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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
A Look at How America's Democracy Works; Discussion of North Korea's Missile Capabilities; Trade Agreements in Focus; Trump's World View & The World's Trump View; On Farewell Speeches And Inaugural Addresses. Aired 10-11a ET.
Aired January 15, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the Global Public Square. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
On today's show, President-elect Donald Trump and the new world order. Questions swirl around relations with Russia, China, NATO. How does the new American administration see the world, and how does the world view the next president? I have a great global panel to discuss it all.
Also, Kim Jong-un has threatened to test launch a missile that is able to deliver a nuclear warhead all the way to the United States. Just how should America react to this? Is he mad or dangerous or both?
And Donald Trump has threatened to kill TPP, renegotiate NAFTA build a wall.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: You're going to pay a very large border tax.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Can he do it all? What will be the consequences? I will ask President Obama's trade representative Michael Froman.
But first, here's my take -- Donald Trump has attacked no country as consistently as he has China. During his campaign, he pondered that China was raping the United States, killing it on trade and artificially depressing its currency to make Chinese goods cheap. Since being elected, he's spoken to the leader of Taiwan and continued the bellicosity toward Beijing.
So, it was a surprise for me on a recent trip to Beijing to find Chinese elites relatively sanguine about Trump. It says something about their view of Trump, but perhaps more about how they see their own country. "Trump is a negotiator and the rhetoric is all part of his opening bid," said a Chinese scholar who would not agree to be named -- as is true with most policymakers and experts I spoke with. "He likes to make deals," the scholar continued, "and we are good dealmakers as well. There are several agreements we could make on trade."
Chinese officials point out that they have economic weapons as well. China is a huge market for American goods and China is becoming far less dependent on foreign markets for its growth. 10 years ago, exports made up a staggering 37 percent of China's GDP. Today, they make up just 22 percent and falling. China has changed, you see. Western brands there are rare and the country's own companies now dominate almost every aspect of the huge and growing domestic Chinese economy. Few businesses there take their cues from American firms anymore. Many young Chinese boasted to me that their local versions of Google, Amazon, and Facebook are better, faster, and more sophisticated than the originals. The country has become its own internally focused universe.
The next stage in China's strategy however is to exploit the leadership vacuum being created by America's retreat on trade. As Trump was promising protectionism and threatening literally to wall off America from its southern neighbor, Chinese President Xi Jinping made a trip through Latin America in November -- his third in four years. He signed over 40 deals, Bloomberg reported, and committed billions of dollars of investments in the region.
The centerpiece of China's strategy takes advantage of Trump's declaration that the transpacific partnership is dead. That trade deal negotiated between the United States and 11 other countries lowered barriers to trade and investment, pushing large Asian economies like Japan and Vietnam in a more open and rural-based direction. Now, China has offered up its on version of the pact, one that excludes America and favors China's more mercantilist approach. Australia once a key backer of the TPP has announced that it supports China's alternative. Other Asian countries will follow suit soon.
At the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Peru in November, John Key, New Zealand's outgoing Prime Minister put it very simply.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN KEY, FORMER PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND: TPP was all about the Asian product. It was all about the United States showing leadership in the Asian region. We really like the U.S. being in the region, but in the end that the U.S. is not here, that void has to be filled, and it'll be filled by China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: In fact, President Xi's speech at the summit was remarkable, sounding more like an address traditionally made by an American President. It praised trade, integration and openness and promised to help ensure that countries don't close themselves off to global commerce and cooperation.
[10:05:02] So, looking beyond his angry tweets, Beijing seems to have conclude that Donald Trump's presidency might will prove to be the best thing that's happened to China in a long time. For more, go to CNN.com/fareed and read my Washington Post column this week, and let's get started. So, what do we know about the incoming administration and its view of the world? Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, Matt - Mike Pompeo and other nominees were quizzed by congress this week. So, what did we learn? To discuss it all, joining me here in New York, are three men who all coincidently have new books out: Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations is the author of "A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order"; Bernard- Henri Levy, French intellectual and philosopher. His latest is called "The Genius of Judaism"; John Avlon is the Editor in Chief of the Daily Beast and the author of "Washington's Farewell: The Founding Fathers Warning to Future Generations"; and in Florida, Tony Brenton joins us. He is the U.K. ambassador to Russia. He does not have a new book out, but he is a knight. That will have to suffice.
