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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
How to Help Puerto Rico; China Opens Party Congress; Will U.S. Walk Away from NAFTA?. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 22, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN HOST, FAREED ZAKARIA GPS: This is GPS, THE GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria coming to you live from New York.
We'll start today's show with a tour of the world's hot spots. North Korea threatens an unimaginable strike on the US. Iran's supreme leader reacts angrily to what he called nonsensical comments by President Trump. ISIS loses its last stand in the capital of its so- called caliphate, Raqqa. And just what happened in that attack in Niger that left four US Servicemen dead?
Also, the economists just called him the world's most powerful man and his speech this week indicated he might agree. Inside the mind of China's President Xi Jinping as his party gathers to put him back in power for another five years at least.
Then, a grand bargain to make Puerto Rico great again. The GPS plan.
And last week, Trump made moves to get out of what he called the worst deal ever, the Iran Nuclear Deal. Now, will he terminate what he calls the worst trade deal? I'll talk to Canada's foreign minister Chrystia Freeland about Trump's NAFTA strategy.
But, first, here's my take. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick comprehensive documentary series on the Vietnam War is filled with stories and voices of ordinary soldiers on all sides of the conflict.
But the most tragic aspect of the tale, for me at least, was to hear Lyndon Johnson on tape before full US engagement admitting that the war could not be won. Johnson's dilemma is one that every president faces and one that Donald Trump is bringing upon himself with North Korea and Iran now.
In May 1964, when the United States had fewer than 20,000 troops in Vietnam, serving only as advisers and trainers, this is what President Johnson said to his National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LYNDON JOHNSON, THEN PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I just stayed awake last night thinking about this thing - the more I think of it, I don't know what in the hell - it looks like to me, we're getting into another Korea. And this worries the hell out of me. I don't see what we can ever hope to get out of there with, once we're committed. I don't think it's worth fighting for and I don't think we can get out. (END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Johnson understood even then that Vietnam was not actually vital and that it could easily become a quagmire. And yet, he could never bring himself to the logical conclusion - withdrawal. Like so many presidents before and after him, he could not see how he could admit failure.
And so, Johnson increased troop levels in Vietnam from under 20,000 to over 500,000, tearing apart Indo-China, American society and his own presidency.
The example is dramatic, but it is generally true. In foreign policy, when the United States is confronted with a choice between backing down and doubling down, it follows the latter course.
Now, in two crucial arenas, North Korea and Iran, Donald Trump has dramatically raised the stakes for the United States, and for no good reason. Simply determined to seem tougher than his predecessor, he has set out maximalist positions toward both countries.
He wants a totally denuclearized North Korea and an Iran that stops making ballistic missiles and stops supporting proxy forces in places like Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
There is a small possibility that North Korea and Iran will simply capitulate because Washington demands it, but more likely, if they don't, what will Trump do? Will he back down or double down? And where will this escalation end?
Trump seems to view international negotiations as he does business deals. He has to win. But there's one big difference. In the international arena, the other person also has to worry about domestic politics. He or she cannot appear to lose either.
For any international negotiation to succeed, there has to be an element of win-win. Otherwise, the other side simply will not be able to sell the deal back home. But Trump seems to believe, above all, that he must win and the other side must lose.
A senior Mexican official told me there would have been a way to negotiate NAFTA easily, even find a way to fund the border wall, but he explained Trump need to allow us to also declare some kind of victory, give us some concessions.
[10:05:06] Instead, he started out by humiliating us and made it impossible for President Pena Nieto to make a deal. After all, no Mexican government can be seen to simply surrender to Washington.
Donald Trump is not doing real estate deals anymore. The arena is different. The conditions are far more complex, and the stakes are higher. Astronomically higher.
For more, go to CNN.com/Fareed and read my "Washington Post" column this week. And let's get started. All right, let's get right to it. I have a really extraordinary panel. David Sanger is the national security correspondent for "The New York Times" and a CNN national security analyst.
Anne-Marie Slaughter was the director of policy planning at the State Department in the Obama administration. She's now the president and CEO of the think tank New America. Her latest book is "The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World."
And Norman Roule is a name you almost surely don't know, but he has been at the heart of American intelligence and foreign policy for the last 34 years. Norman retired just nine days ago from a career at the top echelons of the CIA and the office of the director of national intelligence.
