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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  August 7, 2022 10:00am-11:00am PDT

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this is "gps", the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria coming to you live. today on the program, nancy pelosi travels to taiwan and sparks a crisis between the united states and china. first we'll examine beijing's military response. are missile firings really beijing's practice for an actual invasion? then we'll look at the many
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repercussions for u.s./china relations. can the two powers recover from this new low? is this the start of a cold war? i've got the experts on it all. also -- >> justice has been delivered and this terrorist leader is no more. >> america kills a leader of al qaeda, once again. so just what is the state of terrorism today? how big is the threat to the west? but first, here's my take. the world's two most powerful nations find themselves in a hair-raising crisis that could spill into military conflict. and the strangest aspect of all this is how predictable it was. taiwan's status has long been known as the most sensitive issue for both the united states and china, one that has been carefully managed for five decades, and nancy pelosi had signaled her desire to go to taiwan months ago.
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but on the american side, a series of errors, many of them tactical and driven by domestic politics, have resulted in a dangerous reality. there is no serious working relationship between the 21st century's two most powerful actors. from the start, the biden administration adopted a policy toward china of open hostility and criticism. at the very first face to face meeting between senior officials from both sides, secretary of state antony blinken decided to deliver a harangue, to which his chinese counterpart defiantly responded. that blinken's remarks were designed for domestic audience can be seen in the fact that it was delivered in public, in front of television cameras, a format that would only harden beijing's position, not change it. as jeffrey bader, president obama's top adviser on asia has noted of the biden team, despite them having criticized trump's foreign policy bitterly, when it
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comes to the greatest foreign policy challenge facing the united states, how to deal with the rise of china, they have continued and mimicked trump's destructive approach. he added this has prompted glee among departed trump officials who proudly declared themselves innovators and the biden administration unimaginative and dutiful implementers. ryan haas argues that the communication channels for managing tensions have collapsed. but while the biden administration's approach has been tactically fraught and can be adjusted, beijing's errors are much more serious and strategic. over the past decade, under president xi jinping, china has changed its taiwan policy with potentially catastrophic consequences. modern china's paramount leader deng xiaoping outlined a
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solution to the taiwan problem when it offered it in 1979, a solution that came to be known as one country, two systems. taiwan could eventually become a part of china formally but it could maintain its own political system, administrative laws, even its own armed forces. taiwan rejected the offer, but deng urged strategic patience. he then decided to demonstrate the vitality of this policy by applying it to hong kong, once the british handed over the city state to beijing in 1997. spelling out these promises in an agreement with great britain and in hong kong's basic law, its de facto constitution. for several years beijing observed one country, two systems in hong kong, and held out the prospect of the same for taiwan. trade between beijing and taipei increased dramatically. in 2015, president xi met with taiwan's president and they spoke of enhancing ties,
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something that is inconceivable today. deng's basic strategy toward taiwan was that as long as china remained open, dynamic and accommodating, time was on its side. taiwan would come to realize that there were many benefits and few costs to being formally attached to the mainland. but over the past ten years, president xi's policies have been to make china more closed, less dynamic and significantly less accommodating. nowhere is the latter policy been more clear than in hong kong, where beijing has reneged on virtually every important guarantee it made regarding the city state's freedom and autonomy. the results are plain to see in taiwan, in the 1990s, few taiwanese advocated for independence, and many believed reunification with china was inevitable. today, according to national university election study center, support for independence
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is much stronger, nearly doubling since 1997 the year of the hong kong handover, the most taiwanese hope for a continuation of status quo. people's sense of taiwanese identity as distinct from chinese identity is also much stronger, and it is now closely wrapped up with being a democracy. as xi bullies taiwan more, militarily and economically, these strengths, especially among younger people, grow in size and in intensity. china claims its goal is peaceful reunification with taiwan. if that's really the case, then beijing should reverse course and return to deng's policies, announce that hong kong will be allowed all the freedoms it was promised, promised taiwan the same, and economic sanctions on taiwan and stop threatening the island with dangerous military maneuvers. it is xi's policies that are making the taiwanese people reject any prospect of cooperation with the mainland,
