tv U.S. Diplomats on American Leadership CSPAN February 27, 2023 8:54pm-9:54pm EST
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tom donohue when he suggested i run the international program over a decade ago told me to run hard and run fast and that's what we've done over the last decade is we expanded around the world. i've been traveling for millions of miles on behalf of the u.s. chamber and half of american business. over those years i witnessed history, had a front row seat to many historical events including in the u.s. china relationships. i would bear to witness her signing the agreement ambassador bird may have some reflections about that. i've also had a chance to do some things over my course of the years. i think about the storm in china for the jellyfish off the coast of mexico or the mounds in petra
or of course the experience i had with kurt campbell and wendy sherman and others in managing the aftermath of a deadly -- earthquake in new zealand. adventures don't really matter to me as much as much as the people that i worked with. both inside the chamber and outside the chamber i want to think the entire leadership suzanne clark and the team. i want to acknowledge members of my own team. gary john murphy. neil harrington anita patel josh kram jeremy waterman and so many more at the chamber that have made this so wonderful, so incredible and so memorable. a special thanks to the ab team at the u.s. chamber of commerce
that had to put up with me particularly during the covid period as we continue to do these virtual forms. much has happened since we started over a decade ago and i know that some of the founding members are here on this call today. and john from the wall street journal and many others who helped me in a conversation about american leadership. if i think about 10 years ago or 12 years ago when we first started this program the world has quite changed. today we see a much more muscular china in fact we see more tensions not just with the united states but with europe and others we see now a war in europe unprovoked aggression from russia and how we manage that and how we exit from this
were we see climate change taking even more prominence in the world today. we see a pandemic that's hit us and change the world forever. we see increasing energy around forward -- food and security issues and energy issues that causes us to think about how we are as a community. america's role in the world has never been more important. we also know the world cannot be divided into blue and red teams. how does america work with europe and other allies in restoring our place in bringing world order and stability. we are going to get into that in today's conversation but i just would be remiss if i didn't think all the members of the chamber, all the government officials who have participated me over the years.
many factors. i just want to think everyone for having faith in the u.s. chamber and the role that we play in supporting government for the america's role in the world today. let me transition to today's program and let me begin by saying this event today, with three of america's most respected diplomats seems the appropriate way to end my tenure at the u.s. chamber of commerce. i want to end on secretary albright we have to use force because it is we are america we already into spendable -- indispensable nation. we see the world for what it is. is america still the indispensable nation? do we have the of economic and geopolitical
uncertainty? in fact, secretary -- former secretary kissinger called that into question recently when he raised the issue of whether or not there is a global leadership vacuum. there is a common frame that america is pulling back from the wool, that american strength and impact overseas is diminishing and other powers such as china and russia are seeping into that. i am not sure i agree with that. but i am sure our guests will have a different perspective as well about the role of american leadership in this world today. in the face of challenges from climate change to food insecurity to global health system, resiliency and beyond, u.s. leadership can help galvanize partners and allies to make a difference, to have a profound impact and shape events. today's discussion we'll look at ways america is extending its leadership. where the leadership is most necessary. and what is driving and leading
american diplomats to be part of the solution. let me begin with very brief introductions of three very distinguished diplomats. ambassador nick burns is one of the nation's most distinguished diplomats. we're fortunate that he's helped navigate one of america's most complex challenges, and if you think about his nearly three decades of government service, he's served six presidents and nine secretaries of state. and i have to say, as undersecretary of political affairs, he's led negotiations on the u.s.-india civil nuclear agreement and a long-term military assistance agreement with israel. he also was a point of the nuclear diplomacy, serving as a point person in the second bush administration. so he has served both democratic and republican presidents. and he has many other achievements, also having served as u.s. ambassador to nato. next up is ambassador tom nides.