Richard, what do you make of this week? I mean, you had Tillerson and - you know, I mean, people aren't saying exactly the same thing Trump has been saying on the campaign trail.
RICHARD HAAS, COUNCIL OF FOREIGN RELATIONS PRESIDENT AND AUTHOR OF A WORLD IN DISARRAY: AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY AND THE CRISIS OF THE OLD ORDER: Well, that's the answer to your question -- you asked about the new administration's world view -- I think you have to make it plural. What you have are different people coming up with different world views and it's a contrast between any of them or all of them and what the candidate and now president-elect has been saying, you know, since he's been on the public eye. Secondly, you've also -
ZAKARIA: (INAUDIBLE) ask on that won't the president win? I mean, at the end of the day, you know, it's not cabinet government like in Westminster, he is the president.
HAAS: The president can set the broad outlines but there's so much detail in governance that you don't want to have a situation where there's constantly a bit of uncertainty and a bit of friction and that seems to be in part possible for a second reason, which is you've so many people at the White House. This is a very already center-heavy administration, because you've got the normal crowd, the president, the vice president, the head of the National Security Council - you've also got a chief strategist and you've got the son-in-law as a special advisor, you've got Kellyanne Conway. And then thirdly, you've got to clear divide between the president-elects and to-be presidents and the entire Intelligence Community. So, all of this suggests to me that to use the phrase, "world view" is in some ways optimistic.
ZAKARIA: Bernard, what does this look like from Europe? If you're watching this new administration, it does feel pretty unusual. I mean, I don't think I've ever seen anything like it --the nature of the rhetoric, the break from the past, how does it look to you?
BERNARD-HENRI LEVY, FRENCH INTELLECTUAL AND PHILOSOPHER: Especially for admirers of America, for people who like me, admire the rules and the - and the principles of the American democracy, there are few things which that don't go well. To name as a special advisor, his own son-in-law, this is strange. To name the CEO of a big oil company, as oppose to his -- this is again strange. In general, one of the characteristics of America is this great
patriotism. If there is a father of patriotism, it is America - the flag and so on. We have - you have a president-elect now who said he's admiration, his devotion, who gave a triple A, who said that a good job was done by the chief of the most enemy nation today of America. All this is strange, really. And I don't see - I've been here since a few days, I have to be modest, but I don't see such a turmoil or such a stress about that. A president elected who owes maybe part of his election to the hacking of the system by the worst enemy of America, I thought I would find riots in the street of Washington, D.C. and of New York.
ZAKARIA: Let me ask you, Tony Brenton, about this issue of Russia's involvement and Russian sort of behavior, because you were the - you were the ambassador to Russia during the while Alexander Litvinenko affair. This is the case of a Russian defector whom essentially, the Russian government poisoned while he was in London. So, you would live through this. Is it -- was it easy to put the - to point the finger at Putin himself as having ordered this as a kind of an assassination?
[10:09:53] TONY BRENTON, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED KINGDOM: It's a very relevant example. Yes, I was ambassador when Alexander Litvinenko was murdered. Obviously, we looked quite deeply into the intelligence to find out what had been going on. And there was a certain amount we could establish. Undoubtedly, the Russian intelligence organization was responsible for the murder. But it was very, very difficult to establish how high up the responsibility went. You could guess that Putin personally was involved, but that no more than a guess.
And that's very relevant to the assessments that are now being made of Russian involvement and the hacking of the election and this whole dossier which appeared accusing essentially President-elect Trump of operating in collusion with the Russians over quite a long period, and making all sorts of promises about the U.S. moving towards Russia. The dossier itself, I've now looked at quite carefully, and while it's a pretty sophisticated piece of work, it's also deeply implausible in a - in a lot of ways. So, I've been inclined to put that aside.
On the other hand, we know we are dealing with Russia which did the hacking without doubt which collects kompromat on people without doubt, and which is a very troublesome presence today on the international scene. On the other hand, relations between the west and Russia, between the United States and Russia in particular, have become dangerously bad over the last three months.