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let alone a eventual reunification. but that reversal is not going to happen, and it leads to the central dilemma. on the issue of taiwan, beijing now recognizes time is not on its side. every year the island becomes more likely to break free. and this has created a strategic challenge for beijing. one that could turn into a catastrophe for the world. go to for a link to my "washington post" column this week. and let's get started. battle ships, fighter jets, missiles and more. china sent them all toward taiwan in recent days, and in response to nancy pelosi's visit to the island. the people's liberation army had promised targeted military operations on multiple sides of
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taiwan, and it delivered. earlier today taiwan's defense ministry said some of china's activities was a simulated attack against the island. to understand more, let me bring in oriana schuyler mast row, a fellow at stanford's freeman institute and scholar at ai, also an officer in the air force reserve, but she is speaking today in her civilian capacity. welcome oriana. give us a sense, how would you characterize these live fire exercises? how should we think of them? >> well, of course these live fire exercises are a show of force. china telling us they're unhappy with speaker pelosi's visit, but much more importantly, sure a combat rehearsal. xi jinping has been very clear they need to do more realistic exercises if they're going to prepare to take taiwan by force. so me what is really significant is the unprecedented scale. not only the live fire tests,
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the missile tests, but we also had 100 aircraft operating, ten z destroyers and support vessels, nuclear submarines, our aircraft carriers, all these different forces operating together in close proximity toward taiwan is very sophisticated and complicated and meant to help them get to the point where they're confident that they could do an operation successfully against the island. >> and from what you can tell, does it appear to have been as effective as the -- as beijing might have hoped? >> as an outside observer, it looks like everything went according to plan. for example, the missile tests, the missiles landed where beijing had planned for them to land. in terms of the aircraft, they had 100 different aircraft, which was fighters, bombers, early warning, air refueling, you know, tankers, and they seemed to have successfully conducted the operations that they wanted to, which ranges everything from joint
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reconnaissance to air superiority operations, refueling, and ground assaults. so from the outside it looks like they successfully conducted the exercises that they planned to. though, of course, we're in some uncertainty, they were uncontested in the exercises, so doesn't necessarily mean that they would be able to do the exact same thing if war actually occurred. >> would you compare these exercises for us to the last time china had a big military response, which was the taiwan straits crisis in 1996. how, you know, since then, china has become much richer and spent a lot on this military. >> right. we have seen military spending go up by over 740%. in the meantime, and the result has been really significant. so 1995, 1996, china conducted four rounds of live fire tests of missile tests. every time they did it, they
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never fired more than six missiles and mainly went to the north and south of taiwan, never crossing the border like they did this time. furthermore, that was the extent of the exercise. that was the end of it. the united states had sent in carrier strike groups in the vicinity of taiwan to warn china off. and that seemed to work. we look at that as a lesson that the united states successfully deterred china, but what china learned was they never wanted that to happen again. and so in the meantime, they have built up, not only one of the most sophisticated and advanced militaries, but also one that can attack and keep out the united states. so now not only do you have the missile tests that you had air operations i referred to as well as naval operations that were in the vicinity of taiwan air bases, naval bases and ports, and so for all these different components to be operating together is truly impressive. and my rview is we'll probably see additional rounds in the
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future. there has been an announcement that the chinese plan on conducting one in the yellow sea. so this one is definitely of an unprecedented scale and complexity, and one that is really designed to show that china can take taiwan whenever it feels ready to do so. >> how dangerous do you think these are? the chinese did encroach on what is called the euc, an economic zone, not really international waters, but it is an area sensitive area, let's say. is there a danger it could trigger a response from taiwan, japan, from the united states? >> so i think these exercises do increase the likelihood of war. but not the traditional path. so i think a lot of commentators are concerned that because of heightened military activities, you might see some sort of accident or incident that could spiral accidentally to war. the bottom line is when china makes a move on taiwan, if they're going to do it successfully, there has to be an element of surprise that has to be quick and fast.
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so they don't want to do it right now and the united states really increased its focus and operations in the region. however, the more they get to do this level of exercise, the more confident they are going to become in their capabilities. and in my assessment, the only thing keeping them from making a move against taiwan is right now they're not 100% sure that that operation would go well. so the more they do these exercises, the more confident they are, the more likely we're going to see beijing initiate force against the island. >> oriana, always a pleasure to have you on. thank you for your insights. next on "gps," i will be back with a terrific panel, richard haass, susan shirk. is this crisis over or did we just see the prelude to a war? like fading, stretching and pilling. woolite has a first of its kind formula that keeps today's fabrics looking like new. woolite damage and darks defense. i typed in grandma's name and birth year...
