tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN April 1, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EDT
leesburg, virginia. jim. caller: yes, as a total agnostic on this and not bringing any religion, i would say this is an l bgg community poking it into society and if not the right's i. -- the right's eye. when there are tons of other businesses that would gladly do this for you, this would be like having a practicing jewish business or practicing jew come in and be mandated because a nazi party showed up and said, you will cater our lunch or even a black photographer saying, we are going to definitely go after this black photographer and go to the kkk wedding and you will not say anything about it. it is a private business. this is like the federal government saying, you cannot smoke in bars. i was so against this. if this one wants to be smoking, and this one does not want to be, then when the businesses is doing 10 times better than the
other, where are people going to run? it is a private only business. you are going out for the public's money. i think the money would say, money walks in the rest of it -- money talks and the rest of it walks. you cannot really force people, especially religiously, society wise, to do something like this. i have more to say. if someone says i am polyamorous -- i can't wait for the polygamists coming out and announcing to the government that we want all of these rights as the lgbt community. thank you. guest: this gets to the divided that we have been talking about. if you open a business, there are a set of laws, public accommodation laws, that say you are serving the public and cannot discriminate on the basis of race, sex, and some say sexual orientation. on the other side, people say, this is my business.
part of the reason that wedding vendors get so much of the attention -- it is not that indiana is just all wedding vendors. a lot of them are individuals who that is their whole business. it is not a walmart that has a lot of owners in a complex structure. somebody who bakes wedding cakes, it is just them. the business is just them. it's religion is their religion and that is the central tension. host: you write about the fix. what is the potential to fix that would be further complicating? guest: i think that if republicans in the state legislature and governor pants try to find -- governor pants tried -- pence try to fix the minimum, i think it could further complicate things.
the risk is that it could not be enough. if it does not quell some of the criticism they have taken from business leaders, if conferences are not willing to come back to the state, then you have really dug yourself deeper in the hole that you don't in the first place. host: sam baker with the "national journal." what a fix in indiana would look like. thank you. we go to the brookings institution in washington dc. an event is taking place at the center for middle east policy. a discussion on deal or no deal, negotiating with iran. this event starts momentarily. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
>> on c-span, the first of two discussions we are bringing you today on the a ron -- it ron -- iran nuclear discussions. the panel should get underway shortly at brookings. we will be covering the council as they discover -- cover the nuclear talks at 6:30 eastern. this is the associated press reporting from switzerland negotiations began again, but were upset by competing claims. the ap writes that as the latest round hit the week mark foreign ministers left of the talks with prospects for an agreement remaining uncertain.
>> good morning, everyone. thank you so much for joining us. i'm the director of the center for middle east policy and i am delighted to be hosting you this morning for a discussion of the iran negotiations, along with my colleagues from the arms control initiative also here in foreign policy at brookings. for all of us who follow the middle east, the pace and scope of events over the last week have been dizzying. whether it is the back and forth u.s.-iraqi-iranian role in tiktrit, the saudi intervention in yemen, or the negotiations in switzerland, what we are seeing in the region is not merely the consequence of the breakdown of the state border in the wake of the arab uprisings of 2011, but
we are also seeing a grand struggle for power across the region. it is understandable that in that context, regional states feel a tremendous stake in seemingly small struggles. it is also understandable in that context why the significance of these negotiations and laws -- these negotiations in switzerland goes far beyond the substance of the talks themselves or the specifics of what deal may or may not be announced or what terms may not or may be announced. i cannot imagine a group of better people to help us understand what is going on in these negotiations, and u.s.
relations around these negotiations, in american politics but the broader significance and symbolism of what is taking place. a few brief administrative announcements before we get this conversation underway. first, i want to point all of you to the place where our conversations go on in between these public events. i invite you all to join the conversation on our middle east blog. that is on the brookings website. just over the last week, we have had a dozen posts on all of the issues that i mentioned. we have had a very consistent focus on the iran negotiations. in addition, for those of you who are watching via c-span or following us on twitter at this
event, you can tweet questions to the panel when we get to the q&a portion. tweet your questions to the foreign policy twitter handle @brookingsfp. for those of you who would like to be part of a twitter conversation around this conversation, please tweet using our twitter handle for the event #irannegotiations. >> good morning. let me add my thanks. i don't think i need to tell anyone who has read the paper in the last couple weeks the importance of the negotiations with iran, but also the importance of the timing right now. we seem to be at a turning point. there may be a foundation from which to move forward. something that will last for quite some time. or, conversely, we might look back at these two days and say this was the moment when negotiations collapsed, when
things that had seemed so promising no longer look that way. making this more complex, in contrast to many negotiations, not everyone believes the deal is the best outcome. in both iran and the united states, there are many serious critical voices that believe that a negotiated agreement is a much worse outcome than no agreement. i am delighted to say that even by brookings standards, we have a pretty superb panel for you. we have three people up here who have long been looking at government aspects of the questions they are going to address today. our first speaker is bob einhorn. a senior government official in multiple administrations. he is someone who is going to give us the state of play in what is going on with negotiations, the unresolved issues, what he sees needs to be tackled in the days and weeks to come.
our next speaker is suzanne maloney, one of our nations are mere iran -- premier iran watchers in the government and outside. our last speaker is not giving us a foreign policy perspective but he is going to explain the political dynamics and ramifications in the united states. together, we will end up with a much more nuanced understanding of the issues that are dominating the front pages. without further ado, let we turn this over to bob. bob: thank you very much. first, a few words of background to the current round of negotiations in lausanne. last november the five plus one countries and iran agreed to a second extension of the
interim deal they had reached in november 2013. in november, they set a deadline of end of june 2015 for concluding a comprehensive nuclear deal. they also set a target date of end of march, basically yesterday, for reaching agreement on the key elements of a deal, sometimes it has been called political understanding political framework. the idea was that this march political framework would provide guidance to the negotiators in fleshing out the critical, technical details required in a comprehensive agreement by the end of june. since november, the iranians
have played down the importance of the march target date. the supreme leader said that they do not want a two-stage agreement. they want a single agreement that will be worked out by the end of june. they did not place much importance on the end of march concluding date. the u.s. played up the importance of the march target. for the u.s., the march date was a key test of whether a nuclear agreement, a sound agreement was even achievable, of whether iran would be willing and able to make the necessary concessions to ensure that a sound agreement could be reached.