In his last role, he managed the Iran portfolio for all of American intelligence. And other than his family, this week, most of his family and friends discovered that he was, in fact, not at the state department, but at the CIA for the last 34 years. So, I feel like I'm outing you and I hope that's all right.
David, let me start with you on the Niger issue. It seems to me, we've gotten confused with this apologies and - the real issue it seems to me is we still don't really know what American troops were doing in Niger.
DAVID SANGER, NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, "THE NEW YORK TIMES" AND CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: We don't, Fareed. And we also don't know exactly what the strategic objective they're trying to accomplish is.
And I think that what's made this such a difficult conversation. As you say, it's gotten lost in the question of the apologies and what the president said and now what his chief of staff has said.
But the bigger issue is, we have reportedly 800 troops in Niger. We have many others around Africa. We're conducting operations, mostly advise and train operations, but, clearly, they get into some combat roles.
And one thing, I think, this administration has been quite poor at, the Obama administration wasn't much better, instead of sitting down and explaining to the American people why a president who ran on getting us out of small wars around the world where we were taking casualties still has them in there.
There's a very good compelling rationale for them to be there, but he hasn't offered it, which makes it all the more painful when you hear stories like the one of these four tragic deaths this week.
ZAKARIA: And, Norman, it seems to me that the danger here is, it's one thing if you're in a country like Afghanistan - and I know this is going to sound strange - but it actually has a legitimate government, it has reasonable control over large parts of the country.
Once you're dealing with Niger, Mali, Chad, there's almost tribal warfare going on continuously and the danger of some kind of miscalculation, falling in with the wrong tribal leader becomes quite large.
NORMAN ROULE, FORMER US INTELLIGENCE OFFICIAL: Well, that's true. But I think it's also important to recognize that this is a good use of American power. We are enabling partners in very dangerous parts of the world to do things that will inevitably protect the United States.
It will prevent Al Qaeda in the Maghreb and ISIS from establishing themselves in areas where they could proliferate their malign activity and threaten the homeland.
ZAKARIA: And is the fear here that, as they get squeezed in Iraq, this is where they're going to end up?
ROULE: I think it's a very legitimate fear that, as they are squeezed in Iraq and Syria, that they will spread to those parts of the world where they can conduct their activities, training, in particular, and leadership in particular.
So, you need to worry about Yemen, you need to worry about North Africa in order to ensure this doesn't become another hot bed of planning against the homeland.
ZAKARIA: Do you think this could be explained better or do you buy that?
ANNE-MARIE SLAUGHTER, FORMER DIRECTOR OF POLICY PLANNING AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT: I do, but I actually think exactly that, that the terrorists move to ungoverned spaces.
So, by definition, then you don't have a legitimate government with control of the space and you're going to have these kinds of incidents.
But I agree with David that we need to say we're in a new kind of conflict. There's no battle and we win and we lose. It's a continually shifting battlefield. And we have to be there preferably before a new branch of Al Qaeda or ISIS can take root.
ZAKARIA: Iran deal, David. What is the most likely - the president has not just raised the stakes, but now we have a kind of ticking bomb. He has said I'm going to throw this over to Congress and Congress has to do something; otherwise, I'm going to withdraw. What happens in Congress?
[10:10:13] SANGER: Well, the most likely outcome with Congress, as with almost everything else we've seen this year, is that they do nothing and it's something that they've proven they do pretty well, right?
But there is the possibility that they may try to set some triggers, as the president has suggested, where if Iran takes certain activity, it would then reimpose sanctions.
Now, of course, if we reimpose sanctions unilaterally, that could violate the nuclear deal, and thus, get Iran out of the nuclear deal.
I think one of the big issues that comes out of all of this is do we want to be in a position where the United States is the first one to openly violate the terms of the deal. Not the spirit of the deal, as the President was talking about, but it's actual words and paragraphs.
And if we did that, I think the Iranians would have a big talking point. And I've already had many European diplomats, who have come to Washington in the past couple of weeks, say to me that they're very fearful of this because, if that happens, they're going to separate from the US. They're actually going to side with the Iranians.
ZAKARIA: Norman, you were the lead Iran analyst. You coordinated all this. What should we do about Iran?