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a top official at the chinese embassy in washington had this to say on friday. taiwan is one of the very few issues that might take china and the u.s. into conflict or even a war. the american secretary of state had a very different take, speaking friday in cambodia, tony blinken criticized china's military response calling it an overreaction and saying that the u.s. does not seek and will not promote a crisis. so, can beijing and washington recover from this anytime soon? joining me now are susan shirk and richard haass. susan is chair of the 21st century china center at uc san diego, and her new book will be published in october. it is called "overreach: how
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china derailed its peaceful rise." and richard haass was director of policy planning in george w. bush's state department, he's now the president of the council on foreign relations. susan, let me begin with you and ask was this avoidable? >> well, once, of course it was avoidable. once nancy pelosi decided to go to taiwan, the chinese side had a choice of how to respond. they got an explanation from the united states about the division of authority between the white house and congress, but china chose to react very strongly and one of the main motivations was xi jinping's domestic political situation. he's in the middle of a campaign
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for a third term that he hopes to receive at the party congress in the fall. and he was struggling quite a bit because of policy misjudgments that he himself had made over the past year or two. so the economy was slowing down. there is no way they're going to meet their growth target for 2022. and there was a lot of grumbling among the public about the draconian zero covid policy, about the alignment with russia and the ukraine war, and about the crackdown on the private sector which resulted in the loss of a lot of jobs. so we got youth unemployment, economic problems, that's not the position that xi jinping hoped to be in two months before the party congress. so he took the opportunity to
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distract people away from domestic problems with the very exciting and dramatic war games which are being shown on china's central television, every night. he took the opportunity to strengthen his ties with the pla because as oriana said, these exercises show off the modernization, the reform program that he's devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to while in office. and he himself acts as commander in chief. he's probably wearing his uniform, directing these exercises. and he may even have undercut the grumbling among other politicians who may have been maneuvering to force some more power sharing on him during his
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third term. so domestically this has the pelosi visit gave a very good opportunity to xi jinping and actually, fareed, it resembles a lot what happened ten years ago on the eve of his ascendance to power when the japanese purchased several of the islands to keep them out of the hands of the nationalist tokyo mayor and china reacted quite strongly, not so much on the military side, more with gray zone, fishing boats and other operations, but it was a great distraction at a time when they were making a play for power and the chinese leadership --
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>> let me try to get richard in, let me try to get richard in on this, because i feel like you described very well the domestic pressures that led xi to do what he did. it feels like the u.s. also there are political pressures here. i saw some reporting that said that pelosi had sort of indicated that had biden personally asked her not to go, he issue -- she may not have gone, but how do you see the handling of china and is it constrained by domestic politics? >> short answer is yes. i don't agree with anything susan said. this is a crisis of choice. this is a crisis not about nancy pelosi. it is about the chinese using her visit as a pretext. to put in motion a lot of preplanned exercises and economic sanctions, almost to create a new baseline vis-a-vis
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taiwan heading forward. but i think one of the reasons they were willing to do this is they saw no upside, no potential in u.s./chinese relations. people will always call for bipartisanship in this country. we have a kind of competitive bipartisanship now when it comes to china policy, which of the two parties can be tougher on china. republicans under mike pompeo called for regime change to get rid of the communist party. he's now calling for the independence of taiwan. nancy pelosi is talking about human rights and so forth. the president wasn't willing to tell the speaker of the house not to go. that it would be bad. i think in large part he was worried it would be criticized as appeasement of an increasingly aggressive repressive china. what is missing you said it in your setup piece this is the most important relationship of the 21st century. and what we don't is a serious strategic dialogue, we no longer
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have the military to military conversations in case there is an accident that -- and this ought to worry people. even at the height of the cold war, the united states and the soviet union had a more developed, more structured relationship than the united states and china have now. that is -- that is in the interest not just to both countries, but literally everyone. >> stay with us. when we come back, i'm going to ask richard haass and susan shirk about an article richard haass wrote in which he said it is time to end the ambiguity and declare that the united states will come to taiwan's defense in the event of a chinese attack. is that a good idea? when we come back. try downy wrinkle guard fabric softener! wrinkle guard penetrates deep into fibers, leaving clothes so soft, wrinkles don't want to stick around. make mornings smoother with downy wrinkle guard fabric softener. heyyy! (steins breaking)
