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tv   Mc Laughlin Group  PBS  May 4, 2014 4:00pm-4:31pm PDT

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from washington, the mclaughlin group. the american original. for over three decades, the sharpest minds, best sources, hardest talk. issue one, angela comes calling. >> german chancellor, angela merkel, arrived at the white house on friday at a time of unprecedented german power. >> i don't -- this is a very important issue. it will be very important for us to bring the negotiations, very quickly to a close. >> since the economic crisis of 2009 five years ago, germany has been the driving force of the european union's economic policy. from the size, terms, and
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timing of bailouts for members to the depth and pace of european economic integration. on the eastern front, germany's caution and confronting russia has controlled the pace of eu and american sanctions. and tempered nato's response in the front line countries of poland and the baltics. close ties with china give germany a foothold in asia and beijing a line of influence through berlin. in fact, the increase in trade between china and germany particularly in german exports to china, has exceeded all expectations. germany is china's number one trade partner in the eu. and the top investment destination for german companies is china. based on this emerging economic between china and germany, quote, a special relationship,
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unquote, is now emerging. item. china needs technology and germany needs markets. structural similarities and shared economic interests are key for this emerging special relationship. item, germany's approach to china is mostly driven on the need of its exporters. germany's foreign policy is based on the idea that economic exchange will lead to political and society change in china. item, china sees germany as the most useful country for its economic development. germany is an attractive partner because germany's prom prominent role in the eu, but also because of increased german dependence on china. item, nearly a quarter of eu imports from china go to germany. item, during 2010, germany's
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trade with china grew by 34% to $181 billion. china is now the second largest market for german exports outside the e.u. item, chinese demand is especially high for german machinery and cars. china is the biggest market for the mercedes s class. chew chinese officials are driven around beijing in them. makes germany one of the most influential, if not the pivotal foreign policy player on the world stage. angela. >> question, who calls the shots? chance chancellor angela merkel or president obama? >> president obama in this crisis in europe is pushing, but he has a powerful restraining force in angela merkel who not only speaks for germany, the fourth largest
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economy in the world, the dominant economy in europe. but she is a powerful restraining force, but however, germany is something of a giant switzerland. it is not a big military power. it is not interventionist. it is antisanctions. it does not want a conflict over ukraine or crimea. she has been a tremendous restraining force and the only way she is going to be brought around to support real serious sanctions on russia is if vladimir putin makes a grave mistake and sends his army across that border, in which case, barack obama will be calling the shots. >> eleanor. >> in the press conference that merkel and president obama had on friday, the president went through all the sectors of the economy where they would be calling for sanctions. he left out oil and gas. and when chancellor merkelout t of the 28 european union
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countries are totally dependent on gas coming through the ukraine. so, she clearly is going to put the brake on sanctions that are going to damage the economy, but the president is one to throw the economy into a -- the world economy into a recession over this either. there's some negotiation here. but merkel speaks russian. putin speaks german. if there's any conversation going on here, it's between the two of them. so she is a critical player if they are going to be able to deescalate this crisis. germany is the banker of the e.u. and she has longevity. she is the most important player by far in this con. >> the difference in the way people in america and germany
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view how the cold war ended. americans will tell you that president reagan through peace, through strength, brought about the collapse of the soviet union. the average german will tell you the soviet union, it was friendship and reaching out and the politics of the diplomatic peaceful friendship with the soviet union that allowed germany to reunify, the east of germany to become one country. it wasn't western military strength. it was friendship and diplomacy that brought the cold war to a happy end. it's a totally different view about russia as a friend who allowed germany to reunify. that's as well as the trade relationship. germans are not up for a big confrontation. >> interesting. mort. >> i don't think the germans have any interest in a major confrontation with the soviet union, with putin in particular. and i think there's a real sense that putin is a very smart, very tough-minded guy
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and you just don't deal with him by going head to head with him. you have to find a way to negotiate with him. and he has, at this point, very little respect for the united states and for its leader. so, the germans are going to play a dis proportionate role because of the lack of traction that the president has. >> if they cross that line, if putin crosses that line into eastern ukraine, i think the united states will have to basically demand sector sanctions and i think there could be a real crisis in the nato alliance that happens. >> really? what do you think, eleanor? >> angela merkel is not naive about putin. they have this very ugly relationship. even the one, angela merkel is frightened. it goes back to her childhood. when vladimir putin discovered this. he made sure his aggressive dog was in meetings with her. and this got reported in the german press. she has no illusions about the kind of man he is, but she has this commercial interests and a
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public in the confrontation. >> jim, former executive editor of the international harold tribune argues that germany is turning against the west on russia. we decided here that that's not the case? >> in the press conference this morning, the president basically said that russia is bombarding russian media their public and the media is going into germany blaming the u.s. for basically the stabilization. and he was urging the german public to not listen to the propaganda. >> okay, what about eu, u.s. trade? >> on the obama merkel agenda this week, the t.t.i.p., the transatlantic trade and investment partnership are proposed free trade deal between the u.s. and the e.u. of which madame merkel is a long time advocate.