he was confirmed as u.s. ambassador to israel. since taking up his post in jerusalem, he's been a very active ambassador, very active on social media, and been at the forefront of some important developments, including dealing with the abraham accords and as well dealing with recent tensions in israel and its surrounded areas. prior to his current role, tom was managing director and vice chairman of morgan stanley. he served as u.s. state department deputy secretary of state for then-secretary clinton. and he's had other important roles in government and in the private sector. and finally, victoria nuland, ambassador nuland was confirmed in april, 2021, as under secretary of state for political affairs. making her the state department's highest ranking career diplomat. she has incredible experience, over three decades serving in
various posts including assistant secretary of state for european and year asia affairs from september, 2013, until january, 2017. and as state department spokesman as well. she was the first female u.s. ambassador to nato during george bush's second term and chief negotiator on important treaties as well. and she has served at overseas posts in russia, china, and mongolia. let me begin with each of you -- and thank you, again, for being with us today -- with some personal reflections. each of you have served in government and at times left government and come back. first of all, what inspired you each to be in government service, and, two, how is today's time than in previous times in government? victoria, let me start with you. under secretary nuland: well, first, myron, thank you for having us. more importantly, thank you for your almost 30 years of
incredible, may i say brilliant leadership at the chamber. you have invigorated the relationship between government and business overall of these years. you provided a platform for our foreign guests to connect to business and you've been a friend and mentor to many, many of us. so thank you for all of that. and i hope you get to have a pina co-latta -- colada somewhere fabulous after this. i would say i was raised by a physician who basically felt that, you know, you -- the only worthy professions were in the services so you go into the military, you could be a doctor. you could be in the clergy. but i also came from a household of divorce. so i was the family diplomat between my two parents. and then the third influence i hooked on -- the teenager, all
things russian. when i came out of university it was high reagan and there wasn't much business in russia so i went the government route and never turned back and have had the honor, also, to serve with nick burns and tom nides and loved it all the time. both of them have been my bosses. with nick i basically just followed him in most of the jobs that he pursued. look, i think, you know, obviously, we are now at the end of the post-cold war period. we're in the post-post-cold war period so to me, unfortunately, it feels a lot like it did at the beginning of my career. that we have large powers contesting the rules of the road that favor freedom. they are doing it by threatening their neighbors, by coercing countries around the world. and, therefore, u.s. leadership, which has always been essential, is even more essential. i will leave it there and hear from colleagues.
myron: nick burns, your redirections on what's bringing you back to government, what concerns you, and what's inspiring you. mr. burns: well, myron, thank you. i want to congratulate you on your terrific three decades at the chamber. there's been nothing like it. and we're all going to all miss you but we know you have a great future ahead. so congratulations on that. i also just wanted to say what -- to answer your question, what a pleasure it is to serve with people like victoria nuland who is one of my closest friends and closest partners in the u.s. foreign service. both of us career foreign service officers. and to think we can attract people like tom nides who's had this career between business and public service, it really is a strength of america. you asked me why i came back into government. i was a foreign service officer. left in 2008. taught at harvard for 13 years. i came back, i suspect, for the same reasons that tori and tom
did. i'm sure when the president called tom nides and said i want you to be ambassador to israel it took him not a long time to reflect and answer yes. i know when the president called toria to be under secretary of state for political affairs, of course, she was going to serve. and when the president called me, i had the same reaction. if you can't get accepted -- excuse me -- if you can't get excited about pun service in these three jobs, you're in the wrong business. and in my case, i've been going back and forth to china for 34 years. but i knew it was a critical time for our relationship with china. i believed in the president's vision. i knew that we had bipartisan support in the congress between republicans and democrats for a really robust american policy to defend our interests out here in the indo-pacific, to compete with the chinese where we absolutely have to compete, and to try to engage them on issues like climate change, global health, agriculture, and so it
was a job, obviously, i accepted with a great deal of humility but a great deal of purpose that china is going to be one of the great challenges for americans going forward for my wife and i have three daughters, for our kids, for our grandchildren. and just concluding my first year here, myron, and it is a tough job with a lot of challenges but we have a wonderful, great, high-performing u.s. mission staff across china. so happy to be here. myron: thank you. tom, your reflections and thoughts. mr. nides: i feel like a bar mitzvah. i hope you are giving your report. i want to second victoria and nick's view. listen, man, we enjoyed a lot of trips together, you respect what's great about getting in the game. the three of us have gotten in the game at different points.