ROULE: Well, I think we should recognize there are four pieces to this. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action deal did exactly what it was supposed to do. It reversed Iranian nuclear program. It placed them under extraordinary international supervision. That's a good thing.
But Iran's malign activity in the region tells us we have to do more. And I believe this was recognized by Secretary Kerry even at the time of the deal. Iran's missile program is unreasonably large. And they're starting, as Secretary Tillerson has stated, to deploy this technology in very bad ways with proxies in the region.
Finally, you have to think, if you're dealing with an adversary that is engaged in such malign activity, where do you see them leading their nuclear program in ten years? And for this reason, I think it's appropriate to look at the Iran policy framework right now and decide where do we take it from this point.
ZAKARIA: But wouldn't the answer then be pocket the gains from the nuclear deal and focus on the other stuff rather than relitigating the nuclear deal?
ROULE: Absolutely. We need to keep JCPOA, in my view, because of the benefits it brings. We need to look at certain elements of the deal and see if they need to be extended.
It's important to note that, in October of 2020, the restrictions on Iran's conventional military program will go away. Is that a good thing for the region that Iran is able to acquire advanced conventional technology?
In October of 2023, the restrictions on Iran's missile program go away. Is it a good thing that Iran's missile program falls away from United Nations oversight? I don't think so.
But I think that's a dialogue that should take place with Congress and the administration and, most importantly, a bipartisan, calm response should be placed forward.
SLAUGHTER: I don't disagree with the what here, that Iran is behaving badly in the region, but I deeply disagree with the how.
And, indeed, the president's own national security team, Gen. Mattis, Gen. McMaster, they agree on the value of the JPOA. And the way we should be doing this is both with Congress, but also with our allies.
As David says, splitting ourselves off from the Europeans and allowing the Russians and others to say you violated the agreement is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing.
We need to, as we've done successfully before, point others to where Iran is misbehaving in the region and have a coalition that can put pressure on them.
ZAKARIA: All right. We have to take a break. When we come back, I will ask David Sanger about a piece he wrote about North Korea. He says we've been fretting about the wrong problem.
Kim Jong-un's people have been steadily mastering an even more frightening power than nuclear power. What is it? Find out when we come back.
[10:18:27] ZAKARIA: And we are back with David Sanger, Anne-Marie Slaughter and Norman Roule.
David, you had that terrific piece in "The Times" with others about North Korea, in which you point out something, I suppose, we should have realized, which is North Korea has an incredibly advanced cyber warfare capacity.
They can steal bank accounts, they can shut down movie studios, they can do - presumably attack the power grid. Is this a part of our realizing that North Korea is much more sophisticated because a lot of what seems to have surprised people is the speed with which they have been able to acquire nuclear.
Is it because they have a pretty sophisticated scientific establishment?
SANGER: Well, certainly, they have a more sophisticated scientific establishment. And while we had a pretty good sense from the early 80s of the development of their nuclear capacity, I think it's fair to say that American intelligence was taken a bit by surprise in the speed at which it has done the missile improvements over the past few years.
And if you go back as early - as late as 2009, there was pretty much a consensus that they were kind of nowhere in the world of cyber. And they have come way up the line there.
So, why is this scary? What's concerning about this? In nuclear, we understand the deterrent effect. If they lob a nuclear weapon at the United States, the state of North Korea is gone an hour later.
Cyber is different. While nuclear is an on/off switch, cyber is on a thermostat. You can move it up, you can move it down. And their attacks so far against Sony, against South Korea, the use of a new weapon that they called WannaCry that devastated the British health system was based in part on a vulnerability stolen from the National Security Agency in the United States.
[10:20:23] ZAKARIA: And, Norman, the problem is you can't attribute them. The Russians still deny that they were involved in the election. It's unlike nuclear, where you can see where the missile came from. With cyber warfare, how do you deter somebody when they can claim it wasn't me?
SANGER: Well, absolutely. And, indeed, the whole concept of developing a policy of deterrence against a cyber actor is very, very difficult. It's not only you don't necessarily know whence the attack came, but even if it is attributed, that can be a false attribution.
Iran's attacks against the United States is reported in the press, have touched upon the financial industry, it had touched possibly a casino in the United States, have touched upon infrastructure in the United States.
