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tv   Former Rep. Charles Boustany Others Discuss U.S.- Asia Relations  CSPAN  January 9, 2019 9:23am-11:04am EST

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president he plans to leave following the confirmation of attorney general nominee william barr according to cnn and abc news. mr. barr's confirmation hearings before the senate judiciary committee are slated for next week. sources told the "washington post," however, that there are no firm plans for mr. rosenstein's departure or a timeline. again, that story from the hill today. coming up next -- >> remarks from charles boust y boustany, he's joined by others to discuss u.s. policy towards asia. this event was co-posted by the korea economic foundation of america and sasakawa peace foundation u.s.a.
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>> welcome to our first event of the new year. i'm mark copala and i will start with our shameless plug. kei is a think tank dedicated to helping americans understand the breadth and importance of our relationship with public of korea. if you'd like to learn more about our activities including our podcasts and blogs and publications and events i would refer you to our website today we're discussing northeast asia and the new congress with a stellar panel including charles boo boustany, our very own ambassador cathy stephens, president and ceo of kei, ambassador jim zimwalt and ambassador joseph ula, senior
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advisor to the asia center. u.s. institute of peace. if i went through their achievements and positions of influence it would take too long, so their bios are in your programs, you can catch up there. so welcome all. we will start with a question for ambassador hewitt. before we talk about the new congress let's look back to last congress briefly. on new year's eve president trump signed into law the asia reassurance initiative act, a wonderful act named aria which dealt with in part west policy toward north korea. could you give some insight on that legislation. >> thank you very much, mark. maybe before i answer your question, thanks for having us here. and i see this is where all the former ambassadors end up, you know. still good to be with my former boss, kathy, and of torse my colleagues jim and mark. thank you. on aria, i do want to emphasize
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that foreign policy in general is within the purview of the executive branch and so cha you're seeing in aria i think is an excellent summary of bipartisan consensus on what u.s. policy towards asia should be. it has good chapters on korea, southeast asia, china, taiwan, south china sea, and all the human rights. i think you saw that when president trump signed it, he said, you know, i'm signing t but i'm going to ignore it, you know, so i think that's what it is, but obviously we have a former congressman boustany here, there is an important role for congress and we are now facing essentially with midterm election democrats having won the house, so it will be different dynamics, but i think
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you should see aria as what i call sense of congress, especially previous congress, it's going to be, you know, teach us what the consensus is, but beyond that, items like north korea or korean peninsula that there should be no pullout of the troops, that's completely within the administration branch. >> that sets up a question for congressman boustany logically. for the first two years the trump administration had the advantage of a republican congress, now the democrats control the house. how will dynamics between the administration and the congress change? >> well, they are off to an auspicious start with the ongoing shutdown and who knows how long that's going to last, but it's going to quickly -- if it keeps going it's going to dove tail into the budget planning and appropriations process for the next fiscal year. so things aren't off to a very good start right now.
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i expect on the -- a couple of dynamics. one, you have a number of senators on the democratic side of the aisle who are either contemplating or actively making plans to run for president and they are going to be competing with each other for media attention to see who can get the upper hand to ultimately win the democratic nomination. at the same time -- so they will be using that stage but they will also play off of the democratically controlled house and looking to pick up support among members of the progressive wing of the party and so forth. so this is going to be an interesting dynamic. i think what we're going to see will be a lot of investigations in the house because democrats will control the agenda, whereas in the senate they don't. so i expect a number of oversight and investigative hearings. some of these will be focused on real issues, on taxes and healthcare and what's going on, the state of play, others will be more political, whether --
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relating back to the mueller investigation, trump's tax returns. so a lot of this will happen on the political side of it. much of what will happen over the next two years should be seen through the prism of presidential politics for 2020 and also the competition in 2020 for the house and the senate. so i think politics will dominate, if you keep that in mind it's a good way to -- >> what powers does congress have other than investigative powers if they disagree with the administration on trade or foreign policy. >> i mentioned hearings, congress can raise the public level of attention to certain issues using hearings. congress is vested with the power of the purse, appropriations. even with regard to -- now the key point here is that congress oftentimes does not use that with regard to the executive branch in the area of foreign
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policy, but they certainly could use it in the appropriations process with amendments and so forth, limitation amendments on funding and so forth. so they can use those kinds of tools. of course, there's the issue of passing sanctions. we saw this with the russia sanctions bill, a very robust package was passed this house and senate with overwhelming numbers. the president, you know -- the numbers were such that the president would not be able to override -- or the house could override any veto, house or senate could override veto. so the president was forced base cloo he to implement those sanctions even though i think he had a signing statement to the contrary. then in trade policy, foreign economic policy more broadly, congress has considerable tools going all the way back to article 1 of the constitution, betray promotion authority which kind of really sets the staej for how trade agreements are
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done. so those -- there are considerable tools that congress can use to balance out the executive branch. the question is to what extent and how aggressive will congress be in choosing to use those tools. >> thank you. since taking office president trump has challenged traditional notions of u.s. alliances with global partners. one of the ways he has done this is to criticize allies such as south korea for not paying more burden sharing for defense. how do you see the new congress handling the white house's position on alliances? how could that affect our relationships with south korea and japan? >> well, thank you very much. first of all, i wanted to thank kei for a wonderful collaboration with sasakawa peace foundation. we are an organization focused on strengthening u.s./japan relations and when i and mark and kathy and joe were in government we were all working to promote a strong u.s., japan, korea try lateral relationship. now that we are in the private
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sector we wanted to prove that organizations can collaborate and work together to promote common interests. thank you for hosting this event today. getting back to your question, though, you're correct that president trump himself has challenged the value of alliances, but if you look at the national security strategy of the u.s. government, which is issued by the trump administration, it talks about the importance of alliances in dealing with the major challenge facing the united states which is the emergence of competitors who don't share our interest, china and russia in particular. so there is a dichotomy perhaps between things the president has said both as a candidate and to a lesser extent after election and what his administration is saying. one particular issue right now that's of interest to the trump administration has been the host nation support negotiations, right now the united states and korea have been negotiating the amount of money which the korean government would pay the united states and soon the united states will begin negotiations
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with japan on this as well. but i think the point i always make is the u.s. forces in the region, both in japan and korea, are there partly for defense of japan and defense of korea, but they are also there to promote peace and security in the region, which is in the united states' interest. so it really is in our own interest for the united states to forward deploy troops in the region and, in fact, in the case of japan, japan pays the united states $1.6 billion per year as its contribution to the alliance, that covers the salaries of 24,000 base workers, these are electricians and plumbers and so forth who work on u.s. bases in japan. also 60% of the utility cost for electricity, water and so forth, and training relocation. so if we were to actually bring our forces from japan home to the united states and maintain the same capability, the u.s. taxpayer would have a higher bill to pay. so it's not a burden on the united states, it's actually a cost savings measure. i think you could make the same
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argument for u.s. troops in korea. i think it's important for people to understand we are there because it's in our interests, it's also in japan and korea's interests, but it's in our interests fundamentally. >> if i may, you know, it's good that kei and sasakawa we are doing very well in washington incorporating the two. i think the problem is between the two big capitals. >> but we can model good behavior perhaps. >> i was just going to ask jim, i mean, of course, on the u.s. south korea burden sharing agreement, that negotiation is still ongoing notwithstanding the fact that the previous one expired at the end of 2018. i have forgotten what's the timetable for japan's renegotiation? >> actually, the current agreement goes for two more years. >> okay. you're lucky. >> we should be starting soon, but i think the plan had been to conclude the agreement with south korea and then start talks with japan and obviously now because there's -- it's the same