congress required some time, has been poised to adopt new legislation that could had a disruptive effect on the negotiations. members of congress agreed to put off any votes on new legislation at least until the conclusion of this lausanne round. it appears at this point that the framework that negotiators hope to reach will not be achievable. there has been some progress over the last 6-8 weeks, including the last six days in lausanne. deputy foreign minister said
this morning that no deal is going to be announced today or tomorrow. what will be issued is, what he called, a press statement, which would simply indicate that progress is being made. after his remarks to the press u.s. officials countered the notion that it would be a simple, vague press statement. the u.s. side wanted a concrete statement with important details of what had been achieved. whatever the contents of a joint statement that may be issued tonight or tomorrow, the u.s. will most certainly prepare its own version of events in written form. it is not clear. it will hope to brief members of
congress and informed the u.s. and world public of its impression about where the negotiations stand. what has the u.s. been trying to achieve? i will mention some of the key goals. it has wanted to achieve rigorous verification measures measures capable of detecting iranian noncompliance at both declared nuclear facilities, as well as covert locations. this would involve not just adhering to the international atomic energy agency's additional protocol, which provides for a much more standard verification measure it would also mean going well beyond the additional protocol in a number of key respects. the second key goal is to
lengthen, from about the current 2-3 months, to about one year the amount of time it would take to run -- iran to produce enough weapons grade material for a single nuclear bomb. lengthening the so-called breakout time to at least one year would involve putting significant constraints on possible methods for iran to produce the materials for a nuclear bomb. that would mean constraints on the enrichment program as well as constraints on the nuclear reactor that iran is building. at third, the administration wants a long-duration agreement. this is important because there is already an agreement that after the expiration of the deal iran will be treated like any other non-nuclear weapons state party to the npt. some, if not all, special
restrictions applicable to laurent -- iran would go away at that point. it needs to be a long-duration. the u.s. view is that it should at least be 10 years. some restrictions should continue for another five years. and some should be permanent. those are some of the key goals and much progress has been made toward these goals in recent weeks and months. and in recent days. there are some key issues that appear to remain unresolved. the situation is murky now because they are in the throes and perhaps the final hours of this round of talks. not much official information has been released. there has been a lot of press speculation about the unresolved issues, but i will mention some that have gotten a lot of press play, whether or not they are
fully accurate. one issue that seems to be hard to resolve is the question of the phasing and timing of the relief from sanctions that have been imposed on iran. the iranians say they would like all the sanctions removed almost immediately. the u.s. position is that sanctions should be phased out over time, as iran meets certain benchmarks in restricting its nuclear program and as confidence is developed in the peaceful nature of a ron paul's nuclear program. recently, the focus has largely -- peaceful nature of iran's nuclear program. recently, the focus has largely been on restrictions of iran's ability to procure resources.
the second issue is on research and development on advanced centrifuge machines. if iran is able, during an agreement, to develop high confidence in the performance of very efficient centrifuges and wants -- once the agreement is other, they can move quickly to ramp up enrichment capability and shorten their breakout time significantly. another issue, duration. as i mentioned before, the u.s. would like restrictions to last as long as possible. it has been reported that iran would like virtually all of them to end after the 10 year. -- the 10 year period. another issue that has become prominent has to do with the amount of enriched uranium in a gaseous form that iran would be allowed to possess. this amount is a critical factor
in calculating the breakout time. the smaller the amount of gaseous uranium gaseous enriched uranium that iran could keep, the higher the number of centrifuges that could be allowed iran without shortening the breakout time. for the last few months, it has been widely assumed that iran had agreed, tentatively or not there was an understanding that it had agreed to ship out almost all of its stock of 8000 kilograms of low enriched uranium gas to russia. this would be a very neat and effective solution to this problem.
shipping any of this enriched uranium gas out of iran would be out of the question. it is not clear how this apparent change of position will be compensated for. there are other ways of dealing with this problem, including by diluting the material from an enriched state to a natural state which is less than 1% enriched, but it is not clear. this is an issue that many assumed had been resolved before , but now it is an open question. a final issue i will mention is possible merit -- possible military dimensions. this involves the iaea's investigation into certain past
activities conducted before 2003 that the iaea and the united states believe or related to the development of a nuclear weapon. the iranians have stone fall -- stonewalled the investigation and the u.s. and its partners have said that it is important that this issue be resolved. at this point, given the iranian stonewalling, it is highly unlikely that the iaea can resolve its concerns before a june deadline. the question is whether a schedule will be reached once the agreement goes into force. why have the negotiators apparently fallen short of reaching an agreement on a complete political framework. i think the main reason is that the iranians have dug in their
heels on some critical issues. they have not displayed enough flexibility to reach effective compromises on these matters. some speculate it is tactical. the iranians may have concluded that the u.s. team was under so much pressure from the congress to get a deal that the u.s. and its partners would make all of the remaining concessions. i don't know if that is the case. it may also be not a tactical explanation, but that iran's supreme leader has laid out some very tough redlines and no one is prepared to cross those. whatever the explanation, the deal or the solution, the joint statement that the u.s. team will be taking back to washington, is going to fall short of expectations.
there will be a lot of disappointment in the american administration and a lot of skepticism in the congress whether a deal will ever be concluded. you can expect, in coming weeks a lot of interaction between the executive and legislative branches of government. the obama administration will try to make a strong case that sufficient progress has been made recently and including in lausanne to justify a continuation of the negotiations and a continuation of the negotiations without congress voting on a new legislation. many will be skeptical of this. they will be very strong pressures in the congress to vote new sanctions laws for a corker-menendez bill that would require the administration to submit a deal for the congress
for an up or down vote. the march round was designed to test whether iran was willing to achieve the agreement, whether a sound agreement was negotiable, and i think unfortunately after the six intense days of negotiations those are still unanswered questions. thanks. >> thanks very much for pulling together today's event. our timing is either perfect or just a little bit premature depending on where you stand. i think it is a great opportunity for a discussion on what we know to be the likely outcome. i think bob -- i think bob for giving us that comprehensive
state of play of where things stand. i was asked to talk about the view from tehran, which is always a bit of a challenge when you are sitting in washington. we have the benefit of quite a bit of discourse on this issue from the iranian side over the past 14 months while the negotiations have been ongoing. it has been a fascinating discussion. i think that it does illuminate a little bit about where things stand from the iranian perspective and how they are likely to play out the remaining three months of the current stages of negotiations. i think that there is a broader and deeper political consensus around a deal in iran than we sometimes hear, at least in the conventional analysis outside iran. this is not a controversial notion on the iranian side. the idea of negotiating with the united states and the other partners is one that has been endorsed by the supreme leader
time and again. he has provided support to the negotiators repeatedly and in full some terms. when we hear about hardliners on both sides, opponents of the deal on both sides, i would suggest that the iranian debate on a deal is less fractured than the american debate on a deal, at this time. that is an important caveat to give. it is not to suggest that there is a unified position in iran. there is not a unified position in iran on any subject whatsoever. it is a very politicized society and there are a variety of viewpoints. it is reasonable to suspect that there are those within the current executive branch of the current iranian government who might in fact be capable or willing to embrace more lenient terms for a deal, more
flexibility on the iranian side, if they were empowered to do so. so. that is a deposition often put forward. i have no evidence other than my interactions with them and presumption they have a certain leaning toward re-engagement with the international community. let me reinforce i think both are very in line with the supreme leader instruction on the deal. no interest in or willingness to band from what he has laid forward in terms of the deal. they are not subversive in their way to negotiate or trying to sell a deal he is not endorsed. by the same token, there are critics. there are hardline -- hard-liners within the perspective that are disinterested in anything that looks at a capitulation to the international community and hard-liners who at this particular moment in time are actually adverse to appearing to
strike a deal with the country they see is leading the sort of encirclement strategy around them that has contributed to the instability we are seeing as a result of the islamic date, as well as endorsing or backing the saudi or arab campaign in yemen. from the very perspective they would undoubtedly like to use the supreme leader unless flexible terms. they are not critics in the sense that they are likely to adverse any deal he does get his sanction to. once they can arrive to term that are consistent with the supreme leaders line, this will sell in iran and be implemented as we save the joint plan of action implemented in fairly
reliable form. but that said, obviously the supreme leader's terms for deal are not the terms of the international community fines acceptable or amenable. this is the fundamental goals on the iranian side who do not have an enormous amounts of its ability and what they are able to offer. you have an international community by content and trying to make the most of what appears to be an important opportunity from recent iranian political opportunity. we all remember eight years of augmentin is not an the difficult negotiating position. -- augmentin isckmadenijad. what the primary leverage in the talks is the willingness to walk
away, hang tough. most because they have to. we have seen time and time again as they hang tough the p5 + 1 and largely due to the creativity of the american negotiating team and close consensus and cooperation among all sick of the partners that the international community comes back with terms that come a little bit closer to where he is that the red lines. hanging tough has been as strategy that has worked, and i think that is what we're seeing here again today, and i think we will continue to play out. i thought it would make a point that probably bears clarification, because so many of us watch the election, the endorsement of greater engagement with the world and more flexible negotiating position as a signal that he had been elected to do a deal.