ZAKARIA: So, Iran has a pretty -
SANGER: Iran is developing a significant cyber program and it has escaped much public notice. It is also something that is part of Iran's asymmetric unconventional response pattern and, I believe, represents a serious threat to the region as well as to the United States.
ZAKARIA: What does this tell us? Your book is about these new kinds of threats that are either non-state or partially state, non- attributable.
SLAUGHTER: So, these are network threats. I mean, they're like terrorism threats. The hackers and the cyber, in general, relies on networks and you have to counter it with networks. We actually do.
I mean, Norman will know more about this than I do, but my understanding is we do counter. After North Korea attacked Sony, I don't know what we did, but we certainly - there was evidence that the Obama administration responded, and it doesn't get reported.
But, ultimately, we have to - it's really about building network defenses. And you have to do that with private companies, and even civic groups, and the government together.
It's not like nuclear where it's government to government. It's where you need all different parts of society in defensive networks.
ZAKARIA: Are you optimistic we'll be able to get there?
SLAUGHTER: I don't think we have much choice. But, I mean, the future of war in so many ways is about controlling the information space. And that's going to be - the difference is we're not going to see much of that. It's not like building your traditional forts or tanks. It's, again, network versus network. And a lot of it is not going to be reported, but I think we have to get there.
ZAKARIA: I think that the key challenge it seems to me is to be able to do this with allies, with partners. I mean, the whole idea in this new world of going it alone seems much more difficult.
ROULE: Absolutely. In fact, you need to have deep partnerships not only on how to handle Iran's nuclear program through the JCPOA nuclear deal, but on developing cyber defenses, developing ballistic missile defenses, and this requires working very closely with our very good friends in the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as the European Union, as well as with the United Nations to develop protocols and formats to work this.
ZAKARIA: All right. A big new agenda. We will have to have you guys back to talk more about all this stuff.
Next on GPS, Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's economy was floundering before Hurricane Maria. Now, the whole island is devastated. We have a plan to save it, to make Puerto Rico great again. When we come back.
[10:27:28] ZAKARIA: Now, for our what in the world segment. On September 25th, with Puerto Rico still devastated from Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump tweeted that Texas and Florida are doing great, but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure and massive debt, is in deep trouble.
Now, I know that tweet might sound a bit graceless in the face of such devastation, but on this one, on the issue, Donald Trump is right. Puerto Rico was an economic basket case before the storm.
And I think there might actually be a silver ling here for the people of Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria may offer the single greatest opportunity to rebuild the island, but it will take a grand bargain to pull it off.
Let's look at some of the numbers. Puerto Rico's economy has actually been contracting, contracting by roughly 1.5 percent a year for the last ten years. Puerto Ricans have been fleeing the island to look for better opportunities on the mainland.
And that creates a vicious circle. A smaller population means a declining tax base, which makes it even more difficult for the local Puerto Rican government to pay back its debt. That debt rang in at about $43 billion in 2007 and reached about $64 billion in 2016.
Hurricane Maria just adds even more uncertainty to Puerto Rico's deteriorating fiscal prospects. And who's to blame for this mess? Well, there are a lot of candidates.
On the federal level, Congress passed legislation back in the 1980s denying Puerto Rico the ability that every other state has, to declare bankruptcy, thus limiting its financial options. Only recently did that change to some degree.
On the local level, weak fiscal discipline by government officials helped fuel the island's rising debt level. It's worth noting that one of Puerto Rico's chief sources of income, tourism, has been flat over the past ten years.
Puerto Rico's tourism industry grew annually by only 1 percent, while the Dominican Republic, Aruba, Jamaica and Cuba grew between 3 percent and 5 percent. So, what can be done?
Well, I would propose a kind of grand bargain. The federal government needs to bring something to the table, as do the good people of Puerto Rico, who have been through so much.
The federal government should commit to a large multi-year, multi- billion-dollar program of investment, should restructure Puerto Rico's debt and repair the island's infrastructure.
In return, after conditions get normal, the leadership of the commonwealth should also make some difficult economic reforms. Many of these have already been proposed by eminent economist Ann Krueger and most are geared to making the island more business friendly in order to bring back jobs, increase the tax base and stop the outflow people.