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the e.u. as a whole is already the u.s.'s number one market for exports. t.t.i.p. enthusists hope that passage will further open markets and eliminate terrorists. there are hurdles, including disputes over data privacy standards, the safety of genetic remodified foods, and environmental standards. >> question, are the trade talks going anywhere? what's the outlook for agreement this year? david. >> the sad truth is the europeans would like to know the prospects. they are worried by some of the stuff they hear from the american congress in the context of free trade deals with japan. there was an idea where there was cue in this asian trade deal had to be finished before they turned to the transatlantic deal. the europeans are not quite sure whether congress is willing. they are also not sure whether barack obama is willing to spend serious capital where the allies, very unhappy about free
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trade. you have the midterms in november. the europeans, even before they get to their real differences, they are not sure how obama is about this. >> there's a real problem in the united states and it deal with the trade deal in europe. a measure of economic populism, which is centered in the democratic party. the people feel these trade deals are done for the benefit of transnational corporations, not for the average individual and congress is seeking -- some members feel they are speaking for the american people when they say no to these trade deals. going back. >> obama doesn't have any political capital to spend on this. he just doesn't. and so merkel in washington was going to speak to the chamber of commerce and apparently the white house was urging her to tell the business community to put their muscle behind this. because if it's going to happen, it's going to have to come from elsewhere. >> corporate elites are the ones that want this deal on both sides. >> in terms of east, west,
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relations, how would you best describe angela merkel? >> she is the western individual who leads the west in trying to accommodate the east. >> eleanor. >> thank god she's on our side. >> yeah. she doesn't want to call the shots, but she wants a veto. germany always wants a veto on these things. >> she's the most important player in europe as far as we are concerned. her relationship with us is critical, but particularly in terms of international trade. >> i agree with you. don't forget the mclaughlin group has its own website and you can watch this program on the web at any time from anywhere in the world at i'm going to read my comfort card of the day. despite the hoopla over online media, new research shows that tv is still king. it is where most people get their information about issues and candidates. tv out draws online media 3-1.
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and 3/4 of u.s. adults say they talk politics every day. music to my ears. right? >> yes. >> issue two, anchors away. >> our goal is not to counter china or contain china. our goal is to make sure that international rules and norms are respected. >> president obama and philippine president signed an accord this week that allows the u.s. military to visit ports, bases, and airfields in the philippines. two decades ago, the philippines booted the united states out of their territory. causing the u.s. to lose its biggest overseas naval report. the new agreement allows america's military short-term access to philippine bases for specified periods of time. it does not give the u.s. any
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permanent or long-term basing right. why the turn about? in 2012, china used growing military might to grab the disputed from the philippines. china is currently engaged in a risky game of bluff with the philippines over another disputed island. second, thomas shoal, in the island. with a military that does not include a single jet fighter, and a 32 shift navy to patrol 36,000 miles of coastline, the philippines is manifestly incapable of defending its own territory. that is where commander in chief obama comes in. the new pack means u.s. forces will rotate through the philippines on naval patrol, military exercises, and short- term deployment. hopefully thus deterring china
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from military adventurism, crimea, in the south china sea. >> question, is the u.s. philippines defense back the achievement of obama's asian summit? >> the truth is, you know, this is a good thing. but the philippines military is so weak, that america is not going to go out on a limb to stand between the philippines and china. i think the biggest deal involved japan, some of the stuff president obama said in terms of extending his treaty obligations to islands. japan has a really serious military and could have a serious fight with china. the philippines are totally -- >> hold on. do you think the philippines going along with this idea is going to inspire other countries to do the same thing? that is to turn to the united states? >> they are already doing that. but the philippines are too weak to be a big player. >> let me tell you this is outrageous for this reason.