i certainly thought that and read that and wrote that. but in fact, rouhani was selected to get a deal but not at any price. i think we have seen that clearly over the horse of the past 13 months. that's a wrong -- that iran will hold steady and that means maintaining most of the structure is possible, obtain as much sanctions relief is ugly as possible. effectively, ensuring the rehabilitation in the international community. that is the real goal here. so you are seeing some of these terms, the sticking point a reflection of a wroniran's determination to hang on to the infrastructure and looking or the rehabilitation as quickly and securely of possible. i would say i believe those and around him understand iran needs
this deal more than international community needs the deal. the supreme leader has articulated a position that they can marriage the economy without a return to pre-sanction era and the resistance economy reliance on domestic production can benefit the country by weaning it off the dependency on oil. those are wonderful word and a noble goal, but fundamentally a wriran needs reintegration with the world. they are prepared to restructure the economy and manage the economy in the -- even in a case they could not get sanctions relief. the plan is to go forward without sanctions relief, and i believe they are very determined and prepared to go forward in that direction. finally, let me say a few words about the passive behavior by the iranian side over the past few days.
bob reference the ships in the position on the export of uranium stockpiles to russia. this obviously has been an issue that appeared to be settled. by putting into jeopardy in the last moment created new obstacles to a political framework that only a few weeks ago appeared to be almost inevitable. there seem to be a lot of optimism coming out of the negotiations that led up to the final phrase. there was in fact a pretty robust set of understandings. the real kernel that had been alluding negotiators on both nights over the worst of the past year or so has finally been overcome, the issue of enrichment finally dealt with through a fairly complicated formula that included the export of the stockpiles. why suddenly shift positions yet
so i do not think i can look into the mind of the negotiators that i would suggest a couple of possibilities. first, i think there is a real mistrust on the apart of the iranian system that the united states cannot hold its end of the bargain. that intends -- the trust has been intensified with ongoing congress and the decade of branch and by the effort on the part of many on the hill to suggest that any deal will not be implemented and any implementation will not continue beyond the term of the current president. i think there are real job about what they might be forced to sign, and whether or not it will be upheld on this site. we also know he has said he does not want us to -- two-stage deal. the price for failure at this page is not terribly high.
there is a lot of anticipation. a lot of people on social media that have been thing up all night and tweeting nonstop him and many are in iran. ultimately there is no political price to be paid. as bob said, the political price will be much higher on this end. so it is an easy round or the iranians to inflict a wound ineffectively on the adversaries the table. i would also suggest the issue of sanctions has been underplayed in our own discussion of the deal and complications. we spend a lot of time in washington talking about center fusions -- centrifuges. everybody has gained a better understanding of what a timeline might entail. the sanctions regime is far equally complicated.
their own expertise, familiarity with the regulatory environment with multiple layers of u.s. unilateral measures, european and multilateral measures and united nations measures and how to ordinate their unraveling in a way that is beneficial to the academy -- economy is one they have a sick week been playing catch up on. they see with the course of the implementation of the interim agreement that some a signing a deal does not bring the billions back. it does not open the floodgates of investment and does not facilitate the financial transactions that of the lost as a result of u.s. measures. i think they have come to the party late, but are determined to try to ensure they do not sell cheap in any sort of a final deal. that is why some of the issues that were not front and center
in the agenda, front and center of the negotiation, are suddenly emerging to become roadblocks at this late date. thanks. -- late stage. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, >> now for the view from the united states. i will talk about to topic. first of all, public opinion as a framework for the negotiations as to what will happen, and more specifically, possible action in the congress over the next few. let me make for points about u.s. public opinion. first of all, stepping back room iran and looking at americans attitude toward the world in general, in the past 18 months there has been a notable shift in public sentiment, a shift toward rising concern about
american national security. support for increased military ending now stands at the highest level since late 2010. and i and astonishing margin of 2-1, americans are now willing to ends -- willing to support the insertion of u.s. from versus into the middle east to defeat isis, if that is seen as militarily necessary. we have moved, i believe, into what might be called the post-iraq world of national security. in the same way that late 1979 we moved into the post be a non-era that the election 1980's were involved to a great extent. this willingness to lean forward
and use force is highly selective. that has an immediate bearing on the topic on iran and negotiation. although americans continue to cra ansee iran as one of the arch enemies of the united states that has not changed in decades, and do not see them as an imminent threat to the united states, and that is a crucial distinction. they see isis as a threat, not iran so there is massive resistance to any sort of action that would lead to a military confrontation with iran in the near future. i have been sitting up here while the discussion has been swirling around me, although i did listen to it frantically
analyzing a new poll that came out just this morning focusing on three key swing states of florida, ohio and pennsylvania. nobody has been elected president for a very long time without carrying at least two of this date. there is support in all three of those dates for the past of negotiation over force in florida 71-18. ohio 73-18. in pennsylvania by a margin of 76-. so there is indeed support for the ongoing negotiations with the islamic republic and about 3-5 american indicates a willingness to accept a deal
along the lines that seem to be emerging in recent week until the be found that you have just heard about. once again the swing state analysis, willingness to accept that kind of deal, 63% florida. 65% pennsylvania. 68% in ohio. now the test of intelligence is the ability to keep two contradictory thoughts in your head at once. here is the contradictory thought. american are in favor of the negotiations and in favor of the time to deal that seems to be on the table, this type of fact that they have no trust in confidence in the government in iran. almost two thirds think iran is not serious about addressing concerns. more than three in five say
iranians are not negotiating in good a, international survey came out last week indicated 59% of americans doubt the emerging deal would prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons. yes to negotiations. guest to the deal that seems to be on the table, but no confidence in the uranium -- ukrainianiranians and no confidence in the deal. let me move to my second topic congress. my hitch -- hinge point is this. there is very strong public support for congressional involvement in the iranian negotiations but american people distinguish sharply between our right way and wrong way for congress to be involved. strong majorities disapproved of
the letter drafted and then sent to the iranian leadership by the 37 republicans editors. almost nobody thought that was an approach create action by the congress. on the other hand, and this will crew -- turn out to be crucial in the coming months, 62% of the american people believe congress ought to have the right to approve or disapprove any final deal that is put on the table. this, when you look at in a broader historical context is not at all surprising, because of similar points in the actual or possible crucial decisions involving syria, iraq and the balkans, similar majority of americans said congress ought to have the right to approve or disapprove.