you've been in the game in a really important time. the relationship between the business community and government is critical. none of us will forget that. i had the honor of being in business. i had the honor to be in government. the reality is business and government needs to work together. they need to have common agendas even when we disagree, we need to be involved. and you have been at the epicenter of that. you represent that. it's not democrats or republicans or business or government. you represent just trying to do the right thing. so i am, you know, you and i are good pals. we spend a lot of time talking about things. but i'm honored to be your friend. i'm honored i could be here [indiscernible] and i'm sure you and i [indiscernible] so thank you very much. you know, why did i get in government? listen. victoria, i was a kid from minnesota. my parents didn't have any money. you know, we -- the one thing we had was giving back, get into
the game. be it involved in our synagogue or involved in the community. by my parents -- but my parents always instilled on me, you can't sit on the sidelines and complain. you have to get involved and be part of it. i have been fortunate enough for people to be nice enough to allow me to be in the game. we all know all of us are smart enough. but it takes a lot of luck, a lot of perseverance to be able to do what all of us on this screen have done to give back in some way. i'll also say, listen, i'm humbled to be on the same screen as the three of you guys. listen, burns and nuland are like world-class diplomats. i am in the junior leagues so i am honored to be part of this -- not only this group but just watching how they've maneuvered around in the diplomatic circles. both of them have played an enormous role. i'd just like to say, when you mention this issue of
indispensable role and has the united states' role weakened over time, just look at what victoria nuland has done, including with leading the way of stopping this insanity of putin in ukraine, right? if it was not for the united states of america, if it wasn't for the united states of america, nato wouldn't be together as it is. we would not be -- ukraine would not be in the game and we have led this world on trying to do something which will change the world. so i'm -- you know, i think we -- actions speak louder than words. obviously, in this particular case, this state department, this president has done what he said he was going to do which was stand up for the united states of america. so that's how i answer that question. glad to be here, myron. myron: well, tom, that's a great lead-in to the topic around ukraine. i want to take one second and ask each of you, how does the political polarization in our country impact america's standing in the world? and our work around these important geopolitical
challenges? nick. mr. burns: well, myron, in my case, as i said before, i think one of the great advantages we have right now in dealing with a very difficult government here in the people's republic of china and a competitive relationship, we have a large bipartisan agreement that we ought to be competing with china for our military power in the indo-pacific, competing in the economic and trade sphere for a much more level playing field for american business because it's not level right now. we're certainly completing on technology. and, of course, we defend our values. we defend human rights. we take issue, great issue what the chinese has done in tibet and hong kong. the lack of religious freedom here. i think there's large-scale agreement, frankly, in our country and also between republicans and democrats in congress that we got to be competing in those four areas.
i also think most americans would say, as we largely have a difficult challenging, competitive relationship with china, we are the two largest economies. we're the two most powerful countries in the world. we got to be able to work with each other. and while there may be some disagreements, i think most americans would say the two largest carbon emitters ought to be working on climate change if we need to do something to strengthen the world health organization, we need to push china to be more active in it and to, of course, be more honest about what happened three years ago in wuhan, the origin of the covid-19 crisis. we're going to have to work together on food security. and toria, of course, have been working on the problem about the lack of grain exports from ukraine, especially from ukraine to the rest of the world, which has produced a food crisis in parts of africa and other parts of the world. so i think most americans would say we got to be present in the relationship with china.
and i feel the bipartisan support, myron, from both parties in congress, from the house and the senate. it's very important that we maintain that because china will try to divide us at home as they have tried to do in the past and we got to have the discipline and i think self-awareness and strategic clarity to stick together. i consider this one of the great advantages that we have that our mission has, that i have as ambassador out on point here for the united states as we try to deal with this difficult relationship. myron: toria, let me turn to you, next, because, obviously, the president went to kyiv. it was an important visit. symbolically important. it comes at a time when you can say the trans-atlantic relationship has been incredibly strong. but as the war goes on in ukraine, as russia's unprovoked aggression continues how do we manage both our relationship
with our allies on this issue the longer it goes and most importantly in washington where some republicans have at times signaled, perhaps, they would weaken their support and that would be i think the wrong message? nick has put that in the context of the u.s.-china relationship. but i think the two are related. toria, what concerns do you have about polarization here politically and how it impacts an important agenda in europe? ms. nuland: well, myron, i would say in my more than 30 years in government were on international issues, as nick said, more united than during most periods of my career. we're deeply cleveland as a country in -- cleved in country in culture wars, what's happening at home. if you look what's happening not only the unit of china -- tom
will speak about -- but on ukraine, you know, the u.s. has contributed more than $30 billion to the security, economic prosperity, humanitarian situation in ukraine and you can't do that without overwhelming support of both parties in the congress. you're not wrong that on the fringes of both parties folks are starting to question. but fundamentally when you look at how this issue is polling around the country, americans hate a bully. they do not want to stand on the sidelines while putin's russia eats its neighbor. and they understand that if we don't stop this war here, if we don't restore international law and respect for the u.n. charter, then this thing is just going to keep going. putin will keep going. but more importantly, equally importantly, it's going to embolden our dictators, bullies,
autocrats around the world, including xi jinping. i think americans by in large understand the stakes. they understand we have to become more resilient. we have to invest in our own democracy. that's what you see with the passage of the chips act and with the i.r.a. and when america can lead like that, both with our own investments in beating back russia in ukraine and in our own resilience, that gives us leverage in convincing allies in the ukraine case, some 50 countries around the world, to try to match us. and in fact, the global community has matched us in the ukraine context, and that is a direct result of the fact they see that both parties are joined in this effort and, frankly, the president's done a superb job of keeping it that way. but frankly, putin has helped as well, because he's just been increasingly vicious and brutal. and americans don't want to stand for that on this planet.