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negotiators who do all of these agreements. i'm sure the japanese are quite concerned about the failure between the united states and korea to reach agreement because for them it's reassuring to see what the rk agrees to. >> aim stephens, the ongoing government shutdown shows how partisan politics in washington can lead to policy deadlocks. you've had the chance to be overseas looking at u.s. domestic politics from abroad. will domestic political turmoil effect policy in other words northeast asia. >> those are of us who are former political diplomats, i still feel a certain sense of discomfort. a couple observations, one and i think many people in this audience know it, but it would be hard to, i guess, exaggerate the attention to which other countries pay to our politics, which we don't particularly
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reciprocate. so the united states and our politics, whether it's president trump or anybody else, loom pretty large in these capitals. that said, i've actually debated with some of my friends, both american and korean and actually japanese or in the case of seoul and tokyo are the respective governments and publix there kind of underestimating or overestimating the potential for disruption in the relationships coming from our own very unusual political situation right now. we perhaps can debate that among ourselves as well. i guess obviously it depends on how you look on the situation here. i was -- i mean, could you point to certainly, you know, specific actions or lack of actions that are taken and we just talked about the failure to complete a negotiation, whether you consider that to be dysfunction or just tough negotiating, again, is in the eye of the beholder but that's of concern as we've already mentioned. it's of concern when an
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announcement is made about withdrawal of troops from syria and it appears that's being walked back. aside from the if you like the substance of the policy itself the process something is that's watched closely from capitals. the absence of consultation with affected stakeholders or even consultation within the interagency process. these are sophisticated partners we have in these countries and they watch that and it earns can them because it means they don't know how to use their levers, if you like, of influence and input and consultation to try to manage the relationship. certainly the example of the announcement after the summit in singapore of the suspension of military exercises, again, while i think many people would have agreed and some would not have agreed that this was a useful thing to do, the absence of consultation was -- was significant. but in terms of i guess what we
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call our own domestic politics, i was kind of taken with an article that a former colleague of mine and friend ann snyder, many of you know at stanford university, wrote for a japanese audience, i don't know, jim, if you saw this, but it was titled the five crises in the united states. his aim was to try to say to a japanese audience you are not paying -- i shouldn't people for him, but i took from it you need to pay attention to this. i'm not going to read his article but the five crisis he identified that the u.s. faces in 2019, a political crisis, an economic crisis, foreign and national security crisis, govern ability or i guess i call it dysfunction crisis and potentially a legal and constitutional one. then, you know, you can read the article for the details, but i think we all know enough about what's going on here you can kind of fill that in pretty quickly. obviously -- at least my crystal
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ball for 2019 is pretty cloudy, but i think there is kind of a question of to what extent do these capitals -- are they paying attention to it and how are they going to respond. i do think people respond in different ways. some will see this as an opportunity to play -- or even a necessity to play a different role vis-a-vis the united states, to begin to hedge perhaps against u.s. unpredictability or unreliability and so on. i think it's a very, very important year, even more than -- i mean, in addition to our getting -- already entering our presidential season, for domestic politics that affect our our both allies and other partners as well as rivals are going to position themselves vis-a-vis the united states. >> if i could add something, early case in point when president trump very early a day or so into his administration pulled out of the trans-pacific
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partnership, japan quickly engaged in a way that we have not seen japan engage before to pull the other countries together and showed demonstrable leadership in getting cttpp done and now that's going into effect. it's going to have a big impact i think with regard to global trade. that was an early example and i think we're starting to see other countries really taking stronger initiatives on their own and looking at the u.s. as, well, they are taking a hiatus from the international stage, from the leadership of the global order and we're going to have to figure this out ourselves. >> i've tried to explain to some of my foreign colleagues that it used to be in the old days, i mean, pre trump that when the president said something it was the end of a policy debate process analysis, it was conclusi conclusion.
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now when president trump takes an announcement it tends to be the beginning of the debate, the beginning of the process. >> the other case in point is the situation that triggered the sudden resignation of secretary mattis. i mean, that was a very disruptive set of circumstances where senior most cabinet members apparently did not know what was coming with the sudden announcement of withdrawal of troops from syria. i'm sure it caused consternation among our asian allies with regard to that kind of process and the uncertainty attending that kind of process. >> it's transparent. we have a transparent system now. unsurprising let's move on to north korea. i'd like to ask each of you in turn, work down the line here, what you think some of the key steps that we need to see are in negotiations with north korea and what are some of your main concerns going forward. ambassador, i will ask you first. >> thank you very much, mark. you know, so today we're seeing, you know, nice footage from
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beijing, kim jong-un going to china and essentially this is pretty much the repeat of last year when he went to china to get the green line from xi jinping that he's okay to have the summit with trump. i do think that a second summit will be arranged quite soon, probably at the end of february or early march or so. so this is another example, by the way, congressman, of kim jong-un taking advantage of the situation in washington and going to china, number one, not only to get permission from kxi jinping, but to send an underlined message to washington, to trump, being that, hey, you are not the only game in town. i have this big china card to play, you know. so i think there is a dual message there. i think it would be a mistake if
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there is no kind of prearrangement on what the goals are and agreement on the steps towards denuclearization before we go into a second summit with kim jong-un. this will just mean repeat of what happened in singapore. you know, once is enough, you know, but the second time to go there and come back with nothing i think would be a mistake. it would be a mistake because it really does mean we are giving into north korea's attempt to legitimize as a nuclear weapons state, and this virtually means we're acquiescing. i don't think we can acknowledge or recognize north korea's nuclear weapon state, but twice that we're acquiescing, it's not as though previous presidents, clinton, bush, obama, it's not as though they didn't have opportunity to meet with north
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korean leader, but to do that for them they felt was legitimizing north korea, especially in its possession of nuclear weapons. so i think, you know, if we do that second time, without concrete steps towards denuclearization being agreed it would be very bad news for worldwide nonproliferation, it would be very bad news for south korea and japan, our allies, and worst of all, this is very bad news for homeland security because these weapons are legitimate threats. >> well, i agree with joe, not surprisingly and i guess i try to build on what he said by saying when it comes to what that concrete menu is of denuclearization steps and probably matched by some reciprocal measure on the part
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of the united states or in the inter korean process, we have several strands going here, the inter korean process, the denuclearization process, and we have kim jong-un, you know, on january 1st making some statements, some of which showed some promise. i think there are elements that can be worked on and where we could have a concrete progress that could be announced at a next summit, but to get there -- now i'm going to focus on the process -- there needs to be a process, and that's what's been lacking. i think that clearly the thing that's been most lacking is any communication between pyongyang and washington, except kind of through the press, i guess, or through public announcements. there needs to be some kind of process and there it seems at least from where i can read it that the responsibility lies mostly in pyongyang where they've kind of held back in engaging in that way. at the same time i think we need to really deepen the process, if
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you like, or consultation with seoul and also with others in the region. i mean, kim jong-un going into china is a reminder and probably a very explicit one that china has both equity and influence in this. i'm not here to advocate a return to the six-party talks and i am saying this is a regional issue and u.s. diplomacy works best when we do work together with not only our allies and partners, which is very important, but also the others who can bring influence to bear. i think there has been not enough attention to that as well. >> i don't have the same level of expertise as my two colleagues here with this, but i fully agree the process has been lacking in this and that's a real concern. secondly, there seems to be this dancing around about the sequencing and this whole definition of denuclearization that has not been addressed and until that is worked out i think this is not going to lead to any kind of a good outcome for us.