the action. in this context, what are the prospects when congress comes back from the easter passover recess on a 13, which is the real moment of true -- truth not march 31. let me review the bidding very quickly. as many of you probably know on march 20, members of the house of representatives sent a letter to the president of the united states defining their understanding of an acceptable deal. it have to be very long lasting. it had to absolutely lock any and all iranian pathways to a bomb. it had to have old transparency and interest lately --
interestingly, it had to take into account "i "iran's destabilizing role in the region" which was an effort to decouple the nuclear negotiations from iranian actions on the ground throughout the middle east. i predict iranian actions in the middle east will become a major talking point when congress reconvenes and there will be an effort on the part of the opponent on the administration's approach to link these issues, which the administration has worked so hard to decouple. now, this house of representatives letter was extremely interesting. and knows all measure because 367 members of the house signed it, including all but seven republicans and about two thirds
of house democrats. and there may, in that context, the vetoproof majority of more than two thirds for some significantly to nation in the house after april 13. now, what about the senate, which has been the cop picked of serious legislative activity? i have in this sick folder of confusing swirl of pieces of legend nation already drafted and introduced, which i read so you don't have to. to reduce it to it essentials, the draft legislation goes along three different tracks. track one very simply trying to legislate congressional involved and in the eventual approval or
disapproval of any final agreement draft stats might emerge. second at -- efforts to strengthen sanctions and a role to bring about the partisan approach to leave a better deals than would otherwise be attainable. number three, various strategies for blocking for stripping the president of his waiver authority to relax sanctions at any time before a final deal has been approved. d lincoln illusion and diagnosis of the options. when congress reconvenes on april 13, i believe senator bob
corker from the senate foreign relations committee and the lead sponsor of one of the key bills in this area will proceed with his bill which would establish congress right to a or disapprove within 60 days regardless of whether there is a framework agreement or not. corker has made it very clear he is to first to democrats president and will wait no longer. i believe there will be a very substantial vote of support. very close to an agreement. if there is no's work, there will be rising calls for sanctions.
but conclude with the fact that recent events in the senate have dramatized the role of some senators. senator harry reid has made public his determination to stand down after his current term, which means he will stand down not only as the senate minority leader and he has anointed and his rivals have it -- except to senator charles schumer of new york as the head of the democratic party. senator schumer signed on to the corker bill and apparently got into a very bitter argument with the white house when he did know. the congress decide -- described it as heated on both sides.
the senate will play a key role in determining whether the senate will end his -- in and insist successfully on a roll for congress in the approval of any final agreement. >> thanks to all our speakers exactly the hope of how we would begin the conversation today. before we open it up to the audience, i want to ask a brief question. one thing that seems to be happening is the deadlines get pushed back. from an american point of view is this of that thing? is this a form of death? kicking the can down the road something we should be very happy to live with because the alternative are worse? [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
daniel: i think the end of march target date was an artificial self-imposed state. i think it put excessive and needless pressure on american negotiators. i think it would've been better to talk to the approach supported by the supreme leader of looking at the end of june as the key target date. the interim deal in effect since november 2013 has been much more advantageous to u.s. and negotiating partners sent to ir an. the interim deal has frozen with meaningful respect the nuclear program, and it has retained most consequential sanctions. so if anyone has an incentive to terminate the negotiations and and terry -- and tinker negotiation, it is a wrong --
ending negotiations it is iran. i think it would be wise for us not to sit anymore deadlines but to be patient and use the leverage we have and to use a sound deal. >> you mentioned the decoupling issue. bill mentioned it. one thing i like beer is the nuclear deal is part of a broader alignment between the united states and iran, that the united states is switching sides effectively. i'm sure iranians are not thinking quite that broadly but are they decoupling as well or hope that this will have an impact on broader areas of tension in a positive way from their point of view? >> decoupling issue is an
interesting one. let me just note it was the bush administration that officially endorsed decoupling by establishing the decision to join with europeans and effectively creating p5 plus one as a framework for negotiating on the nuclear issue. there is a really robust conspiracy. that suggests the president is really all about trying to achieve this and switch teams effectively. dropping the traditional allies of israel and the gulf states as in favor of some sort of alliance with iran does not accurately reflect what the administration is trying to do. i think there is a presumption this is a very urgent security challenge to the region and primary allies in the region and that is the rationale for the focus, as well as the sense
there was an opportunity to make some progress. i do not believe within the official politicals drum there is a readiness. certainly not on the side of the supreme leader. i do not believe the security yurok your see is looking for an open alliance with washington in its efforts to battle isis and elsewhere. obvious the -- obviously there is an identification of the deal with the real step forward in the long ending estrangement it would be a profound note of optimism for many who hope for some kind of better relationship. it would be interpreted in that fashion publicly within a way that works to the benefits of the regime, despite the fact that the regime is not interested, nor approaching it.
>> as you know, part of the congressional letter was warning iranians that we have an election for president coming up, and the new president, he or she has the right to change the deal. let's assume a republican wins the next residential election. what is your sense of what might change in terms of an agreement and what would stay the same and what might be different? is this political bluffing or something that has a substantial threat behind it? bill: it depends on the legal framework behind it. i think one has to read the congressional letter in the context.
so it is always a serious letter when a president of the united states alters or aggregate an agreement with the foreign country. it is not a step any president will take lightly. there is a version of the legal doctrine that is very decisive that applies to foreign policy, because the cost of the abrupt shift are typically sit second. -- significant. with that said, a i talk about two other d's briefly? mainly decoupling. the administration i think, did not establish the deadline because it wanted to, it established it because it had to . the administration has struggled and just has barely succeeded. maintaining control of the
negotiation. the price of that domestically is giving congress a clear sense that we will go this far this long but no further and no longer. and i believe the administration would have had an unmanageable situation on its hands had it not establish some sort of interim deadline, and that is why it is there. if the antrim deadline passes, reach april 13 and there is nothing that look like a framework agreement, just a very -- vague press release and unsettled issues, i think the administration will in part lose control of the situation. with regard to decoupling, 2008 is one thing. i believe 2015 is another thing because the iranians are much
more active in the region and much more the active than they were in 2008. i think with the rising visibility the stakes in congress have also risen, and i do not see any way the administration can prevent some relinking of the issues. >> with that i will open it up with a few caveats. first of all, for those of you watching remotely you can tweet questions to us, which means those of you in the audience please limit your questions to 140 care or. please wait for the microphones and identify yourself when it comes. beginning with their. -- right there. >> i just want to thank you all for a very instructive and timely discussion. the only western i want to ask
at the moment, do you think iranians are correct there is no cost to them, given the political situation in the united states and dramatically 10 situation in the middle east to? -- tense situation in the middle east? i would mention the situation in egypt with the president as what i would predict to be a harbinger of things to come. >> i think you are right, there is a cost. it is not a political cost for them. as a result, it is less significant for example, then appearing to a contravened the red lines of the supreme leader. if in fact the move does three and arise -- read energized an
effort in the hill and intercede in one fashion or another, it complicates the picture tremendously, but iranians recognize they have little control over that and the president has little control over that. i do not know, and iranian percent to the movement that may happen as a result of the vague date meant is any more problematic than the movement likely to happen, even if there was a tremendous robust political framework that has been announced late last night. the differential is probably relatively limited. they know the congress will try to sabotage a deal. they know the president has limited ability to stop that, and i think they see that playing out almost irrespective of how they manage the deadline. >> thank you. fantastic discussion. my name is are in meonmen zarconi.