Russians have talked about putting nuclear warheads on their missiles in northern Russia. The chief of the joint chiefs of staff here in Washington has talked about having to go to war with Russia in order to impose the U.S. view in Syria. And President Trump's arrival does offer an opportunity to get move - to get that sort of tension a bit more under control.
ZAKARIA: All right. We're going to have to take a break. When we come back, I'm going to ask John Avlon to compare the farewell addresses of Barack Obama and George Washington. But before doing that, I just want to say about that dossier -- it's important to note that neither CNN or any mainstream news organization has been able to corroborate the specifics of what was in the dossier, which is why it was not ever reported on by CNN. Though, other news organizations have talked about its contents. When we come back, farewell addresses.
[10:15:00] ZAKARIA: And we are back with Richard Haass, Bernard-Henri Levy, John Avlon, and in Florida, Sir Tony Brenton. John, I want to ask you something about the farewell address and your wonderful book. You know, it seems as though sometimes when you read this kind of histories, everything suddenly seems relevant. You point out that one of the things Washington warns about in that farewell address, and one of the things he worries will endanger American democracy is a history -- is foreign meddling in our democratic experiment.
JOHN AVLON, DAILY BEAST EDITOR IN CHIEF AND AUTHOR OF "WASHINGTON'S FAREWELL: THE FOUNDING FATHERS WARNING TO FUTURE GENERATIONS": That's exactly right. And here's where one of Washington's warnings does feel ripped from the headlines. Washington had wore the scars of fights over France and England, and questions about whether the United States should throw in with one of them in their war. He deeply resisted that for this reason. His understanding of history and of the reasons democratic republics had failed in the past was in part going back to ancient Greek city states, was that foreign powers would infiltrate the government. We can resolve and ultimately overtake the other nation. And he was very conscious of the fact that America needed to be an independent nation strong on the world stage in its own right. And when he witnessed France trying to undermine his own government, it recalled those earlier examples.
So, Russian hacking attempts to influence our election, attempts to polarize foreign policy. No longer does partisanship seem to end at the water's edge. When you see, you know, poll numbers showing that Russian -- republican approval of Vladimir Putin goes up after news of the hacking is revealed, that's a dangerous sign that we're in deep and unchartered territory where foreign policy is becoming partisan and abject enemies of the United States are being cheerlead by some people because they feel they might have enabled the election of the president of their party. That is dangerous stuff with historic resonance, and George Washington explicitly warned that those sorts of relationships that confusing of another Asian's interest with our own, is one of the forces that has destroyed democratic republics throughout history.
ZAKARIA: Richard Haass, in your book, you talk about a world in disarray. And I wonder whether, you know, the things that Washington worried about, this corrosion of democracy, the ability to have a unified front against something like a challenge from Russia or perhaps the challenge from China, is that part of the sense of the disarray?
HAASS: Absolutely. We -- in some ways, we've got a country in disarray. We've seen any number of examples and at the dysfunctionality of Washington time and time again, we can't deal with entitlements, we're often can't deal with budgets. So, you've got all that. I talked before about elements potentially of an administration in disarray, which were quite (INAUDIBLE) to me, but more than anything, yes, there is a world in disarray. The inbox that is going to greet Donald Trump on January 20th is extraordinary. And the sheer range of number -- of issues with the number and the difficulty from a nuclear North Korea, with ballistic missiles, you know, that can fire these weapons to the continental United States. You've got a rising China, you've got a Middle East, as you know better than anyone else, Fareed, that continues to unravel.
ZAKARIA: But in your book, you -- it sounds -- it feels like the glue that once held the world together is almost dissolving. And I guess my question is, can it really be put back?
HAASS: Well, the glue that held the world is dissolving. The institutions that largely did it, will born right after World War II, they're inadequate. So, we need institutions now, new institutions, new arrangements to take into account the reality of globalization, that nothing is local anymore and what goes on inside any country has the potential to affect everybody else. We don't have the means to deal with that.
The other piece of glue that's missing is the United States. One of the things we've learned is this world is not self-governing. Without the United States, things unravel. We've seen that starkly in the Middle East, to some extent we're seeing it in Europe and Asia, and the mere fact that things were said the way they were during the campaign and during the transition, I think the rest of the world is waking up to the fact - it's almost what Bernard said -- this is not the United States they knew. This is not quite the United States they could count on. So, what worries me is that we're going to wake up and we're going to start to see what I would call, a "self-help world". Where more and more countries is going to start taking matters into their own hands, perhaps, doing things like proliferating nuclear weapons. This can't be a world that is orderly, this can't be a world that is good for the United States.
