tv WSJ at Large With Gerry Baker FOX Business December 19, 2020 11:00am-11:30am EST
tune in weekdays from 6-9 a.m. eastern for "mornings with maria." i hope you'll join us weekdays to set the tone for the day, that's right here on fox business. that'll do it for us for this weekend. i hope you have a great rest of the weekend. i'll see you next time. ♪ ♪ gerry: welcome "the wall street journal at large." the washington establishment, very well educated, self-appointed and comfortably such rated policy making aristocracy, joe biden's return to the white house is a glorious restoration. you could probably here the sighs of relief and warm murmurs of self-congratulations rising from k street corner offices at the prospect of reassumption of business as usual, they hope, on january 20th. for them, the last four years have been an abomination.
they're looking to joe biden and their friends and colleagues joining his administration to restore the proper order of things. now, the rest of us, however you voted, might want to be concerned about the prospect of a full restoration. whatever you think of donald trump the last four years have been unquestionably a decisive break with the past. it was certainly a break with the people whose policies had, according to opinion polls, left majorities of americans being distrustful, discuss affected and demoralized in the last 20 years or so. now, in no area is the disruption that the donald trump administration has brought, no area is it more important than in relations with china. the president and his top advisers have been the first to confront the communist regime, breaking with the bipartisan approach of collaboration and engagement which was a kind of one-sided armistice in which china was given just about everything it wanted while beijing offered little in return. joe biden, it seems, is dismissive of suggestions that
the chinese challenge is a serious one. >> china is going to eat our lunch? come on, man. i mean, you know, they're not bad folks, folks. but guess what? they're not -- they're not competition for us. gerry: it's been obvious for many years now that china was going to be competitive, and it was going to be, perhaps, a mortal challenge to american global leadership and even american security. beginning with bill clinton in the 1990s through the bush administration and into the obama years, the u.s. posture towards china has generally been one of accommodation. there was no amount of persecution of its own people, territorial land grabs or, of course, the cheating it did in international economics and the stealing from american companies, none of that was going to stop the successive administrations from leaning over backwards to be on good terms with beijing. why was this? money. the administrations were backed from start by wall street and other corporate executives who saw china as a great money pot for themselves, but they shipped
american jobs overseas in the process. so policymakers played along for the benefit of china and to the cost of many americans. now the new biden team insists that this learned their lessons, and they accept what the future relationship with china will be a more competitive one and will produce friction. in an article in foreign afathers last year, jake sullivan -- who will be biden's national security adviser -- said although washington remains bitterly divided on most issues, there is a growing consensus that the era of engagement with china has come to an unceremonious close. the debate is other what comes next -- over what comes next. the article has insisted that the u.s. needs to work with allies to handle china. now, that's all very well, but it's not clear at all that allies like germany and japan, who depend on china for strong economic performance, it's not clear at all that they'll be eager to join the u.s.
whew, in new case, should we belief that the establishment that allowed china to rise unchallenged for so long now will take a different tack? what can we expect? how should the u.s. be handling what might be the most important strategic challenge of the 21st century, the rise of china? well, here to discuss all this is a real expert, founding dean of harvard university's john f. kennedy school of government, professor john allison, his book was a national and international best seller. thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. gerry: the last four years have represented a radical break with chinese policy do you see that as a lasting legacy of the trump administration? >> in a word, yes. but i would say this awakening, in effect, was inevitably going to happen because you can only stay awe sleep for so long --
asleep for so long, and i think because china's rise has been so meteoric and because it's so contrary to many truths or myths that we came to believe earlier, americans have found it quite hard to believe. your biden quote was very revealing in that respect. i mean, how in the world can china be an economy bigger than ours? no one believes that except for cia and the imf. and anybody who looks at the facts. gerry: right. >> china's now the number one economy. nobody understands that china is the number one trading partner of virtually everybody. so this has all happened so rapidly. in my book i quote the former czech president who says things have happened so fast, we haven't yet had time to be astonished. i think what the trump
administration was representing was kind of the awakening, alarm, astonishment at the notion that we thought we had, we had a baby tiger. bob iger has a good analogy. he says it's as if somebody gave us a cub tiger 20 years ago and played with the children and we always thought how cute it was. we left it in the country house for 20 years and fort about it. we came back and now we see this tiger that's consumed the staff there and threatening to eat us. gerry: biden says and biden's people say the way to deal with china, we need allies to do that, key allies in europe and in asia too. but there's a problem for many of those countries, aren't there? they face tremendous economic challenges particularly in the wake of covid. germany exports a huge amount of its goods to china, japan closely tied in to the chinese
economy, so are other countries too. how are you going to persuade those allies to do what might not be in their economic interest? >> absolutely right at the heart of the bull's eye question. this is a conversation i have had several times with mike pompeo who knew since he was a law student at harvard. leaders of other countries who depended on improving the living standards for their citizens are not going to choose between their economic relationship with china which is essential for their prosperity and their military or security relationship with us which is essentially their security well-being. they'll continue to try to straddle it. you can see this with germany right now as they figure out a version of a straddle our way. so i think of what we could have done 25 years ago if we had been wiser, but i certainly wasn't
that wise then, and i don't think many people were. when china was relatively small and inconsequential, then setting the rules of the game. we're not able to do, the biggest trading partner of everybody. all of our asian partners, japan, australia, singapore, south korea, almost two of thirds of their trade with china. so they cannot cut themselves off from china without basically a leader suffering a recession and losing his position. gerri: we've got to take a quick break, but when we come back, i want to ask you more on how a biden presidency might approach china. stay with us. ♪ when you're through with powering through, it's time for theraflu hot liquid medicine. powerful relief so you can restore and recover.