do you think if this is not settled by the end of jim that this could lead to conflict or war with iran? susan: i would call it my fellow panelist for their opinion. i think all parties have overhyped this on the nuclear issue for many years. i think we have seen neither the bush administration, and certainly not the obama and his station have been terribly trigger happy when it comes to dealing with this together issue. they have exerted an enormous amount of influence over the choices and options as a result of other forms in the course of diplomacy, whether it is economic sanctions regime or some of the other covert campaigns we read about in the press that have impacted the
decision-making calculus. so i do not believe the chief -- the choices. i think that is a political slogan to try to galvanize support for a deal. i believe once we walk away from the negotiating table, we're not likely to get back to a better position in terms of negotiating with iran. what we've seen is the longer this problem festers, the larger the nuclear program developed and the greater the cost both to regional security infrastructure, as well as the iranian economy and stability of the iranians state. i think all sites lose and all options immediately become on the table. the situation becomes more unstable without sort -- without some sort of an agreement. but it talks -- >> if talks
break down, the immediate tool the u.s. will go to is to ratchet up sanctions immediately. the success is to strengthen the sanctions will depends mckinley on who is to blame, who is perceived to be to blame for any breakdown. if the u.s. -- who is perceived to be to blame for the breakdown. if the u.s. is seen as the party to breakdown the kenosha gating, i think it will be he -- hard to get members of the international sanction coalition to go along with us in strengthening the sanctions. also, even if we were able to get stronger sanctions the ocean is, would it have the desired impact of getting a wrong -- iran able to get concessions they have not been
able to make for a year and a half now. it is right problematic. unless they are to see -- as left me -- unless they are seen to blame for breakdown, i think it will be hard to shift the balance that would get away for them to make concessions, and at that point options begin to narrow. i think at that point military options become more thinkable. >> foreign policy association and foreign -- foreign affairs. i would like to bring it back to the current situation in yemen. which with the saudi prefer, and iran that has nuclear weapons but an economy shoveled even if they benefit or a wrong -- iran that has sanctions based out and
has a better economy but no nuclear weapon? my second question is, if yemen becomes the newest failed state, do you fix it the possibility the u.s. will -- do you expect the united states will immediate a deal knowing a possible deal could be which a new formulation to solve the current crisis? >> i will ask you to take that one focusing on how i wrong -- iran sees the situation and what saudi arabia once. susan: i think the fear is without reform of the foreign policy and regional policy in particular. and iran reintegrated into the international community that is able to export as much oil as it
can produce in repatriate the revenues from the exports is one that is deeply disturbing for the rest of the region. there is really no evidence a new we are bargain is likely to alter the regional interest or calculation. we have seen from past experience that iran has a transactional approach to this kind of diplomacy. it has very much decoupled the ago shooting strategy from the rest of the regional policy. i think from the perspective of the region, there is also added concerned that they do not trust the deal anymore than the american people do. they are widely convinced iran will reach nuclear capability irrespective of the outcome of the negotiations. for that reason they prefer as much pressure for as long as
possible in hopes of altering the trajectory within the region. but yes -- [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, y es? [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, >> yes? >> when i use the word this section, i want to talk about you when sanctions and u.s. sanctions related to economic issues, as well as new york regulations. -- sanctions. what i heard bob say, and i heard it by many others is iran's first position is really from the un's sanctions. do they really need relief from that word do they really need relief road financial sanctions? if so, are they asking for the wrong relief or not sophisticated enough and have not thought about this yet so i
was hoping to resolve this conflict in my mind? bob: i think the most consequential sanctions are the u.s. and european financing and oil sanctions. if those are suspended early on in the process, even if they are not listed in terms of statute, that would get the greatest used to be economy. so they want that. they could get that if they make earlier steps on the nuclear program. the u.n. sanctions for them have an important symbolic importance. this is the international community finding them in noncompliance and imposing strong candidate measures against them. they would like these gone for political and other kinds of reasons. from the u.s. perspective, the u.n. sanctions are important for reasons you alluded to, the u.n.
sanctions include restrictions on the import of critical materials that could be used in nuclear and missile programs. the u.s. and partners really do not want to see these relaxed early on. only down the road as the behavior, the peaceful intent is verified. >> i am a student at georgetown university. my first question, you mentioned a wrong -- iran is seeking reintegration into the system and are trying to recoup the revenue they have lost and being able to conduct a transaction. there is a big constituency that involves the sanctions. we saw this type of protectionist economic thinking
reflected in the speech. so we also see continuing escalation in terms of the activities at the regional level. to what extent is this about getting sanctions moving toward global reintegration? with the second question -- susan: when i say reintegration i mean primarily reintegration into the international mutual unity. the there is a dimension to this that is iranian pride and dignity and the sense that i think we very deeply felt during the years that management of the country has led to its pariah status in a fashion that was simply unacceptable to most of the political establishment. this may seem comical, because iran has always been something
of a pariah. washington, but the rest of the world did not in fact treat a wrong -- iran in that fashion. that was significant in the way that they dealt with the world. i believe the primary goal is the ability to do business as usual, as much as possible, and particularly with respect to the most consequential aspect, which remains the energy sector. >> thank you very much. my name is jennifer mcnamee. you spoke about the possibility of aggregating the deal among two leaders that there is talk of which ones. i was wondering if anyone has a view from beijing or moscow which here occasionally about
france. if anyone could enlighten us about the rest of themm? bob: it is clear the russians and chinese have been less demanding in these negotiations. they would like to see a deal concluded and most deals would agree to what would be acceptable to both china and russia. in terms of continuing the field. after it is been concluded and implemented, i think the russians and chinese with verizon want to leave the deal perpetuated for a long amount of time. that is one of the concerns of the critic that it we began to see evidence of them cheating or nibbling at the edges of compliance. they of our current p5 plus one
negotiating partners would take the deal, let's pursue this investigate this but not be too quick to pull the plug on the agreement. there is a concern we may be under pressure to tolerate noncompliance. but i think the chinese and russians also have a stake in them not getting nuclear weapons. they have a stake in ensuring they meet obligations as well. >> all of the domestic political pressures would be in the other direction. i suspect those pressures would trump, especially with relations between the united states and russia, the current condition. susan: i wanted to chime in on this issue to reference
something bob mentioned earlier, which is remarkable coherent -- concurrence. this is historical and many respect for most of the past 36 years. the united faith has had a very lonely position and struggled to gain support of the precious allies and moments of crisis for applying pressure to iran. in fact, what we have seen is not just a robust under appeal -- durable u.s.-european process but good cooperation from the other members of the security council, which is particularly remarkable because we are in a time of really difficult relations bilaterally with russia, and yet, the corporation holds, there are clearly different positions and a lot of rumors floating about some distinctions but the fact that we have made it this far without
a breakdown is important. it really should guide how we move through here. i think that is not fully appreciated within the congress and the way that it should be. if you simply compare the ability to impact outcomes over the course of the past few years as a result of the cooperation with the way we struggle for many years before, we should understand the value of the coalition, and the policy should be aimed around framing it. >> having said that, in the congress there is a sense that we have been held hostage in some respects to be imperative of maintaining the coalition and also, the single-minded focus on new year talks that we have been debarred or felt ourselves to be debarred from taking stronger action against
iranian adventuresome in the region that we really do not like. this is a sward with two edges, and i think members of congress are fingering one edge rather than the other. >> thank you very much. i write the mitchell report. i want to ask though gholston -- bill gholston to come back to a date of report -- state appointee mention the opening remarks, and that is while there is widespread support for actions against isis and the deal with iran, that americans see a sharp difference between between the national security implications of isis as opposed
to a wroniran? if i understood you correctly, they see it as a direct threat to national security. they do not see a wrongiran as a direct threat. are they right? >> i will give you a metaphysical answer. that is it depends on what you mean by national security. when americans think about national security, they think about direct threats to themselves and people like them. i cannot stress to strongly the impact of the isis videos on american public opinion. i think, depending on how things go in next 10 years, we may look back and say they were to this decade the soviet invasion to
afghanistan to the late 1970. you can really see public opinion turn on a dime. if they are capable of doing this sort of thing to people just like us, not special forces but average people in the wrong place at the wrong time, then none of us is safe. however far-fetched that may sound, it has a very powerful hold on public mind. i think in a broader perspective the outcome of the effort to alter the relationships will turn out to matter even more than isis. there is no way of persuading the american people of that right now, and therefore, no way of persuading the american people at this juncture that
military force is unacceptable -- is unacceptablan acceptable option. >> with regard to war with iran, aren't we already at war with them? along with that it makes it acceptable. does the president have authority to commit acts of war against iran? >> anyone want to take the broader question on echo bob probably the logical person to ask.