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you know, i think we will end up back to where we were, you know, where we saw breakdown of talks in the past as a result. so i'm very concerned. i don't think the administration has put the kind of thought into those kinds of details that would be needed to get to an acceptable agreement. >> i just wanted to echo what kathy said about process, but just to flesh that out a little bit, the reason why there is a need for a process or several reasons, but one is as the united states we have to think about what are our interests in the region, promoting democratic values and human rights is one, assuring regional peace and security is another. so as we negotiate with north korea we can't only think about the bilateral negotiation, we have to think about the impact on these other interests we have, and that's where a process can help you think about all of these issues. but the second aspect of a process is working with our friends, allies and regional
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partners. i don't see any solution with north korea that can be achieved solely in a bilateral negotiation, we need china, we need korea, we need japan as part of that. so we need some kind of a process to coordinate what we're doing with others so we're rowing in the same direction. >> things are different now. in previous times you wouldn't have had a summit until you had gotten past the impasse. the impasse seems to be north korea asking for sanctions relief first and u.s. asking for the road map on denuclearization first. so you would have to resolve that and then have the leaders meet, but in this era i wonder if president trump doesn't see the second summit as the way to break the impasse, with is a high risk kind of operation. with err here to talk about congress. let's get back to north korea and congress. for ambassador stephens and congressman boustany there is a long history of bipartisan agreement on the congress. do you think potential for that son census to erode? >> well, i would take -- i mean, just a slight issue with the way
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you framed it in the sense that i do think there has been -- i don't know if the congressman would agree, but overall broad bipartisan consensus with the u.s. approach to the korean peninsula, to our alliances, to the commitment to seeing a korean peninsula without nuclear weapons and as joe mentioned, i think that's underscored in the aria and that's kind of the baseline for congress. at the same time, i mean, the north korean issue has been a politically controversial both between parties and within parties and indeed within administrations at various times. in terms of i would say a lack of bipartisan agreement was probably most evident back in the 1990s over the agreed framework, which was reached just during the clinton administration, just before the midterms when the democrats suffered great losses and the republicans in congress then subsequently were very skeptical and tried to use the purse
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strings to express their unhappiness. i think many people think that that was one of the reasons that the agreed framework was not really able to get the kind of traction, there may have been some others, but that's a historical discussion to have. so bipartisan, yes but it's been an issue of great debate within the congress. i'll defer to -- to the congressman on where we are now. but i would -- i would take from aria and the fact that you know on the -- on the democratic side, as you say we not only have a new democratic majority in the house we have almost as many new candidates for -- prospect of candidates for president on the democratic side and they will be looking to express foreign policy views. my sense so far is i think going forward they will be underscoring, if you like, that more traditional view of the importance of alliance
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relationships, the importance of denuclearized north korea and so on and that those are things that again mainstream republicans sign up to as well. so it's -- it's kind of an odd situation i think we're in in terms of where -- you might have the democrats actually being a little more strict if you like about what they might expect, for example, in any negotiation vis-a-vis denuclearization and sanctions relief, a bit of a role reversal almost to maybe where things were during periods in the six-party talks and. earlier. >> i would agree with all of that. i think a couple of observations, this broad -- wra broad consensus among the parties and reflected in votes in the past with regard to the security issues as well as the human rights issues, and some of the economic issues, dealing with the peninsula, but i think there will be -- i think a
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pretty vigorous oversight attempt by the hours foreign air force committee under elliott inkle to look at what steps they've taken, where they've fumbled the ball on this to create some separation from a party standpoint. secondly, if you look at the senate now we have a new senate foreigns recommendations chairman. bob corker was very outspoken on these issues. he was looking to grab turf to demonstrate leadership from the legislative branch side in foreign policy from his perch as chairman of the foreign releases committee. with the new chairman coming in, he is sort of an unknown on this. and what i'm hearing is that most expect that he will sort of fall in line with the trump view and not being -- not be questioning of the trump administration approach as corker might have been. corker was basically more independent as a voice on these
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things. s so i would expect on the senate side a more muted approach among senate republicans there, at least from the chairman and so forth. but i expect some fireworks in the house on this. >> let me do a follow-up for you, congressman, you're the one person on the stage with probably more perspective about where korea fights in the national consciousness or what congress is up to. from the perspective we think doctoria is really important. from your poif how important is korea to the congress or public now. >> i think it's very important. first of all, i think there is a broad acceptance of the threat, whether it's on proliferation issues, the direct threat that north korea poses to allies in the region appear 199and now apparently to the u.s. mainland. knows are issues. i think there is broad consensus on the human rights issues. and broad consensus that north korea is a -- has been a bad actor for a long time fuming a
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lot of problems. if you look at trade agreements, the chor us probably achieved the biggest bipartisan vote among agreements fasted over the last decade or so. i think there is a sense that these economic issues are quite important. to the extent that -- i don't know how important congress recognizes korea -- the peninsula itself to be with regard to how belt and road is going to play out in this -- you know, the pull back and forth on what south korea doesup. does it lean more toward you know, china and belt and road initiative sns how does it straddle that? and then an energy component as well where i think russia is making a play to provide more energy to south korea through a route that would involve possibly building a pipeline through north korea to the south, or you know more
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collaboration on the peninsula on energy issues. some of these things -- i don't know if congress is paying close attention to it brewedly. there may be some members who are doing so. i hope they are because i think what happens on the peninsula is vitally important for u.s. national interests. and certainly our alliance with south korea is critical from a security standpoint and the economic partnership as well. >> ambassador where do you think japan figures in the national consciousness or with the congress. >> thank you for the question. if i could shift to an economic focus. because i think one of the big issues congress will be thinking about going forward is our trade policy with jpen. we're in a very unusual situation right now where the united states worked very hard to negotiate a very good market access agreement with japan in that context of tpp. so we obtained major concessions on cuts in tariffs on beef, pork, wine and other products. and now ironically because we pulled out of that agreement
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thework we did to negotiate niece concessions benefits our competitors. so new zealand and australia are now exporting beef to japan and pay bag two thirds of the tariff that american exports are paying thanks to u.s. trade negotiators. in april as it is the japan eu fta will come into effect and u.s. pork exporters will pay 30% more tariffs than spanish and danish exporters. we are losing market share in japan. it's an 11 billion-dollar market for u.s. agricultural exporters. thanks to u.s. negotiators. this is what we did. i think bus the president doesn't recognize the impact of withdrawal from tpp. and japan has taken a very interesting approach. rather than retaliating on the united states for our imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum, like china did, like the eu did, japan has said well we're going to be cutting tariffs for your competitors as we have agreed to. so -- in a way we are facing the
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pressure but it's our own doing. so one thing i think congress could do is start highlighting -- because u.s. agricultural interests are concerned. they are reporting that they're -- their partners? japan are looking to the eu and australia. they're looking for the best price they can get. these things will are are going to be occurring. one thing congress could do is highlight some of the costs of u.s. trade policy. and perhaps getting to a consensus that we need to be negotiating an fta with japan either bilateral or going back to a tpp type arrangement. >> i'm glad you are raising the economic issues because they are fundamental we'll get back to these. a few more things on north korea first to wrap up that port. ambassador, are there steps congress could take to help negotiations with north korea? >> i don't think so. >> fair enough. some might argue play the tough role but these are different
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tais. i'd like to get back to human rights for ambassador stephens. in 2016 president trump was voe sifrous about the north korean human rights problems. now the dialogue has started he has not raised the issue. do you think the administration or congress will try to keep human rights on the agenda. >> well, i turn to congressman boustany too. but my sense in terms of congress, yes, they will. there are some members including now some moving into leadership positions in the house with longstanding interests and commitment to highlighting and trying to address the situation of human rights abuses in north korea. and i would expect we will hear about that. it's also notable that the president, the administration has not -- not nominated as far as i know a new special envoy -- i'm looking at our former special envoy. special envoy on north korean human rights issues which is required by law.