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china's been a rattling the saber over taiwan, heavily in hong kong, threatening noises elsewhere. it's quite often the case when a new administration comes in, foreign governments like to test the resolve of the administration. do you expect we could see some tension between china and the united states in the next few months? >> that's a great question, and i hope not but i fear possibly. i think that at least the way that the chinese have played their hand so far is to try to keep a lower key in order to try to not antagonize a new biden administration in the hope that they'll get back to something more like what they thought of as business as usual. they'll certainly have a more difficult issue with the allies than they've had in the previous four years. for some strange reason -- has an aal ore to -- an allergy to
alliances that entangle us. and they certainly do. george washington was familiar with that. but i think, i think the biden being of a more traditionalist regard in that regard will find it easier to have good conversations with these allies. the difficulty, as you saw, is their interests have become more and more entangled with china. so that's why it'll become extremely difficult to try to get people to sit oven our side -- on our side of the seesaw on each particular issue. gerry: professor, finally, in your famous book, you cited the pell by nice war with, you documented through history to cautions when a rising power -- occasions when a rising power has grown up to challenge the existing dominant power. and i think it comes to
three-quarters of those cases through history that tension ends in war. where are we in the rising tension between the u.s. and the rising power of china and are we already maybe too late to avoid real, real conflict? >> that's another great question. each time i go to china, i haven't been there now, obviously, since the disruption with coronavirus. but when i come back, i see folks in washington, they say what do you think, i say, well, we have a classic rising power accelerating towards a classic ruling power, and he's looking forward to the grandest confrontation and collision of all times. i would say we're on track for this, and i think the most dangerous flashpoint both early on for the biden administration and over the first four years if it takes that long will be taiwan where you'll see a country or see a political
entity, what happened in hong kong, less and less interested in being dominated by the mainland, but you see a china for whom taiwan is a renegade province and it is intent on reintegrating it. and this'll be a hugely difficult choice for the u.s. to try to maintain this ambiguity that we've had over this period. it's worked fine so far, but it's always at risk of becoming the match that creates the fire that creates a war. gerry: professor, fascinating insight. your book is fascinating and rightly celebrated. thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. coming up, those crucial runoffs in georgia. can republicans hold on to the senate, or could joe biden's democrats make a clean sweep in washington? stay with us. ♪ ♪ t-mobile is upgrading its network
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♪ ♪ >> i need two senators from this state. i want to get something done. not two senators who are just going to get in the way. >> we need david perdue and kelly loeffler to get in the way of open borders, socialized m.d. sin, a green new deal or packing the courts! [cheers and applause] we need e two georgia senators who will get in the way of the radical agenda of the democratic party and fight for georgia every day! gerry: that was vice president pence, of course, taking on biden in georgia for the fourth time in, for mike pence the fourth time in the last few weeks to boost the republican senate candidates david perdue and kelly loeffler, senators in the gar runoff election -- georgia runoff elections in early january.