bob: i think you need to make distinctions between various hostile acts. i think using cyber warfare other kinds of course is very different from bombing nuclear facilities. i know what more to say. >> thank you of your almost comprehensive analysis. i am abraham masini. one thing that was missing in your analysis with the upcoming parliamentary elections. i was wondering how you inc. the fear they would not be able to convince the iranian people how the deal made their lives any better yet go particularly if they do not feel the effects of sanctions relief, how will that
affect the parliament elections and whether that fear is something to go shooters have in mind when they are fishing for rapid sanction relief? thank you. susan: i think the elections themselves are important and will be interesting to watch but i do not think it is any one particular election that drives negotiating behavior. you allude to an important concern on behalf of the part is there has not been a trickle-down effect in any significant fashion as a result of the interim agreement. there has been an improvement in the economic situation, largely as a result of better management techniques by the rouhani team he put in place, but there has not been a vast amounts of new investment or growth in jobs and this is going to be a real concern for the entire leadership, and certainly those
who want to sell the platform at the election, at the ballot box because it will take time. it will be very gradual. there has been a sense among many that rouhani came forward, spoke in very forthright and unprecedented fashion in favor of himself kind of better relationship with the rest of the world. he signed a deal. he spoke to president obama, something no prior iranian leader had done since before the revolution comes so all of these actions and totality as well as the efforts to reach out warrant some reward, warrenton and to the siege the country has experienced over the course of the past five years in particular. there is a frustration that in fact why have we not seen that gecko we see they tend to be impatient with elected officials.
i do not see at turning against rouhani at this stage. i think he is still given a certain amount of running room. i think we all should be a concern -- should be concerned about a situation where they find themselves with a population that does not see any benefit from the diplomatic outreach, because what we've seen in the past is a shift in the elected politics can have an impact on foreign policy and embassy. not direct, but certainly one that can be very problematic. that was the hangover very unpleasant for the international community. >> i am karlton stivers with the international nuclear law association. the proposed arrangements for verifying compliance by the
iranians with any agreement depend largely on the application o if ieae applications and in my view the administration feels to manage this, largely because of applications and partly because of its own applications. i was wondering whether you had a perspective whether they can be relied on to clearly demonstrate they are complying with the agreement? bob: carl, you are probably followed the monitoring of the interim joint plan of action and the obligations under the joint plan of action go considerably beyond what would be necessary to monitor the additional protocol.
going to uranium mines and mills, workshops that produce components of centrifuges and so forth. they are in an area beyond a normal verification mandate which is good, and they seem to have done a very efficient job and have had to report on a monthly basis on the compliance. they reported they have been complaining. the comprehensive deal would be more ambitious. it would probably require many more sites, interest of inspections, access to military installations and some kind of managed access basis, so it would be stressful and expensive, but members of the iaea states have been willing to provide the resources to meet the demands of the verification.
i think they would step up under a comprehensive deal. i think the performance of the agency under the interim deal give every confidence they could perform effectively under comprehensive review. >> i would like to give our last question to the panelist. this is a question for bob. you have been publicly quoted in recent days to the effect that the apparent iranian pullback from the willingness to shift fuel out of the country is not just one detail along many. it poses some very significant problems for the overall regime we were trying to create. number one, why do you think the iranians did it, assuming there was a pullback, something previously agreed to at least informally that was then disagree to buy one side? and
b, assuming the iranians stand firm on their new position, what would be needed to compensate for the withdrawal of the regime? robert: it is a critical element, because it goes into how much breakup time you have. if you are not restricting the amount of your reached -- of enriched uranium in the gaseous form, and you have to have a much lower level centrifuges. it becomes much more problematic. had the iranians agreed, it is unclear. a senior russian member told me in september that there was an understanding between russia and iran that iran would ship out this enriched uranium. i've spoken to a number of americans who seem to have been
operating on the assumption this was part of the deal. if it was part of the deal, even tentatively, why did they pack away -- back away? we just don't know. maybe it is tactical. maybe they thought if they took a tough position on this, maybe they could argue -- bargain for something else and then go back to their original position. maybe they just found out it would be tough to get support for this within iran. i participated in negotiations in 2009 where the iranians first agreed to ship out 80% of their enriched uranium again, to russia. within two weeks of that agreement, and i was there in the room when they did it, they walked it back. they were not prepared to do it. the iranian negotiating team ran into a buzz saw back in tehran for a number of reasons. a number of iranians were
saying, we cannot allow any of this precious enriched uranium produced by uranium -- iranian scientists, to leave the country. it is conceivable that they ran into a critical buzz saw in iran back again and they just don't want to part with this material, which has very little value, frankly. but anyway, it is unclear. if they stick to this position, and i don't believe the u.s. has given up on getting them to agree to ship the material out but if they stick to this position, there are some alternatives. one alternative is to convert the gaseous uranium into a powdered form and then it has to be converted back. there will be debate on how quickly you can reverse the process. one would say that is not adequate, because it could be converted quickly. another is to dilute the material from a little less than 5% enrichment to 1%.
