Posts Tagged ‘Fox News Sunday’

Mnuchin Outlook for Sustained 3% Growth at Odds With Forecasters

July 29, 2018

The second-quarter surge shows the U.S. economy is “well on the path” for four or five years of sustained annual growth of 3 percent, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — a rosy outlook at odds with that of many economists as well as the U.S. central bank.

“We can only project a couple years in the future, but I think we’re well on this path for several years,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday,” as President Donald Trump’s economic team fanned out across morning talk shows to cheer-lead the economy.

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Steven Mnuchin

The U.S. economy accelerated in the second quarter to the fastest pace since 2014, the government reported on Friday, allowing Trump to link the increase with his economic policies, including the biggest tax overhaul since the Reagan era and a push for deregulation.

The second quarter may prove as good as it gets for the world’s largest economy, though, and few economists expect it to attain the president’s goal of sustained growth of 3 percent.

Long Expansion

The U.S. expansion, which dates back some nine years, is set to weaken as the impulse from the 2017 tax cuts fades, businesses retrench in the face of foreign tariffs or a strong dollar, and the Federal Reserve raises interest rates further.

The president “deserves the victory lap,” White House economic director Larry Kudlow said on CNN, adding that faster economic growth could continue for a “bunch” of years.

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Larry Kudlow

Mnuchin said that Trump respects the independence of the Fed, despite the president’s recent criticism of the central bank for raising interest rates.

In fact, Mnuchin said it was responsible for the Fed to raise rates as the economy grows faster and inflation rises.

Managing Inflation

“The Fed has been targeting 2 percent inflation, and obviously with 2 percent inflation we have to have at least slightly higher interest rates to manage through that,” he said.

The 4.1 percent uptick in second-quarter gross domestic product was propelled by consumer spending, business investment and a decline in the trade deficit. Yet as the effects fade from the tax cuts, economists expect the pace to moderate, with forecasts showing growth will come in around 3 percent this year before tailing off by 2020 to 1.8 percent.

The International Monetary Fund predicts U.S. growth of 2.9 percent in 2018 and and 2.7 percent next year.

While there’s evidence that tax reforms and cuts are helping to stimulate activity, the strength of consumer spending in the second quarter is unlikely to continue into the second half of the year, Bloomberg economists Carl Riccadonna and Tim Mahedy said in a note.

“Dollar strength will slow exports, and importers will adjust supply lines widening the trade balance,” they wrote. “Furthermore, residential investment looks to remain weak, due in part to last year’s tax reform, and consumer spending will moderate in the second half as the Fed continues to remove policy accommodation.”

Fed’s Outlook

The Trump administration’s official goal is for sustained GDP growth of 3 percent, which would well exceed the average 2.3 percent pace during the expansion that started in July 2009, as well as the Fed’s longer-run expectation of 1.8 percent.

The last time the economy enjoyed a sustained period of above 3 percent growth was in the late 1990s, when GDP was goosed by a technology-driven surge in productivity under then President Bill Clinton.

Trump forecast on Friday that future trade deals would spark further expansion as he pursues a hawkish trade agenda that includes tariffs on steel and aluminum and a threat to slap duties on $500 billion in Chinese imports. Many economists and analysts expect the opposite impact if the U.S. actions trigger a global rise in protectionism.

Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed last week to negotiate lower barriers to transatlantic commerce and put auto tariffs on hold.

While net exports contributed 1.06 percentage points to second-quarter growth, the most since 2013, the boost is probably temporary. The numbers reflected a 9.3 percent gain in shipments abroad, boosted partly by a surge in soybean shipments ahead of China’s retaliatory tariffs.

Few analysts are counting on this component to keep delivering in the face of a strong dollar and tariffs that have been proposed or already implemented. Meanwhile, steady domestic demand from households and businesses means imports will pick up, potentially causing the trade deficit to widen.

See also:

Steve Mnuchin Says the U.S. Is on a Path for 4 to 5 Years of 3% Growth


G7 critical of U.S. tariffs, fears of trade war loom

June 3, 2018
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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Trump’s announcement that the U.S. is slapping new tariffs on its neighbors and confidants, is driving a wedge between the country’s closest allies, with finance ministers of G7 nations lambasting the White House for undermining open trade, per the AP.

The big picture: Trump’s trade war is extending far beyond China. Last week, the administration announced a decision to impose a 25% percent tariff on steel and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

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The latest: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that Trump slapping new tariffs on Canada was “insulting and unacceptable.”

The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.

Yes, but: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on “Fox News Sunday” brushed aside Trudeau’s concerns, saying that the prime minister is “overreacting” to the new tariffs. “I don’t think our tariffs are anything to do with our friendship and longstanding alliance with Canada,” Kudlow said.