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of course there are vacate icys at the state department and a number of of nominations have not been made. two years into the energies and not yet nominated that's a question coming up in congress and certainly being asked in the recently. so, no, i'm not being as brief as joe was, with you, you know, all indications are that president trump is taking a different tack right now with north korea. and it does not include highlighting the -- the human rights situation. but i would just add -- i mean, i -- you know, i thinks it important to highlight. i think it's also important to address the humanitiarian situation. and in north korea. and one thing that concerned a lot of people in this town and elsewhere is the -- the very, very strict, i guess would be the approach that the u.s. administration was taking to granting humanitiarian exceptions to sanctions to allow
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various kinds of -- again this is not human rights in that more traditional sense but humanitiarian relief to address some of the really serious healthy and humanitiarian issues in north korea. i do think there is a way of engaging on in. in particular i would also say with seoul where sometimes it can be a sensitive topic. where you can come up with not only the humanitiarian area but also sort of specific areas that are not continuinged with and president trump would be well positioned it. not well positioned with the the condition of regime change or toppling. but how can you make practical, small prochlts, maybe incremental in the lives of north koreans and i personally would like to see that highlighted. >> now, i think it was curious to see the pivot of president trump away from the -- you know his highlighting the human rights abuses. and you know, at his first state of the union he had the family
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of that poor student who basically didn't survive captivaty there. but he has pivoted obviously because he is trying to keep in negotiation and discussion going with kim jong un. but i don't think congress is going to let up on that. and i would expect the house foreign affairs committee -- trablly both sides of the aisle in the house have focused heavily on democracy promotion, human rights issues and so forth. humanitarian issues. i think that will continue and be robust. >> and ambassador zumwalt it a different kind of human rights issue. but i know japan has been focused on the abductee issue and still is. is human rights in north korea also part of the japanese agenda. >> the japanese agenda certainly includes resolution of the issue of japanese abducted from japan
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and brought to north korea. it's got to be a very tough issue to resolve. and i think the united states thus far has taken the very good approach of acknowledging this is a human rights concern. and because we support improvements in human rights this is an issue that north korea has to deal with. fundamentally it's a bilateral issue or issue between japan and north korea. but i think the u.s. support can be in terms of our values. >> okay thank you. ambassador you yun i'll give you a question other than yes or no. more air time. . the new year's address kim jong un called to for sanctions relief and said without it the current process could come to an end. >> right. >> do you see the administration being oem open to sanctions relief and when and what kind. >> yes, i think they are open to sanctions relief. it's just the question. what do we get by giving up sanctions or giving some relief to sanctions? and i think the -- you know what is emerging from the new year's
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address, he wants sanctions relief in particular reopening kesong industrial kmount and mount kungon. and i think you are going to see an interesting jockeying of positions. because south korean government wants that too. so the question is, what is it that washington can get for knows items? you know, some sanctions relief and -- and kasong and kungong. i think we have to remember that for washington policy community, unyou know for a along time we regarded the industrial complex and kungon as the back bone of fallen exchange earning that financed missile, especially the missile program and also the nuclear program. so it's going to be very, very hard to get to -- to get
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washington to agree on that. and so you have to look at what is it going to take from the other side, you know, to go that far? and my view is that kim jong un has hinted at two things which are worthwhile. the first is completely dismantling the a nuclear facility. and yongbeon is the declared nuclear facilitate. probably accounts for 50 to 70% of work on physicalle material and producing weapon-grade material. and then the sec thing he said he could do in the new year's address is the idea of freezing the nuclear program, you know, which is no more production of fissile material for weapons and no more production of weapons. so, i mean, is that a fair swap
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getting the yongeon for a freeze of the industrial complex? maybe we should take a poll and decide? i think it's a decent swap, you know. >> i think the other important element to this is in does go then to managing the relationship between washington and seoul. with an awareness that if kim jong un is feeling mischievous by butting the the kpleel will complex to be reopened it could be wedge driving between seoul and washington. because seoul will be inclined to want that. and washington may not. i do think that washington -- we need to look at really what our assumptions are about the value of these and also how they fit into our desire to stay lashed up with our allies in seoul? the mount gungong the tourist resort is being closed to south
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korean 10:30ists are who are the main visitors. i think chinese go there. since 2008. and so at least since 2008 it wasn't a cash cow for the missile and nuclear program which did continue. part of my point is not that it's an insignificant source of foreign exchange. i grant that. and it probably had not yet delivered on the notion that as people go in it gradually opens the society and so on. there is a long way to go on that. but let's not -- let's not overexaggerate the financial impact and ignore the fact that north korea has been very good at staying a few steps ahead when it comes to finding other sources of income. and once we -- there is a bit of a whack-a-mole to sanctions maintenance at all. i grew he with joe is what i come down to, is that these are things to look at in light of what can we get for them? and also how does it help to promote inter-korean reconciliation in a way that
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does not undermine the work together that we do as allies with seoul. >> i think kim jong un's statement sounded like a negotiation when he said he would not test, produce or use nuclear weapons. he said nothing about not keeping them. that feels like the bid. >> um-hum. >> congressman, you talked about the congress viewing sanctions in terms of russia. will congress have a deep interest in sanctions towards north korea. >> absolutely. i think so. i think there will be a great deal of skepticism with regard to any move to lessen the sanction regime without seeing some real deliverables. and again, i think the house foreign affairs under democratic control will raise that issue in a quite a forward way so i think that's very true. i don't see them being willing to -- to just sort of acquiesce
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if the administration were to unilateral take a tepp to diminishing the sanctions regime. >> let me ask you to about the possible treaty. administration has used the word treaty in regards to snark. the problem is there is not enough votes in the senate to pass it without dynamicic support. if we approach a treat with with north korea what will it take to bet bipartisan approval. >> that's a big hill to climb. so i think a lot of work would need to be done on all of things we have just been covering, really, whether human rights, it's the -- our allies wbt concerns of allies and the regional impact of what this means. so i think it -- a lot will have to be done to build support and communicate this. and keep in mind, in the house alone this is the biggest turnover in the house since watergate. and most of the members who are serving now have only served --
