July 11-15, 2018

Summer 2018 Forum Highlights

Welcome

The Summer Senate Presidents’ Forum convened in Kaua’i, Hawaii for a timely and dynamic program focused on critical issues related to the geopolitics and trade issues of the region with in-depth discussion China, Japan, the Koreas, and the implications of this changing landscape for the States. The group was welcomed by Senator Ronald Kouchi, President of the Hawaii State Senate, and by Hawaii US Senator, Hon. Brian Schatz, who discussed issues of telehealth, marijuana, and energy policy.

Sen. Robert Stivers (KY), Presenter Bill Duff (US Pacific Fleet), Sen. Mike Schulz (OK), Sen. Tom Alexander (SC), Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (UT), and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (FL) during the Summer 2018 Senate Presidents’ Forum.

Asia-US Relations—The Macro Picture

The macro picture of Asia is currently a swirling and unpredictable center of change. Despite this, many issues also are unchanged from 25 years ago, according to Satu Limaye, Director of the East-West Center, including the challenges of managing alliances in the region, setting trade policies, and dealing with China’s emergence as a power. Mr. Limaye also outlined significant positive changes and opportunities that are part of the complexity of US relations with Asia. US geopolitical policy also has profound effects on regional stability, and Mr. Limaye explored the impacts of current US policies on the region’s stability.

Overview of Trade Issues Across the Pacific Rim

In 2017, US trade with PacRim countries amounted to $361,198,400 in exports and $791,727,600 in imports. Asia has become a central part of US economic policy. Eric Miller, President of Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, provided an overview of the changing landscape of trade in Asia, examining the impacts on US trade and on the States’ economies of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and of the tariffs recently imposed by the US and China.

China – Current Policy

As China is repositioning itself in the world as an economic and military power, its relationships in the region and with the US also are shifting. China seeks political and economic dominance in the region, while working to establish footholds in Africa, and in Southeast Asia. William Duff, Foreign Policy Advisor to Admiral Aquilino, US Pacific Fleet, provided insights into the potential effects of China’s emergence on the States’ security, and described US strategies to maintain peace and stability in the region.

China – Economics/Impending Trade Wars

China is the biggest competitive threat to the US and will soon surpass the US as the largest economy in the world, Dr. Kasoff reported. Its “Made in China 2025” initiative seeks to ensure Chinese domination of high-profit, high-technology industries. And, China is willing to employ unscrupulous business practices such as intellectual property theft, industrial espionage, and import/export controls to ensure success. In response to these tactics, the US imposed tariffs on Chinese imports. “We are in the early stages of what could become a full-on trade war,” Dr. Kasoff pointed out, and went on to examine possible scenarios in depth.

Japan

Japan is the most important ally of the US in Asia. US trade with Japan totaled an estimated $270.7 billion in 2016, and Japan is currently the 4th largest goods trading partner for the US. This alliance is crucial to both nations' economic and political interests, Dr. Sheila Smith pointed out to the Forum. However, Japan faces challenges not just from emerging competition in the region but also from its own demographics as a rapidly aging society. Dr. Smith explored the economic and political impacts of these demographics changes as well as the rapidly evolving geopolitical environment in Asia on Japan and its relationship with the US.

South & North Korea

Alliances in the PacRim are shifting in response to military posturing, including nuclear threats, from North Korea. The US, for example, has installed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile systems in South Korea, while China has amassed troops on its border with North Korea. President Donald Trump met with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un on June 12, 2018, in Singapore, in the first summit meeting between the countries’ leaders. Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was the key agenda item, although no concrete commitments were made. The Forum heard from three discussants, who offered first-hand knowledge of this complex situation, focusing on the need for consistency and reciprocity as diplomatic initiatives move forward.

Eric Miller

President
Rideau Potomac Strategy Group

William Duff

Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander Admiral Aquilino
United States Pacific Fleet

Ira Kasoff

China and East Asia Foreign Policy
Former Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Asia
US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

Satu Limaye, PhD

Director
East-West Center

Sheila A. Smith, PhD

Senior Fellow for Japan Studies
Council on Foreign Relations

Satu Limaye

Director
East-West Center

Scott Snyder

Senior Fellow for Korea Studies
Director of the Program on
U.S.-Korea Policy
Council on Foreign Relations

Philip Yun

Executive Director
Chief Operating Officer
Ploughshares Fund North Korea

CONTACT

Senate Presidents’ Forum

579 Broadway

Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

 

Tel: 914-693-1818

Copyright © 2018 Senate Presidents' Forum. All rights reserved.