What others they’re saying: The G7 ministers said the Trump administration must abandon the proposed tariffs ahead of next week’s summit with leaders. They also urged Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to acknowledge their concerns in his address before them, per the AP.

  • Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance and economy minister, said it’s up to the U.S. to rebuild confidence among G7 members and to avoid any escalation or further fallout.

Go deeper: What happened with Trump’s latest trade moves–a43a8d51-4761-4098-8a28-46ab38968635.html

Larry Kudlow: U.S.-China tariff situation might end with negations and “turn out to be very benign.”

April 8, 2018

On CNN, Larry Kudlow  said the U.S.-China tariff situation might end ina benign way, with great advantage for the U.S. and the world

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” President Donald Trump’s economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the U.S.-China tariff situation might end with negations and “turn out to be very benign.”

Image result for Larry Kudlow, photos

Kudlow said, “I think personally we have had to go in and fire a shot across the bow. China’s behavior is 20 years now. It’s more than unfair trade practice. It is illegal trading practices. They are stealing our property rights. They are forcing technology from our companies to be open so they can get it and they have tall trade barriers that president is somewhat right about. This stuff has to stop. No president has had the backbone to take it up publicly before. I think he is exactly right. I say to everybody on this the problem here is China. It is not President Trump. China has been getting away with this for decades. Past American presidents refused to take them on. I think President Trump is doing exactly the right thing. I think it is going to generate very positive results which will grow our American economy. It will help grow China’s economy. It will help grow the world economy.”

He continued, “This last round announced late last week president asked our trade diplomat to consider whether an additional round of tariffs would be necessary or useful. After we made the first round, the Chinese response was unsatisfactory. So the president is trying to get their attention again. The process may include tariffs. I cannot rule that out. It may rest on negotiations. We will see how the president wants to do it. He is pretty good at negotiating and is pretty good at standing his ground.”

Kudlow on FOX News Sunday:

He added, “You’re right. There has been a bump down in farm commodity prices. I’m not totally sure that this is going to last. This process may turn out to be very benign. You have to take certain risks as you go in. We are taking them. We are making our case. Nothing has happened so far.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

U.S. Will Make No Concessions Before North Korea Talks, Pompeo Says

March 11, 2018


By Anthony Capaccio and  Katia Dmitrieva

 Updated on 
  • CIA chief says Kim can’t conduct nuclear or missile tests
  • Mnuchin says economic sanctions on North Korea are working

The U.S. will make no concessions to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in discussions leading to potential talks between the reclusive leader and President Donald Trump, and during any subsequent negotiations, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said.

Kim, on the other hand, must stand by the concessions he’s offered, including ceasing nuclear and missile testing, continuing to allow U.S.-South Korean military exercises, and leaving denuclearization “on the table,” Pompeo said on “Fox News Sunday.”

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Mike Pompeo

Photographer: Zach Gibson/Bloomberg

“Never before have we had the North Koreans in a position where their economy was at such risk, and where their leadership was under such pressure that they would begin conversations on the terms that Kim Jong Un has conceded to,” Pompeo said.

The discussions with North Korea, should they occur, “will play out over time,” Pompeo said.

Trump may be meeting with Kim in the coming month, in the hopes of winding down the Asian nation’s nuclear weapons program, South Korean officials announced Thursday at the White House.

Stalling Tactic?

It would be an unprecedented meeting by a U.S. president that upends decades of American foreign policy. Some experts have said it could become a stalling tactic by Kim to avoid additional economic sanctions while continuing to develop weaponry.

Asked on ABC’s “This Week” program whether the meeting may not happen, Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said, “There’s the possibility. If it does, it’s the North Koreans’ fault. They have not lived up to the promises that they made.” Holding the meeting in Pyongyang is not highly likely, but nothing has been ruled out for a location, he said.

Pompeo said sanctions on North Korea will continue. There’s no question they are having an impact on North Korea’s economy and brought Kim to the negotiating table, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

“Now we have a situation where the president is using diplomacy but we’re not removing the maximum pressure campaign,” Mnuchin said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “The president is going to sit down and see if he can cut a deal.”

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin  at the G20

No ‘Reality Show’

It’s right to pursue a diplomatic approach, but the question is whether Trump is equipped to succeed with a complex and volatile situation that needs seasoned diplomats, said Ben Rhodes, a former deputy national security adviser for President Barack Obama.

“This is not a real estate deal or a reality show,” Rhodes said on ABC.

Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also raised concerns about Kim playing Trump because of complicated negotiations a time the State Department has been “decimated” by departures of key staff, and with no U.S. ambassador to South Korea in place.

“When the president succeeds in negotiations like this, the United States succeeds,” Warren said on CNN’s “State of the Union. “But I am very worried that he’s going to go into these negotiations and be taken advantage of.”

