tv Brookings Institution Discussion on Europes Global Leadership CSPAN January 17, 2021 12:55am-2:03am EST
app. the first hearings include national intelligence, homeland security, state, treasury janet yellen, defense, lloyd austin. watch the confirmation hearings on c-span, on-demand at c-span.org, or listen on the c-span radio app. >> up next, the brookings institution host a discussion on europe's global leadership in the future of transatlantic relations with the u.s., the panelists include -- eurasia group founder. both foreign policy experts explore the possibility of eu resentment towards the u.s., how europe should engage china, and what america needs to do to win back the trust of its european allies. >> good morning. delighted that everyone could
join us today from what is going to be a really excellent discussion between two of the leading, global i would cite,, the title of the book. the world in danger. we have with us, the ambassador to the united states from germany, the head of the munich security conference. must people know -- i don't need to have any further introduction. and the head of the eurasia group. from his undisclosed location, secret taking quarantine. the senior fellow at the brookings institution equally sequestered away. i am glad everyone could join us from wherever they are.
he has just had a book published in germany, but we just got an english translation, a revised version of, published by the brookings press. clearly, as is the nature with books, they are written quite some time before they are published. this title appears extraordinarily rusty and now -- prescient now, pumping out -- coming out after a global pandemic, the first in 100 years since the flu pandemic. when he was writing the book, this emerged in the course of your writing. you could not have foreseen quite the impact that it would have had over the course of that following year.
you write about the u.s. european relationship, several years of tension with the trump administration and their european counterparts. but also, you could not have envisioned the turn of events here in the united states, a shock not just to all of us sitting here, but you as well. i would like to turn it over to you to give us some thoughts, and how you think it set the stage for where we are now. that i will bring in ian to make some comments. for the audience, before we get into the discussion, we have seen ahead of time about 22 questions. we have best i have the names -- as we are going along, please use the chat function, one of my colleagues will send them to me and i will try to weave them into the discussion. thank you to everyone for joining us this morning.
the inevitable problem that we always have and we are doing zoom. i think you are on mute. it is having an issue. we could see if our technicians can help. >> it's coming now. >> that we are. >> fiona, first of all, let me say thank you to you and in for doing this. if a wonderful opportunity for me. i wish i could have pursued my original plan, which was to go on a book tour once the english version came out late last year. but because of the pandemic, that is not possible.
atlantic. when i started inking about this book -- thinking about this book, the original intention was to write a book addressed to a german audience, and my original attention -- intention it was 2018 a year after donald trump had taken over. my intention was to write a wake-up call to my fellow germans. my fellow germans as been told ever since 1990 when we had we german -- german unit -- we had german unification and begun because we are now surrounded by friends. -- france. the soviet union is gone. even poland is not our ally.
why do we need an army? we are not living in a happy state of being surrounded by friends. that kind of thinking i thought 2.5, three years ago needs to be shaken up a little bit because it has literally prevented many of my fellow germans to see that as we enjoyed our life in this european cocoon, we did not pay enough attention to the fact that there was terrorism not only continuing in afghanistan, a war in syria, a breaking apart of a country that most people cannot find on a map called mali , but with the newer -- with enormous security relations for the entire region, the original
intention was to explain the germans that the world has become more risky. threats have been growing, and we need to worry about that, and we cannot simply sit there and wait for our american patron friends in washington, d.c. to take care of it because donald trump has actually sown the seeds of doubt with respect to the substance of the nato arrangement of the north atlantic alliance. that was the original intention. then we saw that -- what it happened before the pandemic broke out a year ago i thought it would be a useful idea to revise the book and adapted so it would also hopefully be found interesting as a european view
by non-european audiences in terms of what constitutes the transatlantic alliance? how should europe interact with china, and what about our future relationship with russia? i am really delighted with the brookings press we were able to provide -- publish this english language revised version, and quite frankly i have had a number of phone calls from friends in america who thought it really quite funny that i included in the book my anecdote about how i met in a very naive way donald trump at mar-a-lago in early 2005, where he had just opened this resort motel, and
they arranged for a big charity ball, and i and a couple of my fellow ambassadorial friends were invited. it was a white tie affair, a very formal, fancy, and i even had a small jet with donald later that evening about his german roots, and i had absolutely no idea, and i cannot forgive it to myself, i had no idea that i should consider this person a future candidate and future president, and not looking back at it today the only one who is ever impeached twice. i had no idea in 2005. diplomacy is also full of surprises occasionally. ms. hill: i think lots of people are looking back to all kinds of
