Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Biden national security adviser criticizes Obama’s foreign policy for not focusing on middle-class Americans


#Incoming national security adviser #Jake #Sullivan, a former staffer in the #Obama administration, admitted that the previous president’s foreign policy did not “elevate and center middle-class concerns.”

#He recently told NPR that the #Obama administration did not do enough to tie foreign policy to domestic concerns, particularly concerning economic initiatives.

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“I believe that the fact that we did not elevate and center middle-class concerns in our foreign policy and national security meant that we were not delivering for the #American people as well as we should have, that we can learn from that, and then we can do better as we go forward,” he said.

“#What #Joe #Biden is proposing, and what I am reinforcing as the national security adviser, is that every element of what we do in our foreign policy and national security ultimately has to be measured by the impact it has on working families, middle-class people, ordinary #Americans here in the #United #States,” #Sullivan continued.

#Sullivan was a top staffer to former #Secretary of #State #Hillary #Clinton before serving as national security adviser to then-Vice #President #Joe #Biden.

#Sullivan served as senior policy adviser for #Clinton’s 2016 campaign, and since her loss to #President #Trump’s “#America first” platform, he’s written about the need to put the middle class at the center of foreign policy debates.

#Still, #Sullivan said that as a “sustained rebuttal to #Trumpism,” #Biden’s administration looks to return to deeper engagement with foreign allies. The focus will show “that engagement in the world … can deliver the kinds of tangible results — by protecting people from pandemics, reducing the worst effects of climate change, increasing the protection against the kinds of abuses we see from #China and other economic actors. #We can do these things,” he told NPR.

#Like #Trump, #Biden’s foreign approach would work to build leverage over #China. #Unlike #Trump, #Biden’s foreign policy won’t amount to a go-it-alone trade war that produces aggressive tariffs, #Sullivan said.

“#One of the things they pushed for was access for major U.S. financial institutions to do business in #China. #And the question I would pose is, what does that have to do with jobs and wages here in the #United #States, making it easier for the likes of JPMorgan or #Goldman #Sachs to, to be able to carry out financial activities in #Beijing or #Shanghai?”

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#Biden recently told The #New #York #Times he will not immediately revoke #Trump’s 25% tariffs on about half of #Chinese goods coming to the U.S. or the #Phase 1 agreement that requires #China to buy $200 billion in additional U.S. goods and services between 2020 and 2021. #But he is going to consult with allies to review the existing agreement with #China.

“The best #China strategy, I think, is one which gets every one of our — or at least what used to be our — allies on the same page. #It’s going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies,” the president-elect said earlier this month.

#Asked about #Biden’s remarks, #Sullivan told NPR: “[Biden’s] objection to #Donald #Trump was not trying to seek leverage against #China. #It was doing it in a way that actually hasn’t produced results.”

“#One of the major examples of that is that the #United #States has gone it alone in its trade fight with #China, rather than rallying other like-minded democracies, other market economies that collectively comprise 50 to 60% of the world’s economy, where if we got all of them lined up and went to #China with a common agenda to say, ‘#We won’t accept these subsidies, this intellectual property theft, this dumping,’ we would be in a position to get #China to either change its behavior, or we could collectively impose costs on #China for not doing so,” he continued.

#As for how that might impact middle-class #Americans, #Sullivan pointed to #China’s censorship of the NBA last year. #Chinese authorities cut circulation of #Houston #Rockets’ games within the country after the team’s manager expressed support for pro-democracy protests in #Hong #Kong.

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“The #United #States is going to ensure, for example, that we have the kind of free and open #Internet where people can engage in commerce and speak freely and not have to worry about surveillance by foreign authoritarians, or not have to worry that the businesses that they either work for, or purchase from, are having to change their practices in fundamental ways to conform to the authoritarian tendencies of other governments. #Those are things that affect #Americans,” he said.



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##Biden #national #security #adviser #criticizes ##Obamas #foreign #policy #focusing #middleclass ##Americans

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