myron: tom, this year marks the 75th anniversary of u.s.-israel relations. obviously, there's been a change in government in israel in the last year. and there have been some difficult issues. historically, obviously, this is an enduring relationship, a special relationship that is supported by both parties. but we are in difficult waters in your neighborhood. with obviously, developments over the weekend illustrating that. obviously, what's going on with iran and other areas of the region. how do you see israel and the united states right now in a time of uncertainty both politically in israel and in the united states? mr. burns: well, if i knew we would have three prime ministers in a year i would try to go for london's job because they have the same number i -- but unfortunately it didn't happen. listen, the reality of this is, it's the middle east. the middle east is in constant
turmoil. that's what it is. and i think obviously we have -- the object of what i attempt to do, the direction that's gotten by both president biden and secretary blinten, the -- blinken, the unbreakable bonds of israel. that's not going to change. that said, there are plenty of times that we disagree with our friends and there are times in which we have to step up and talk about what we need to do collectively together to make things work. there's no question israel is going through a transitional period. they have a vibrant democracy here. 72% of the country voted for the fifth time in two years. we can only dream of that in america. and by the way, 56% of arab israelis also voted. so the idea that democracy is not alive and well is certainly not the case. for those of you who read "the new york times" have probably seen that there have been a
pretty active demonstrations here every weekend about some things that are going on here. and that's also healthy for a democracy. so i think that the challenges israel has is not only the threat they have from a -- from a military perspective, vis-a-vis iran or hezbollah or syria or what goes on in gaza, but they also have the continuation of a country which has changed demographically. and let us not forget the west bank in gaza is continuing to drive what goes on and clearly what happened this weekend. i -- this is a very lively place. but one thing is for sure. you talked about bipartisanship. as nick just mentioned, literally this week -- end of this week, last week, 36 members of the u.s. senate in israel, ok. led one group led by mitch mcconnell. the senate minority leader. and one led by chuck schumer,
the senate majority leader. and every chairman of every major committee was here. that was just last week. so the idea of bipartisanship is alive and well as it relates to the state of israel and the surrounded neighbors. so i guess i'm lucky to have so much interest in this place. but there's no question of the working together in a bipartisan way. it's the name of the game certainly for israel and for this region. myron: tom, i'm tempted to ask you whether those two trips were coordinated in a mutual event. that i'll lead to another comment. mr. nides: i tried. myron: i know you did. mr. nides: their schedule only overlapped a few hours. the reality is they would have worked together. interestingly enough, both shumer and mcconnell's message to the bipartisan and to the -- and to generally all the
administers in the government was basically the same. very little difference between both mitch mcconnell and chuck schumer's trip to israel. it was quite -- it was quite nice to see a bipartisan message coming from the u.s. congress. myron: toria, i wanted to jump back to this motion there are two geopolitical frameworks that have emerged. one that's a trans-atlantic one focused on russia's aggression in ukraine and another one in the indo-pacific that nick will also comment on in terms of managing a more aggressive china. there are also other arrangements. there are quad arrangements that have been set up as well. how do we manage these conflicts and try to deepen these partnerships, also, when inside these trans-atlantic relationships there are countries that are certainly less bullish on being mus could you lahr with china -- muscular
with china -- germany is a good example of that -- and countries in asia that are concerned about posturing with russia -- india is a good example of that -- so how do these countries that are important players on the geopolitical stage, how do we work with them to manage and balance these dynamics? toria, reflections? ms. nuland: well, myron, i would say that it's actually all part of a whole. and as you said at the top, president biden, secretary blinken came into office intending to strengthen alliances and partnerships with democracies across the world to address all the challenges of the world. so the coalition that they built in those first months was first put to the test on the russia-ukraine crisis. and the interesting thing there was that we used the g-7, which is primarily european but also includes japan, to start the
work on security support, sanctions, humanitarian support, and strengthening nato, obviously. but the japanese made that investment because they knew that xi jinping was an equal threat to the rules of the road that have kept us safe and free and prosperous, starting in asia but also coercing countries all over the world. and therefore, if japan made an investment in the european theater, that would give leverage for the europeans to better understand that the same issues are at stake with china and that they also need to increase their resilience, vis-a-vis china, they need to strengthen their export controls, their investment screening, their supply chains, all of those things. so as we work with countries from australia to india to japan to the european union to canada
and the u.k., the conversation, of course, is about the individual issues that we're working on, but fundamentally, it's about defending the u.n. charter, defending sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, defending peaceful resolutions of problems and standing up to coercion and standing up to bullies and using all of the tools in our tool kit to do that. you know, with regard to countries like india, other countries that are having to make difficult decisions at this moment, you know, india has always understood the china question being neighbors. but they also, as a result of that, became heavily dependent on the soviet union and later on russia. and they had to understand that as democracies, we need to depend on each other and we need to diversify our supply chains, etc., so that we can manage,