‘Few Months’ Away

Pompeo spoke about Kim in January, saying the leader wouldn’t stop with just one successful arms test and that the country is within months of developing a nuclear missile capable of reaching the U.S. North Korea tested a missile in November that analysts say put U.S. soil in range, following other weaponry tests over the years.

It’s still the CIA’s assessment that North Korea is “a few months” away from being able to reach the U.S. with a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile, Pompeo said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

General Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Jan. 30 that while the regime has “made some strides,” it hasn’t yet demonstrated having all the components for a strike with nuclear ICBM.

“It’s possible he has them and so we have to place the bet that he might have them, but he hasn’t demonstrated them,” said Selva.

Prior to announcing the meeting, Trump and Kim have traded barbs and threats on the global stage, with Trump calling the North Korean “short and fat” and a “madman.” Kim responded by calling the president a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.” Trump also threatened to use military force if necessary to stop North Korea’s nuclear threat, saying the country would be met with “fire and fury.”

Preserving Regime

Pompeo on Sunday repeated his agency’s conclusion about Kim’s personality that in spite of the bombast, “we know a fair amount about him. We know that he is rational in the sense that he responds to stimulus. We’ve seen this.”

Trump vouched for Kim at the annual Gridiron Dinner in Washington on March 3, saying in a satirical speech to members of the media that, “I won’t rule out direct talks with Kim Jong Un. I just won’t. As far as the risk of dealing with a madman is concerned, that’s his problem, not mine.”

Still, Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Kim has shown he’s mostly interested in preserving his own regime.

“We’ve seen he’s willing to do nearly anything to do that,” Dempsey said on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” on Sunday. “And this is why this negotiation will be so challenging.”

A key question is whether any U.S.-North Korean talks include reducing the conventional military threat that Kim poses to South Korea as well as denuclearization, with its “thousands of artillery pieces and rockets arrayed along the Demilitarized Zone,” Dempsey said.

“Our negotiators will have to decide, how compartmentalized do we want it to be?” Dempsey said. “Are we trying to bring stability to the Korean Peninsula, which takes you on one path, or are we trying, simply, to denuclearize?” he said. “That will be an important decision.”

— With assistance by Mark Niquette


CIA Director Mike Pompeo: Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that his government did not meddle in the 2016 election is “false.”

March 11, 2018

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo in a Sunday show interview said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that his government did not meddle in the 2016 election is “false.”

“The Russians attempted to interfere in the United States election in 2016,” Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday.”

Pompeo pushed back against Putin’s recent claim that the Russians indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller don’t “represent the interests of the Russian” government. Putin in an interview with NBC News insisted there is no proof the Kremlin ordered or attempted election interference.

“It was Russians who actually engaged in this,” Pompeo said, clarifying that those individuals had ties to the Kremlin.

Pompeo maintained the CIA’s position that the U.S. intelligence community’s analysis of the election interference does not extend to whether or not Russia’s attempts to meddle impacted the 2016 election.

“The intelligence community has been clear that’s not our role,” Pompeo said.



Mnuchin Says Debt Limit Hike Should Be Linked to Harvey Aid — “We need to help people in Texas and we need to get that done.”

September 3, 2017


By Laura Litvan and Mark Niquette

September 3, 2017, 9:53 AM EDT September 3, 2017, 10:48 AM EDT
  • White House has asked for almost $8 billion in hurricane aid
  • Relief funding could affect debate on raising debt ceiling

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress should combine an initial package of relief for victims of Harvey with a boost in the nation’s debt limit, saying lawmakers need to “put politics aside” to ensure that those trying to recover from the storm get the help they need.

“The president and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding,” Mnuchin said of the debt-limit increase on “Fox News Sunday.” He said it should be a so-called clean increase in the borrowing authority that doesn’t have any other provisions tied to it. “We need to help people in Texas and we need to get that done.”

President Donald Trump visited storm-ravaged Texas Saturday, saying he hopes for a “quick process” to get Congress to approve almost $8 billion in initial Harvey relief. Trump will meet with congressional leaders of both parties this week to discuss the aid package, Mnuchin said.

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (FILE photo)

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan requesting the storm aid, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Friday stopped short of explicitly asking for the aid to be tied to raising the debt ceiling. But the letter makes clear that the emergency spending will move forward the deadline for raising the limit and conveys the idea that failure to lift it could imperil essential government services at a time when residents in Texas need the help.

The White House disaster aid request includes $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $450 million for the Small Business Administration. The request is intended primarily to cover funding demands through the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Read More: Trump Seeks $7.85 Billion for Harvey, Action on Debt Limit

The efforts to link the two measures is intended to avoid a standoff over the issue that could rattle financial markets. Mnuchin has repeatedly said that it’s “critical” that Congress raise the debt ceiling by Sept. 29.