July 11-15, 2018

Summer 2018 Forum Highlights

Welcome

The Summer Senate Presidents’ Forum convened in Kaua’i, Hawaii for a timely and dynamic program focused on critical issues related to the geopolitics and trade issues of the region with in-depth discussion China, Japan, the Koreas, and the implications of this changing landscape for the States. The group was welcomed by Senator Ronald Kouchi, President of the Hawaii State Senate, and by Hawaii US Senator, Hon. Brian Schatz, who discussed issues of telehealth, marijuana, and energy policy.

Sen. Robert Stivers (KY), Presenter Bill Duff (US Pacific Fleet), Sen. Mike Schulz (OK), Sen. Tom Alexander (SC), Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (UT), and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (FL) during the Summer 2018 Senate Presidents’ Forum.

Asia-US Relations—The Macro Picture

The macro picture of Asia is currently a swirling and unpredictable center of change. Despite this, many issues also are unchanged from 25 years ago, according to Satu Limaye, Director of the East-West Center, including the challenges of managing alliances in the region, setting trade policies, and dealing with China’s emergence as a power. Mr. Limaye also outlined significant positive changes and opportunities that are part of the complexity of US relations with Asia. US geopolitical policy also has profound effects on regional stability, and Mr. Limaye explored the impacts of current US policies on the region’s stability.

Overview of Trade Issues Across the Pacific Rim

In 2017, US trade with PacRim countries amounted to $361,198,400 in exports and $791,727,600 in imports. Asia has become a central part of US economic policy. Eric Miller, President of Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, provided an overview of the changing landscape of trade in Asia, examining the impacts on US trade and on the States’ economies of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and of the tariffs recently imposed by the US and China.

China – Current Policy

As China is repositioning itself in the world as an economic and military power, its relationships in the region and with the US also are shifting. China seeks political and economic dominance in the region, while working to establish footholds in Africa, and in Southeast Asia. William Duff, Foreign Policy Advisor to Admiral Aquilino, US Pacific Fleet, provided insights into the potential effects of China’s emergence on the States’ security, and described US strategies to maintain peace and stability in the region.

China – Economics/Impending Trade Wars

China is the biggest competitive threat to the US and will soon surpass the US as the largest economy in the world, Dr. Kasoff reported. Its “Made in China 2025” initiative seeks to ensure Chinese domination of high-profit, high-technology industries. And, China is willing to employ unscrupulous business practices such as intellectual property theft, industrial espionage, and import/export controls to ensure success. In response to these tactics, the US imposed tariffs on Chinese imports. “We are in the early stages of what could become a full-on trade war,” Dr. Kasoff pointed out, and went on to examine possible scenarios in depth.

Japan

Japan is the most important ally of the US in Asia. US trade with Japan totaled an estimated $270.7 billion in 2016, and Japan is currently the 4th largest goods trading partner for the US. This alliance is crucial to both nations' economic and political interests, Dr. Sheila Smith pointed out to the Forum. However, Japan faces challenges not just from emerging competition in the region but also from its own demographics as a rapidly aging society. Dr. Smith explored the economic and political impacts of these demographics changes as well as the rapidly evolving geopolitical environment in Asia on Japan and its relationship with the US.

South & North Korea

Alliances in the PacRim are shifting in response to military posturing, including nuclear threats, from North Korea. The US, for example, has installed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile systems in South Korea, while China has amassed troops on its border with North Korea. President Donald Trump met with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un on June 12, 2018, in Singapore, in the first summit meeting between the countries’ leaders. Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was the key agenda item, although no concrete commitments were made. The Forum heard from three discussants, who offered first-hand knowledge of this complex situation, focusing on the need for consistency and reciprocity as diplomatic initiatives move forward.

Eric Miller

President
Rideau Potomac Strategy Group

William Duff

Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander Admiral Aquilino
United States Pacific Fleet

Ira Kasoff

China and East Asia Foreign Policy
Former Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Asia
US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

Satu Limaye, PhD

Director
East-West Center

Sheila A. Smith, PhD

Senior Fellow for Japan Studies
Council on Foreign Relations

Satu Limaye

Director
East-West Center

Scott Snyder

Senior Fellow for Korea Studies
Director of the Program on
U.S.-Korea Policy
Council on Foreign Relations

Philip Yun

Executive Director
Chief Operating Officer
Ploughshares Fund North Korea

July 11-15, 2018

Summer 2018 Forum Highlights

Welcome

The Summer Senate Presidents’ Forum convened in Kaua’i, Hawaii for a timely and dynamic program focused on critical issues related to the geopolitics and trade issues of the region with in-depth discussion China, Japan, the Koreas, and the implications of this changing landscape for the States. The group was welcomed by Senator Ronald Kouchi, President of the Hawaii State Senate, and by Hawaii US Senator, Hon. Brian Schatz, who discussed issues of telehealth, marijuana, and energy policy.

