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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 15, 2016 9:00am-10:31am EST

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i made the comment one time that walls don't work anyway. you can't build a wall big enough and strong enough that they can't get over. this is america. we do need to control the flow of immigration in this country. it needs to be a reasonable and sensible way to know who is coming and going. we need workers. we need to do that. we need to make changes and reforms in the tax code. everybody agrees we need to. we disagree about what that would mean. we would have to do something about health care and infrastructure. so just those things if they can find a way to come to agreement and get those signed in law that
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would be huge. if it takes eight months fine. >> one more question. think of your questions. i will ask the last question here which is i get the sense from what you both have been saying that if you all were still in leadership you would encourage each member to figure out ways to stray from the party line a little bit. what i'm hearing you say is in general we are in a crisis point and the results of the election give them some license to stray? is that or am i oversaying what i heard? >> i don't think it is necessarily -- i wouldn't characterize it as strain. how do you build bridges and create chemistry within the 100 people in the senate to get things done in a less confrontational way? that's not strain. that is re-creating what the senate has always been
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institutionally. the one thing i think we emphasize strongly is we have to be in washington a little bit longer. you not going to be able to do anything if you leave on tuesdays and get back on thursdays. we have to figure out how -- monday through friday. we used to have -- thursday nig night -- friday morning what you can get done in the next three hours. >> we always got to the home early on tuesday because of your favorite tv program? >> now they are nocturnal. they like to come to town tuesday morning, monday night. they work late wednesday night and want to go flying on thursday. i always thought when the sun
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started setting in the west it was a good time to go have supper with trisha, my wife of 52 years. what they do is crazy. they don't bring their families up here. they don't have a chance to socialize and get to know each other. when i was in the house across the other side of the street was jerry huckabee from louisiana and we were friends. our wives were friends. our kids kicked the can together. we socialized together. they should work five days a week, three weeks a month. they should bring their families. they are being told you have to raise money around the clock and go home and campaign. the job is here. number three, the idea that the congressman or senators --
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>> it's inappropriate, humiliating and a very bad form of public housing. >> you're preaching to the choir. >> i want to ask about the lingering effects of the situation where you had unprecedented time. so when there is a new supreme court nominee how would you address the people who say we should have had this last year. they blocked it, why can't we have payback this time in. >> i talked about the arms being lost. i have to say i will make a
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prediction, i hope i'm wrong but i would predict that because this is now viewed as a very successful strategy on mitch mcconnell's behalf, on his part, that you will see this happen over and over again. no president is going to feel confident about a nominee in the entire last year of his or her term. i think that is deplorable. i think that is wrong. that isn't the way things should operate. i think it was viewed as a successful strategy in this case and applied at some point in the future. >> i do think that the supreme court issue was a key issue in voters. i think the polling and you can check this, a lot of polling showed that a lot of people that moved over to trump voted that way because of the supreme court. this situation in the senate with regard to fellow judges didn't just get to where it is now. it started when i was still there in the early part of 2000
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when we started having filibusters. i think a lot of people think mcconnell was smart. he played his hand well. i wouldn't have done it that way. i really think that the senate does have a responsibility to consent and have hearings. you might not have moved them but at least some hearing, maybe payback will come into play. how about a demarcation? let's stop this. democrats and republicans. you are saying you want to stop it now because y'all got the presidency and the congress. i'm talking about the institution. one of the most important things that united states senators do that presidents can't do and the house doesn't participate in or vote on is to advise and consent on federal judicial appointments. that is a very sacred thing. i don't think they have been doing a very good job with it
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for a number of years. >> we have time for one question that takes less than a minute. >> we say that vote for trump was a repudiation of washington. how do we explain that they reelected nearly every member of congress to come back? >> go ahead and take that one. >> i think in part it was probably -- there is this sense that people still feel some personal identification with their member of congress. they hate the congress but love their congress person. it is because they are spending over half their time at home now and are all over. they develop the relationships that sort of transcends not you but them that i'm upset with. i think that phenomenon still plays itself out. they didn't know donald trump or hillary clinton or if they did they probably weren't enamored
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with one or the other. they know their own member of congress. that transcends the people's view about the way washington is working. >> i think i agree with that. that was a big factor with trump. he represented the real change. what michael moore said this is the biggest go-to. i think the house and senate candidates played it pretty smart if you look at it. some of them came out and said i'm for trump. some of them were a little bit of trying to give it the slip. some of them said i'm not going to vote for him. so they kind of got their message in their congressional district or senate races based on the factors in that state. i think that the house and senate deserve a lot of credit. i'm a huge fan of paul ryan.
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i think he handled it pretty well. i hope that he and president-elect can get together. he didn't just jump on the band wagon. he did what he was supposed to do and that is look after the house first. that is his constituency beyond his district in wisconsin. i think he had a lot to do with president-elect trump carrying wisconsin. i think the president owes him a debt of gratude. who would have believed trump would carry wisconsin? >> speaking of paul ryan and donald trump, their lunch at the capitol hill club is wrapping up about now. i thank these distinguished gentlemen. thank you. thank you. it was great. a couple of live hearings to tell you about. securities and exchange commission mary jo white
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announced she is stepping down. she testifies today starting at 10:00 a.m. eastern live coverage on c-span 2. the head of the national highway traffic safety administration takes questions about the impact of self-driving cars. that is live at 10:30 a.m. eastern. >> we have a special web page to help you follow the supreme court. once on our supreme court page you will see four of the most recent oral arguments. see all those covered by c-span and find recent appearances or watch justices in their own words including one-on-one
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interviews with justices kagen, thomas and ginsberg. there is also a calendar for this term, a list of justices with links to see their appearances on c-span as well as many other video. follow the supreme court at now a look at the imp ligzs on trade agreements. we will hear from u.s. trade representative at this event. >> good evening. hi everyone. wow. what a great turnout. i think we picked the right topic. i would like to thank you for joining us here at the museum in washington, d.c. for this important conversation in the election after math. i would like to join everyone on the live stream, everyone
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watching on c-span and those watching in canada. we are really glad that you are all here because we all know if there was one big issue in the election it was trade. it's hard to think of any policy issue that was more high profile and people around this country and around the world are watching to see what happens next. so we have convened some top policy experts and politics experts to help us unpack what just happened. we are going to do this in three parts tonight. first we will ask whether the anti-trade sentiment in this election was merely a temporary device of political rhetoric or did we just witness a fundamental and long-term realignment in u.s. politics. we are going to talk to republican and democratic strategist fresh from the campaign trail in battleground states and talk to big picture thinkers as well as industry.