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you know, a aside from the ones who got elected which is a large number, many of them have only served a couple of terms. you've lost a lot of institutional experience and so forth. so there is a learning curve but there is a great deal of skepticism to get the president cater blanch on these issues. >> ambassador zumwalt. ambassador stephens about not calling for six party talks to resume. he was explicit about that. how much has japan wanted to be in the involved going toward. >> japan would like to be involved because its interests are at stake. to give two examples one there is a great fear in japan that the united states would negotiate some kind of agreement that curtails north korea's intercontinental ballistic missile program but leaves in place the medium range missiles which threatens japan. they would like a place at the table to make sure the
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discussion guess on to make sure their interests are accounted por. another example in the six-party process when agreement was reached there was a feeling that the united states negotiated with north korea on how much japan was going to pay to participate. and they would like place at the table if their finances are going to be involved in the negotiation. so one of the messages that the japanese are saying is we have interests and we would like to be accounted for. >> and you know, i think this is one of those times when it's important to remind ourselves that the -- even when a negotiation is primarily a bilateral negotiation, for example, i'm thinking of the dayton accord if you remember those to settle the bosnian conflict appear the imploding yugoslavia. i mean the u.s. negotiated with some parties in the ban are balkans. but there are a lot of other people if not the room because
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there wasn't just one room around the negotiation. europeans would be paying for it and staffing it. and and providing it. you know, the northern ireland process is another one i'm familiar with. the iran process. i mean -- and i realize traditional diplomacy is not used with any favor in many parts of the town now. but traditional diplomacy is like politics, getting your allies and supporters together and putting together a deal. and it seems like the basic concept of what we call contact dwroups often go on for a long time afterwards. we also know once you get agreement even if you don't have a treaty or do you get an agreement implementing it is a matter of decades usually. i'm fallout saying in this case predict being it's decades before north korea gets rid of the nuclear weapons but any agreement is a long-term process and you need all the support you
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can get around it as well as funding. i do worry about again kind of just the loss of the institutional muscle, if you like, that this is -- the u.s. has been a leader but haven't acted alone. and i don't see how we are going to get in thing worked out if we don't get that muscle back. >> and thefr ambassador yun and stephens, there is a sixth part of the sixen-party talks but is russia going to have to be brought onboard as a traditional ally. >> that's a yes or no for you. >> how will russia be brought on. >> you know, russia has become certainly in my experience talking with russians about north korea was quite productive. i think they have some good ideas. and they're not so wedded in one camp. of course russians have an interest in reducing american influence and footprint over the
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korean planes. they share that with the chinese. but i think their ideas, you know, is --- some of them are quite good. that was why in six-party talks they were made chair of the northeast peace and security. >> northeast asia security mechanism. >> and so. >> whatever that means, right. >> i think they have something to add. maybe if i can go back for the treaty issue, i think we have to remember that for the united states we got involved in the korean war unthe u.n. umbrella. and that was part of the u.n. police action. so the war was never declared. and the second thing we are to remember is that chinese got involved as the volunteer -- chinese volunteer army. and so, again, there was no -- no war declaration there. so really if you look at it, the
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conflict is between north and south, you know. and i pose this -- this peace treaty or peace mechanism can be as complicated as you want to make it. what does the u.n. do? you know, what does it mean for u.s. forces? china was a signatory. south korea was not a signatory to the 1953 armistice. can you make it complicated. and of course the likelihood the treaty will ever get to -- gets past the congress is probably zero to nil. and so i think we need to -- if you go forward you need to simplify and try to make it a political issue rather than a strictly legal issue that you got to deal with all the bits and pieces. >> um-hum. >> that's an excellent point.
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i think there is a big difference between declaring peace and resolving armistice. they are not the same thing. >> could i add to that too -- i agree with that and i think it is -- we talk in shorthand, abpeace treaty or peace agreement to end the war but there is a process -- again the word process -- but there are a lot of options. one thing i have heard -- i don't know if you have sometimes from -- indirectly or indirecting from royces from pyongyang shall we say, is this negotiation of you know we have regime stability here. again i'm not quoting anybody here but sort of the message as i receive it is we're predictable. we've been consistent. south korea changes government every five years. i think it's a good thing. and we change our governments and we have elections but for the north korean perspective is you can continually overturn agreements we have made. so i think there is you know if you are trying carb carb- toufr look at it from poong's view too
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process. how are we sure any agreement that an mesh president or south korean president makes is respected by the next dmrks? and you know it's always hard for an authoritiarian or solitary regime to understand a democratsic process in another country. but i think they look and say well maybe one thing is to have something that's passed by the congress, by the senate. and i think they will be sense i have to that. especially given the experience of the agreed framework. but, yeah, my recollection from dploktic tai days is even when you have a treaty like the law of the sea which with all parties support and the u.s. navy supports, we still can't ratify it. i don't know if that's going to change in the u.s. senate any time in our lifetimes. >> until the point they saw the trump administration pull out of the iran nuclear agreement, and that further ingrains in their thinking that niece agreements doesn't last. they're subject to the next administration and the whims of
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what happens politically as opposed to enshrined in a legal construct. >> let's pivot a bit to the trilateral cooperation between the u.s./japan, south korea, the easy part. ambassador zumwalt how would you transcribe the sate of the trilateral relationship? and what should we do to help it along? >> well, to be honest, the current state of the trilateral relationship is terrible i think. and it's because of japan korea relations being in such a low level. ab"i" quite concerned about -- it's in the united states interest to have a strong trilateral relationship. in the obama administration there was a lot of work. certainly the deputy secretary of state led talk was his korean and japanese counterparts that are productive process. and the goal was to look for areas -- it's in all of our interests and we can work together. i think now the ability to convene that kind of a discussion is pretty difficult on the japanese side.
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i think they used to use the word correa fatigue. but i think it's worse. there is quite a bit of anger. even newspaper that is used to be urging the government to work things out with korea have stopped talking about that. and so i guess my advice to japanese friends is tu twofold. one don't make it worse on the leadership level. avoid steps that only exacerbate the political problem on the other side. and two begin look to medium and long-term solutions that ultimately over a long period of time could lead to better relationships things like exchange programs and those parliamentary exchanges, journalist visits those sorts of things to build a consensus on both sides. but i think the number one issue -- i think this goes for both nation's leaders, is don't make things worse. >> do no harm. >> do no harm. >> we billed this conversation about being about northeast asia the let's turn to mcbriefly.