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and we're back here on "gps" with susan shirk and richard haass. richard, you argued in a recent foreign affairs essay we should make it clear, we will defend taiwan if china attacks. that would end five decades of strategic ambiguity. a lot of people wonder is that wise given they're a long way away from the united states, very close to china, china will be able to militarily overwhelm them pretty quickly in all likelihood. so is it, you know, tom shelling used to say, two things are expensive in international relations, threats when they fail and promises when they succeed. is there a danger here that this is a threat that will fail? >> listen, the danger of that --
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there is also a danger of the stakes are enormous. the stakes is not justin a democratic country of 23 million people, not just the most advanced semiconductor industry of the world, but all the countries in the region expect us to be there. at stake is the entire alliance and stability system that has worked for three quarters of a century. we shouldn't kid ourselves. this is not just about taiwan. this is about the entire indo-pacific, asia pacific, japan, south korea, australia, u.s. have there, and i think we have options. if among other things we strengthen our military presence, if we set up various economic sanctions that could be triggered, but also, fareed, i'm not arguing for a change in policy. let's get that clear. i think we ought to continue to reassure china that we don't support taiwan's independence. that as you say it worked well for 50 years, what we simply have to do is adjust how we implement that policy.
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china has dramatically raised the military threat to taiwan, we would be derelict if we didn't raise our capacity to deal with it. and that's a question of -- stability and a question of signal strategy, certainly for how we implement our strategy. >> susan, you disagree. why? >> well, i disagree because i think the best way of keeping the peace in the taiwan strait is to maintain the continuity of this policy that we have had for so long. it is very hard to explain it to people. it sounds really silly, strategic ambiguity what does that mean? what it really means is that all three parties have an interest in preserving the peace. and we certainly don't want
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taiwan to provoke a war and that was the aim of strategic ambiguity. but now we need, i would agree, kind of greater clarity about the ambiguity. and i think that because what we are committed to is the status quo. and i think tony blinken has done a good job in what he said recently during this crisis to say that we oppose efforts to change the status quo and we're committed to the status quo, and the other thing is that what we really need to do to help strengthen and prevent a war in the taiwan strait is for taiwan to undertake new efforts to defend itself militarily that are not these big symbolic purchases, but things that will really harden taiwan as a target
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for potential chinese aggression. things that -- i forget what they're calling it now, the strategy, but it is to strengthen taiwan's capability to defend itself. >> to make it a porcupine. >> porcupine, right. >> what about -- what about the danger that this kind of competitive nationalism that we are seeing both in china and the united states gets out of hand? do you -- talk a little bit about the dangers of that. >> again, it is the reason you need two kinds of dialogue with china and the united states. you need a serious strategic dialogue about their overall relationship. that's why god invented diplomats. and then you need a very tactical conversation about the
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rules of the road for dealing with taiwan. what we had here is a real world wake-up call about just how fraught this is, with dangerous possibility. and we got to establish some ground rules and that's a mixture of reassurance, of what is not going to change in terms of our policy, but also a question of messaging. china has to understand that any effort to do this forcibly, coercively, would not succeed, that the costs would outweigh any perceived benefits. i think we have to introduce greater clarity to china about what we're prepared to do and what we're not going to do in terms of changing policy. they will make their points to us. but this is too important to simply let it drift. i think that's the lesson of the last couple of days. this has been teed up to a point where we got to take it as the most serious threat to regional, if not global order. we already got a major crisis in ukraine. we could face one iran. we do not need a third
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simultaneous crisis in the world. >> richard haass, susan shirk, pleasure to have you guys on. next on "gps," i will talk to peter bergen about the demise of ayman al zawahiri, what does the al qaeda leader's death mean for the future of terrorism? as condé nast traveler. ll but it is now time for us to work even harder, searching for meaningful experiences and new adventures for you to embark upon. they say when you reach the top, there's only one way to go. we say, that way is onwards. viking. exploring the world in comfort. we're a different kind of dentistry. one who believes in doing anything it takes to make dentistry work for your life. so we offer a complete exam and x-rays free to new patients without insurance - everyday. plus, patients get 20% off their treatment plan.