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then we will have a conversation about the future of trade policy on capitol hill. and third our outstanding senior trade reporter will have a conversation with the u.s. trade representative which will be followed by cocktails. so be sure to stick around. before we get started with this jam-packed and important program i would like to thank our wonderful sponsor fed ex for their generous support of this event. now i would like to welcome fed ex's freight president and ceo. >> thank you and thanks to politico for hosting this great event. i think we just experienced a pretty extraordinary election.
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as with the after math of any election it will take time to sort out the implications of u.s. policies and programs like trade. but i hope we can agree that for the united states trading with the world isn't just an option, it's a necessity. 95% of the consumers are outside of our borders. we do need to find ways to reduce barriers to u.s. goods and services around the world so we can reach new consumers, grow our domestic economy and strengthen the bottom line for american families. supporting international trade is something we are particularly passionate about because we live it every day. trade is our business. time and again we see that small and mid sized customers who
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export tend to grow even faster and create more jobs than similar businesses that do not trade internationally. recently fed ex released a small business index which was a national survey of over 1,000 small business leaders and results of that survey showed that more than 70% of small businesses are seeing increasing global trade as a way to also help the economy as a whole. interestingly enough, 70% of small business executives said they were more likely to support trade if the u.s. provided effective job retraining. business has a real role to play in that. government and business have to work together to ensure that displaced workers are retained and can transition to the new jobs and careers that our economy is creating.
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with the election results behind us mercifully it's time that trade politics be replaced with sound trade policy. ripping up trade deals or raising tariffs on imports will not grow our economy. what is needed to build greater support for trade is to adopt a comprehensive pro-growth pro-competitiveness agenda that will make the u.s. most competitive economy in the world. domestic policies that build american jobs and energize the economy will go a long way to build support for future trade initiatives. expanding trade opportunities for americans has been a bipartisan pursuit since this country started. and that's why we at fed ex are pleased to sponsor this program and hear from congressional leaders on both sides of the
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aisle who are helping to shape the debate and to forge the path for how our country will address trade and american competitiveness moving forward. i will leave it to you to get right to it. >> thank you so much. >> so before we get started i want to let everyone know to tweet your questions. # tradepolitics and our moderators will have a device to track them on stage. without further delay i would like to introduce the moderator of our first conversation, glen thrush who is senior political correspondent. you may not know him only from coverage on politico but for his podcast called offmessage where he interviews lawmakers including a certain president obama this year. when we were thinking about drilling down on the politics of trade i thought about glen and
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the eents that he hosted with us at republican and democratic conventions about the future of the republican party and the future of the democratic party. i really see this conversation as part and parcel of that conversation that he started at the convention. we look forward to hearing from you and your wonderful panel. >> good evening everybody. we would like to thank fed ex for sponsoring this event. first i would like to introduce the panel. sitting to my immediate right is vice president for international economic affairs at the national association of manufacturing. this is completely out of order. facial recognition software worked. sitting next to her is my good friend john ashbrook, a very
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familiar face in capitol hill in all kinds of interesting roles. sitting next to him is jill alper, principal at dewey square group, home to many more former folks who work in politics after this cycle. on the end there is my fellow maryland neighbor john judas who is author of the populist explosion. i will start off briefly by talking about conversation i had in the white house right before i went out on the trail probably in february of 2016. right before the primaries and the caucuses. it was probably late january. i was sitting with a senior administration official because that is what we do is talk to senior administration officials and never quote them on the
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record. i said to them president obama has clearly done very well in the last two years, very well objectively by asserting executive power in the last two years of his administration after a very rocky first two years after being reelected in 2012. give me the one to three top priorities as he winds down the administration. this person turned to me and said tpp, tpp and tpp. things turned out a little bit differently. so i want to start off the conversation starting off with john and working our way down sort of a general question here. how big a deal was trade in last tuesday's election and what in general can you glean going forward? how is this issue going to play out politically over the next few years? >> thank you for having me. trade was a really big deal.
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when you look at polls and it says people were worried about the economy they don't usually include trade in those kinds of issues. so if you look at ohio, michigan, wisconsin, i looked at those figures when i was coming over here. it is about 52 to 30. does trade harm us or help us? then if you look at the 52% it is about 60/30 or something like that trump over clinton. and you have to remember that those are votes that are salient. it's an issue much more likely that somebody is going to vote who is worried about trade hurting their jobs than someone who thinks it is okay especially in those midwestern states. it was an enormous issue. of course, trump's advantage was
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that from the very beginning of the campaign he made it a major issue. i first saw trump in august 2015 in new hampshire and i had expected more of a conventional republican or tv celebrity. here was a guy who was railing against nabisco for taking their factory out of chicago and into mexico, ford for taking assembly plant out of the united states and leaving workers out in the cold who used the same metaphor in views about trade and the trade treaties, nafta sucking jobs out of the united states. so while the most aspects were covered in the media if you go to the rallies and listen to him, three fourths of what trump had to say was about run away shops, bad trade deals and things like that.
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i think that was a big part of his appeal. i'm not saying it was all of it but i think it was important. >> i totally agree. i am from michigan and michigan trade is often a big issue and they are fighting words, nafta and outsourcing. many of the recent presidential elections not as much. we had a robust primary, trade being talked about in both sides and clearly in the general election. it was really about anger. it was about he was connecting with people who no longer as their parents did or grandparents did could expect to have a solid path to life. they are worried about a dollar not buying as much as it used to. while i think a lot of folks think there is a go along and get along crowd and if you felt okay about where you were things
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were getting better or things were going to pretty much be the same then you were a hillary clinton voter. if you were angry and worried then in michigan 25% were worried, 70% -- >> you saw it in the map. and that led to a narrow defeat. >> and the final tally in michigan was what? 20,000 to 40,000? >> starting today it was between 11,000 and 12,000 votes. they are still counting today and tomorrow. >> the clinton people when i talk to them it had to do with turnout in detroit. they were not talking about working excerpts.