ZAKARIA: That seems to me the great danger in Europe, Bernard, which is that if the United States does not keep Europe together, for example, on the issue of Ukraine and dealing with Russia, Europe -- there will be sort of a competition, a return to a kind of competition in Europe as to each country having its own security policy and maybe Germany making certain guarantees and the French then getting upset that the -- you know, that was precisely the U.S. blanket of security meant you didn't have to -- have those various competing securities.
LEVY: About glue first. It is true that we had two glues. Number one was the U.N. U.N. is discredited today, alas, since the Aleppo resolution. Since all the resolutions about Syria failed, U.N. is discredited. Absolutely done.
[10:20:07] The second glue is America. An unfortunate -- and again, as an admirer of this country I must have to say, that today when Barack Obama, August 29, 2013, said that there was red line not to be crossed by Syria but that when it was crossed, nothing happened. This day, still today, these last three years, so the decline of the American glue. As for Europe, Europe will be built or rebuilt only by herself and we must not count on others to do our job, and the forces of disillusion to the Europe are alas Europeans. But, we need our alliance. We need NATO. And one thing which is really concerning about president-elect is that he said very clearly that he would reconsider the rule of the rules, which is the automaticity of the support of America to an a European country assaulted. I was recently in one of the Baltic States, and I was in Poland. And I can tell you that in this country -- these brave countries who escaped the dictatorship of the governism, there is a new climate. They are afraid. They are living again in a state of anxiety in front of this dominant and imperialist Russia and with this failing alliance.
ZAKARIA: Tony Brenton, what does a world without American leadership look like? Will it be a self-help world as Richard Haass describes?
BRENTON: Yes, I think it very much will be. I think we're visibly moving back to a world of competing great powers, and that's as Richard also says it's going to be a much more difficult world to manage. But focusing on Russia because that's visibly one of the countries which is breaking out of the old world order. And I think Bernard-Henri is wrong to talk about dominant Russia. Russia has one- tenth of the west's military expenditure, one-twentieth of the west's size of economy. It feels threatened and challenged by us while we continue to view it as a threat. It seems to me that quite an important piece of business for the west and indeed for Mr. Trump, as we move into this new competitive order, is to ask what that order is going to look like and pretty visibly the biggest geopolitical competition within it. It's not going to be about Russia, it's going to be between United States and China. And it then becomes an important supplementary question to ask, whose side do we want Russia to be on? So, our instinctive competition with Russia, challenging Russia, threatening Russia, as is emerge in the conflict of Ukraine and of Syria, perhaps requires some rethinking in this new global context.
ZAKARIA: Sir Tony Brenton, pleasure to have you on. Richard Haass, Bernard-Henri Levy, John Avlon, this debate about Russia will of course continue.
Next on GPS, the United States has for decades been the world's largest proponent of promoter of liberal democracy. The rule of law, and equal voting, rights of all kinds of things like free speech, and for minorities, but is America on the path to turning into an illiberal democracy? I will explore when we come back.
[10:25:00] ZAKARIA: Now, for our "WHAT IN THE WORLD" segment. Two decades ago, I wrote an essay in foreign affairs that described a worrying trend, the rise of illiberal democracy. You see in many places where people could vote and governments were elected, I noticed that the rule of law, respect for minorities, freedom of the press, and other such traditions were being ignored or abused.
Today, I worry that we might be watching the rise of illiberal democracy in the United States. Something that should concern anyone, republican or democrat, Donald Trump supporter or critique.
What we think of this democracy in the modern world is really the fusing of two different traditions. One is of course, public participation in selecting leaders. But there is a much older tradition in western politics that since the Magna Carta in 1215 had centered on the rights of individuals against arbitrary arrests, religious conversions, censorship of (INAUDIBLE), et cetera. These individual freedoms of speech, belief, property ownership and decent, will eventually protected not just from the abuse of a tyrant but also from democratic majorities. The Bill of Rights, after all, is a list of things that democratic majorities cannot do.
