been particularly jarring for you? >> it was. it was a hugely, i guess, jarring is a great way to describe it. jim mattis and john kelly and
h.r. mcmaster are not politicians, but they're operating in this political world inside the white house, where i spent four years with two presidents, and it is a tough, difficult, political environment. and it is -- it can be very toxic and it can destroy people and we have seen that. but to see john kelly and i'll be very specific politicize the death of his son to support the political outcome for the president was very, very distressing to me, but speaks to the -- speaks to the power of that environment and quite frankly, to the lack of understanding that any of us in the military have about that environment until we get in it and have to operate in ill. >> i have heard other senior military officers say the same thing about general kelly.
should he really resign rather than play this role? from your point of view, for the good of the institution of the military, does it really make sense to have a general as chief of staff? that's inherently a political position, he can't really play it without being political? >> you know, i loathe to give john kelly advice. i know john kelly well enough to know i honestly believe he really took this job for the good of the country, and while i haven't spoken with him in a long time, if i ask that whic question, i'm certain he would respond in the same way, he's doing this for the good of the country and that's why he took it and that's why he'll still there. i worry a great deal about his indirectly undermining us as a military, because i understand that environment, i ups that world. and which are apolitical. and i get that when we take our
uniform off, we're citizens. but i think most people in america, you know, he's referred to as general kelly, not mr. kelly for a reason and he always will be and he should be. and there's a mix there of military and political that i think really starts to blur that line and undo the apolitical aspect of who we are as a military. >> admiral, pleasure to have you on. >> fareed, good to be with you. up next, seven years of war, more than 400,000 people dead, 12 million people displaced certainly or externally. death and destruction everywhere. now president trump says he wants u.s. troops out of syria. and he's asking the allies to pick up the slack. will the war ever end in a haunting conversation when we come back. okay. [ buttons clicking ] [ camera shutter clicks ] so, now that you have a house, you can use homequote explorer.
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knocking the hell out of isis, we'll be coming out of syria very, very soon. let the other people take care of it now. >> that was president trump last week on syria, he was said to have surprised his advisors by making the statement, but this week the administration has doubled down saying that u.s. military involvement in the war torn nation is coming to a rapid end. what does that mean for the future of syria and the region. joining me now is an american reporter who has been there from the start. she was covering damascus way back before the war started. her book, "no turning back." what is your sense of what would happen if the united states were to withdraw rapidly from syria? >> well, to start with, it's a
rather small contingent, only about 2,000 personnel. however in terms of president trump's assessment that he thinks that just because you have uprooted islamic state from the territory that it once controlled that you have defeated the group. history tells us otherwise, this is the latest incarnation of the group that was formed in iraq after the invasion in 2003. and history tells us that to uproot it isn't enough, you have to do more than clear it, you have to hold the territory, stabilize it and rebuild. >> and yet we can't stay there forever? what would you say to an american who would >> to be fair, it is generally not a place that wants the u.s. to be in its neighborhood
forever, either. however, the sen-com chief himself said the hardest part is yet to come. from people in the middle east, we're hearing very different messages coming from senior u.s. officials. >> from all of us as well over here. let me ask you, though, the tragedy of syria. you talk in your book about how the extraordinary reality at some point the united nations simply stopped counting the dead. there was so many, it was so difficult. >> yes. >> you know, at some level there is a kind of fatigue, almost, of the tragedy and the trauma, but how bad is it? give us a sense of what things look like now. >> well, the u.n. stopped counting in mid-2013, and the figure that's on cited is at least half a million people, half a million deaths. but that figure has been
stagnant for years now. just imagine in a country of 20 million people, half a million people means half a million families. every family is part of a community. it's a ripple effect across the country. half of syria has been displaced either internally or externally. it is a humanitarian crisis that's difficult to fathom. >> you tell in your book the story of a nine-year-old girl. i want you to tell it briefly and get us up to date. where is she now? >> rita's first encounter with the little girl, her name is roha. she was nine years old in 2011 and they see her opening the door to a military raid on a family home because assad forces are storming the house looking for her father who was a protestor. you see the raid and everything that happens six years after that everything that happens to this little girl and her family. you see how even little children learned the sounds and volunt y
vocabulary of war, and the little girl tried to understand it in her own ways. roha continues to live in syria. she and her family were exiled for a number of years, but the draw to return to their hometown, to return to their family, to return to the community, to return to a place that is so integral to their identity was such that her family returned in 2016, and they remain in their hometown in italy province. >> a pleasure to have you on. >> thank you so much. next on gps, we'll look at an alarming trend. why many countries around the world are tearing up term limits and allowing their top officials to be forever leaders, pushed out of office perhaps by only death. what you need to know about this, when we come back. don't forget if you miss a show, go to cnn.com/fareed for a link to our itunes podcast.
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now more businesses in more places can afford to dream gig. comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. declining fertility rates in america have been making headlines in recent years, but some countries are in a far more dire situation when it comes to population renewal. it brings me to my question. what country's fertility rate has declined to an all-time low of roughly one child per woman on average? italy, japan, south korea or portugal? stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. my book of the week is benjamin carter hits the death of democracy. hitler's rise to power and the down fall of the vymar republic. people forget that vymar,
germany, is one of the most dire of countries. it does have real lessons for today about the elites who were complacent as hitler destroyed german democracy. now for the last look. last week some 20 million egyptians came out to reelect the prime minister cici. in the end, egyptian election officials say cici walked away with 97% of the vote. now they will change his status to be in charge forever. while some have added term limits, at least a dozen countries since the turn of the century have eliminated such laws to essentially grant their
rulers lifetime leadership. even democratic nations are experiencing a growth in support for less than democratic institutions. growing numbers of german, french and british voters, for instance, would approve of a strong man leader unburdened by other politicians or elections. but there is a bit of good news. around the world there are signs that people will reject such autocratic trends. low turnout in egypt was in part a protest over democracy there. uzbekistan after decades of a brutal state, released restrictions. and over here, the need for a strong leader declined last y r year. we are still divided strongly along party lines. the answer to the question is c,
south korea. a country whose number of babies in a lifetime plummeted for the first time since 1980. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week, and i will see you next week. hello, everyone, and thanks so much for joining me this sunday. i'm fredricka whitfield. right now horror unfolding in syria. a suspected chemical attack killing dozens and injuring hundreds of men, women and young children just one year after one of the worst chemical attacks in the war-torn nation. this time it happened in one of the last