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mr. ashbrook, you just came off of a very successful congratulations. you worked for rob portman. he was able to finesse this trade issue in a way that a lot were not. can you talk about that? >> sure. i can just echo what jill said. as an ohio person i saw this is an emotional issue for a lot of voters out there. and john had a stat earlier that so many of these voters out there think of trade as something that sends jobs overseas. 48% of ohio voters according to the exit polling think that trade sends jobs overseas. they do not have a positive association with the topic. but among that same 48% rob portman got like 75% of that vote. he beat strickland by 51 points
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among that subset of the electorate. he did it because he talked directly to people on their level about how trade is really a people issue. we talk about it as a jobs issue. he was protecting them, defending them against unfair practices from overseas from china and from other bad actors out there and there was an ad with a very powerful testimonial from a local cincinnati steel company that has 90 employees and portman fought for them at the itc and protected the company. it was written out very powerful spot and demonstrated on the issue of trade he is somebody looking out for them first. >> tell me a little bit about in
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terms of from your perspective you have a political perspective. generalized economic anxiety disorder that it is manifestation of that. from your purview how does all of this effect how you are going to move forward? >> you know, first i would say that elections are recess. we have an incoming administration that is talking very differently on trade than we have seen past incoming administrations coming in. we have some lessons learned about all of the things my colleagues up here were just talking about that people are seeing some of the negatives on trade but not seeing the other side of it. frankly, a lot of the substantial transformations that we see in manufacturing in the united states. we produce more than ever
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before. i don't think most of the voters in ohio or michigan understand that or see that. we also need to recognize that we face big challenges overseas. as we look at policies going forward we certainly agree we all need to do a better job and work with the administration and congress going forward to address some barriers that haven't been addressed. we have big barriers in china and elsewhere. 6 million men and women in manufacturing today have their jobs because of exports. we get millions, billions, trillions of dollars of foreign direct investment in manufacturing because people want to see the united states
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and they want to be here. how can we take what is good and broaden that out and address some of the challenges that we have? that is what we are looking to work with the new administration. >> while i got you on that i put you on the spot here. when we were in philadelphia hillary clinton, her biggest flip-flop was on tpp which he had called the gold standard of trade deals and read the fine print and suddenly it was fools gold standard. in terms of the presidential candidates, do you feel that you would have gotten a better shake from hillary clinton than donald trump? >> whoa. [ laughter ] i think we take -- we're a nonpartisan organization. we take our democracy seriously and are going to work with either one. i think it is hard to say. when secretary clinton was in the senate she voted for some trade deals and voted against
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other trade deals. it wasn't a clear record. when she was secretary of state she strongly supported some of the trade agreements that president bush had negotiated but president obama made modifications to and moved across the finish line and she supported that for a number of reasons. so it's hard to look backwards. >> let me slice that one other way. i think this is a larger question that is really important. do you feel at this point in time given that the president-elect has back tracked on several other issues that he is someone to communicate with moving forward? >> absolutely. i think what we have seen and we have been in contact with the transitions and both transitions, you know, we know a number of folks who work on these teams. some of our folks at senior levels in our companies
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certainly know the incoming president. and we're going to sit down and talk about these issues and try to get to the solution. i think that the end of the day we want to get to the same solution and that is to make america the best place to manufacture in the world, to make america globally competitive on manufacturing. if we can agree on that which i think we do then we have to figure out what the policies are that handle it. some of the trade piece, trade competitiveness. those are issues where i think people are expecting to see some substantial movement. >> i should say we are going to take a couple of questions at the end so those who are ready to go prepare your question. john, let's look from the historical perspective of this. one really striking component is you can close your eyes early on and go to a bernie sanders rally, go to a donald trump
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rally, saying the same thing about trade. what is the difference between those two positions? the left and the right? >> on that particular issue very little difference, i would say. i think that both of them you can see as being a revolt against globalization and two features of it. i guess here is how i would make the difference that for trump capital mobility which is a key feature from the 19 -- corporations could move wherever they want. a lot of trade deals have as much to do with making it easy for corporations to move around as they do with exchanging goods. that was a key issue for him. labor mobility, immigrants can go wherever they want. that was also a key issue for trump but wasn't an issue for sanders. both of those have to do with wages and this kind of split in america between the 30% more
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educated working in tech, working in high valued services and the other 70% skilled, semi skilled, some college or high school. again, if you look at a map of where we have lost manufacturing jobs from 2000 to 2010, the two key states are north carolina and michigan. and again if you look at that map and you look at where clinton lost and trump won, a lot of that -- they are very congruent. so i think over time we will have to figure out what to do about this split between the 30% and 70% and how we can somehow re-create the middle class. i think that is what a lot of donald trump was about. >> the democrats used to own this issue. this was something that was a core democratic issue and the notion of mitch mcconnell being at the head of the party in the
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senate that is now lock stock and barrel against largely against sort of free trade it is sort of amazing. how did democrats reclaim this issue? we just had president obama give a press conference which you said democrats had to get out of these places. how did democrats fumble this? >> i think it has to be almost simplified again to where we are with people in their communities and meeting with them on an emotional level. secretary clinton had a thoughtful plan about how to deal with the economy and trade. she gave a speech. really putting all the details out. i think people couldn't hear it because they couldn't see democrats feeling their pain. so we have to get back out and we have to articulate what we are about. ooirng that we need to see that
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people have been hurt and affected, get the help and support they need, not just the advocacy that people are able to make their way in the new economy. >> feel your pain part. we know where feel your pain came from. it came from your husband. now she is feeling the pain because she didn't feel other people's pain. isn't this a matter of a politician who plans the capacity to emphasize. >> i think a lot of races the way things play out are tied to character. perhaps if more people were aware of donald trump's actions in his personal life whether making ties in china or suits in mexico or using chinese steel in the buildings he was building and that was part of the dialogue i don't know that that filtered to the ground and was