In the west, these two traditions, liberty and law on the one hand and popular participation on the other became intertwined, creating what we call "liberal democracy". It was noticeable when I wrote the essay and even fairer now, that in a number of countries from Hungary to Russia, to Turkey, to Iraq, to the Philippines, the two strands have come apart. Democracy persists in many cases, but liberty is under siege.
And many of these countries had adopted fine constitutions, put in place elaborate checks and balances, followed best practices from the advanced world. But in the end, liberal democracy was eroded anyway. You see it turns out that what sustains democracy is not simply legal safeguards and rules, but norms and practices, democratic behavior. This culture of liberal democracy is now waning even in the United States.
The founding fathers were skeptical of democracy itself and conceived of America as a republic to mitigate some of the dangers of illiberal democracy. The Bills Of Rights, the Supreme Court, state governments, the senate, are all bulwarks against majority rule. But the United States also developed a democratic culture, formed in large part by a series of informal buffers that worked in similar ways. Alexis (INAUDIBLE) call them associations, meaning nongovernmental groups from quiet societies, to rotary clubs, to professional associations, and he argued that they acted to weaken the moral empire of the majority.
Alexander Hamilton felt that ministers, lawyers and other professionals would be the impartial arbiters of American democracy, ensuring that, rather than narrow special interests, the society and its government would focus on the broad national interest.
But the two prevailing dynamics in the United States over the past few decades have been to destroy these intermediate associations, either because of democratic openness or market efficiency. Congressional decision-making has gone from being closed and hierarchical to open and freewheeling. Political parties have lost their internal strength and now are merely vessels for whoever wins the primaries.
Guilds and other professional associations have lost all their moral authority and become highly competitive, insecure organizations whose members do not and probably can't afford to act in ways that serve the public interest. The media, the only industry protected explicitly in the Constitution, now has fierce competition between thousands of new platforms, which is the dominant dynamic.
So we are now getting to see what American democracy looks like without any of those real buffers that stand in the way of sheer populism, even demagoguery. The parties have collapsed. Congress has caved. Professional groups are largely toothless. The media has been rendered somewhat irrelevant.
What we are left with today is an open, meritocratic, competitive system in which everyone is an entrepreneur, from a congressman to an accountant to a lawyer, always hustling for personal advantage. But who and what then remain to nourish and preserve the common good, civic life, liberal democracy?
Next on "GPS," an external threat to America from North Korea. Kim Jong-un says he'll test-launch an ICBM which could hit the mainland U.S. What to make of all that?
ZAKARIA: On New Year's Day, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told his countrymen that the nation was on the verge of testing an intercontinental ballistic missile, one believed to be capable of hitting mainland America. This comes after the rogue nation conducted two nuclear tests in 2016. Sources say Kim is determined to develop a nuclear weapon before 2017 is out.
China and South Korea have both denounced the ICBM plans and Donald Trump tweeted the following: "North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won't happen."
What could he do? Joining me here in New York is Joe Cirincione, president of the Nonproliferation Advocacy Group, the Ploughshares Fund. And Victor Cha was director of Asian Affairs on the George W. Bush National Security Council. He joins us from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, where he is the Korea chair.
Joe, let me start with you. What do you make of North Korean capabilities and Kim Jong-un's threat/boast/promise?
CIRINCIONE: Well, fortunately they're not there yet, but they could be if they keep working at it. They have short-range missiles that can hit South Korea and Japan, including hitting our 30,000 U.S. troops that are there.
Can they put a nuclear warhead on those missiles? The State Department says no, not yet. I hope they're right. But after five tests, historically most countries have perfected the technique with pretty advanced design. North Korea has five tests.
If they can put a nuclear tip on those short-range missiles, they can certainly deter us from taking military action against them. What they're trying to do is hit the continental United States, much tougher, much more difficult. But we believe he's going to test something that's called a KN-08, a missile we have seen in parades but has not yet been tested. Will it work the first time? Probably not, but you keep testing,
you'll be able to do this. If he works at it, in two or three years, almost -- it's very likely he'll have the capability to hit Los Angeles, San Francisco or New York.
ZAKARIA: Victor, how should one take these threats? I mean, how serious are they?