that is the level of natural and rename -- natural uranium. this would be a better solution. how feasible it is, and how prepared iranians would be -- they will have to continue to enrich during the whole agreement. they will have to enriched and then dilute, and then enrich, and then dilute. they may wonder why they are going to the expense of that. there are alternatives and am sure there are semi-i have not thought of. and i'm sure they will be working a problem. they are working that problem today. but the best dilution in my view would be for the iranians to agree to what i think they have previously agreed to, which is to ship the material out to russia. >> let me just say one more time that from what i understand, and what i understand of the negotiations is far less detailed than bob. but from what i understand, this
is the way that they have approached the development of the formula, which is that they agree to one piece of the puzzle , and then as an issue to the next one, the first part of their agreement begins to collapse. this concern about the negotiating tactics, it goes beyond even the complexities of dealing with the stockpile is self. it goes to the reliability of the commitments they are making at the table along the way since the needs to be an incremental process by which many aspects are resolved, and then come together to form one overall agreement. >> thank you. thank you all very much for joining us today. i think we have all emerged smarter after this hour and a half. before we go, please join me in thanking our panelists. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its
caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> this is the first of two discussions on iran news she nations we are covering today. -- iran negotiations we are covering today. you will be able to watch this later today on our website www.c-span.org. a news update on the process in switzerland, the bbc reports that key issues still need to be tackled on the program, but agrees with iranian and russian delegates that there is a "broad framework of understanding." bbc's philip hammond said, "we hope to get there sometime during the day." otherwise "all previous efforts will be wasted." that is from the bbc. earlier today, u.s. house
speaker john boehner met with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. here are some of their comments to reporters afterward posted on youtube earlier. prime minister netanyahu: it is great to see you again. this is an opportunity to thank you and your colleagues from both sides of the aisle for the warm welcome you gave me in the u.s. capital. and today, it is my great pleasure to welcome you and your delegation to jerusalem, the capital of the state of israel and the capital of the jewish people for 3000 years. john, your visit here is testament to the historic and enduring bind that unites our
two nations, our two democracies. this is a bond that is founded on our common values, our shared commitment to liberty, and equal rights for all. and this alliance of values is amended by our common interests. i believe it is plain to see that those common values and interests are clearer than ever. the middle east is plagued by anti-western, anti-democratic, and anti-american extremism. terrorists rudely -- brutally behead their shackled captives before video cameras, does both lead their people in -- despots lead their people in chance against america to my while they build ballistic missiles to reach america. in this violent region where states are imploding and fanaticism is exploding, one thing remains rocksolid.
our friendship, our alliance can our partnership. it makes both of our countries stronger and both our country safer. and it is the anchor for our shared hopes for peace and stability in this region. let me use this opportunity to revisit, to reiterate something that i've said before, but needs to be said again and again, the people of israel know that we have no better friend in the world that the united eighth of america -- united states of america, and the american people should know that they have no better friend in the world than the state of israel. john, you are one of 12 children . you came to the right place. [laughter] we are the descendents of the 12 children of jacob, also known as israel. john, welcome to israel. welcome to jerusalem.
john boehner: thank you. mr. prentice are, let me say how happy i am to be in israel. -- mr. prime minister, let me say how happy i am to be in israel. our delegation has and last several days throughout the middle east and rigorous of where in the middle east we have been, the message has been the same. -- regardless of where in the middle east we have been, the message has been the same. you cannot continue to turn your eye away from the threats that face all of us. and as you said, the bonds between the united states and israel are stronger than ever. while we may have political disagreements from time to time, the bonds between our two nations are strong, and they will continue to be strong. it has been an historic trip and frankly, an historic opportunity to be here in israel at this time. and let me take a moment to say congratulations on your reelection.
prime minister: thank you. the hard part begins now as you know. john boehner: that was the easy part. prime minister, the elections are always the easy part. -- prime minister: the elections are always easy part. [laughter] it is great to see you. i would like to offer you some lunch. is that all right? john boehner: yes. prime minister: good, i'm hungry. [laughter] >> coming up later today on c-span, back to the discussion of the iranian nuclear negotiations. from the world affairs council a number of different speakers. that is coming up live at 6:30 p.m. eastern. coming up in about 20 minutes or so here on c-span, discussion on ending for private health insurance, a look at health care costs overall -- spending for
private health care insurance, and a look at health care costs overall. we will have that live for you here on c-span. of to that point, a portion of today's washington journal and a look at unions and trade policy. , international president of the united steelworkers. how are you? guest: five, thank you. host: can you talk to us about what trade deals i dented the steel industry? guest: let me elaborate because it we were just in the steel industry, it would be much smaller than what he is. we are north america's largest factory union. when you talk about steel, you talk about tire, rubber, paper. in all three of those major basic industries, bad trade deals have been devastating. america's trade laws are acronyms take, and they don't work any longer.
you file a trade case against the country or company that has been cheating under the so-called trade rules and it takes an extended. -- an extended period of time to get through the process and in order to win a remedy, you have to prove you have been substantially injured which means losing profitability market share, losing facilities and jobs. when we file a trade case, in order to win it, we have to prove we have been injured which ultimately goes into circumstances. in the steel industry, we merit -- literally filed dozens of cases over the last years and want most of them, probably 90% of them. even though we win them, we lose jobs. guest: host: with that in mind, as the white house advocates for more trade deals, what is the message for them? guest: the message from as to them is that these trade deals don't work.
if you look at everything since nafta the trade deal with south korea, every one of those trade deals has increased by a multitude of numbers and america's trade deficit. as an example, every $1 billion of trade deficit resulted in a loss of about 20,000 jobs. last year's trade deficit in so-called manufactured goods was over 470 billion dollars depending on what economists you accepted. if you look at this passage of nafta, the passage of the trade arrangement to let china into the wto, the wealth transfer from trade deficits is almost $11 trillion. to get to $1 trillion, that is thousands of billions. to get to one billion, that is how zones of millions. inc. about what has happened.
that is why we have downward pressure on wages and we have outsourcing at rates we cannot keep up with. to give you a number, more than 130 billion dollars of auto parts were imported into the american auto industry last year . the majority of that coming from china. now we are talking about an expanded trade deal that would give vietnam and malaysia access to our market which means there will be more transformation of jobs to places like vietnam because the average wage in vietnam is now above one third of the average wage in china. host: that is the trans-pacific partnership you are referring to? guest: yes, sir. host: larry sommer wrote an op-ed taking a specific look at
the partnership and he wrote this -- how would you respond to that line of thinking? guest: more b.s. from larry. we heard the same story starting with nafta and you can just said larry's rhetoric on one site and collect the facts on the other side and you find out he continues to be wrong. the fact is that we have increased exports into some of these countries, but on the other side as he have marginally increased exports, we have had momentous increases in imports. and we have had unbelievable violations of trade laws. china as an example produces more steel than all the rest of
the world combined. and china does not need that steel, but they produce it through state enterprises to keep their people working and they dumped the majority of that steel in america and now we see they are dumping it in europe and even in india. so the fact of the matter is that larry's theory may be an economic model that he looks at on a piece of paper, but it does not work that way in reality and he continues to be wrong. he has been singing that song since before nafta and the facts do not hold up. host: leo gerard our guest and united steelworkers president. you can ask him questions on three lines this morning. republicans, 202748 8001. democrats 202748 8000 and four independent, 202748 8002. the first call for you comes from morgantown, north carolina. this is on a democrat line. paul, go ahead. caller: yes, if you look at a
lot of these trade agreements and so forth, they talk about how it helps this country and the other countries. i did an article several years back on nafta, 10 years after where i researched it and nafta actually hurt mexico and central america terribly. with their macadamia farmers and all of that destroyed their markets. if you look at the people who are behind these trade organizations, fto, wto, all these groups, it is the same group of people in each one of these organizations and we don't even know who they are. they're are controlling the whole world's economy. if you look at the quality of the items coming into this country, it is absolutely terrible. pure junk. before we had all these trade agreements, you have good quality stuff, a competitive market, and now all we have this walmart and the quality is extremely poor.