particularly in the context of both of these big powers, russia and china, now working increasingly together to roll back the democratic successes that we've had all of these decades and our needing as democracies to stand up against that and saying no. so i would say, again, it's one conversation with many, many different chapters. you'll forgive me, i'm going to listen to colleagues for a minute. i'll run off and see canadians and work on another hot problem which is haiti. so i will leave you in a minute. myron: let me do one quick minute on iran. can you just give us one minute on iran, how you see efforts there right now, and then i'll turn to nick and tom for some reflections on other issues, toria, what do you see as a prospect of that reform movement really picking up steam and seeing a change, perhaps, in the government or certainly in our relationship with that country? ms. nuland: well, i'd like to
hear tom nides on this one. i would say i think, obviously, the ukrainians -- the iranian people and particularly iranian women have been incredibly brave in standing up for their individual rights in the context of a very, very repressive society and the fact this has gone on for months and months and months just speaks for the fact that the government in iran is not serving its people. i think you know that we tried very, very hard to get back into the jcpoa when president biden came into office. and we continued to believe that is the best way to deal with the nuclear problem, thereby, giving us space to deal with other problems. and this iranian government could not get it. so there in a manner we could accept. and they are also becoming more and more aggressive in the neighborhood and against american interests. so it's a very difficult period. but nides is living right there so i think he should speak to this as well. myron: toria, thank you for
being on today. tom, i was going to turn to nick next. but let's stay on this topic for a second because i was going to ask you about the normalization process, the abraham accords. do you want to speak on iran and what you see from your vantagepoint? mr. nides: when people talking about ripping up the jcpoa, you could argue, are we in better shape today than we were in three years ago, four years ago when we wanted to keep the agreement? the answer i think is probably no. i mean, iran is, if you believe "the new york times" or "washington post," is pretty close to breakout if they wanted to, there's no question the situation on the ground in iran is complicated. the economy has not collapsed contrary to what some people would conventionally believe. there's still funding the proxies which is dramatically problematic for us. but the president has been very
clear from the get-go, he will not stand by and watch iran obtain a nuclear weapon. so we're doing everything we can to make sure that doesn't happen. and you know, we're working with israel and many of the countries in the middle east to make sure that doesn't happen. but i am under no illusion, as toria is or anybody that works on this issue, it's dangerous, it's complicated. i think the reality of this, this should be a wake-up call to everyone in the region, iran is producing and sending drone technology to the russians that have now been used against the ukrainian people. so if you think there's no access between iran and russia, hopefully not china, it should be a wake-up call to all of us. so we're working on this day and night to make sure that iran does >> tom, i will go today, but do you have 30 seconds on what we can do to support the reform movement? is there anything that we could do that we might want to do to
step up the reform efforts underway that, you know. >> listen, we don't, we honestly don't support regime change, i guess. publicly, anyway. and i think ultimately, you know, it has to come from the ground up. it is happy, i do not think it is near a collapse of the government, or a collapse of the current regime, but it is certainly a wake-up call. i think it is a wake-up call to the world. that women and men in iran wants to think different. how much they can get away with has to be total, but ultimately, the behavior of the iranian regime which is so troubling for all of us, and given their activity with the war in ukraine, it is even more concerning. israel is in our security concerns as well, it certainly
raises issues and concerns. >> obviously in the fall, the presidents meeting with xi jinping was important, it was said as a positive exchange, setting a relationship to create a floor, and find ways as you suggested earlier to really work together, which is where we have common interest. but also, to address significant differences in relationship. -- relationships, we have had the balloon incident, concerns about chinese behavior with russia, and other issues that have popped up. and you have been talking about your messaging in china. senator blinken has had some tense exchanges. where are we right now in their -- the relationship with china, and where can we go at a time when we have so much difference in how to manage these political
conflict? >> this is a very difficult moment in the u.s.-china relationship. i was with president biden in the meeting in bali in mid-november, in indonesia. and we put forward our position, that we did instability, and floor in a relationship, the two leaders know themselves -- each other very very well, had three and a half hours of conversation, and spoken frankly -- most of that was spoken frankly on the eight -- differences between us and trying to manage those differences so we don't end up in a conflict, god forbid. i think we came out of the meeting thinking that we had a chance in 2023 for greatest ability. secretary blinken was scheduled to visit beijing, to see president xi jinping and kwan the engine gone. his aides.