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rating points. people may have had a real issue with him. >> would bernie sanders have been in the general election? you're not going away. would bernie sanders have been a better messenger in the general election on that? >> no. >> why? >> i don't think he was credible in the sense that people did want answers. people did want real-world solutions. and that he could channel the anger but people wanted somebody to be the president of the united states. hillary clinton won on experience and won on being a pragmatist that gets things done. i think that would have been trouble for bernie sanders in the general election. >> john ashbrook. the stakes are not one size fits all. i remember one saying one reason they lost wisconsin is because the trade issue doesn't cut the same way in wisconsin as ohio. there are a lot of dairy
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exports. talk a little bit about we have 2018 coming up but talk about the microclimates and how it differs from state to state and region to region. >> we also consulted on the arizona race, for example, and the conversation about trade in arizona is different from the conversation about trade in ohio. we also worked on the indiana senate race. it is different in the conversation about trade in indiana in terms of the intensity. it's just much more on the forefront of every conversation in both of these states. you mentioned the 2018 map. the campaign never stops. you talk about 2018. and if you look at the states that are up, democrats are defending 25 seats, 23 plus the two independents and republicans are defending eight seats. among the 25 seats the democrats are defending it's ohio, indiana, michigan, pennsylvania,
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wisconsin. some of these same states where trump did so well and i think that a lot of these candidates who are looking or thinking about challenging one of the democratic incumbents or the democratic incumbents watched closely to see how this issue was litigated in a real way in these campaigns. i think that, for example, senator brown and senator portman have a very good working relationship. i am confident that senator brown was watching very closely to what senator portman did in his campaign. i wouldn't be shocked if i see if we see him replicate some of the same tactics. >> here is the many trillion dollar question here. tpp is dead. trump is talking about opposing european stuff. how do you sell free trade? do you break it into bite sized portions? how do you see how you get back
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into this? >> you have to rebuild. you have to rebuild the discussion. i think we in business can certainly do a better job. we in manufacturing. what are the positives that we have seen out of trade and past trade agreements in terms of what is it we produce? that dentist chair i sat two hours in last week was produced in the united states. the security devices in airports is made in the united states. people don't see so much of what is made in the united states or don't recognize it as such. we also have to be more clear headed about getting at these foreign trade practices overseaed. what are the best ways to do that? there is a lot in tpp that would have gotten at a lot of very bad foreign bad practices, discrimatory tariffs. what are other tools we can do. this incoming president has
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talked about doing bilateral deals more than multi lateral deals. there are pros and cons. i think we will have to take each one as it comes. i think we have to focus on getting those big markets where we have the biggest problems. most growth is outside the united states. if manufactures just sold to ourselves we wouldn't be able to grow and wouldn't be able to hire more workers. so we have to have greater access to markets overseas. we are going to look and prioritize those markets and the barriers that we see and work with this congress and the incoming administration and figure out how we can tackle it. >> on that note, do we have any questions out there? anybody? i saw a hand back there. whoever it is speak now or forever hold your peace.
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>> could you please give us a pitch about what we could expect that would really benefit the average person as far as how trade works and why we should be concerned about it? make us feel good about trade since tpp is dead what else can we do? >> so the united states has doubled manufacturing output since nafta. we have more than doubled our exports. we talk to small businesses all the time that have been able to increase their exports, increase work forces here or increase wages or keep jobs here as a result of agreements. we have a small company that sells medical rehabilitation equipment out of maryland.
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when the european union completed their deal with korea before we did they lost i think it was 40% to 60% of their share of that market. once we got our deal in place they were able to grow again and take over and win back sales and increase. we have a lot of really great manufacturing in this country, a lot of high tech manufacturing, a lot of manufacturing, as i said, that people don't see. and our companies want to get overseas and we see more trade. we have big agreements like the trade facilitation agreement that will make it easier for our companies to sell. i'd say the other big thing is e-commerce. for small business owners being able to get on the internet and put up their storefront just like in their hometown they are selling more than ever. they are using new delivery
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methods and express delivery methods and other methods to get goods to people all over the world. we are hoping to see a revival in economic growth and helping to see more of those exports. >> let's squeeze one more question in. this gentleman here. thanks. >> i am jim calen. i had a question about nafta if you could talk about the potentiality of renegotiating that, what that could mean, what are the implications? how does it benefit the united states? what might happen going forward? if you could speculate a little b bit. >> donald trump's campaign officials said they talked about renegotiating nafta based on tough talking rhetoric. does anybody want to address that? >> there haven't been a lot of specifics out of the incoming
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administration about what is wrong with nafta but we know certainly as jill was talking about and john that there is a view of nafta and there has certainly been that substantial transformation in some of the rust belt states in manufacturing sectors. whether that is a result of nafta, automation, china, other factors i think we all need to figure out what the right diagnosis is of the issue. and we are just going to have to sit down with the new administration and congress. what are they talking about? what do they want to see change? there is over 2 million manufacturing jobs in this country that are dependent on our trade relationship with canada and mexico. as we go forward we certainly don't want to put those jobs in jeopardy. are there ways to improve our relationship with canada and mexico i think the path is a bit
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uncertain at this point. >> i would like to thank everybody for coming. that was a great discussion. i would like to welcome up my colleague, a trade reporter for politico who will lead the next conversation. thanks, guys. [ applause ] we're thrilled to have on the stage chairman of the ways and means committee whose committee is in charge of all things trade in congress and his