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ambassador yun president trump talked about a strong personal relationship with xi jinping. the administration is confronting china on trade. how does it view china as a diplomatic and strategic partner. >> i think we have seen transformation of trump administration policy and where initially for a number of reasons perhaps north korea being the most important, that china was seen as much needed. and so there was tremendous effort. but once north korea as far as trump is concerned began talking with them, began northbounding with them, the need -- the need was no longer there need to get china to help out and the threat that was posed by north korea. and so then i think the basic instinct of president trump took
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over which is on trade. and, you know, business. and there you are seeing much tougher policy. and those policies have a lot of resonance within the united states, even within the business community, you know. and so the this is why i think you are seeing president trump go to the brink in terms of trade war with them. but, again, i mean, certainly -- we have always, you know -- the china that certainly -- when wed joined foreign service is no longer the same china, you know. i mean it's gone through at least you know two or three you know transformations from, you know, once the normalization happened, then there was -- like china dream. everyone thinking they are going
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to be an important stakeholder, going to join these clubs like ww.h.o. wsh wto and so on. but injury to some extent the dream was shattered in the late the 80s over tiannemen. and then the divided opinion after that with people still saying china is a stakeholder, that cooperation and engagement can work. but i think that school is losing out now to the one that sees china as a strategic foe that we have to deal with. so that's where we are. and i would say that's the view emerging. that's the emerging consensus rue. >> could i add to that? i agree, joe, interests an emerging view that china is a strategic foe on a broad array. but i think the debate is over what then do you do about it? and there i think there is a lot
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of criticism of the trump administration approach. another way of dealing with china would be to use multilateral system and use a regional system like tpp and engage like minded partners to enhance the pressure on china. and instead the u.s. has gown the opposite we walked away from tpp which was an effort to establish new rules regulating things like state-owned enterprises. we have not been interested in wto reform to address these challenges. and we have picked fights with most of the like minded partnering with the eu and japan and the korea and others. i think the debate is not over what is the status of china? it's more how do we deal with it? and there are some serious issues to discuss. >> i think again you also have to try to think about how this -- how this looks from beijing. and you know, i think china and the united states continue to share an interest in generally stability in northeast asia, i
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mean stability on the korean peninsula and to share an interest in pursuit of that stability as well as our shared i think non-proliferation goals to see denuclearization or progress in that direction not a continual arms build up in northeast asia. that's something to work towards. about but going in the other direction you have a china which has said long before xi jinping that they regard u.s. alliances in northeast agy as an aconnism a vest ij of the cold war that have no place in the modern world, that china is looking to resume its natural role and whether we mean a natural role as the dine i assistant but the greater role of china's influence in the area. and frankly i'm concerned they see opportunities here. because we have an american administration which is ---en a a president specifically who has said that he -- he feels that
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alliances are not so much of an asset for the united states, that he is not eager to z to the united states continue to have troops deployed overseas in every situation. and in the case of korea he has been quite specific about that. so although as we have seen over the past couple of years, you know, however the process is, reverse engineering or however it looks, we sometimes end up in a place where i think we need to to be in terms of our own national interest. nonetheless in beijing you see opportunities there kind of longer term for ink chaing the power of relationships in northeast asia, especially vis-a-vis the alliances. but statement maybe trying to ensure that you maintain that relationship with north korea and, you know, address the denuclearization issue in a way that perhaps satisfies president trump. i mean i'm kind of outlining a scenario which kind of on more of a worrisome side from the point of view of u.s. goals but that's something we have to pay attention to. >> i think for the longest time
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we have engaged with china without purpose. and taking a step back and looking at what's consistent with china is the fact that leader after leader since mao has put the party and the party interests first. and they've -- and xi jinping now has doubled down on that system which to get to structural changes, whether it's intellectual property on forced technology subsidy and state owned enterprises it's difficult. because the reform we are asking to undertake will undermine the parties' grip ultimately on what's happening there. there is a fundamental contradiction. that's where the lines will be drawn. we have to figure out what are our rules of engagement, and what are we trying to achieve? i think there are a number of issues we' line and a number of issues we don't. to get china to undertake more
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difficult changes will take a significant multilateral effort where youing a gri gait leverage and it's in interest the to make the change they have to make the choice because i don't think anybody can force them at the end of the day. whether that leverage would be successful or not. remains to be seen. we don't know. i want not been tried yet. i think diplomatic efforts ought to bed made to build the approach to china without calling it containment and just kind much what we were trying to start with tpp, and it will have to play out over time. in the meantime we have to figure out where do you draw the line? where do we engage where we have aligned interests? where do we engage in opposition? and how do we use the international architecture and
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strengthen it, because to some extent that's our home turf. we created that after the second world war. you don't want to degrade that architecture. because it ultimately did he grades our legislate macy. let's look at building consensus with other countries to work within the architecture when which do have to oppose. >> okay, i'm almost through with my questions i'll tirn to the audience. three more quick with for ambassador stephens and zumwalt could summarize the state of south korea and china rice lakes and japan and china relations the bigger context not just the u.s. >>le two historical. south korea and china only established diplomatic relations as modern -- as a modern diplomatic relationship in 1992 so it's fairly recent. i think they went through if you like a long honey moon period because the economic relationship boomed so dramatically. and in fact i think -- because,
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i mean korea -- south korea is by some measures the most -- the most reliant on trade with china of any country. it's very deeply embedded. the last several years have been a little rocky easterly especially over this should of the thaat diplomat, the diplomat of the radar system in south korea to address the growing north korean threat. and i don't think it's really kind of recovered from that in many ways, certainly if in terms of public attitudes and popular attitudes. so i -- i think it's a -- it's a more from the south korean perspective they're a little bit more if you like, you know, sobered and realistic about their -- about china's big footprint in the area and its readiness to use its economic clout to get its broader policy object he was. because if you like, the sanctions against some, you know- dsh against south korea
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continue i think in terms of tourism, group tourism is still dried up from china. and a variety of other things. at the same time, south korea -- sorry it's a long answer no. but south korea is feeling always the hot breath of larger countries around the area and economics. including japan and china as bell. and they've tried to stay on the age by risking more innovating more if they can and getting out to new markets. i think they feel under tremendous pressure right now. you can say the world does but they feel under tremendous pressure right now from china and the economy looms large. that's why i think they are very happy to have the korea u.s. free trade agreement improved. trump version. ratified. so they're more security in that expect. but they watch with great concern the -- the u.s./china relationship and u.s. commitment
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in the area. >> speaking of china/japan relations, i think in some ways it's very collar to what congressman boustany said about u.s. china recommendations there are some areas where the relationship is good and others where it's problematic. japan has been a tremendous beneficiary over the last 30 years of chinese dramatic economic growth. japanese firms have invested heavily in china and doing -- have been doing well there. there is a -- and recently there is a huge increases in chinese inbound tourism into japan. i think last year not just chinese but there was a total of 24 million tourists coming to japan which is double the amount dwas five years earlier. now they set a new goal of 30 million inbound tourists and many of those will come from china. that's on the plus side. on the minus side china -- i'm sorry, japan does feel a threat from china's growing and robust security capabilities. you know, japan has a territorial dispute with mcin
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the east china sioux ep sea. they have territorial dputs with russia and correa as well. but the disputes with russia and korea the other side occupies the territory there is little to do about the northern territories and bikatop but in case of the islands japans have control. they are contesting the cell. that dispute is more in the news in japan. i think just in general, the japanese feel the threat of gradually become less relevant and more being forced to bow to chinese will. so far, japan's response has been to enhance its security ties with the united states. and i think there would abdesire to improve security recommendations with south korea as well. it's very much a mixed bag. in the last year, the abe -- prime minister abe traveled to china i think that succeeded in at least restoring japan/chf releases to the low level it was at four or five years ago. but i don't see a possibility of
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dramatic further improvement given the pretty severe differences between the two sides. >> ob thank you. the last question for congressman boustany. it's technical and specific will you important but the section 232 trade authority. >> okay. >> so in the last congress there were concerns about how the administration was using the provision regarding national security concerns and trade policy. if the administration finds outgoing imports with damaging narnl security and places tariffs on automotive exporting countries sump as doctoria, how do you think congress will react to that. >> well, i think with section 2323 on steel and aluminum, you saw a little bit of a -- a pushback. and i mention -- i don't recall if i mentioned senator tumey on the senate finance committee the stressed more interest in looking at this. and i think with automotives -- this will hit more congressional districts than steel issue alone. and i think it will get --
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gather a lot of attention and sochl it negative toward the trump approach on this. in the house, a lot of conversations i've had republicans with thenous -- they have been critical of section 232 tariffs on steel on aluminum. but they've been voicing it quietly among themselves. sometimes with the trump administration. but they have not been publicly vocal on this as opposed to to a few of the senators who have been more vocal on it if. but i think in the automotive side of it, if that happens, i think it will be much more impactful. and i think there will be more pushback. >> okay. thank you. so we reserve 15 minutes for the audience. so yes, sir, sir do you have a microphone? microphone is on the which up. >> steve winners. independent consultant. i understand there is quite a
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polarization in south korea about -- between the conservatives and maybe what we call liberty left, liberal left is moon and his policies of the current government and the conservatives. when i hear the people in d.c. speaking it's almost very much along the lines solely of the view of the conservatives in the south. so first i'm just wondering is there anybody in the previous congress or the new congress who actually is enthusiastic in any way about the policies of the moon regime? and then secondly to follow up on professor stephens remark about the kpk kweez on south korea between mc's technological advances, i think it's not just maybe leftist or whatever if you want to call them that as the conserves do, who are looking towards the north but it's also the conservatives in the south korean conglomerates, the chaob family. when moon went north he brought the chab with them.