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at the end of the cold war, if the united states defended all these countries, they kicked us out of subik bay and the famous clark field that the japanese bombed at the time of pearl harbor and now they have problems, okay you americans can come back and defend us because we can't defend ourselves. i think there's an enormous amount of ingratitude on the part of the philippines, given the role we played for the last century. >> this isn't about gratitude. this is about u.s. interest and the pentagon's wish list is that they can have access to bases around the world where they don't have to operate them and run them, but where they can make improvement so they receive american jets. the man tra is bases, not places. this is the whole strategy with friendly countries they have this kind of access. this is the best thing that came out of this trip. it is very important and it is the futuristic strategy of a pentagon that doesn't have the kind of money it once had to
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actually run bases around the world and where we're not welcome to run bases. this is a very good arrangement. >> despite president obama's denial, the u.s. policy is one of de facto containment of china. do you agree with that? >> to some extent, of course it is. we also have to ask at what point, do what do we think we are containing here? if china is not an aggressive military power. they're an aggressive economic power. that is where it seems the major, sort of conflict or contrast is going to be emerging over time. >> the bases are a backup basically. >> i disagree with that. i think they are very aggressive and the east china sea and the south china sea and i think ultimately they want to drive the united states navy out of the western pacific to the second third chain. >> to resolve this and move on, despite obama's denials, the u.s. policies one of de facto
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containment to china. encourage china to pursue its territorial disputes in an international legal form instead of through military force. >> the u.s. strategy is not to turn all of asia over to china, but have a presence there. >> does president obama's asian trip succeed with its primary objective? washington can be counted on in a crisis? yes or no? >> to a degree, yes. >> yes. >> to a limited degree, yes. >> to an extensive degree. issue three, world stage weary? >> just as the u.s. is embroiled in a dispute in russia over ukraine. a new poll reveals that americans may be wearying of the world stage. a majority, 47%, say that the united states should be less active in world affairs. as compared to 19% more active. 30% believe the current level of activity is about right.
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the 47% who want the u.s. to be less active is a new majority as compared to earlier years when similar questions were asked by these pollsters. only 14% of americans wanted a less active role in 2001, 13 years ago, and 32% said the same in 1997. 17 years ago. a similar poll done by the research center last year showed a record number of americans said that the u.s. should quote, unquote, mind its own business internationally, unquote. 53%. in 1964, 50 years ago, how many americans said we should mind our own business internationally? only 20%. >> question, is america becoming isolationist, pat buchanan? >> i would not say so, john. most americans want to contain diplomatic ties with the world. they like the fact they are negotiating with iran. they are antiinterventionist, antigoing into these
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unnecessary wars like iraq and afghanistan and libya. they are all fed up with that. they don't want to fight in ukraine. they don't want to fight in crimea. you saw last summer when obama was going to attack syria, air and missile strikes because of their chemical weapons, the american people rose up as one to stop it cold and they did. the elites john in washington, d.c. of both partys are deeply interventionist, but the american people are antiwar and antiinterventionists, but not isolationists. >> i don't know if you consider obama administration as the elites. he kept us out of wars. i totally agree with that. but after two wars that the american people perceive we lost and an economy that was tanked and pouring money into iraq which is now plunged back into civil war and into afghanistan, which may be better, but it's not a trillion dollars better and these young men and women coming home and
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no jobs for them, can you blame the american people for saying let's pay attention to home here for a while? >> let mort in. >> i think if you try to take the temperature of the american public, they are much more concerned with what is going on in this country because we've had an unbelievably weak economy for many, many years. we have a huge unemployment, huge under employment. it's only natural we will focus what's happening here. do i think the united states wants to withdraw from its role in the world? i do not. >> no, but isolation is going to play a role in there in the campaign. >> the curtain going up in a bigger way on china is changing america all the time as far as its isolation and former isolationism is concerned. >> i think you can see the fascinating polling that american said for years that china has a larger economy. it's not true. the american public is deeply pessimistic about america's ability to control the 21st