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party will continue leading the house. i will be interested in hearing what he says on that. next to me is jennifer harris, senior fellow at council on foreign relations. she is an alum at the state department and has been billed as the architect of the secretary's economic state craft agenda. so i guess i will begin. everyone's trade hopes and dreams have been dashed. we are looking at what is left on the agenda and what can still be done. i know everyone is very -- we're all ready to hear what the chairman has to say and what is going to be happening. so chairman, you have been a champion for free trade during your tenure in congress and as has your party to a large
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extent. how do you reconcile that this is kind of a broader question that position with the policies, trade policies that president-elect donald trump has announced so far? as you look at the next congress finish up business from this congress, what will your priorities on trade in the next congress be and or is this as a lot of people fear an issue that will fade into the background? >> thank you for the assessment of everything very encouraging. so i am still a champion of free trade and so are republicans for a couple of key reasons. donald trump was elected to get this economy moving again and clearly tax reform, balancing regulation is key to it but finding new customers for american goods and services are a big part of our economic growth. trade is what provides that opportunity. we have some challenges,
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obviously, but i look at mr. trump made a very strong case for enforcement first in trade policies which congress -- the strongest enforcement tools ever to pursue that. i hope he allows us to make the case that to grow our economy is just not enough to buy america. we have to sell america. these trade agreements done right, strictly enforced, level that playing field. turn one way trade into two-way trade allow us to create a number of jobs here. so i'm not as down beat as others are on the trade agenda. i think six days into the transition i think is early to be sort of assuming where the new administration is going to be. i'm hopeful we get a case as the
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president lays out his economic policy to make the case for keeping what is good about trade including accessing those new customers around the world and then improving the areas the public feels needs addressing. >> so one of the points we have heard from the campaign trail from donald trump is he wants renegotiation of nafta. your district, the eighth district in texas is probably very connected to nafta in many ways. how did you see that deal being renegotiated? what specific things could be improved in that deal? what could be reflected in nafta that would reflect donald trump's vision for trade and what it should be? >> i haven't spoke to him or his team about exactly where in nafta they want to improve. i notice as he talks about the issues he talks about not so
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much withdrawing but going back to negotiating table trying to make it a bigger win for the united statesch surplus with nafta countries. these relationships helped us, frankly, move through some worldwide recessions better than other three country as well. look, i would encourage the president to take a look at the parts of nafta that look right in the 1990s, that can be modernized today. my advice always if you're going to renegotiate agreement is make it more free trade. be bolder about reducing tariffs in all directions. give us more economic freedom to sell what we're making here american, buy products consumers want to buy as well. so if the approach going to take
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in nafta and tpp is to go bolder, open more of that market to americans goods and services, then i think that would be welcome. >> can you provide a specific in terms of how he would make it bolder, freer, more open? >> he's got to set his priorities in these trade agreements. i know tpp, my advice to him earlier this year, which still stands, is look, that's a critical market for us. that region will hold half the middle class customers. we want to be there. if we abandon that field completely, we lose and china wins in a major way. so my advice will continue to be to him is not withdraw, but renegotiate. take the areas he's got real challenges with, make it better. make it better for america and let's stay on that trading field in that region. i think it's critically important? >> so on the issue of tpp, i
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mean, how do you see that being revisited at some point in the future? he's made that a very strong point of his speeches. what would be a way in which he could revive that deal and still appeal to his base and what -- >> so leaving him all that discretion, because this is a new president running on trade, he really needs to set those priorities. but we know within congress today that the outstanding areas currently in tpp from making sure we've got adequate intellectual property protections from by -- biologics. making sure not discriminated against. there are real implementation plans. so we know how countries are going to implement who is key areas we're sfwd in.
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there are a number of areas you could begin with immediately. these are the areas the white house continued to work since the agreement was signed because there were member concerns, strong, significant member concerns raised that weren't yet completed. with the election clearly the agreement is on hold until the president-elect can lay out trade priorities going forward. he could start there, for example. >> this is maybe getting more specific but tpp was meant to tackle some of these 21st century issues. digital trade is a big issue. that was going to be the platform to get countries to prohibit prohibitions on data flows and requirements for this. would tpp sort of in the purgatory, or maybe even dead at this point, what other forums --
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are there other forums the issue can be addressed? is there something you all can do in congress that the republicans in congress will do to push these business priorities forward. >> so, just as at the wto level and bill hall round, if you can't find agreement in larger groups, then you try to find it, the coalition of the willing. sort of the phrase soft countries that want to go further on trade areas especially in the regulatory area and cross flows of data and other areas really critical, because the trade barriers today aren't just limited to the old here is our tariffs at the border, here are the barriers at the border, it's more sophisticated than that. one of the many things i liked about trans-pacific partnership is that it went beyond the borders and really created
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borders. in the past american plug into european socket, they are designed not to connect. tpp the first agreement in a significant way connected those markets on regulatory side, digital side, a number of areas that allowed our companies to connect with those markets and compete on a level playing field. i'm hoping that continues tpp. but if that agreement is not to be, then we ought to be looking for other vehicles to tackle the same issues. >> now, jennifer, a lot of focus was placed on hillary clinton's shifting stance on tpp through the election. but if someone who worked closely with her, i want to focus on the future and whether you see her vision for economic state craft having a place in this future administration. so how do you see this incoming administration approaching its
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economic relationship with the asia-pacific, with china? do you think it will be a more trans actional-type relationship, or will there be as we had under administration bigger picture geo strategic implications involved in the region. >> donald trump said a lot of things on this campaign. my guess is not as good as many of ours, odds on how much of that will come to pass. so maybe just to speak a bit to what i would hope to see under any administration. that is putting trade in its proper context. speaking recandidly, i think a lot of the problem right now is americans generally and democrats in particular have pursued international economic agenda divorced from domestic