Krueger's proposals include reducing the cost of electricity and repealing the Jones Act, which has made shipping goods to the island more expensive. But her most controversial proposal involves lowering the minimum wage, implementing welfare reforms and lowering benefits to make Puerto Rico more competitive compared with other Caribbean economies.
Right now, according to Krueger, the head of a family of three earning minimum wage on the island brings home about $1,100 per month, while that same person could get about $1,700 per month just being on welfare. With a disincentive to work like that, is it any surprise that, before the storm, just 40 percent of Puerto Rican adults were employed or seeking work versus about 63 percent for the overall U.S. labor force.
I know this is tough medicine for an island still struggling to get any sort of medicine. But Puerto Rico has huge potential, and it will only be realized when its economy is properly restructured and the island can provide a promising future for all its residents.
Next on "GPS," as America withdraws from so many of its roles in the world, China has been filling the vacuum. We learned a lot this week about China's real intentions, thanks to a speech by President Xi Jinping. Hear what he had to say and what it meant when we come back.
ZAKARIA: On Wednesday in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, President Xi Jinping laid out his vision for China's future. He told the more than 3,000 people assembled in that hall that China had entered a new era and it was now a great power and a strong power. China now stands firm and tall in the east, he said.
The speech lasted more than three hours, so long that he was served tea in the middle of it. President Xi's remarks kicked off the Communist Party Congress, where he will begin his next five-year term.
To talk about Xi and China's intentions on the world stage, let me bring in two real experts. Jiayang Fan is a staff writer for The New Yorker who writes frequently about China for the magazine and Elizabeth Economy is the director of Asia Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Liz, I have to say this seemed a turning point. I mean, historians might look back, because there are two areas where it seemed that Xi Jinping was very assertive, one that there is in fact a Chinese model for development. And he talked openly about how developing countries might want to copy that rather -- implicitly -- rather than anything Washington tells them. And the second was this idea that China is thinking it's center stage on the world right now.
ECONOMY: Right. And I think that both of those things are emblematic of Xi's Chinese dream, right? It's the rejuvenation of the great Chinese nation. It's the reassertion of the centrality of China on the global stage. And he's making a move right now.
I would also say that this is somewhat opportunistic, of course, because it happens at a time when the United States is stepping back from its traditional role as a global leader, with President Trump, you know, stepping out of a number of different agreements. And I think Xi Jinping sees it as an opportunity for China to step up and claim center stage.
ZAKARIA: Do you think this is part of a rising, kind of, Chinese nationalism? Is what Xi Jinping is saying something that resonates with the Chinese people?
FAN: I think it very much is part of this growing trend. It probably started even before Xi came on board, but Xi has certainly done his best to harness that sense of belief in the great Chinese civilization and the sense of manifest destiny that China will rise again to the center of the world where it belongs and recover its former glory. I think the sense that China somehow lost what had rightful belonged to the nation and that now is the moment for it to recapture it is very much part of what's animating Xi's philosophy.
ZAKARIA: Let's talk about Xi as a person. He seems very different. I've had the opportunity to meet him once. They normally feel like -- the Chinese leaders feel like, kind of, very colorless technocrats.
ZAKARIA: Xi seems more like a politician.
ZAKARIA: He quotes poetry; he makes, you know, analogies; he's always talking about the common Chinese person. And he seems ambitious in a way that a politician is. Do you think -- first, is that true, and do you think he'll therefore go for that third term that everyone wonders about, which would break with what has become a precedent, I think, is almost legally enshrined, two terms and you're out?
FAN: Right. Well, I'll answer the first question first. And I think your instinct is absolutely right, that that confidence that he asserts is very, very evident, especially compared to his predecessors. And I think that comes from his status as a princeling. He was -- he is the son of a very prominent Communist Party member who served in the government, you know, was banished at one time and then came back.
So I think there's that natural authority that his predecessors, his immediate predecessors, did not have. And I think that makes him a little bit more relaxed when it comes to dealing with his peers and counterparts. And also, he has seen the benefits of having greater charisma. I think he is astute in learning from foreign leaders and seeing how the more engaging ones can occupy a better place on the global stage.
ZAKARIA: So, Liz, what does all this mean for the United States?
ECONOMY: Well, I think the United States faces a real challenge with Xi Jinping, particularly now, as we have stepped back. But I think there's some untapped opportunities as well. If China wants to be a leader, it needs to step up to the plate and begin to forge global agreements on things like the problem with refugees in Myanmar, which is, you know, right in its backyard.