we have lost all these other competitive is mrs. because they are not -- businesses because they are not linked to rings made in the country -- in this country where trade agreements are. all these trade agreements have done is made it to where they can profit more often low-quality goods and take advantage of low pay and no environmental laws. it has been a total loss not just for america, but for the world. there is only a handful of people in these trade organizations that is really and truly profiting and benefiting. host: paul, we will let our guest respond. guest: paul has raised a lot of issues and i don't know if i can do -- respond to all of them but let me deal with some of them. it comes to the damage to mexican workers, there are a couple of facts that really speak to the truth. in fact, mexican wages in real terms are lower now than they were pre-nafta days. the other thing we did with
nafta, is we killed the family farms in mexico. their main product was corn, and we have devastated the ability to grow corn by his dumping into their market. and then we drove people off their farms and into the mikula zones. this is where jobs went from initially after nafta from canada and the united states and went to the mikula zone in mexico which is really northern mexico on the u.s. order. those workers were not paid substantially enough and i would urge anybody to go to the zones where they see people living and cardboard shacks that they have made out of scrap wood and scrap boxes. i have got several times to see it because it is unbelievable. you will see afford planned, ge plant, honeywell plant and they look like the most modern facilities and you see where the workers actually lived.
that is part of the reality. the other thing that paul said is talking about the wto. i make this comment and i am not sure i have accurate but i make it anyway. the most valuable thing that america has is access to the american market. if the trade case makes it to the wto and there is an independent, so-called panel that will rule on it, those people on the panel today and we don't and would react, but we know they are not from america, and what did they want on behalf of the country was anything? they want access to the american market, so already when you go to the wto, who accept the panel and how they make decisions? it is counter to america's long-term goals because they are going to want to find every which way they can to rule in favor of the other side so they can broadened access to the american market and our union has several cases that we have challenge that the wto and
continue to do that because most of the time they overstepped their own authority. host: host: bill for our guest. caller: good morning, mr. gerard. guest: good morning. caller: they want to -- the unions, paper mill industry down here in florida -- i tell you they blame the trade policies and everything on the decline of the unions. i'm going to tell you, the unions are going to put themselves out of work because these grievances and everything that are filed are some of the most ridiculous i have ever seen in my life. people keep their jobs. call out late. screw their bodies on shift and everything. and the union stands behind him. the decline of the union jobs in
america will not be from any trade policy. it will be the workers mentality their privileged way of life. guest: i respect your right to be misinformed uninformed, and wrong. the fact of the matter is in every workplace where there is a union, there is a process for the workers to file their concern, whether it is a collective agreement violation they allege, which is a contract between workers and the employer, or if it is something where it is not a violation of the agreement but something they want to discuss with the employer. in most cases, the very most, that is a very, very small percentage of concerns in the workplace, although we have a lot of concerns in occupation health and safety, and no one should criticize us for demanding safe workplaces and high standards in his workplaces so when people go to work, they come home with their limbs, they come home healthy, and they don't come home with bodies full
of poison. when we are told to cross the bargaining table by a multinational company that they can't give us any improvements because that plant has to be competitive with the so-called china price or the so-called south korean price or the so-called mexican price -- when you look at those things and look at what we need as a consumer-based society, what we want to do is keep people employed, and when you look at it as a consumer-based society if you are not making enough money to buy the thing you are producing, like a car then you are not going to be able to keep your consumer-based society. we see the income inequality that is growing. let me make it real clear -- a huge part of that income inequality is bad trade deals that make workers meet the china price and is also the fact that unions have been attacked on a systematic basis with right to work and things like that that have made the income inequality
gap even bigger. there is a reason we have -- there is a reason we have the 40-hour workweek there was a reason we have health and safety, there is a reason have health care, there is a reason we have pensions. when we sat across from the table with our employers, we wanted to have a piece of the american pie. i am not going to make any apologies for workers wanting to have a good quality of life. i've been doing this for more than 40 years. i've never yet been in the workplace, never yet been workers who want to put their employer out of business. they want participation in the workplace, they want to make the best product and they want to be proud of what they do at work everyday. that caller was really just completely misinformed. host: here is james from newark new jersey, democrats line. caller: hi, c-span. thanks for taking my call, number one. number two leo, how you doing? guest: good.
caller: it is a privilege talking to you. i see you on msnbc a whole bunch. pittsburgh used to be steel city many years ago. and environmental pollution -- so pittsburgh is not a steel city anymore. mexican still has to be made for mexican products come i totally agree with you. at the same time, japanese steel, japanese cars, preferred by many americans. not me.
american steel made for milk and cause -- american cars, buying american cars is psychological thing to be done in america. american parts, american workers. host: ok, james, let's let our guest response. guest: well, i just -- there is an element i want to respond with regards to pittsburgh. i happen to live in pittsburgh and love pittsburgh camacho recently, just the last two months -- until recently, just the last few months pittsburgh was a vibrant steel city. thousands of workers employed in the steel industry in allegheny county. but we been wracked pretty hard by the excess of chinese and south korean steel, at a time when the drilling industry has cut back. china is delving into our
market. u.s. steel has over 500 people on layoff. other steel companies have people on layoff, while china continues to dump and flood into our market. while we file these trade cases, and we will succeed in these trade cases down the road, but during that time, the industry is going to take it on the chin. the industry is cutting back. they don't have the revenue source, will have to put money back into the mills. they have put billions of dollars in the last 10 years into modernizing their mills. they are the most efficient, their environmentally advance. the kyoto protocol we have heard about over the years -- it has already -- if you match it to the steel industry, it has already been met. let me say something about tires. we filed substantial case against tyre -- against
china on tires good kind of technical mumbo-jumbo, but we succeeded and got a substantial three-year remedy. china was in-your-face dumping those tires into the american market. they knew the exact day of the month that the remedy would expire. in the six month after that remedy, they put literally 50 million tires into the u.s. market. our tire industry is now under threat from china. just not too long ago, maybe within the month, we filed a trade case on paper. the coded sheet on paper and non-coded cases. first time, we succeeded in proving they were treating, but we didn't succeed because we didn't have enough irreparable harm to the industry done yet. we filed the same case three years later.
now we have lost 7000 jobs, and we win the case. all of these deals are a result of china's excess capacity that it is doing to keep its workers working, knowing that the trade laws are anachronistic and don't work and by the time they do work, the damage has been done. we should not have to wait until the jobs are lost and profitability is gone once we prove they are not playing by the host: leo gerardo of the united deal workers joining us. what would have to be built into trade deals to satisfy you? guest: we need to stop currency
manipulation. we need to stop the elements of cheating. i was with a number of congressmen recently that said to me that they had done their research. a car being shipped to america from japan has an $8,000 cost advantage because of japanese mutilation of their currency. we need trade balance. we don't need more trade deals that will create trade deficits, which are continuously going on. why do we need a trade deal with indonesia? why do we need a trade deal with brunei? i don't want to appear to be racist, but brunei has got no democracy. the sultan of brunei, one of the richest men in the world. they import temporary foreign workers to their work because they are living off their oil revenue. what are we going to do with brunei? what are we going to sell them? their workers don't make enough money to buy anything we make.