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♪ ♪ that's why we build technology that makes it possible for every business... and every person... to come to the table and do more incredible things. ♪ ♪ last sunday morning in kabul, ayman al zawahiri wandered out on to his balcony in kabul's green zone and was killed by an american drone strike. zawahiri had been osama bin laden's second in command, then took charge of al qaeda after his boss was killed in a 2011 american attack. the two terrorists had been masterminds behind 9/11, and for years after that attack the u.s. and the west were on edge, always worried about the next big strike. can that guard now be let down? joining me now, cnn national security analyst peter bergen,
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author of "the rise and fall of osama bin laden." peter, welcome. let me first ask you, you have written very interesting piece saying that zawahiri was actually not a particularly good head of al qaeda. he was not inspirational. in many ways he was not intelligent. he didn't revive the group as many had thought. so what does his death do to a group that was already in many ways in trouble? >> well, fareed, his successor may prove to be more effective, which is a low bar, because zawahiri as you said hadn't really been able to revive the fortunes of al qaeda. there is a potential successor, he's been part of al qaeda from the beginning. he's a former egyptian special forces officer. well regarded within al qaeda. he's been living for years in iran, he may be back in afghanistan and he is the likely successor. but he still inherits a group that hasn't been able to carry out a significant attack in the
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west since the london bombings of 2005. and but they do have more freedom of movement. the fact that zawahiri was found in kabul, in a safe house, was known to be living there by leaders of the taliban sort of speaks for itself. they have considerable freedom of movement in afghanistan, they can regroup, it may take them years, what it means for the west, you know, that -- it is still some time off before i think they can carry out a really serious attack outside the region. >> now, bin laden had been the kind of innovator in saying let's attack the west. a lot of these terrorist groups from the '70s, zawahiri, the one he was involved in, was islamic jihad in egypt had been trying to overturn as they saw as the secular tyrants who were terrible rulers because they were not islamic. bin laden says why don't we go for the head of the snake, the
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far enemy, the united states, that supports and gives security guarantees in a sense to all these regimes, the egyptian regime, the saudi regime. where does that debate in al qaeda stand? it is obviously much easier to do local terrorism. does al qaeda and other groups still want to do global terrorism? >> yeah, they may want to, but do they have the capacity and in me meaningful way? the victory of the taliban in afghanistan sort of speaks for itself. now they run an entire country and so if you look at what isis did in iraq and syria, they control territory the size of great britain and population the size of bulgaria. i think people in the jihadist movement look at this and say, well, attacking the united states may be desirable, but maybe we can do more locally in yemen or somalia or syria or iraq or afghanistan, pick your country with a weak or failing
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government in the muslim world. >> and when you look at the taliban's decision to let zawahiri in, do you think that they were, you know, exceeding to a request from a kind of old confederate or do they -- they must have realized that this would almost certainly make the united states do something. help us understand that decision. >> well, it was a bad decision. but, you know, haqqani, the acting minister of the interior, equivalent running the fbi, the department of homeland security, is described by the united nations as a member of the leadership council of al qaeda. the first time that a member of al qaeda has a cabinet position and that's inside the taliban. so the fact that they brought zawahiri in, yes, as you say, an old confederate and these are -- they have known each other for decades and they're friends and they basically share a world
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view and unfortunately there was a lost lot of wishful thinking the taliban. i didn't share that wishful thinking, i spent time in taliban, in control of afghanistan, and it is an ideological group with an ideological project and part of that is bringing al qaeda back into the fold and also, of course, excluding women from the workplace and girls from education. >> you describe the extent of isis which i think people don't recognize and, you know, in terms of territory and population. but is it -- how lethal a threat is it, does it pose to the west and to other kind of advanced industrial societies? or is it that they're just trying to create another version of the kind of taliban/afghanistan in north syria? >> certainly, you know in 2014 they control a lot of population, a lot of territory. now they're sort of reducing size. u.n. estimateestimates, we haveg problem of 60,000 isis-related
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women and children in refugee camps and another 10,000 isis fighters in prison held by kurdish forces. the turks keep threatening to invade that part of northeastern syria. and the u.s. government is repeatedly said that it is very opposed to that. this would really distract from the kurds who are kind of keeping these camps and prisons open. you know, so isis hasn't gone away. what threat they pose to the west right now i think is pretty limited, either in terms of inspiration or in terms of people going to get training or in terms of their ability to kind of carry out an attack in the west. that said, it can change. if the turks invade northeastern syria, these prisons and these camps disperse, they can kind of regenerate the geographical caliphate that basically was destroyed by 2019. >> peter bergen, always a pleasure to hear from you. always a pleasure to get your insights and your reporting. remind people, this is one of the few people who actually met
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and interviewed osama bin laden. this is a long story, which probably won't go away, and we will be back to you. >> thank you, sir. and we will be back. names to those faces... it's like i'm back there at 39 elmhurst with all these folks. ancestry can guide you to family discoveries in the 1950 census. get ready - our most popular battery is even more powerful. the stronger, lasts-longer energizer max. [sfx: ding] [message] hey babe, meet us at the bottom of the trail. oh, man.