encounters that they had never anticipated, and certainly the way that things have unfolded, and i think it is interesting that you started here with taking us back to 1990 and the german view that a new world of peace and prosperity i'd broken out -- had broken out. use the term cocoon. this idea about the end of history, also thinking about where we had come into this area -- this era of struggles with ideology had passed away along with the end of the cold where along the lines you have let out here. what happens even from 2005, and you encounter in mar-a-lago, and you mentioned china. ian, you have been looking at the chart arise for -- china
rise free considerable period of john. you were not met in grad school looking at these. we do not want to talk about how long ago that was but we had a similar perspective on the way the world was unfolding, and the rise of china also was not anticipated in that particular period. i remember working on a research project and looking about how the relationship with the soviet union and russia would evolve, but china was not being factored in any particular way in the 1990's. let's try to forgive ourselves for not seeing this, but how do you think we should have anticipated things would unfold as we look back at that? mr. bremmer: it might be -- if
wolfgang had thought to be president in 2005. to be clear, i think we can forgive him for that oversight. i am delighted to be with both of you i've known for a long time. one thing i would say is i think all three of us are wrestling right now in a very personal ways with the fact that we are just directly scholars and public intellectuals and talk in the realm of ideas, and to get all three of us in personal ways had to become intellectual activists in this environment, and it has been forced on us, because we see developments in the world that we think are dangerous, that we understand represent a tipping point, and we want to do something about it . that is one of the reasons i was particularly happy to join the two of you for this event this
morning. you are right that we used to talk about china and india as the rising emerging markets. so many economists have written about that, talked about the brakes. china is going to be the largest economy in the world. it looks like 2028. that is pretty significant. their growth last year with the pandemic of 2%, their expected growth of seven -- 7% or 8%. after they finally admitted to the pandemic occurring in their country, their ability to shut it down was quite extraordinary. let's reflect one of a few things that i think the western commentary as gotten wrong. you pointed to the end of history, and i think a better argument in retrospect is that
1991 showed the beginning of the end of the american order precisely because we were so indifferent to what might happen to russia as a consequence of the loss of soviet empire, and our lack of engagement, whether it was in need russia council. you remember the debate. all of us to. a second big one we got wrong with the idea that as china got more powerful and wealthier they would have to reform to look more like the united states both economically and politically or they would fail. that is completely wrong. xi jinping has consolidated more power, he is more authoritarian. he is more a state capitalist.
we have not heard from jack about it a month. tech is becoming the new strategic sector on top of ai and a bunch of things. the commentary got wrong with the idea that brexit would be the beginning of the end for europe and would make europe weaker and more divided. wolfgang and i talked about this a couple of weeks ago. the european response is we need to come together in a more constructive way, and i think you have seen the use of the crisis to provide redistribution from wealthy countries in europe to poor countries, breaks as board that to a degree -- born that to a degree. it will not always lead to chaos and disappointment, but there are opportunities too and the fact that the new global order will not be an american lead to order. it does not mean the united states is back the way we used to be does also create
opportunities for the biden team to think differently. on climate they are doing that. on other issues, too early to say. they can change, so we will see. we will see what we will get. ms. hill: thank you so much. many of the questions we have gotten, because i will start to we listen, f divided us with perfect segues to touch on these issues. this point on everything is not always pass dependent is an important one. looking back we can obviously see the way that things have evolved as we look for the present for it. -- ford -- forward. we do not think there is something that can throw these off and what spurred you to write the book, pointing out that the past was different from what we saw in 1990 has been from this vantage point in 2020, and the future is likely to be
too. as we pick up on that idea as -- we have the three big cs. covid. still got a long way to go before it burns itself out. the other is climate. major climate change. china may not be well-positioned to deal with that. certainly, technologically, china has all the hallmarks of a successful response, but it is also a country with serious problems with water and resources. and it has also been the rise -- they have also been on the pollution vendor we have all been on since the industrial revolution. other issues for china to contend with.
then, we have climate, covid, and china but are all wo ven together as the c's of the future. what are the implications of what ian just said for the future of the e.u.? brexit has not been the end of europe. it is certainly causing major problems for the u.k. but what does the larger landscape look like for the e.u. with these other big challenges in the next couple of years or so, and what do you think the biden administration should do with these. a question being asked in the check as well -- to the position itself visibly europe, because there is no going back to the relationship that proceeded the trump administration in the last four years. too much has changed in that time?
amb. ischinger: quite clearly, for the european union, which has established itself, which had established itself as a major trading bloc and economic power, no doubt about it, for the e.u. the challenge going forward is to become an adult member of the global strategic community. to develop the ability to be taken slightly more seriously as a global power, which the european union so far is not really. we would love to play a more significant role. we have been looking rather helplessly at what developed in syria. and libya. and elsewhere.