that became impossible after the balloon incident, which was an absolute violation of the sovereignty and integrity of the united states. president biden was obviously correct in shooting down the balloon and now we are correct in salvaging the superstructure and examining it. the fbi is doing it. an holdings -- china to account, the message we have transmitted to the government here is that this most never happen again. we sanctioned six companies here in china that have been involved in the pla surveillance balloon activities, and we have received a lot of support from our allies and partners, from every part of the world, for our position. and we had to stand up to the chinese on this issue. we are now in this surreal moment where the chinese, i think it lost the debate over the balloon, globally lost influence and credibility around the world because of what they have done, are blaming this on
us. it is a little bit orwellian. it is a little bit frustrating, because i think everybody knows the truth here. if you combine that, byron, with the warning we have also given -- myron, with the government we have also given to the government over the last week or two, we think they contemplate providing legal assistance to the russians for their unjust and brutal warning -- more in ukraine. that is a warning our secretary of state a president have made and i have made on their behalf to the government here. we hope the government in beijing will take that warning seriously. yes, there are issues where we do want to work with china, but frankly this is a moment where we have to manage these differences. holding china to account and building up our alliance system out here in the indo-pacific, which has been so effective. it has strengthened the alliance with japan and the philippines,
and the development with the oscars -- australia and the united kingdom, and india. i think the chinese may have been surprised by how well we working together, and the strength of our democracies. remember when i testified at my confirmation here, i told members of the foreign affairs committee that the chinese believe, chinese leadership, that the east is rising and that the west, particularly the united states is declining. i think two years into this administration, on a bipartisan basis, i could say the united states has a position of strength, and the united states and nato, and the european union are saying the threat from china and the competition from china in the same way i think that's a price the chinese, and strengthened our ability to make sure that we are maintaining our position.
i would like to focus on the balloon incident, and china's position on the ukraine war, as two of the most important issues that we are dealing with right now. >> think those the most important short-term issues, but taiwan looms large as an issue as well in the u.s.-china relationship. we see a lot of rhetoric coming out of beijing on that issue. we have seen signs of increasing expansionist thinking coming out of beijing, and i note that this is an area that is fixed to this relationship. how do we manage this dynamic in the context of everything else we are dealing with. obviously, ukraine and that conflict that we have seen in this as well. how do we manage that, because we are going to have an election in this country next year, will have representatives, perhaps a speaker visiting taipei, we will see, i think, and escalation
from both sides if we don't manage it very carefully. that has huge risk short-term and long-term. also thinking about the business community that has logic issues coming out of taiwan. do you want to reflect on that quickly? >> the united states has a unique relationship with taiwan since 1979, obviously to maintain our own military strength, all around taiwan and this part of the world to make sure that the taiwan authorities have the ability to make sure debt -- to deter chinese action now or in the future. it is also our responsibility to galvanize the rest of the world to make sure chinese get over with coercion termination. again, this is taiwan itself, you get -- you saw it after speaker pelosi's visit, and i was here dealing with the chinese government in washington.