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they are thinking of economic unification under a guise of the two states. not political, economic which with era will create a powerhouse in south korea economic le way the german unification did in europe and stave off the challenge from china. it's not just maybe -- there is no sympathy for moon here bau maybe we are making a mistake not seeing the necessity for the koreans to go this route. >> yeah, i think so-called liberals in south korea and progressive whatever you want to call it, the reason why they are not getting as much traction in washington or the united states is because at most -- at extreme, liberals in south korea mass defined themselves as wanting self-determination sovereignty, which means ending the alliance relationship. okay? so you are not going to get much
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support in washington if you say we want to end alliance relationship. now, i think they would say that's unfair on us. but i'm saying at -- at an extreme. so the liberals or progressive in south korea really have two groups. what i would call alliance supporters and sovereignty supporters. national sovereignty. and so that's the reason why in general u.s. policies are more consistent with the conservative group. now that's not to say that moon -- president moon or his following the extreme side. but there are clearly elements within the blue house who would like to have a true reconciliation with north korea. they feel they need much more of this complete self-determination.
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>> question here. yes right in the middle. >> radio free asia. this question is about the u.s. china trade war. there is only less than 30 some days for the two sides to make a deal. it looks like promising in beijing today. my question is, would japan or south korea benefit from this trade wore war or what is the position of the two nations relations america with or with mcthank you last but not least do you see a real chance that the trade war will begin from march the first? thank you? >> i think -- i think the pressure on both sides, on xi and on trump is to get some kind of deal. which will probably have an element of mutually agreed upon market access. a lot of that has been bandied
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around in the press. china will highlight this new modification to the 2015 law dealing with joint ventures saying we're reforming, moving forward. there will be new commitments probably on ip protections. and so i think they can get the dsh the big issue is the how hard a line low pressure lighthizer insist on the process to verify all of this? that's where i'm a little uncertain where -- what he will advise the president. and my guess is that there will be sort of an extended truce period. so there will be this sort of package of things that they agree upon with ongoing negotiations for further things. and sort of a test period. that's what i think may happen to buy time. let the markets settle down. i suspect the chinese are going to try to -- underlying their
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whole approach to this is to wait out trump, string him along, wait him out and then it's back to business, status quo. but i think there is going to be an attempt on both sides to still the waters a little bit because mcis dealing with its own did he lefrpging smu and its debt problem and some of the economic headwinds within i think trump is spooked by what happened with the stock market here. >> i would say generally, i mean i think the south korean he is worry about being collateral damage. there is the old proverb that kor peens used to say about the in re guy political situation when the whales fight the shrimp is crushed and therapy not a shrimp any more some say a dolphin. i have heard koreans use in this connection with the trade war. we have a speaker just a small example of the south korean solar panel industry which got call caught up in the tariffs aimed otto china it wasn't the intent but any got hit. and then very much affected in a
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negative which. it's a lot of worry. >> same for japan kmpen woo like to see china and the u.s. avoid a trade war. >> the lady in the white back here. >> business america business institute. good to see you all. congressman boustany mentioned briefly about energy and energy cooperation. and you said a similar remarks at our event in december. and at the time and perhaps now you and many of us are talking about oil rn gflt, coal and others. but kim jong un mentioned during his new year's remark about nuclear power as in re source of electricity for growth. is it a wish list? or is there some possibility? and how are we in the u.s. and u.s. congress would take that in. >> yeah, that's an interesting twist on it. i think -- i know -- looking at
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south korea's plan we had talked about in before. president moon was backing away from nuclear, looking to enlance lng exports to fill the needs across different sectors. along with some renewables. and then the role of nuclear remains uncertain. and what bothers me a little bit on our side here in the u.s. is that it's been at such a stand still for a while. i think we have lost expertise in that area. and that's -- that's disturbing to me. especially as we have seen the gas opportunities, you know, arise and free, voluntarily a lot of the energy needs here. we are use losing expertise in that area. nuclear will probably end up having to play oh a role on the peninsula. and how this politically plays out with regard to any kind of ray approachment between north
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and south and how does that play out in the american congressional view of this, could be bt complicated. at the very least. >> mr. humphrey. >> peter humphrey intel analyst and former diplomat. when ta, freezes you have to add uranium mining. i look at the imagery and it's clear nothing change since singapore. my guess is what's going to happen is kim jong un is going to sell his nuclear weapons since they are largely useless to the united states, a billion dollars a pop something like that. that will get him, 40, 50 balance dollars. and then the last 10 will be in the prison camps. and the prison camps will be declared off limits to inspections. that's my guess what's going to happen. given that, that there are 10 cities potentially vulnerable,
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why haven't we denuclearized the peninsula overnight by declaring no first use guaranteed second use? >> what i think that's been done. if you look at six-party talks agreement. there is a statement on no first use. so it's -- it's been done before. and to me, dealing with these issues no first use, or freeze or whatever does not get to the fundamental problems, and again you cannot put it down on paper. the fundamental problem is there is such high degree of mistrust, you know. and you can't get over the mistrust until you slowly begin a relationship. and so i -- this is a problem. there is no relationship between
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the united states and north korea. there is no -- not even a liaison office. u.s. citizens can't travel there. unless you begin to address these issues of how do you have any confidence on each other's say, the items like no first strike, i don't think is very meaningful. >> guaranteed second use is the one i'm concerned about. i have no such statement in any document anywhere. >> i'm not sure that's been done on second use. but certainly we done security guarantees based on first use. >> but i think we have in our extended deterrence commitments to allies we have said the united states would respond appropriately to a nuclear strike. so i think that has been stated. >> congressman boustany i'm nick
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also ph.d. candidate at catholic university. you look at the 2020 election prism. you talk about congress, the time line and how it might be crunched because of that prism. and are the vchgt action actions and hearings -- we see them kind of up-front and then it dies off as we get toward election ramping up of candidates. >> when i first -- took office in 2005, january of 2005, for about four or five years after that, we would have a period of time anywhere from six months, eight, nine months, of work that was really legislative. we actually kind of got along and did things and tried to get legislation done. then as you got into the late summer coming back back from the august recess in particular after that first year, you began the political year thp. and things got progressively
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more political as you went on. that's completely changed. that's gone. it is non-stop politics. and i mean, look what happened. right -- almost immediately after the midterm elections you have the democratic primary already significantly under way with announced candidates and others. so there is really no reprove. and part of it is fueled not only the 24/7 news cycle spp but you have the constant social media scrutiny. there is no space whatsoever for members of congress anymore, because the existential of the money, social media, and all this, has eliminated that. so everything is done under the glaring lights of politics. and it's -- this is fueling the political dysfunction in our system. and i don't see an easy fix to that. and i don't see it going away. so we're already in the heat of battle with emts 2020 elections
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now. everything is going to be contained of viewed as such. and i think you'll see a lot of -- a lot of politics played with the hearings and investigations. both parties do it. and that's -- that's going to be the circumstances we're going to be under. and it's not a healthy set of circumstances by any means. >> that's one change. i think the other change is that the pressure of time is so great now that incoming dmrkss need to show results in the first 100 days. >> yes. >> they don't have time to wlt can the foreign policy establishment about the options they need to come into office with the agenda in mind already. it's very difficult. yes, sir. >> thank you all. washington dc office. always interested to hear your