And we don't yet see China playing that kind of role. So Xi has taken advantage of the fact that we've stepped back to at least rhetorically insert China in a global leadership position.
ZAKARIA: Wouldn't -- wouldn't the Chinese say, "Well, but that's a Western conception of what it means to be a global leader. We, the Chinese, believe much more in letting states do what they want, not interfering in other countries."
You know, isn't it partly that he's attacking the very idea of a Western order?
ECONOMY: Well, I think -- I think there are two different things. You know, he has not said that China will not lead in terms of forging global agreements to address global challenges. In fact, he's said the opposite, that he does want China to play an important role in addressing these challenges.
What he does say, though, and you're right here, is that he doesn't believe that other countries should interfere in the domestic politics of other countries. So that's part of the primacy of sovereignty.
And he does put forward another view in terms of collective security, saying that the U.S.-led alliance system is something that has not proved particularly helpful to the international system, and instead you should have this new, you know, community of common destiny or shared futures, which is really not much more than basically calling for the dismantlement of the U.S.-led global order.
ZAKARIA: So he is calling for that?
ECONOMY: He is calling for that, but he's not saying that China won't lead on global issues.
ZAKARIA: Fascinating discussion. We will continue to follow it and we will have you both back to talk about it some more. Thank you both.
ECONOMY: Thank you so much.
ZAKARIA: Up next, people often joke about how boring Canada is and how dull the relations between the United States and its neighbor to the north are. Well, this week in Washington, the two sides engaged in a war of words. What is going on? When we come back, Canada's foreign minister will explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: A Trump administration will renegotiate NAFTA, and if we don't get the deal we want, we will terminate NAFTA and get a much better deal for our workers and our companies, 100 percent.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: That was Donald Trump pumping up a crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the waning hours of the 2016 campaign. He's dropped some of his threats since entering the Oval Office, but this one he's sticking to. NAFTA, of course, is the North American Free Trade Agreement, and Trump repeated his threat a week and a half ago in the Oval Office with the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, right next to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I mean, I think Justin understands this. If we can't make a deal, it will be terminated and that will be fine.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: The conservative Wall Street Journal has editorialized that walking away from NAFTA "could be the worst economic mistake by a U.S. president since Richard Nixon trashed Bretton-Woods and imposed wage and price controls" -- strong words.
Well, it all came to a head during negotiations outside Washington this week, turning into a war of words between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lashed out at America's northern and southern neighbors saying, "Frankly, I am surprised and disappointed by the resistance to change from our negotiating partners."
For her part, Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, called the U.S. positions "troubling and unconventional."
Foreign Minister Freeland joins me now.
Chrystia Freeland, always a pleasure to have you on.
FREELAND: Always good to be with you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Do you think, in your negotiations with the United States, that the Trump administration is fundamentally trying to modernize NAFTA, or is it trying to undermine it and be able to declare "This is not working; let's pull out"?
FREELAND: You know, I once interviewed Indra Nooyi, who I know you know well, the CEO of Pepsi, and she said to me that she believes, in negotiations, you should always assume positive intent from your counterparty. She says "You don't always have positive intent, but you should assume it if you want to get a good result."
So that is what I like to assume in negotiations. And, certainly speaking for Canada, we believe there is a fantastic opportunity before us now to modernize NAFTA, to bring it into the 21st century, to cut red tape, make life easier for all of our businesses and also actually to improve the situation for our workers.
ZAKARIA: But you did say that you did not want to be negotiating with people who were trying to undermine NAFTA rather than modernize it. Now, I assume that the Mexicans are definitely not trying to undermine NAFTA. That could only mean by implication you think your U.S. counterpart is trying to do that, correct?
FREELAND: No. What I said, exactly what I meant, which is I do think it's important that all parties bring to the table positive intent, as Canada has. But what I also said is, in order to get there, we all have to be looking for, as Vice President Mike Pence said at the governors' meeting in Rhode Island at the beginning of the summer, we all have to have a mindset that says "Let's get a win, win, win -- a win for everybody." And if one party has a winner-take-all attitude, then it's not going to work.