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century. i must admit, the economist is one of the elites. we would like the president to take the leadership to explain to the american people that it is still in america's interests to have a global world order based on rule of law, based on free trade. all the things that benefit america. >> if we do that, we'll wind up like david's empire. the british empire, john. >> issue four, blame the polar vortex. >> the polar vortex has taken the blame for a wicked winter, a wet spring. record seasonal allergies and now get this, a sputtering economy. the commerce department reported this week that growth of gross domestic product in the first quarter of 2014 was innegligenceable, 0.1%. the lowest rate of growth since 2012. the reasons, a downturn in exports and business spending and record cold weather in january and february. economists had predicted a
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growth rate ten times higher. >> on friday, the labor department reported that the economy added 288,000 jobs in april. the unemployment rate now stands at 6.3%. mort, you want to sort this out? bear in mind that you may be challenged as the economy still on the mend or is it at recovery at risk of sputtering out? >> the recovery has been weak and it's still at risk, but the question is how much risk? what you're seeing now with the unemployment rate, the only reason the unemployment rate is that low, it's because a lot of people have left the labor force and all of the decline in the unemployment rate comes from the decline in the number of people who are looking for jobs. so there's been a real drop out of people in the job market. >> people stop looking for work. >> yes. what's happening now in terms of the economy, this month because we've had three weak months in a row, there are a
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lot of additional construction jobs. a lot of additional jobs that come in that sort of back up where it's going to be at least another 3 to 6 months before we find out whether this economy is coming out of what is clearly in some ways a recession. >> this is a good jobs number this month. if they can sustain that for the next couple months, maybe it won't sputter out. we've seen this pattern in past years where people get their hopes up, and then you know, august comes and it peters out. >> john, 800,000 people dropped out of the labor force. the labor force of the united states of america has been dramatically shrinking. this is a very, very serious problem if you have a growing dynamic economy. and frankly, i anybody who addressed this particular problem or explained why it's happened. >> some of that is people retiring. it's people going to graduate school. i mean, there are demographic changes that are impacting that number.
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but overall, we can't be happy with how things are going. >> fascinating. when you ask the american public in polls, if the recession is going on. even if economists say the recession has been over for a while. the american public is con fined in the nasty recession, and politicians get punished. you see the democrats have their own focus groups. it drives american voters insane with rage, because they feel their life is very, very tough. >> and the real growth in real wages for americans stopped flat in 1974 and it really is not going up since then. so you're talking about the american economy is not the dynamic thing it was in the first half of the 20th century. >> the whole -- >> before we reach for the cyanide, pat, hearing your outlook on all of this, there's a strong rebound in economic growth to a 3.5% annual rate and the current april, june quarter and growth should reach
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nearly 3% for the full year. up from 1.9% in 2013. that is expected. >> i doubt that. i doubt you'll get 3% if the first quarter you got zero. >> do you doubt that? >> i don't believe those numbers at all. that's an optimistic interpretation. >> can we cling to the raft a minute? >> you would have to grow 4% the second, third, and fourth quarter to get a 3% growth after a 0 first quarter. >> we don't want mort to leave here. >> it brought the country almost to a standstill. you know, let's give the numbers a little slack here. >> americans earned a bit more in confidence has improved. manufacturing activity accelerated in april for a third straight month. businesses are investing more in machinery equipment. >> i have to bring out the difference between an optimist and a pessimist. the best of all possible worlds and a pessimist fears he might
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be right. that is the most optimistic interpretation that you can give to the rest of this year. we'll see whether it happens. it's unprecedented and therefore, unpredictable. but right now, i'm much closer to pat than i am. >> the average hourly pay was unchanged at $24.31. >> are you all right? >> if you take out this quarter, look at the last number of years. the economy has grown 2.1%. that is -- and the predictions of the congressional budget office is that it doesn't increase for the next five years. predictions, pat. >> crush holan socialist in the parliamentary elections in europe may 22 to 25th. >> eleanor. >> the secrecy around the drug cocktail used to execute people on death row, the secrecy will be lifted and a lot of people will be embarrassed. >> david. >> things are going to get much worse in ukraine.
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>> mort. >> i was just going to say that. putin will continue his special operations in ukraine until it gets to be a major crisis. >> i predict six months after the november elections, congress will move to ban the sale of guns to people with mental disorders. the national rifle association will be silent on the matter, thus showing yequiescense. bye bye.
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