The House of Representatives plans to vote this week on Trump’s request in initial disaster relief funding but GOP leaders don’t plan to include a U.S. debt-limit increase in that legislation, two GOP congressional aides said before Mulvaney’s letter was sent.

The Senate could attach the increase in U.S. borrowing authority to the hurricane relief package when it considers the legislation, and then send it back to the House. Neither Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell nor Ryan have indicated whether they would be supportive of that approach.

“Working closely with the President and the House of Representatives, the Senate stands ready to act quickly to provide this much-needed assistance to those impacted communities, and support first responders and volunteers,” McConnell said in a statement late Friday.

The debate over the package will kick-start Congress’s work this fall, as lawmakers also seek to extend the government’s spending authority past the Sept. 30 fiscal year and prevent a government shut down.

Read More: Trump’s Tax-Cut Bid Hits Obstacle: Hurricane Harvey’s Costs

Trump has threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not include his request for $1.6 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in a spending bill. Asked about that threat Sunday, Mnuchin said the president’s top priority was the Harvey aid. The White House late last week assured GOP leaders that Trump won’t pick that fight right now, said two people familiar with the conversations.

The administration and Republican leaders in Congress also continue to craft an overhaul of the tax code, which Mnuchin insisted can be completed before year’s end.

“The objective is to get this passed and get it to the president this year,” Mnuchin said of the tax plan. He reiterated the administration’s position that the loss of federal revenues due to cuts in individual and corporate taxes can be offset by increased economic growth. McConnell has insisted that any package be “deficit neutral,” and he has not said higher growth projections could meet his test.

But the costs of Harvey could undercut the political support from some Republicans in Congress for a tax overhaul that would increase the budget deficit.

More than 311,000 Texans had already applied for federal disaster relief funds as of Thursday morning and more than $530 million already has been granted, Vice President Mike Pence said. About 100,000 homes were damaged by the storm, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that $120 billion was needed to respond to Hurricane Katrina and that he expects the damage from Harvey will require more funding.

— With assistance by Margaret Talev, Erik Wasson, Jennifer Epstein, Justin Sink, and Toluse Olorunnipa


Steven Mnuchin says he’s drafting sanctions against North Korea

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he’s drafting new sanctions to put economic pressure on North Korea.

His words came after the isolated Asian nation carried out what is believed to be its most powerful nuclear test yet.

“I am going to draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us,” Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. “People need to cut off North Korea economically. This is unacceptable behavior.”

It’s not yet clear how exactly the U.S. would go about implementing those sanctionseither through unilateral action or in another coordinated international effort.

The U.S. has taken recent steps to pressure those who work with North Korea.

In June, the Treasury moved to block a Chinese bank with alleged illicit financial ties to North Korea from gaining access to the U.S. banking system.

But Mnuchin said Sunday that the U.S. can do more, and plans to work with its allies and China to squeeze North Korea.

“China has a lot of trade with them,” Mnuchin said. “There’s a lot we can do to cut them off economically — much more than we’ve done already.”

China has served as an economic lifeline for North Korea through decades of international sanctions, letting fuel and coal to cross their shared border, providing huge amounts of food aid and allowing its companies to trade with the isolated state.

China, which accounts for over 90% of North Korea’s international trade, recently joined in United Nations sanctions of the rogue nation.

Related: Trump says appeasement ‘will not work’ after N.K. nuclear test

The nuclear weapon test on Sunday was the sixth-ever for North Korea, and the first since Trump took office. The country claimed that it has developed an advanced hydrogen bomb that can fit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile.

Earlier Sunday, Trump called Pyongyang’s words and actions “hostile and dangerous.” He tweeted that South Korea has found that their “talk of appeasement will not work.”

When asked if the U.S. will consider a military response, Mnuchin said Sunday that the administration is “not going to broadcast” its planned course of action.

But he added that Trump has made it clear that “this isn’t the time for just talk.”

–CNN’s Angela Dewan and Taehoon Lee and CNNMoney’s Jethro Mullen and Charles Riley contributed to this report.


House Intelligence chairman: ‘No evidence of collusion’ between Trump camp, Russia

March 19, 2017
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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) on Sunday said he’s seen no evidence of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Nunes was asked during an interview on “Fox News Sunday” if he has seen any evidence of any collusion between “Trump world” and Russia to swing the 2016 presidential election.

“I’ll give you a very simple answer: ‘No,’ ” Nunes said.

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“Up to speed on everything I have up to this morning. No evidence of collusion.”Nunes was also asked whether he thinks there are elements inside the intelligence community or FBI leaking information to undercut the Trump presidency.

