Day: August 25, 2019

Background Briefing: August 25, 2019


Trump Has Second Thoughts About The Trade War With China

We begin with the apparent backpedaling by President Trump who seems to be having second thoughts about his intensifying trade war with China. An expert on Chinese politics and the Chinese Communist Party, Victor Shih, a Professor of Political Science in the 21st Century Program in the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego, joins us. We discuss whether we are witnessing a self-inflicted wound as Trump flails about tweeting “orders” to American corporations to stop doing business with China while insulting our own Chairman of the Fed who Trump compared with Xi Jinping as an enemy of the United States. While citing a 1977 emergency law to justify his order to U.S. corporations doing business in China to get out, Trump appears to be on shaky constitutional grounds which might explain his remarks at the G-7 about having second thoughts about escalating the trade war with China. Meanwhile there are real concerns about China’s theft of intellectual property and unfair trade practices that should be addressed but they are getting lost in the confusion caused by Trump which serves to weaken America and strengthen Xi Jinping’s hand.

Trump Encourages Boris To Go Over The Cliff

Then we go to Helsinki, Finland to speak with Charles Kupchan, Professor of International Affairs in Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service who spent the last three years of the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to President Obama for National Security.  He joins us to assess what is Trump’s problem with Scandinavia since he has attacked both the Prime Ministers of Sweden and Denmark, and Trump’s promise to bail Boris Johnson out with a trade deal once Brexit happens which Trump describes as the U.K. losing the “anchor around its ankle”.


3. ICE Cuts Off Hotline For Immigrants Because of a TV Show

Then finally we speak with Cynthia Galaz, the Hotline Director and Policy Monitor for Freedom for Immigrants where she monitors conditions inside immigration detention facilities. She joins us to discuss the move by ICE to cut off their organization’s access to the hotline that receives 14,000 calls from detainees around the country because they cooperated with the Netflix show “Orange is the New Black” which featured scenes inside detention facilities that eerily presaged what ICE would do.