it is extraordinary. extraordinary use of power, military power to try to intimidate taiwan, fiery ballistic missile territory, the offensive action in the taiwan straight, violating the status quo of the last 70 years. and now i think you have seen a reaction. not just from the united states, we had a reaction, but also from japan and some of the countries in this region. they understand for 2% of the container traffic in the world flows through the taiwan straight, and any kind of disruption caused by china by the pla in the taiwan straight would have inevitable very negative consequences for the global economy. and of course, we want to live in a world where big countries cannot push small countries around, or in this case not a country, but the taiwan authorities. it is very important that the united states is stepping up, showing support as we do under our congressional authorization
for articles of supply to the taiwan authorities, showing political support, obviously working on trade issues as we are. i think the united states has stood up with very strong support for the taiwan authorities. we will continue to do that and hopefully the message to beijing, which will sink in is that the united states and our allies want to see the government here respect the status quo and stand down from some of their more aggressive activities and respect the fact that we need a peaceful solution to the cross-trade differences. that is the message they need to hear, not just from us, not hearing from us, but from countries in europe and they are beginning to curate from europe into this part of the world. >> tom, when you get -- went to israel, i know one thing that excited you about the opportunity, not only your commitment to the bilateral relationship was the expansion of the abraham accords, this is
where you have given this administration some credit. there is work to be done and there is work you have led. tell us where we are in israel's relationship with its neighbors and where we can go. could we see more progress example in the saudi relationship with israel in the years to, and how we get there, and how does the private sector play a role? cracks that's a great question. when i was the first person to be confronted by hearing, but in my first -- the first questions a republican member asked was about the abraham accords. at that time, when i was preparing to rework the accords, i said i love the abraham accords. p, i love the abraham accords. the trump administration and my partner david freeman and kirk, they deserve an enormous amount of credit for having an idea, a
vision, the abraham accords have made the region more safe and effective, and we took what was a great idea, and make it more real and more substantial, within the accords themselves. you have morocco, bahrain, you have early adopters, early normal answers, and now our objective is to make sure the relationships with those countries are proceeding on a multilateral basis. you see trade between israel and the united arab emirates, it's gone off the charts. the israelis, they get on a plane and the plane is full of multiple denominations of jews,
as well as israelis. same thing with morocco, and bahrain. the abraham accords were phenomenally successful and added a security element to the region. obviously we are on the road to moving forward, the problem is that the military took over the civilian government, and until the -- that gets that rate needs to be, that will be the next -- next necessary step to get in the abraham accords. really it saves the lives of israelis. that's one of the biggest priority sticks to our grant of course, we want to play a role in that to try to get that to happen. we can play an enormous role in the bilateral election ship with
saudi arabia, if that improves it will improve -- incentivize the saudi's did do good things for israel. as long as it is normalized with israel, all of the regional countries would come with them. it's about the whole area. and in one day the whole thing could change. usually important. there is a lot of -- was a lot of time and a lot of injury to try to build on what the trump administration did and to improve it. >> we have time for just two quick questions and i want one from each of you. nick and tom, we often talk about national security trumping economic issues. the reality to me is that economic security is tied to national security. the stronger we are competitively and as a nation, the stronger we are around the
world. , i want to turn to you, because so much of the attention, even in your comments today, have been around security and defense arrangements. but we have a big economic relationship with china. let's not forget that we do $1 trillion worth of business. it is not perfect, we have no concerns about the chinese record, we have concerns about the emphasis of state found effort -- enterprises and regulatory behaviors by the government. but we want to work on this relationship in areas where we can do business. there has to be a traffic light of growth. areas that are red, and that yellow -- that are yellow, and areas that are green. where is the economic relationship heading at a time of great turmoil, and tom in your response, please also comment about where the economic relations fit into the narrative on the u.s.-israel relationship, which gets so much attention for
obvious reasons. >> myron, one of the ironies of the present relationship between us and china, which has been so difficult across the board is that our two-way trade is increasing. the figures just released by the department of commerce show a $690 billion trade relationship, trade relationship between us and china, that is a major increase over just a couple of years ago. there are areas where americans are doing well, and should continue to do well. i will give you an example. agriculture. american farmers and ranchers sold nearly $41 billion of american products. to china last year. that is 1/5 of all of our cultural -- agricultural exports in the united states. to china and it is our single largest export market. it is a relationship that is going quite well and working for our foreign community and ranch community. on the other hand, i think technology will be the heart of the battle as we think of the