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and now for the last look. america is facing a series of economic difficulties and good solutions are hard to come by. the chief challenge, how to dampen inflation without triggering a recession. there's one aspect to this problem to which there is a simple solution. the problem is labor shortages. in industry after industry, the united states has too few workers. nearly two openings for every job seeker in america. that meant this summer camp owner had to take fewer kids this year. >> it is so hard to find good staff. it's so hard to find good people to work.
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>> this farmer had to look at expensive automation for harvesting crops. >> you kind of get in panic node. we need to have people in the seats when it's go time. it's bottom line. >> this cafe owner had to raise wages to compete for workers. >> that means the price of coffee's going up, the price of that muffin is going up. >> that link between too few workers and higher prices is true across large parts of the economy. the reasons for the labor shortage are varied. one is the so-called great resignation, people quitting their jobs to pursue education, start businesses, or retire early. lack of childcare is another. covid has killed a quarter million working age people and continues to keep people away from work. but one of the biggest underappreciated factors, as the economist notes, is low immigration. even before covid, the trump administration was making it much harder in a variety of ways for people to get a visa. all kinds of visas.
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when the pandemic hit, he largely shut the country's borders. immigration collapsed. under president biden, immigration has bounced back. but the lost trump years left a big hole. giovanni perry of the university of california, davis estimates that as of may, the u.s. was short 1.6 million foreign-born residents compared to growth before trump's restrictive policies. now, the european union has a labor shortage too. but in a rare bright spot of the ukraine war, europe is seeing an influx of refugee workers. imagine how the u.s. could ease its work shortage if it took in more refugees and economic migrants. that would also go a long way to fighting the other problem on everyone's minds, inflation. goldman sachs said in april that in order to slow wage growth and get inflation back near the fed's 2% target, the gap between
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available jobs and available workers would need to shrink by about 2.5 million. the fed's tools, like raising interest rates, can help with that. but mainly by slowing business expansion and reducing the number of new jobs. already the gap has begun to shrink as openings fall. but if we want to avoid a bad recession, we should be trying to close the gap the opposite way. increasing the labor force, the number of workers, not killing job creation and slowing businesses. some americans worry about immigrants taking their jobs. but today, we have a clear case where there just aren't enough american workers. remember, almost two openings for every job seeker. immigrants won't be taking jobs away, they will be doing work that is desperately needed, essential work like harvesting crops, childcare, and food services, work in factories, and driving trucks to alleviate supply shortages. now, if we were really smart, we
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could offer more temporary work visas for certain industries and expand longer term immigration as well. >> the latest highly anticipated jobs report. >> friday's strong jobs report doesn't change the trends we've seen. businesses are slowing down, facing a lack of workers. >> i don't know where the workers are. >> and inflation means real wages are declining. if inflation stays too hot, the fed will have to push the economy into recession in order to cool things down. then people will really lose their jobs. bringing in some foreign workers will ease labor shortages, slow down inflation, and help build a bigger, stronger and i stronger economy for all. after all, america is built on and by immigration. we have to embrace this quintessentially american solution to our current problem. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week.
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hello, everyone, thank you so much for joining me this sunday. i'm fredericka whitfield. live pictures from the u.s. capitol as the senate inches toward a vote on the inflation reduction act. the painstaking process started just before midnight in a marathon vote-a-rama session. if passed, it would drive down the cost of some prescription drugs and it promises to make a huge cut to carbon emissions over the next de