Sen. Robert Stivers (KY), Presenter Bill Duff (US Pacific Fleet), Sen. Mike Schulz (OK), Sen. Tom Alexander (SC), Sen. Wayne Niederhauser (UT), and Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto (FL) during the Summer 2018 Senate Presidents’ Forum.

Asia-US Relations—The Macro Picture

Satu Limaye, PhD

Director
East-West Center

The macro picture of Asia is currently a swirling and unpredictable center of change. Despite this, many issues also are unchanged from 25 years ago, according to Satu Limaye, Director of the East-West Center, including the challenges of managing alliances in the region, setting trade policies, and dealing with China’s emergence as a power. Mr. Limaye also outlined significant positive changes and opportunities that are part of the complexity of US relations with Asia. US geopolitical policy also has profound effects on regional stability, and Mr. Limaye explored the impacts of current US policies on the region’s stability.

Overview of Trade Issues Across the Pacific Rim

Eric Miller

President
Rideau Potomac Strategy Group

In 2017, US trade with PacRim countries amounted to $361,198,400 in exports and $791,727,600 in imports. Asia has become a central part of US economic policy. Eric Miller, President of Rideau Potomac Strategy Group, provided an overview of the changing landscape of trade in Asia, examining the impacts on US trade and on the States’ economies of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and of the tariffs recently imposed by the US and China.

China – Current Policy

William Duff

Foreign Policy Advisor to the Commander Admiral Aquilino
United States Pacific Fleet

As China is repositioning itself in the world as an economic and military power, its relationships in the region and with the US also are shifting. China seeks political and economic dominance in the region, while working to establish footholds in Africa, and in Southeast Asia. William Duff, Foreign Policy Advisor to Admiral Aquilino, US Pacific Fleet, provided insights into the potential effects of China’s emergence on the States’ security, and described US strategies to maintain peace and stability in the region.

China – Economics/Impending Trade Wars

Ira Kasoff

China and East Asia Foreign Policy
Former Deputy Assistant 
Secretary for Asia

US Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration

China is the biggest competitive threat to the US and will soon surpass the US as the largest economy in the world, Dr. Kasoff reported. Its “Made in China 2025” initiative seeks to ensure Chinese domination of high-profit, high-technology industries. And, China is willing to employ unscrupulous business practices such as intellectual property theft, industrial espionage, and import/export controls to ensure success. In response to these tactics, the US imposed tariffs on Chinese imports. “We are in the early stages of what could become a full-on trade war,” Dr. Kasoff pointed out, and went on to examine possible scenarios in depth.

Japan

Sheila A. Smith, PhD

Senior Fellow for Japan Studies
Council on Foreign Relations

Japan is the most important ally of the US in Asia. US trade with Japan totaled an estimated $270.7 billion in 2016, and Japan is currently the 4th largest goods trading partner for the US. This alliance is crucial to both nations' economic and political interests, Dr. Sheila Smith pointed out to the Forum. However, Japan faces challenges not just from emerging competition in the region but also from its own demographics as a rapidly aging society. Dr. Smith explored the economic and political impacts of these demographics changes as well as the rapidly evolving geopolitical environment in Asia on Japan and its relationship with the US.

South & North Korea

Scott SnyderSenior Fellow for
Korea Studies
Director of the Program
on U.S.-Korea Policy
Council on Foreign Relations
Philip YunExecutive Director
Chief Operating Officer
Ploughshares Fund
North Korea
Satu LimayeDirector
East-West Center
 

Alliances in the PacRim are shifting in response to military posturing, including nuclear threats, from North Korea. The US, for example, has installed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile systems in South Korea, while China has amassed troops on its border with North Korea. President Donald Trump met with North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un on June 12, 2018, in Singapore, in the first summit meeting between the countries’ leaders. Denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was the key agenda item, although no concrete commitments were made. The Forum heard from three discussants, who offered first-hand knowledge of this complex situation, focusing on the need for consistency and reciprocity as diplomatic initiatives move forward.