“It’s pretty clear that that’s happening,” he said.

“There’s even been stories written about it in numerous newspapers talking about how they said they left breadcrumbs around to hurt the Trump administration.”

When pressed again on whether he believes there are people inside these intelligence community leaking information, Nunes said he doesn’t “think so anymore.”

“I think it was largely people maybe who were there, had classified information, who are now no longer there and decided to leak it,” he said.

“Clearly to leak Michael Flynn’s name talking to the Russian ambassador,” Nunes said. “That was clearly designed to hurt Gen. Flynn and the president’s national security adviser.”

China warns Trump against ignoring Beijing’s Taiwan interests — China expects America to listen and obey, as always

December 12, 2016
By Ben Blanchard | BEIJING

China expressed “serious concern” on Monday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said the United States did not necessarily have to stick to its long-held stance that Taiwan is part of “one China”, calling it the basis for relations.

Trump’s comments on “Fox News Sunday”, questioning nearly four decades of U.S. policy, came after he prompted a diplomatic protest from China over his decision to accept a telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Dec. 2.

President-elect Donald Trump is interviewed by Chris Wallace of “Fox News Sunday” at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 10, 2016.

China’s Foreign Ministry said cooperation was “out of the question” if Washington could not recognize Beijing’s core interest on Taiwan, indicating it would reject any effort by Trump to use the issue as a bargaining chip in a long list of commercial and security problems facing the two countries.

“China has noted the report and expresses serious concern about it. I want to stress that the Taiwan issue concerns China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and involves China’s core interests,” said ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.

“Upholding the ‘one China’ principle is the political basis for developing China-U.S. ties. If this basis is interfered with or damaged then the healthy development of China-U.S. relations and bilateral cooperation in important areas is out of the question,” Geng told a daily news briefing.

In a separate statement, the ministry cited Foreign Minister Wang Yi as warning during a trip to Switzerland against moves to damage the “one China” principle, having been asked by a reporter about Trump’s call with Tsai.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

“China is paying close attention to developments,” Wang said. “I can clearly say that no matter whether the Tsai Ing-wen authority, any other person in the world, or any other force, if they try and damage the one China principle and harm China’s core interests, in the end they are lifting a rock only to drop it on their feet.”

Despite China’s discontent, it has reached out to Trump.

Spokesman Geng said China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi, who outranks the foreign minister, had met with Trump advisers, including his pick for national security adviser, retired Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, during a transit in New York on his way to Latin America in recent days.

China’s State Councilor Yang Jiechi (L) and United States Secretary of State John Kerry, Oct 18, 2014. John Kerry and Barack Obama have always done what China wanted.

“Both sides exchanged views on China-U.S. ties and important issues both are concerned with,” Geng said, without elaborating.

He did not give a precise date for the meeting, and it was unclear if it occurred before or after Trump’s latest remarks on Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province.

Geng urged the incoming Trump administration to fully recognize the sensitivity of the Taiwan issue and uphold a ‘one China’ policy to “avoid the broader picture of China-U.S. ties being seriously interfered with or damaged”.

“The China-U.S. relationship has global and strategic significance. This not only concerns the happiness of both countries and their people, it concerns the peace, stability, development and prosperity of the Asia Pacific (region) and internationally.”

Trump plans to nominate a long-standing friend of Beijing, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, as the next U.S. ambassador to China. But he is also considering John Bolton, a former Bush administration official who has urged a tougher line on Beijing, for the No. 2 job at the U.S. State Department, according to a source familiar with the matter.

In a Wall Street Journal article last January, Bolton said the next U.S. president should take bolder steps to halt China’s military aggressiveness in the South and East China seas.

He said Washington should consider using a “diplomatic ladder of escalation” that could start with receiving Taiwanese diplomats officially at the State Department and lead to restoring full diplomatic recognition.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)


Peace and Freedom Commentary

It has become more and more clear to those working close to U.S. President Donald Trump that he knows what he is doing.

Our own personal opinion is this: Donald Trump entered the political arena because he became sick and tired of watching America’s economy and foreign policy “run  by amateurs. ”

Everyone in Asia knows China always insists upon getting whatever it wants. To our knowledge, China is the only nation on earth that doesn’t much believe in negotiations. The current Chinese regime prefers coercion, threats, economic isolation and harassment to the nicer art of diplomacy.

Vietnam, after “thousands of years” of being the Chinese neighbor that is always treated like a lackey, understands this. Many in Japan are now extremely wary of China since it claimed almost complete ownership of the South China Sea — despite a contrary ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague on July 12, 2016.