This guy, at one level, seems crazy. At another level, he seems, you know, crazy enough to do something like this.
CHA: Well, I think we have to take him very seriously, Fareed. I know there is a tendency to ridicule the North Korean leadership and to look at what they say and just think of them as meaningless boasts, but as Joe said, the level of testing we've seen over the last eight years has been incredible. They've done 65 missile and nuclear tests over the last eight years, compared with 17 in the previous 14 years.
So this is not just boasting. This is a military testing program designed to achieve the objective that Joe just described, which is a nuclear-tipped ICBM that can reach the United States. The purpose of that is to hold the United States hostage so that we would not be able to defend our allies and North Korea would be at liberty then to coerce our allies in the region through all sorts of threats and other sorts of activities.
So I think we have to take this very seriously. We do not want to be in a situation where the incoming administration will be the administration that will be remembered for allowing a country like North Korea, the most opaque country in the world, to have achieved a nuclear-tipped ICBM that can hit the United States.
ZAKARIA: My -- my understanding, Joe, is that, in that conversation that President Obama had with President-elect Trump, there was a part of it that was particularly secret and sensitive, that even Trump alluded to, and it was precisely about North Korea. And my sense is that what Obama told Trump is very similar to what Victor Cha just said.
But you think that the Obama strategy toward North Korea has itself also failed?
CIRINCIONE: It has. Now, George W. Bush tried to get them not to go nuclear. He failed. They tested during -- in 2006. Obama tried to stop them by putting on more sanctions and refusing to talk to them. That failed miserably. They increased their capability.
So now we're in a situation where the incoming president is likely to be tested on this issue in the first few months. The U.S. and South Korea have major military exercises in February and March, coming up. Those always wile the North Koreans. Is that when they might test it, or might they do another incident?
And so the president is going to be faced with either trying to take a military action to stop them from testing, going with the policy of crippling sanctions, which has failed, or doing something he said he's willing to do, reach out and negotiate with Kim Jong-un.
ZAKARIA: You think the third is -- is the right thing?
CIRINCIONE: I think it's the only way to go, a coercive diplomatic approach, one that threatens sanctions, puts on more sanctions, but also reaches out to engage North Korea to try and arrest their program, freeze it where it is.
ZAKARIA: Victor Cha, what do you think of that -- you have to talk to the North Koreans; nothing else has worked?
CHA: Well, first, on sanctions, we have to remember, with sanctions, we always say they don't work until they work. So, in other words...
... we can apply the sanctions, and if they come back to the table, we'll say, oh, they worked. But until they come back to this table, we'll say they've failed. So in terms of sanctions, there are two things to note.
The first is we have these two new elements of sanctioning. One are the commitment by the Chinese to reduce coal imports from North Korea, which provide them with a lot of hard currency that they could use for their nuclear program. And the other is these new treasury financial sanctions, the so-called Section 311 sanction against the entire jurisdiction of North Korea.
In terms of the history of sanctioning, these two things are at a new level. And they've just started. So we have to allow those to take effect and see if they have any sort of impact.
ZAKARIA: Joe, before we go, I want to ask you, you pointed something out to me which I didn't quite think about. The United States right now is on maximum nuclear alert. You say, before Obama leaves office, this should change. Explain what and why.
CIRINCIONE: We have about 1,000 warheads on missiles on what's called high-alert status. It's something we have been doing since the Cold War. Well, the Cold War is over. We still have these weapons on high alert. Why? This makes these missiles prone to accident, miscalculation. A computer chip going bad could trigger a nuclear war. It's time for the United States to stand down these missiles -- not take them apart, just take them off high alert and see if Vladimir Putin can be convinced to do the same thing. That one step could make the world a whole lot safer.
ZAKARIA: That might be a deal that appeals to the president-elect.
CIRINCIONE: It could be.
ZAKARIA: Thank you both very much.
Up next, Donald Trump says he's going to tear apart much of President Obama's legacy after his inauguration on Friday. We'll take a look at one very important aspect, when we come back, trade. What happens if, in fact, he kills the trade pacts?
ZAKARIA: Donald Trump had made big plans for day one of his administration, but this week he said much of it would wait until day four, after the inauguration festivities are over.