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general at home on the left. we support large companies without going after tax havens that keep their profits abroad. we allow our selves to be back seat investing new solar without going after the chinese dumping that really puts out of business. i think there's a similar story to be told there with how tpp has been constructed and the design choices that reflect the priorities that it was built around. these deals are hard. i've served in the u.s. government long enough to know that. i'm not here to monday morning quarterback tpp, but i do think american people are skeptical about whether their interest and interest of middle class families are being put firmly at the center of the litmus test of trade, good or bad. i think even ends with good faith the obama administration pursued. these deals have not come to
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pass in the way we expected by best of itc estimates, partisan estimates. until we really have our arms around how to model trade, how to get a sense of the predictive impacts, certainly better than we saw, of course, which was meant to be the model for tpp, i don't blame anybody. >> so when it comes to china, this administration has, by some accounts, taken a pretty hard stance on trade cases and trying to get china to address some of its issues like subsidies and overcapacity. do you think this relationship is going to suffer in the next administration, there will be even more acrimony that the cases -- not just cases but what has been promised in terms of tariffs and things like that will really just make the relationship unproductive or do you hope for a real attempt to
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address overcapacity and things that have really dogged their relationship? >> so i want to be clear. i don't think usdr in the past eight years has been sitting on cases they could be bringing. by and large the problem is we don't have the tools to fit the abuses that we're seeing today. so point number one should be to invent those tools. that's going to take legislation. i hope we're pushing on an open door and rewriting section 301 to keep up with the sort of shape shifting qualities that a lot of the chinese abuses, i would take away sovereign immunity, if chinese company can be private one day and next day i'm pretty sure our most nimble trade tools are not going to get ahead of that. it's not just a matter of bringing new cases and using the rules we have, we need new rules. point number one. and you know, i quite suspect that a new trump administration
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may not be patient enough to allow those tools to be conceived around legislation. in fact, may well be in a situation where tariffs look like the more preferable choice. i'm not sure that i would go down that road, at least in the broad across the board way he's been suggesting. but i do want to remind everyone that as deficit country, united states holds the reins of adjustments. i think we should begin to think a little creatively how we use that leverage. it shouldn't look a whole lot different than japan in the '80s where we did wrestle the japanese to some kind of agreement. that was at the most basic level about a desire to repatriate their surplus in the form of investment and we said, okay, but going to take the form of factories employing americans. that's the way we have to do those plans. i don't see those chinese
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factories. >> so we have any time for one or two questions, but before we get to that, i just wanted to ask one quick question of the chairman. with this focus on enforcement by president-elect, do you foresee any sort of work with him, with the administration on trade enforcement legislation? any type of new ideas floating around there? >> sure. look, both parties, i think, agree on strong enforcement. mr. trump ran on the strongest enforcement of the two candidates in one, and i think most people agree that was a convincing part of that -- of his support nationwide. so i think given the opportunity and chance to assess new tools, the new ones we gave this new president less than ten months ago because he may find there are tools there he didn't know. sektdly put those tools in
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place. make sure wto where the trade rules stand and where they are enforced, he has the opportunity, i think, to assess within the wto, aggressively pursue, for example, china's behavior that don't follow, that violate our trade rules. one of my suggestion would be, look, the start of the bush administration, worked very diligently. i still think if we're serious about going after china on intellectual property in protections, that we ought to be aggressively pursuing arnold concluding bilateral investment treaty with china. i would go straight toward that issue rather than play it on the sides or merely wto. that's one avenue. >> we will take questions from the audience. anything from the trade agreement?
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>> okay. good to see you, chairman. >> thanks. >> now that tpp is on hold for the future, we don't know how long, the obama administration still has some trade initiatives that they are negotiating or trying to finish by the end of this year. maybe you could comment on tisa and ega and where you see those going, even concluding maybe. also, do they need congressional approval? >> i hope they do conclude, environmental agreements closer to the finish line there. china still needs to step forward in a major way. europe has to as well to make
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sure we're actually addressing environmental goods of today and not of 20 years ago. so i'm hopeful that makes progress. it depends whether they are changing u.s. law in that process and whether that has to be submitted or not. ti tisa, i think the service agreement is really important for trade, competition, for lower costs, very important. i think some of the decisions europe has made, for example, requiring each country to approve it, i think they are creating roadblocks and making it very difficult to move in agreement forward that should be i think agreed to in a major way that has so much upside globally in an economy worldwide that's not so hot, not doing so well. i'm hopeful that progress can be made. again, i think u.s. administration has worked very hard to continue those
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agreements. i hope they are concluded. >> i think we've run out of time. i think the chairman has to get along to -- >> that vote thing? >> yeah. >> yeah. >> thank you so much for joining us toby. i'm going to hand it over to my colleague. thank you so much. >> well, hello, everyone. thank you for coming and thank you for coming ambassador fro e
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froman. it's fair to say when we looked this a few months ago we expected a different discussion, focused on transferring trans-pacific partnership with lame duck, the election of donald trump swept it off the table. i do want to ask you if you agree with that. now a potential new era of tit for tat trade eras with some of our biggest trade partners, china and mexico. ambassador has gone all around the world on trade deals. i've had the pleasure to go along on 5% of those troops, including the time we went all the way to columbia, maryland, for talks on south korean agreement. that was one of the finest suburban hotels i've ever visited. >> absolutely. the real reason i mention that,
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trump tried to blame on hillary clinton. i was there a week and never saw hillary one time but saw ron kirk, cutler, u.s. negotiator and ron frommon running the whole show on behalf of his friend, president obama, who met way back in the 20th century. >> man, where is this going? >> just one last paragraph. my favorite, ambassador froman got started with albanian blood feuds which we don't have time to get to today. i'd be curious how they differ from washington blood feuds. are they any different? i'm going to shut up and give ambassador froman the opportunity to talk. first i have to ask the question that's on everybody's mind.