a most recent poll this week shows both republican senate candidates with a slight lead over their democratic rivals. 76,000 new voters have registered in georgia by the december 7th deadline, enough to make a difference in the senate runoffs if they turn out. but some republicans are concerned that the attacks on the party's leadership in georgia by president trump may deter their voters from turning out. so what's going to happen? here to take it up is political strategist and founder of heg, mr. hicks. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, glad to be here. gerry: there is a lot of concern that these attacks by president trump on the governor, the lieutenant governor, the republican establishment there have turned a lot of republicans against their leadership, and they may not come out and vote. what do you think? >> well, we're certainly hearing that on the ground here in georgia that republicans, particularly those who are not frequent voters are concerned
about the election, whether or not they should participate in what they feel will be a rigged election are. so it absolutely is causing republicans at the very least to spend more money convincing their own voters to turn out the vote ratherrer than spending more money attacking democrats. gerry: it's on a razor's edge, it's very close on november 3rd, polls very, very close. what's going to -- turnout is going to be key, right? you normally don't get as big a turnout in the runoff as the general election, but could turnout be really high this time? >> yeah, absolutely. we had about 5 million people vote in the november 3rd election, and normally you'd expect a high end mark of about 50% or 2.5. but we will have have more than a million people who have voted early, so right now we're trending for about 50.5. it's looking like a high turnout for a runoff election are. the where are those votes coming
from and who are the people voting. but it certainly looks like we are looking at a higher than usual runoff election but not quite where we were for november 3rd. jr. jer there's a ton of money being spent, and who's spending the money? more on one side or the other? >> oh, my gosh, weed had about $440 million in tv alone. now, i think when you factor in digital and mail, probably right around $5, 550 million that's been spent in georgia since november 3rd with a little more on the republican side when you take hard and soft money than on the contact pseudo. anyone here who watches tv or listens to the radio will tell you there's no shortage of ads from both sides. gerry: and very briefly, frederick, we've got two weeks to go. there's going to be all kinds of political figures down there, i think former president obama on the democratic side, i'm sure senior republicans. the stakes couldn't be higher, could they? >> absolutely not. what we're talking about here control of the u.s. government and really the ability of joe
biden to seek his cabinet -- seat his cabinet. there's been a lot of fanfare over the last week or two about his selections for the interior and cabinet positions, but the reality is that right now republicans have 50 seats. and if democrats get both of these seats, both of them, then the balance of power would tilt in favor of the democrats because, obviously, kamala harris would represent the tie-breaking vote. that's everything when you're talking about seating your cabinet, who you're going to nominate for various positions and really joe biden's ability to govern. that's what's at stake. so if you are a clean energy person, you're interested in this. if you're more of a fossil fuel person, you're interested in this. if you're looking at corporate taxes and trade and tearive riffs and all these kinds of things, everyone has an interest in georgia right now. gerry: it's going to be quite a couple of weeks. at least i hope maybe you'll get a christmas truce, frederick -- [laughter] >> maybe christmas morning. of. gerry: thanks very much, indeed, frederick hicks, for joining us. coming up, as more biden
for transportation secretary. now, he's not exactly known as an or authority on interstate highway construction or international airline regulation or other things that the department of transportation deals with. he does have experience, it's true, in dealing with the daily realities of transport for some people. when he was mayor of south bend, indiana, he was responsible for the city's entire fleet of 60 buses. now, even mr. biden's own campaign mocked the mayor's little experience at a campaign ad contrasting biden's experience with that of the am establishes young man. >> both vice president biden and mayor pete have helped shape our economy. joe biden helped save the auto industry. pete buttigieg revitalized the sidewalks of downtown south bend by laying out a decorative brick. gerry: so what changed? well, it's obvious from the announcement this week that the main criterion in the selection of mr. buttigieg was that will be the first nominated
openly-gay cabinet member. that fact, rather than the nation's transportation needs, dominated the announcement, with on the nominee poking a little fun at himself. >> travel the in my mind is synonymous with growth, with add have beenture, on love. so much so that i proposed to my his in an airport -- husband in an airport terminal. gerry: the question though is all this reflecting the democrats' continuing obsession with race, gender and sexuality as the defining characteristics of our identity? the biden cabinet is supposedly going to be full of firsts, first woman treasure i secretary, first hispanic health and human services secretary, first gay nominated cabinet member. nobody begrudges them at all, but wouldn't most americans prefer the reason for the selection of someone to an important job to be the their ability to actually do that job? there's a novel idea.
well, that's it for us this week. be sure to follow me on twitter, facebook and instagram, and i'll be back next week with more in-depth interviews right here on "the wall street journal at large." are. thank you for joining us. ♪ ♪ ♪ jack: welcome to bauer ron's roundtable where we get behind the had hadlines and prepare you for the week ahead. i'm jack otter. coming up, why the company is betting on a rise in older users, and barron's annual top stock picks for the coming year, why you should add them to your portfolio. we begin with what we think are the three most important things investors should be thinking about right now. tech stocks had a big week as the nasdaq rallied, but small company stocks are the ones to watch.