future of our economic relationship. in fact i would say the future of our relationship overall, technology will be one of the most challenging and compelling issues. and you have seen our administration, the united states, with a lot of congressional support, takes very tough actions against china. our action taken to the department of commerce to deny chinese companies sophisticated chips and semiconductors and supercomputers, for example, and that was a major action that we had to take, so that as the white house put it, describing this action, we don't give the national security intelligence in china the technology to overtake us and we protect what is important in our own economy and national security establishment. and technology will remain a congested area. there are real limits in law about chinese ability, chinese companies to invest in companies
in the united states and technology that we need to be important for our national security. and of course congress is now talking about, and the administration contemplating what we need to do to encourage american companies not to invest in the civil-military fusion in the national security complex here in china. that is very important for our future. i think it will be front and center in our relationship as we go forward. so, i deal with, i came from an american chamber tonight in beijing, where he -- we are encouraging american companies to trade. we are defending their right to have a more level playing field because the chinese are denying that to our companies. there are areas, frankly, where we do not want to see american trade and investment, because it is too important to national security, which has to trump everything else in a relationship like this. >> 30 seconds, tom, because i know you have been a proponent
of the cyber into digital agenda between the united states and israel. we appreciate that. your response quickly. >> as you said this is the economic system that is the driver, but businesses are a nation. this is the economic heart of the middle east, because of the technology and the new technology in health care and cybersecurity, and every other way that israel is leaving the way. it is not a private equity firm or investor, it does not invest to israel. arguably, the dependence of israel on united states money and technology is probably 90% of the money that comes to israel technology companies. this bilateral agency on economics and trade, it hits way
above it its weight. everyone believes that this is a place you want to invest in, and we look forward to the next wave of technology. economic strength is -- creates defensive strength and defense strength equals security. so it is all intertwined with each other. >> tom, one final sentence of optimism, leave us with some optimistic thoughts about the state of the world, or the weird ash world you are engaged in. >> being with you is all i need. and anyone out there, you have a lot of really smart people working on the world, the world is in pretty good shape. that would tell you again, america is here. america is in the debate, every day, and i will say with great certainty, the united states is as strong as it has ever been.
>> nick, your final thoughts? >> to end this program with, you know, i would very much we are what tom just said. from my perspective sitting here in china, looking out at the indo pacific, our american position is stronger than it was five or 10 years ago. it is the strength of our alliances, the strength of our private sector, our innovative capacity and our our entity capacity, which comes from our research institutions and big tech companies. they do think that the chinese now understand the united states is staying in this region, we are the leader in this region in many ways. act that we want a future of peace with china. we don't want president biden makes it clear every time you talk about this, we don't want conflict. but we will hold our own. i feel optimistic, just concluding my first year as ambassador, about the american position in the country and in this region.
and i think the president for the opportunity to do this job. i think the congress for speaking with one voice between republicans and democrats. this is a great strength. and my right, congratulations on three days in the chamber -- decades in the chamber. sardis you go, looking forward to seeing your many republicans in the future. >> this has been a terrific way to close out my public chapter of the u.s. chamber of commerce, to have all of these ambassadors with us today talking about america's role in the world. it is clear that we are a strong nation, with -- it is clear that our leadership is needed at a time of conflict. it is important that we do not go alone, that we stand with our allies and build alliances even in areas that we talked about today. the challenges are before us,
but the reality is that today, the rest of the world is watching as america confronts russia's aggressive behavior and it deals with the challenges of manning -- managing china's rise. and so many other issues that require u.s. leadership. i am grateful for the incredible diplomats that serve our country. we heard from three of them today. we think the private sector has never been more important in working in our government, and we continue to do that. i am not retiring from my commitment to be engaged on world events, i am not retiring from my commitment to work in the private sector, and in short that we continue to see cooperation between the public and private sector. so i think you all for turning in today, i think my many friends and colleagues and my former staff and current staff, for their contribution to my 29 years. without that this would not have
been possible. thank you all for joining us here today, signing off for the last time as the executive vice president a hd of international affairs of the u.s. chamber. >> the u.s. supreme court today here's a case involving borrowers challenging presen biden's student loan deadly relief -- for the program. coverage starts tuesday morning on c-span3, on our free mobile video out, or online at c-span.org. >> there are a lot of places to get political and debates. but only at c-span do you get it straight from the sort -- source. no matter where you're from or where you stand, c-span is america's network. unfiltered, unbiased, word for word, it happens here. or here. or here. or anywhere that matters. america is watching on c-span. power by cable.