The arbitration court said China’s South China Sea claims were void and never existed in international law. But China doesn’t care much about international law so they continue occupancy of the South China Sea, they have militarized several spots of coral reef and sand that they do not legally own, and they are in a position to deny Japan and others much of their free trade.

So now Mr. Trump is talking about Taiwan. China has insisted for decades that Taiwan is a renegade Chinese province. But anyone who visits Taiwan will see a function democracy with human rights — things unheard of in China.

Taiwan is a de facto foreign country for China.

Anyone who follows China’s lead on the Taiwan issue is ignoring the knowledge that Taiwan is run quite well by the Taiwanese — and they are not eager to give up their prosperity, democracy and human rights to rejoin the criminal regime in Beijing.



© Johannes EISELE, AFP | This file photo taken on November 14, 2016 shows a copy of the local Chinese magazine Global People with a cover story that translates to “Why did Trump win” at a news stand in Shanghai

While Mr Kerry was U.S. Secretary of State, the world witnessed an ugly resurgence in the Russian superpower directed by Vladimir Putin. President Obama’s inability to enforce his “red line” in Syria resulted in the largest refugees migration since World War II and the total annihilation of the Syrian rebels (plus the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people).   Turkey has almost disappeared as a potential new member of the EU and now holds a very questionable place in NATO. Erdogan says he wants to join the alliance with China and Russia. Iran has become increasingly belligerent to all of its neighbors and has exported terrorism from Libya, through Syria and eastward to Yemen — all after the Iran nuclear deal. Iran seems on a mission to discredited and destabilize the Saudi government.

U.S. Navy sailors taken prisoner by Iran, January 12, 2016

In Asia, while Mr. Kerry was Secretary of State, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand have departed the U.S. sphere of influence and sided with China. China has militarized the South China Sea, breaking a promise the very naive President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry thought they had obtained from China during a Xi Jinping State Visit to the U.S.  North Korea has shown no sign of giving up its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs — despite promised efforts from China. Japan is concerned about their security in the face of a “Rising China.” Japan’s Shinzo Abe was the first foreign head of state to go to American to meet President-elect Donald Trump after his election.

Vietnam is in no way pleased with the “Rising China.” When President Obama went to Vietnam — he ate dinner with Anthony Bourdain and not his Vietnamese hosts.

A Chinese Coast Guard vessel (R) passes near the Chinese oil rig, Haiyang Shi You 981 (L) in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) from the coast of Vietnam June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Nguyen Minh — China’s prolonged presence in Vietnamese waters ultimately led to anti-China rioting in Vietnam.

In this March 16, 2014 file photo, then vice president Jejomar Binay meets with Vietnam's Ambassador Truong Trieu Dong, who expressed his country's support for the arbitration case file by the Philippines against China over the West Philippine Sea. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Vice President)

In this March 16, 2014 file photo, then vice president Jejomar Binay meets with Vietnam’s Ambassador Truong Trieu Dong, who expressed his country’s support for the arbitration case file by the Philippines against China over the West Philippine Sea. (Photo courtesy of the Office of the Vice President



Chinese fishing fleet

On July 12, 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said this claim by China was not valid.

If One-China Policy Is Violated, There is No Basis for U.S.-China Cooperation, Beijing Says

December 12, 2016

No more basis for Sino-US ties if one-China policy is breached, says Beijing

By Teddy Ng
South China Morning Post
With Input from Reuters, Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press

Foreign ministry expresses China’s extreme concern over Trump’s remarks that US doesn’t have to stick to the long-standing position

Monday, December 12, 2016, 5:32 p.m.

US President-elect Donald Trump said on Sunday he did not know why the US has to be ‘bound by a one-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade’. Photo: Reuters

China warned on Monday that its ties with the United States would be jeopardised if the Washington did not stick to the one-China policy.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a regular news briefing that China was “extremely concerned” about US president-elect Donald Trump’s comments that Washington did not necessarily have to stick to its long-standing position that Taiwan is part of one China.

“The one-China policy is the political foundation for the healthy development of the Sino-US relationship,” Geng said.

Watch: Trump questions continuing one-China policy

“If this foundation is disturbed, there are no grounds to talk about further developing the healthy and stable relationship between China and the US, and their bilateral cooperation in major aspects.”

Geng’s remarks came after Trump questioned whether Washington should continue with the one-China policy if Beijing did not make concessions on trade and other issues during an interview on Sunday on the US news programme Fox News Sunday.

“I fully understand the one-China policy,” Trump said. “But I don’t know why we have to be bound by a one-China policy unless we make a deal with China having to do with other things, including trade,” he said.

Chinese state media went on the offensive after Trump’s remarks, slamming the US president-elect for being “as ignorant as a child in terms of foreign policy”.