ZAKARIA: Do you get the sense that the Trump administration views this issue, sort of, fundamentally differently than others?
It seems as though it views, for example, just the existence of a trade deficit as inherent evidence that the deal is bad, or -- which would, in a sense, almost mean that free trade is bad?
FREELAND: Look, it is certainly the case that this U.S. administration has a strong view about trade deficits as a sign that a trading relationship is fundamentally not working. Canada doesn't necessarily take that view. We're a trading nation. We believe in free trade.
Having said that, when it comes to the Canada-U.S. economic relationship -- and this is a point the prime minister made last week to the president; it's something that Ambassador Lighthizer and I discussed and it's something important to share with Americans -- when it comes to Canada-U.S., it is the United States which has a surplus with us. The U.S. has a surplus of $8 billion on goods and services trade with Canada, and $36 billion on manufactured goods alone. And those are according to U.S. statistics.
So according to the U.S. point of view, I guess it should be Canada that's complaining that, you know, it's unfair we have a deficit with you guys. We don't take that view. We think the trading relationship between Canada and the United States is mutually beneficial and fundamentally balanced, and what we want to do is modernize it.
ZAKARIA: You've said that nowadays when you talk to Americans, before you say hello, you say one other thing. What is it?
FREELAND: Yeah. I'm becoming a boring person for Americans to talk to. Because the first thing I point out is that Canada is the largest market for the United States, larger than China, Japan and the U.K. combined. And I find that's a surprise for a lot of Americans. I guess, you know, Canada is, kind of, like the girl next door. It's easy to take us for granted. But we are the largest market for the U.S. And that's one reason that these negotiations are really important not just for Canadians but for Americans.
ZAKARIA: Chrystia Freeland, always a pleasure to have you on.
FREELAND: Great to talk to you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: We'll be back with more of "GPS" in a moment.
ZAKARIA: Americans often discuss how their system of government might be improved, especially in moments of crisis or political stagnation. But in one country, corruption and economic decline have moved the national conversation way beyond institutional tweaks. It brings me to my question.
In which of the following countries are generals publicly discussing a government takeover: Indonesia, Brazil, Ghana or Uganda?
Stay tuned and we'll tell you the correct answer.
This week's book of the week is "Leonardo da Vinci" by Walter Isaacson. A confession: I'm halfway through, but it's enough to recommend it fully. In some ways, this is Walter Isaacson's most ambitious book. He uses the life of Leonardo, which he recounts in a wonderful and accessible way, to speculate on the sources of genius.
I find myself agreeing with some of his ideas, disagreeing with others, but always you are informed, entertained, stimulated, and satisfied. Plus, this has to be the most beautifully illustrated and printed book I've seen in recent years. Do not get the e-book.
And now for the last look. Ninety-one Americans die from an opioid overdose every day. That's one death every 15 minutes. Since 1999, the number of opioid overdose deaths in this country has more than quadrupled, according to the latest CDC data. In coming days, President Trump will make what he's called a major announcement about the epidemic.
Well, there is a surprising tool emerging that may help fight the battle, but Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, isn't going to like this. I'm talking about recreational marijuana.
A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health found a correlation between recreational marijuana legalization in Colorado and a reversal of the upward trend in opiate overdose deaths.
Take a look at this chart. Opioid-related deaths decreased by 6.5 percent in that state in the two years following legalization. While that may not seem like a large number, it is statistically significant. Now, marijuana use is not without its own risks, and scientists stress that these results are preliminary. Further monitoring is needed. But as the New York Times noted, this isn't the only study to find a potential link between marijuana use, whether medicinal or recreational, and lower opioid overdose rates.
Dr. Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mt. Sinai Hospital, told "GPS" that continuing to study the subject and look for such patterns makes a lot of sense. As she told us, "We have an epidemic and we have to think differently."
The correct answer to the "GPS" challenge question is B. After a series of corruption scandals embroiled Brazil's president, Michel Temer, and all of his living predecessors, several Brazilian generals have openly discussed the military's readiness to impose the solution to the current political crisis.
As Alex Cuadros points out in The New Yorker this week, a recent poll found 43 percent of Brazilians supported a temporary military intervention. Those who support the idea would do well to remember that the Brazilian military's last temporary intervention yielded two decades of authoritarian rule from 1964 to 1985.
Thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.