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ambassador froman obama administration talks on trans-pacific partnership in 2010. there were 19 rounds of negotiations and after that another 15 senior official ministerial agreements until an agreement was finally reached october 5th, 2015 in atlanta, georgia. mr. ambassador, after all that work, after all that travel, after all that time you were away from your wife and two children and other negotiators were away from their families, is the tpp agreement really dead? >> well, i was about to say, thank you for having me, doug. i may revise that. let me revise that comment. first of all, thank you for having me back. i think the work that's been done on tpp, both in terms of opening new markets for american exports and raising standards there so we can create more good jobs, more well paying jobs, i
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think it's a very strong agreement. as the president has said we've not been fully successful in convincing people how it addresses the concerns they raised but we are fully committed to asia-pacific region, critical to strategic and economic interests and we believe that the kind of high standards we were able to negotiate in tpp does exactly what the american people want, which is leveling the playing field. certainly one of the themes coming out of the election are people's concerns that we face an unlevel or unfair playing field. that was silly when the motivation behind it when we went into tpp we did open disproportionately for our exports, other countries have big barriers to exports. we raise standards. labor standards, intellectual
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property right standards, standards in terms of how an enterprise should operate so they don't compete unfairly against our private firms, standards on the digital economy. those are all things tpp accomplishes. so i'm hopeful over time as people look into it and see what's at stake as the rest of the world moves on and pursues their own trade agendas and we see what the implications are for us economically and strategically, that we'll be able to see that work move into effect. >> okay. so not completely dead. >> in the previous panel i heard somebody use the word purgatory. i think i prefer the word purgatory. i think there's a lot in there. i think other countries are certainly not going to stay still. they are going to move forward. whether they move forward by taking tpp forward without us or they move forward in their own
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bilateral or tri-lateral or regional, the rest of the world won't standstill. we're going to be left on the sidelines seeing not only the opportunities tpp represents lost but seeing existing share in markets eroded by other countries getting access. that i don't think is in our interest. >> right. right. but one curious thing today, i notice that you and secretary vilsack met with state agriculture secretaries at the white house. >> that's actually tomorrow. you have great foresight. you have a premium anything of what's going to happen tomorrow. >> this seemed like a tpp event. i wondered, is there some crazy possibility president obama could still present it to congress. >> i think we made clear we stand ready to move forward. we've worked for outstanding issues, producers had issues and now supportive of the agreement. dairy farmers had issues, now they are supportive of the
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agreement. financial services sector had issues, now they are fully supportive of the agreement. even on the major outstanding issue of biologics and intellectual property rights, i think your publication as well as others reported we were very close to an agreement in the run-up to the election. we stand ready to move forward, but this is fundamentally a legislative process. it's up to the congressional leadership to decide whether and when it will be taken up. >> what's going to happen when president obama meets with other tpp leaders at the apec summit this week? will they make some sort of statement to try to move the process forward? is there something they can do to somehow memorialize the agreement so it's there if the trump administration wants to take it up in the future? >> the other countries are already moving ahead. many of them are far down the line in the approval process. the lower house of the diet in japan approved it last week. others are moving forward
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through their own respective ratification processes. so i think this meeting that we'll have in lima among tpp leaders will be an important opportunity to share perspectives where they are domestically and want to hear from the president on his perspective where it goes from here. >> last week at an event and dan pearson from the kato institute said trump could wait a few years and rebrand it trump pacific partnership. do you see something like that happening? >> we never thought of selling the naming rights. it's an interesting idea. i'll leave that to the institute to suggest. >> i want to ask about nafta, a. donald trump says he's going to renegotiate -- going to withdraw from nafta unless mexico and canada agree to renegotiate it. didn't president obama say he was going to renegotiate nafta? did you guys ever get around to doing that? >> he did and we did. he said back in 2008 when he was
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running for president that he wanted to renegotiate nafta. he was very clear about what he meant. it was because labor and environmental issues were dealt with in nafta as side agreements that were not fully enforceable. he made the point if we're going to have trade agreements we have to treat labor and environmental issues as seriously as every other issue in the agreement. that's what we did through tpp because mexico and canada are part of tpp. when they agreed to binding and enforceable labor and environmental provisions that was renegotiation of nafta. other parts, too. more market access to canada than nafta and dairy and poultry, access to mexico in certain areas they confirm such as energy sector. so tpp is, in fact, renegotiation of nafta. in that area, like so many other areas, if tpp doesn't move forward, until it moves forward, those gains are not to be seen. if we care about, for example, raising labor standards in
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mexico, both because that's good in and of it's self and because it helps level playing field for our workers, it's important to move forward with tpp. that's exactly what it does. >> for whatever reason, nafta seems to resonate negatively with voters. did you ever -- did the administration ever suggest to hillary clinton that she try to sell the tpp agreement as a renegotiation of nafta that did all these things you just described? >> we have certainly in our efforts to describe the benefits of tpp mentioned and talked about the renegotiation of nafta. it's the most signature expansion of workers rights, 500 million workers have binding and enforceable labor rights. as i said, that's not only good for it's self, in materials of the dignity of work but in terms of leveling the playing field for our workers and our firms.
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one of the main complaints is we live april world where we compete with low wage labor. that's a reality. that jeannie is out of the bottle. the question is what are you going to do about it. our view was through tpp, if you could get other countries to agree with the right of association and right to bargain collectively and prohibition of child labor and forced labor, that would improve level standards in other countries and level playing field for our workers. that's what's at stake with tpp moving forward. i have to say for critics of tpp or opponents of tpp, i think the question really tpp, how are th rights for workers, in the meantime when we could be raising these workers rights, why are we imposing on our workers a continuing unlevel playing field. >> do you have a theory of
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what -- i know you say you prefer to think of tpp in purgatory. do you have a theory of who put it in purgatory? >> are you asking about divine intervention here? no, look, i think what we've seen is a rise of populism. >> right. >> not just in this country but around the world. a hoplism that was both the right and the left. i think you've seen politics that didn't always based on facts. that combination of events has made it difficult to get the message through about just what's at stake here. >> yeah. do you remember where you were october 7th, 2015, when hillary clinton came out against the trans-pacific partnership.
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>> i think i was in wi office. back to the hill in washington, we were in the process of doing so. >> do you remember how you felt? >> i'm not going to comment on any candidate past or present. i think this election process has very much underscored that there are a lot of people who feel left behind. whether it's because of technology, demographics, globalization. we talked about before, we don't get to vote on technology or next generation of robots or software. you don't really get to vote on globalization, it's just a force. trade agreements become the
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scapegoat for quite legitimate concerns that people have about income inequality, stagnation of wages, about feeling left behind relative to others in the global economy. that's something we need to deal with. if there is a silver lining to this whole debate, it is that i hear both republicans and democrats coming back from the campaign trail talking about how we need to do more to deal with displaced workers, communities affected by change, wherever that change comes from. whether it comes from technology or from globalization. that's going to be an important debate going forward. i would hope coming out of this campaign and coming out of this election we don't draw the wrong lessons or pursue the wrong remedies. cutting off trade is the wrong remedy. 14 million americans owe their job to exports. we export $2 trillion a year.