One of the first priorities will be dealing with two of his least favorite acronyms in the world, NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump has said he would renegotiate the former and pull out of the latter.
The president-elect has been intensely critical of the deal, saying they would hurt American workers and the economy. He also says they were badly negotiated.
Well, my next guest was responsible for negotiating the TPP. Michael Froman is the U.S. trade representative.
Pleasure to have you on.
FROMAN: Great to be here. Thanks.
ZAKARIA: So first, let me ask you about NAFTA, before we get to the TPP. Trump says he's going to re-negotiate NAFTA. Can you actually do that? How would it work?
Well, we did that, in effect, in TPP. We added labor and environmental provisions which were not in NAFTA. We raised intellectual property right standards in Canada. We got access to parts of the Canadian market we didn't have before. We got access to part of the Mexican market, like the energy market, that we didn't have before.
When candidate Obama was running for president, he said he was going to re-negotiate NAFTA, and he laid out what he meant, and that's what we did in the context of TPP.
ZAKARIA: And when he talks about TPP and his -- his opposition to it, you said recently, if you do -- if you get rid of TPP, how are you going to oppose China, right?
I mean, you see TPP as one of America's ways of strengthening itself in the Pacific as opposed to China?
FROMAN: Well, TPP was really about embedding the United States as a leader in the Asia-Pacific region. It's a critically important region for our economy but also strategically. And it was a way of raising standards in the countries across the region. Now, China, of course, is not a member of TPP. Some people don't recall that, but they are not a member of TPP.
But the idea was, if you could get China's neighbors to sign up to better labor and environmental provisions, better intellectual rights, opening up their markets, putting disciplines on state-owned companies, that China would have to compete against that. They'd have to raise their standards, ultimately, as well. ZAKARIA: So when you look at the politics of this -- because you know
it well. You look at a state like Iowa, OK, which went for Trump 15 points. Out of many of these concerns about TPP, agriculture in Iowa would hugely benefit from TPP because countries like Japan and Vietnam would -- you know, would be great markets for American agriculture.
ZAKARIA: Why don't -- you know, why is it that the people are voting against what seems to be their own economic interest?
FROMAN: Well, there really is a disconnect there. Because, as you said, the entire agricultural community is in favor of TPP. It adds about more than $4 billion to farm incomes. It opens some of these markets that have been closed for years, like Japan, or some of these markets like Vietnam and Malaysia that have an emerging middle class. And the first thing that a middle class wants is more protein in their diet, better nutrition, safer food. They want American products.
So it is hugely beneficial to the agricultural sector. All of the -- virtually all the agricultural groups have supported it. But there is a disconnect out there that really goes to people feeling as though they haven't seen wages increase for the last couple of decades. They've seen rising income inequality. And wherever that is coming from, whether that's because of technology or globalization, they don't get to vote on technology; they don't really get to vote on globalization, but they get to vote on trade agreements. So trade agreements become the scapegoat.
ZAKARIA: What is the effect of these border adjustment taxes, the tariffs that Trump is proposing? What do you think that means for the average American?
FROMAN: Well, it depends exactly on -- on what they do. And there are a lot of ideas being batted around. But I think, when it comes to, for example, raising tariffs, you have to think about this, I think, in three ways. One is retaliation. If we do something that is clearly illegal, that's contrary to our obligations, it gives an open license to other countries to respond. And then raising tariffs on our exports hurts our American workers and our farmers.
The second is imitation, that if we open the door and say, "Hey, here's a new way of pursuing trade policy; if want access to our market, you have to build your products in our market," well, that's the kind of policies we have been fighting against around the world.
You know, if China or India or other countries say, "If you want to sell to our people, you need to move your factories from the United States to our country," you have to think through the second and third...
ZAKARIA: So, in other words, if General Motors want to build something in India, the Indians now say, "Well, you can only build it if you..." FROMAN: If you don't sell it...
ZAKARIA: "If you move the plant out of Michigan into Mumbai or whatever..."
FROMAN: Exactly. Exactly. That's exactly right. And since 95 percent of the world's consumers are outside the United States, 80 percent of our purchasing power is outside the United States, we need access to those foreign markets. We can't support the kind of jobs we want in this country if we don't have the ability to export our products around the world.