Beijing would have no reason to “put peace above using force to take back Taiwan” if Trump abandoned the policy, which recognises Taiwan as part of China, stated the editorial in the Global Times, which is published by the People’s Daily.

Additional reporting by Reuters and Agence France-Presse



© Johannes EISELE, AFP | This file photo taken on November 14, 2016 shows a copy of the local Chinese magazine Global People with a cover story that translates to “Why did Trump win” at a news stand in Shanghai

Wild Language Of Donald Trump and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Gets Tiresome — But so does the politically correct alternative

August 11, 2016

I must admit I admire both Donald Trump and Philippine President Duterte as “men of action” in an otherwise often placid to the point of banal world. We seem too quick to embrace mediocrity often — and by doing so we fail to make progress and stay stuck in a place without progress. Which is where we seem to be now.

Trump drives me crazy because he hasn’t seemed to learn anything despite months on the campaign trail. He still often looks like an over-bearing bully.

On the other hand, the other candidate has been in public life since she lived in Little Rock and she hasn’t seemed to learn any honesty or integrity. Anyone who makes $100 million in shady deals while in “public service” should be much more humble and polite, one would think.

There is a way to articulate our thoughts without becoming a verbal flame-thrower or a puppy dog. And we can all learn from Trump and Duterte and the lady from Little Rock that we have to make progress in public discourse and integrity if we are to be heard and helpful over the long haul.

This reminds us of one of our essays from several years ago that almost everyone ignored — which isn’t why we aren’t making progress. We aren’t making progress more quickly because we are human beings and we seem to like the dark side of our leaders as  well as the light.

Some say we cannot just blurt out whatever crosses our mind. Politicians have to often measure their words more than others. But on the other hand, a constant flow of carefully chosen, politically correct pablum from Little Rock or Washington DC or anyplace else is tiresome too. If you want to make us good little socialists just say so! We can all work maybe four hours a day like the French and be poor and dependent upon the corruption of the state.

For great entertainment: these three are among the best! But we have to think hard about where we are going….


Restore Civility in Debate, Politics and Government


By John E. Carey
September 25, 2006

There seems a lack of civility, good manners, decorum and protocol in Washington these days.

One side frequently calls the other side names instead of making organized, logical arguments. Or sometimes, even while making good arguments, the “tone” of the discussion is so harsh that the message gets damaged or lost.

We entered the world of the “blogosphere” on July 4, 2006. In this internet land of people discussing world events, the language often is particularly harsh, polarizing and nasty.

Former President Bill Clinton entered (or re-entered depending upon your point of view) the fray on Sunday, September 24, 2006, during an interview with Chris Wallace on the TV show “Fox News Sunday.”

Associated Press writer Karen Matthews, reporting on the exchange, called it “combative.” The Washington Times’ Eric Pfeiffer used words like “angry,” “blame,” “agitated,” “contentious,” and “heated exchange.”

Former President Bill Clinton, an experienced and calculating politician, one has to think, threw this tantrum intentionally. Either that or he just lost his cool during a TV interview and then failed to ask for a re-taping to set the record straight. Which do you think?

According to Pfeiffer, “Mr. Clinton became so agitated that he could be seen wagging his right index finger at moderator Chris Wallace.”

“You’ve got that little smirk on your face, and you think you’re so clever,” Mr. Clinton said. “You did your nice little conservative hit job on me.”

Mr. Wallace said after the interview, “As he leaned forward — wagging his finger in my face and then poking the notes I was holding — I felt as if a mountain was coming down in front of me.”

Mr. Wallace said more on Fox on Monday afternoon September 25: “He just blew,” said an incredulous Wallace about the former president. “What set him off,” continued Wallace, “was one of my questions. But it was clear President Clinton had been boiling about ABC and their recent show (“The Path to 9/11″) and I just hit a raw nerve.”

Wallace said he did not think President Clinton’s reaction was scripted or planned and that “he was still fuming as he left the studio.”

Wallace also said his producer tried to cut off the president to save embarassment, saying off camera, “End this interview right away,” but that the former president continued speaking.

This is conduct for a former president? To make a point? I can hear George Washington, Abe Lincoln and a bunch of the other former “Bubbas” rolling over in their graves.

Those are not words usually associated with a president sitting for a media interview. Or speaking anywhere on anything. I can’t think of those words ever applied to an ex-president during a media exchange. This may just qualify Mr. Clinton for another description: “not presidential.”

Mr. Clinton accused host Chris Wallace of a “conservative hit job.” Not presidential at all.

Did president Clinton miss a memo about letting others mix it up in public with the opposition and their media? Even my Vietnamese-born wife observed: “Good thing Clinton didn’t interview with Bill O’Reilly on Fox. It might have ended up with Bill and Bill on the floor slugging each other.”

Not presidential.