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cutting us off from the global economy is not the answer to these concerns, as legitimate as they are. it's dealing with these other issues about dislocation, about transition in a way that goes beyond what we've done before. >> right. i mean one thing the trump campaign is suggesting more radical use of trade defense measures in order to keep out trade from china. is there more the administration could have done on that front? >> i think we've been very committed to trade enforcement and to the use of the trade remedy laws. i think as you see now, i think there are more trade remedies being imposed by the commerce department and itc than ever before in history. a lot were in the steel sector. on the trade enforcement side we brought 23 cases before wto, morne any country in the world, 14 of those cases brought against china. we've won every case that's been brought to conclusion and we're continuing to work on those
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cases. so i think we believe that enforcement is very important. that clearly is an issue that's been underscored by this campaign as well and i expect it will be important in the future as well. >> i had a theory that you had at least one or two more wto cases you were going to roll out during tpp debate. >> we work on ongoing basis and bring as soon as we are confident they are ready to go. whenever we're ready to go, we will bring them. >> could we see more between now and the end of the administration? >> as soon as we're confident in the case we're ready to bring it, we'll bring it. >> i don't want to ruin the surprise. >> will the obama administration declare china a market economy under anti-dumping laws before it leaves office? >> well, look, i think as china it's self has recognized, the determination of market economy status is actually a determination that falls under each of our statutes, each country's statutes. we have criteria in our statute
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about what constitutes a market economy. china can apply for market economy at any time. i think the last time it did so was back in 2004. i think there is widespread view based on criteria not yet achieved that status. i think what they are focused on is what happened at the end of the year when part of their accession protocol to the wto expires and how will that affect our application of anti-dumping laws in the future. that's something we're continuing to work through. >> so there could be some announcement on that? you could announce a change? >> haven't made any decisions on that. >> stell under consideration. what do you think you can get done in the closing days of the administration. do you think environmental goods agreement come together, conclusion of the u.s.-china bilateral investment treaty? >> the g-20 leaders back in september underscored the importance of trying to get
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environmental goods agreement done. we've been working to follow up that commitment. we've made very good progress. we still have a ways to go. absolutely critical as it was with information technology agreement that china play its appropriate role in this and puts on the table. china has potentially one of the greatest beneficiaries of ega both in terms of the country that produces environmental goods and the country that desperately needs those goods to deal with very serious environmental problems. but it's going to be important they put on the table the kind of access the rest of the countries are willing to offer if we're going to be able to reach that agreement. we're looking forward to engaging with them on that in the near future. >> bilateral investment treaty? >> those conversations are ongoing. i think it's important that it be a high standard agreement that really reforms and opens up the chinese economy and creates real disciplines to address the kinds of problems that our companies have had in that market.
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again, we've made progress but we're not there yet. >> i was wondering, what's the moral like at uscr now? as we started the conversation, you guys spent five years negotiating this agreement. it looks like it's not going to go anywhere in the foreseeable future. that must be very disappointing. you also have a president-elect who repeatedly on the campaign trail talked about how stupid america's trade negotiator were. do you think they are going to be able to work for this administration? >> well, uscr is a great institution. i worked in a number of different parts of u.s. government, and there is no finer group of career civil servants than usdr. they are incredibly dedicated, hard at working and incredibly dedicated to their mission of both negotiating strong trade agreements and making sure they are fully enforced. i have every confidence as they have with every previous
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transition, and i was reminded when we came in in 2008 that -- 2009 that they had a number -- raised a number of concerns about previous trade policies and renegotiating agreements and the like that they will work well with the new administration as well. they are very professional and i have every confidence they will be able to work with new administration to work on their priorities. >> we talked about how much you travel on the job. after january 20th, you'll have a lot of time. do you have any travel plans? what will you be doing next? >> i'm going to be finding a hammock object a beach and sleep for some undetermined period of time. that's the only plans that i've made so far. >> but you seem, i don't know, i sort of observed you have an interest in wildlife conservation. do you think you might be doing something in that area? >> i don't know. it's a great -- it's a very interesting area, something i've learned about in this job and my previous job at the white house working on development issues. the link between developments,
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trade, national security and wildlife is really very significant. so it's one of the areas we focused on tpp and getting tpp countries to agree to combat illegal wildlife trafficking. it's something i spent time in africa rwanda and elsewhere and something i'll stay focused on as well. >> we're about out of time. i did want to get your thoughts on this one question. there's sort of this confusing information where public opinion polls show democrats support trade more than you would expect, republicans support it less than you would expect but parties vote in the opposite way in congress. i don't know. how do you see that shaking out over the next couple of years? >> well, look, i've seen those polls. i think it is interesting that young democrats,
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african-americans, hispanics, asians are all more pro trade than average. there's a certain group of republicans not as pro trade as average. i think we'll have to do more. by we, i mean the collective we, government, business, agriculture to continue to educate people about what's really at stake. we take for granted when we pick up our phones and we download and app, we take for granted the ecosystem that allows it to happen is one that's going to always exist. we know that other countries are quite eager to set up walls around the internet, create national clouds, to tax digital products. we take for granted the amounts of farming that comes from exports. when that disappears as other countries even to our market share, we're going to find those same people in rural america who have been concerned are going to
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find themselves facing more challenges, not fewer. that's why it's so important to get the story out and to get the facts out. i would hope going forward we could have a more fact-based discussion about the benefits of trade but also what we need to do as a society to deal with those impacted by change wherever it comes from. >> okay. thank you, ambassador. thank you on behalf of "politico" and everyone here today for spending time with us. i'd like to thank fedex for sponsoring today's event and luiza savage and all those on the "politico" team who worked hard to bring this together. thank you to those in the room and those watching on live stream. there is a quick reminder for those of you in the room, please join us for cocktails and conversation in the back of the room. have a great evening and please thank ambassador froman again. [ applause ]
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