FROMAN: And then the third piece of it -- I'm sorry -- is taxation, tariffs. Raising tariffs is a particularly regressive maneuver. It has the biggest effect on the lowest-income Americans, the people who can least afford it, because low-income Americans pay -- spend a bigger portion of their income on tradeable goods like clothing, footwear, food. And if you start putting tariffs on imports against our obligations...
ZAKARIA: So the price of goods go up at Wal-mart and Costco and it's the lowest-income Americans who get hurt the...
FROMAN: All those back-to-school purchases, all the things you buy for your family, those all go up. And just this week the Council of Economic Advisors at the White House did a study showing how tariffs are particularly regressive or particularly punitive to the people in the country who can least afford to bear the cost.
ZAKARIA: So when you look at, you know, this populist fervor in the United States and what it's done to trade, I mean, how do you feel?
Because when you look at the numbers, you still see polls that show that a majority of Americans say they support free trade.
FROMAN: Well, that's right. I think there's a big disconnect between the perception and the reality. As you said, the majority of Americans, poll after poll, show that they support trade, that they understand how important it is that we be engaged internationally. And, actually, it's gone up over the years. It's -- it's higher now than at any time since the 1970s.
But, as I said, they have felt real pain. And those concerns are real. The question is what to do about them. It's not to close our markets. It's not to withdraw from leadership. It certainly isn't to hand the leadership over to China and live under a system of rules that China designs. It goes to issues like lifelong learning and skills development and education and training and transition assistance.
ZAKARIA: But that's all boring. What people like to hear is it's somebody else's fault, preferably a foreigner's, right? FROMAN: Much easier, absolutely. It's much easier to blame a foreigner than to say we actually need better domestic policies here at home. And there are a lot of countries that do this much better than we do, whether it's Singapore or Korea or Scandinavia, Germany with its apprenticeship programs. We don't have to reinvent the wheel. There's a lot of good experience at the state level and in foreign countries that we could draw from and have a much greater social compact with the American worker.
ZAKARIA: Mike Froman, pleasure to have you on.
FROMAN: Thanks for having me.
ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," New York's storied Museum of Modern Art is currently displaying this. Why this unsuspecting addition to their galleries might be considered a masterpiece.
ZAKARIA: On Friday, multitudes will gather on the National Mall to witness Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States. The shortest inaugural address in history was given by George Washington in 1793 at just 135 words. It brings me to my question of the week.
What president gave the longest inaugural address in history: William Henry Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Calvin Coolidge or Barack Obama?
Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer. This week's book of the week is Richard Haass's "A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order." We talked about the book with Richard during the show and, as you can tell, he has a vivid description of emerging global problems and a punchy critique of American foreign policy. He is always smart and sober about the foreign policy challenges facing America.
And now for the last look. At the world-renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York City, beauty can often be in the eye of the beholder. But for one more week, this iconic museum is highlighting an undeniably ugly reality. Amongst the Picassos and Warhols stands a simple, 188- square-foot structure. It's not worth millions like a Pollack or a Dali. It's valuable in a different way. This is a fully assembled refugee shelter, a collaboration between the UNHCR, the Ikea Foundation and Better Shelter. And it is the centerpiece of an exhibit underlining the harsh living conditions of displaced people around the world.
Built in Sweden, these lightweight solar-powered shelters pack up flat and arrive with instructions and tools to construct them in the field -- I've actually talked about them on this show before -- a testament not only to innovative design but also to the ongoing scale of the global refugee crisis.
In 2015, 24 people were displaced from their homes every single minute. And the World Bank estimates refugees spend an average of 10 years in exile, making temporary shelters like these critically important and often not very temporary.
Picasso once said "Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth." We didn't need art to realize this particular ugly truth, but it certainly helped to remind us of it.
The correct answer to the "GPS" challenge question is A. In 1841 William Henry Harrison gave a roughly two-hour inaugural address. He famously did so without the proper attire for the winter and he died a month later of pneumonia. His address was more than 8,400 words, more than both of George W. Bush's and both Barack Obama's inaugural addresses, all combined. We do not yet know the length of President- elect Donald Trump's address, but we do know that his favorite mode of communication clocks in at 140 characters.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.