And as the leader of the Democratic party, the former president used his leadership by example to tell his followers that a nearly enraged response to criticism is all right. Completely acceptable. Even appropriate.

We have a problem with this.

It is bad enough we have to hear the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad “talking smack” as they say, at the United Nations; now we have to hear it from a former President of the United States?

Makes one wonder what side is Bill Clinton on? And why does he see a need to lower himself to the level of Chavez and Ahmadinejad? Are we missing something?

An exchange between President Bush and the Today show’s Matt Lauer on the anniversary of 9/11 caused a flurry of discussion on some web sites. Lauer seemed to have an aggressive, even badgering tone with the president as the two stood in the Oval Office discussing 9/11 and other issues of the day. Lauer repeatedly gestured in an aggressive way, almost sticking his finger in the president’s chest.On Sunday, September 10, 2006, on Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Democratic National Committee Chairman and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean if he would now apologize to Karl Rove.

It seems, despite Dean’s accusations that Rove was the leaker in the Valery Plame escapade, that Richard Armitage was the unfortunate and inadvertent leaker.Gov. Dean answered, “Absolutely not. I still think he should be fired.”

Armitage apologized in public. Dean could not.

Does it matter? Sure it does.Thoughtful, courteous national discourse has managed to get us and our democracy through a revolution against the most powerful nation on the Earth, a War Between the States, two World Wars and other tragedies and trying times.

If we can get along, maybe we can discuss the problems and get the best answers. Maybe a more civil and etiquette-driven discussion of the issues can help us get through the War on Terror.

Instead, we have become a nation led by name-callers, insult-slingers and generally rude, angry and impolite representatives.And sometimes, the media, maybe unintentionally, magnify the animosity.

This is what many conservatives saw during Matt Lauer’s questioning of President Bush on September 11, 2006.

What does this uncivil discourse teach our children? And does it do us any good?

Our American history is full of great men who teach us the importance of good conduct for the common good. Some say George Washington actually authored “The Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour [sic] in Company and Conversation.”

Though not the author, Washington embraced good manners so famously that the “Rules” could easily have been his own creation.The good manners of John Adams also echo to us through history.

With Thomas Paine, Adams watched a young American officer conduct himself less than diplomatically and courteously before the King of France.

Adams wrote to his wife, describing the “Man of Choleric Temper.” Adams said the man “like so many Gentlemen from his State, is abrupt and undiplomatic. Last evening, at a Royal Reception, he confronted His Most Christian Majesty Louis XVI with Words both ardent and impatient, whilst Mr. Paine wrung his Hands at the other man’s lack of Tact. Never did I think that I would see our impetuous Paine so pain’d by another’s want of Courtesy and Civility. To our amazement, however, the King took [the man’s] Enthusiasm in good Part.”

When told one of his generals, John C. Fremont, had been nominated by a group of 400 anti-Lincoln loyalists to run for president, Lincoln opened a Bible and read aloud from I Samuel:22, “And everyone that was in distress, and everyone that was in debt, and everyone that was discontented gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them; and there were with him about four hundred men.”

Modern statesmen pulled the country together, not by tearing others apart or barking at the media, but more often by thoughtful discourse and conduct.

“Both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt operated beautifully on the reporters who surrounded them,” wrote David Keirsey and Ray Choiniere in “Presidential Temperament.”

“Both used the press as if it were their own publicity machine.”

This was largely achieved in a civil, diplomatic style.

A modern day solon of wisdom and truth might be former Indiana Congressman and Democrat Lee Hamilton. Hamilton volunteered some stern remarks about the importance of truth. “Facts are not Republican and they’re not Democrat,” he said. “They’re not ideological. Facts are facts.”

I cannot ever recall seeing John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, or George W. Bush look petulant, angry or rude. Or terribly distort the facts.

Other great national leaders also reflect respect, even admiration, for the importance of good protocol and decorum. Winston Churchill described a 1941 university ceremony this way: “The blitz was running hard at that time, and the night before, the raid … had been heavy. Several hundreds had been killed and wounded. Many houses were destroyed. Buildings next to the university were still burning, and many of the university authorities who conducted the ceremony had pulled on their robes over uniforms begrimed and drenched; but all was presented with faultless ritual and appropriate decorum, and I sustained a very strong and invigorating impression of the superiority of man over the forces that can destroy him.”

Let’s hope our leaders become enlightened enough to avoid the forces that can destroy them. For our sake and the sake of our children.

I regret the times that bad conduct, anger and a disregard for etiquette got the best of me.

I hope our present day political leaders see the light too.

To get through the war against terror and to achieve victory, a united, clear-thinking leadership just might be important.

Angry rhetoric and arson with clever words serves no good purpose. It just diminishes our dialogue and our democracy.