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perspectives. now like make decades ago when people in the united states hear the name of samsung they might think of suitcase but situation mass changed. i understand the global economy is so intertwined we are dependent on etch ear in that sense my first question would be where does mr. trump's trade policy which may lead to the potential trade war will lead us or what the bottom line on that? and beyond that my second question is, does his policy may have impact -- impact on the security situations in the east asia, which may require flexibility in response by the u.s., japan? negotiation, u.s. government, u.s. congress and others. for example like flexibility for example in case of ottum kinawa
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for example. thank you. >> where does this end? well, what's happening is clearly having an impact op sly chains. i've been reading a lot of the articles about apple, for instance in china and it's loss of market share. samsung has really seen a contraction in market share. and what's happening with a lot of supply chains, especially those with embedded i.p., is where are the economics and security side sort of dovetail. i don't see in getting better in the short run. i think it's going to get worse. and how this plays out, what determines how these -- these shifts are conducted will matter a lot, because you can either see a sort of a controlled approach to it with realignment
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or you can see it really just spin out of control and a lot of commercial entities getting hurt bad. and with all the impact on jobs and the broader economy. that's my big concern that you get in -- what i've relatively an uncontrolled decoupling or disengagement with a separation of economic blocks. i hope it doesn't get to that. it's going to take some very, i think, astute and in depth economic diplomacy to avoid that kind of thing. on top of that, if you look at ct-tpp, japan's central positioning in that, japan with the eu, where they've got a pretty good agreement, come to agreement on technology, some of those things will define supply chain and business flow and my big concern is the u.s. is left out of all of that. the united states has now 14
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free trade agreement, the only top 20 economy that's clearly included would be south korea because we have an agreement with south korea, canada is at risk. there's no guarantee we're going to see ratification of the new version of nafta. if the president pulls out of the old one, which he's threatening to do, we could find ourselves more and more isolated from commercial entities, separated out from supply chains. that's the big risk. i think that's what's been factored into the market lately with all the volatility in the stock market. my big question is why did it take so long for the stock market to react to this. i kept seeing these headwinds, you know, building up, so those are the concerns. there's a security component because if you have -- china, according to number of theft reports, has increased its theft of intellectual property through
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industrial espionage, there's a security element clearly linked to all of that and that's going to fuel a lot of what happens with all of this. >> i mean, i think you asked the fundamental question of, you know, where does this all lead? this year is going to be, i don't know, my answer, but this year is going to be incredibly important. as to whether or not what we're seeing in terms of the post-world war ii security and economic architecture, the rise of populism, is it a pendulum swing which we have seen before in our own history or is it -- are we at the precipes of something transformational and perhaps not in a good way for those of white houus who would see the pendulum swing the other way. when it comes to south korea and i imagine japan as well, we're seeing the beginning of some hedging, and that's not a bad
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thing. hedging in terms of south korea looking to develop markets in the so-called southern strategy. the indo pacific strategy. this has to do not only with developments here but perceptions of where china might go. >> time for one more question. front and right, yes. >> [ inaudible ]. >> mic is on the way. >> thank you all for your comments. i just wanted to end with cp-tpp, ambassador stephens, your comments about countries hedging. american farmers have just been blocked, december 30th, the first six countries, the cp-tpp goes into effect, so australia, new zealand, mexico, canada, their farmers will take advantage of that and then with the eu agreement with japan, how long will congress and how long will american farmers be able to hold out? they're getting crushed now, and it's going to get a lot worse. i would be interested in all of
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your take of how long does this last? >> tammy, i've heard from farmers who are under severe stress and we've -- we're seeing a spike in bankruptcies in farm country, but yet, interestingly, even many soybean farmers who have been most hit by this, many of them are still saying -- >> [ inaudible ]. >> that's right. they're saying we're will to take this pain now because we think there's something better on the other end, and i don't know, i've been asking that question and trying to understand where the inflection point really lies. i'm starting to see more comments in the media and interviews with farmers suggesting that no, this is -- we have to do something different. now, how long will that take to bubble up and put pressure on congress to really push back on the administration remains to be seen. i thought we were headed that
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direction with all the volatility in the stock market. we're getting a little temporary reprieve with the discussions going on in beijing right now. i think even if we get an uneasy truce with beijing it's only going to be temporary and this is -- this will flair again. that's a big, big concern. i think we need a real strategy with regard to china and how to deal with it. it's much more complicated than what administration is portraying. i think he's overselling the impact of tariffs in this and under selling the collateral damage that has followed from the tariffs. >> that light is coming and it's a train, and it's going to crush us. >> it's going to be very painful. i mean, all these supply chains are shifting. brazil is selling more soybeans. we're not going to get those markets back any time soon. okay. our time has drawn to an end. i think former officials elected
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and appointed, remarkably frank and open views, i appreciate that very much. one thing i would notice when goy to a panel conversation in washington, d.c., some of the people wear glasses and here again, all five of us are wearing eyeglasses. i'm not sure if that shows the line of work is tough on the eyes or we're trying to see things clearly. >> or age. >> yeah. forget to mention that.
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[ applause coming up this weekend on book tv, saturday, at 6:45 p.m. eastern, california, democratic senator kamala harris details her life and career e through her book "the truths we hold, an american journey." at 11:00 p.m. eastern oz guinness talks about his book "last call for liberty." sunday on afterwards at 9:00 p.m. eastern, journalist raniqua allen discusses her book. she's interviewed by the root editor in chief danielle belton. watch book tv this weekend on
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c-span 2. sunday on q&a, author and columnist james grant. >> i make my living by writing about markets in something called grants, interest rate observer, which is much too expensive for some of the people out there. i think the trouble lies not so much in wall street, wall street is what it is, it's been a name either -- mostly an infamous name. mostly american history, right. i think what we are more -- what we ought to be more on our guard about are the institutions in the federal government that are avowedly benign in their intentions, the federal reserve, for example, the department of trurry, the securities and exchange commissions, these institutions set up as
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benefactors, and increasingly they are not so. >> james grant, sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's q&a. texas sent nine new members to congress in the 2018 elections including four democrats. colin allred represents the state's 32nd district, a former linebacker for the titans, left the nfl for law school after which he worked as an attorney in the obama administration's department of housing and urban development and later in private practice. voters in the 16th district elected veronica escobar. she previously has been elected el paso county commissioner and judge. earlier in her career congresswoman escobar taught english at the university of texas el paso as well as literature at the county community college. she's one of the first two
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latina congress women elected. the other sylvia garcia who represents the 29th district. she previously served in the state senate. before that she held a number of elited and appointed positions, including terms on the harris county commission and as houston's city controller. finally voters sent attorney lizzie fletcher to the house. this is the first time the seventh have elebted a democrat since constituted in 1967 on the west side of houston. the first member to hold the seat was george h.w. bush. new congress and new leaders, watch it on c-span. we are live on capitol hill this afternoon. actually this morning. it is 11:00. a group of house democrat leaders are gathered on capitol hill. they will be talking about how federal employees are being affected by the government shutdown. we expect this to start in just a moment, live coverage here on
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c-span 3.
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>> again, we are live on capitol hill as house democrats steny hoyer and tom buyer will be talking with members of the media about how federal employees are being affected by the government shutdown. the shutdown now in its 19th day. still going to be a couple moments before this gets under way. we are going to leave it here and you'll be able to watch it on our companion network c-span when it gets started. >> right now, though, a group of newly elected members of the 116th congress will talk about their legislative agenda, including hr 1, an anti-corruption bill at an event hosted by the group end citizens united. among the speakers democratic representatives abigail spanberger, vaf of virginia, ja golden from maine, and jason crow. this is about an hour. >> we're going to get started. thank you, everyone for com


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