our efforts to play a role when it comes to, for example, peacekeeping or military activities, have been weak because our capabilities were not there. so i think for the european union going forward, the big challenge is can we develop capabilities, and can we develop as 27 nations, decision-making processes that will not -- that will avoid the situation but we have been having almost on a daily basis that each time some question comes up, one of the 27 will find a reason to cast a veto and to make the european union look undecided and impotent. so, i think that is a challenge. as a matter of fact, i am actually quite optimistic that
given our performance in the pandemic, or the lessons learned from the pandemic, i am more optimistic today than i would have been a year ago. the european union, after initial despair and disorganized separate national reactions, the european union has actually gotten its act together. we have big debates at this moment -- was it a good idea or was it not a good idea to make the european union the organization that gets all the vaccine material distributed throughout the e.u., but the fact is, we took that decision, and we also took the decision, which i think is a historic one last summer, for the first time in history, the european union, given the magnitude of the economic crisis because of covid-19, allowed itself to
enter into a debt situation. that was contested literally for decades not only by my country, but in particular by germany. actually, i think the e.u. -- and i am really delighted i can say that seriously -- the e.u. is actually coming out of this triple crisis. i mean, covid-19, the transatlantic dispute about nato, etcetera, and, brexit, the e.u. is coming out relatively unharmed and maybe even slightly stronger and hopefully better prepared. and i am so glad that we can now hope that the incoming biden administration on day one, hopefully, as i understand, will announce that they will rejoin the paris climate accord --
speaking of climate. that is what you in america call low hanging fruit. everybody in europe, from the far right to the far-left, will applaud that decision when it is taken by the biden administration. there are a number of things that biden administration can do or has already announced that they will do, which would be seen in europe as most welcome decisions to bring the transatlantic community together again, not working against each other, but trying to work together. the big one -- my concluding point -- the most important medium and long-term challenge, as far as i am concerned, for the transatlantic community between biden and also love von der leyen -- and ursula von der leyen, the successor to chancellor merkel and macron, etc., will be how to manage and
figure out a way to coordinate our relationship with china. i think that's the big one, and i hope we can address but this year in a meaningful, organized transatlantic manner. ms. hill: thanks. this really gets to the heart of a number of questions. really focused in on the future of the european union or the consequences of brexit, and trying to repair in some way the relationships of the u.s. after the damage of the last several years, but also this shift in the nature of the relationships. a lot about handling the relationships with china. as i am listening to you, you are describing a e.u. that is trying to describe itself as completely separate from the u.s. and china. all of our questions are really putting the e.u. back in the
relationship with either the u.s., traditional relationship going back to world war ii and during the cold war, and then thinking about a new relationship with the e.u. and china. and it is actually giving the european union a little less agency in this. you are describing in many respects an e.u. that has seen -- that is an amalgamation of independent sovereign states but as a sort of separate power trying to secure its own sovereignty and its own place in the world, and then interact with others, but is not defining itself just in terms of the relationships between the u.s. and china. i think that does raise some major questions about how you handle this complex of relations. because, certainly, president trump did not want to coordinate with the european union on china. he repeatedly said, i'm not going to do all the heavy lifting and then have you take advantage of it. he didn't see the european union or even some individual european countries like germany -- the u.k. was extolling the idea of
a golden age of u.k. relations with china -- as a partner on this. i think that does raise some questions particularly in light , of the e.u. investment agreement with china about how , we work this out. let me ask ian, first of all, about -- obviously, there has been a lot of heavy breathing here in the united states about that agreement. there was a tweet from jack sullivan, obviously in a mild way because of the restrictions on the incoming administration being able to engage in any way with foreign counterparts. a tweet that suggested some concern about the way that the europeans have rushed into this agreement that has been unfolding for some time. if you think about it from the u.s. perspective here ian, is it , going to be difficult with an e.u. that is trying not to flex sovereign muscles and have its own set of relationships and
won't always be taking the u.s. perspective into consideration? how should we think about it? ian: united states is in flux right now, too. let's be clear that if it was not for the pandemic, trump has a second term. and the europeans know that too. i am a little less worried about the nature of the e.u.-china agreement, in part because the chinese moved really fast and gave a lot up before biden became president to get it done. and their ability and willingness to actually execute on the intellectual property promises, for example, the lack of subsidy and transparency promises is virtually zero. i do think the execution risk for the chinese, the dissatisfaction over what had just been bought by the europeans is going to be significant. and the lack of trust from
the europe of china remains vastly higher than the problems europeans had and have with the united states three -- right now. that is real. that is not going to go away as china gets more powerful. unlike southeast asian countries, unlike sub-saharan african countries which increasingly have no choice but china for vaccines, for debt and investment and everything else, the europeans do actually have choices. even the east and south europeans have more choices now when you have the e.u. putting more than 10% of their gdp into their budgets. that is why the hungarians and poles ended up having not such a big problem with some of the political conditionalities of that investment. i think for the united states,
this is less about how we reach out and work more closely with the europeans. yes, biden will do everything he can, you know, lincoln's fluency in french, kerry knows every single one of these leaders well and has for some time. there will be a honeymoon. most europeans want everything but trump, and biden is indeed anything but trump, but let's be clear, biden's irt 1, 2, 3, in order to make the european relationship work has to address their problems in the united states right now. how to deal with the division number of environments. european leaders i have spoken to in the last couple of days, the response has been this belief, shocked. it has also been, what are the consequences going to be? what are you going to do to
respond to the fact that your legislature was almost decapitated? what are you going to do to trump, who engaged in acts of sedition? . i think my response is mostly, i don't think we're going to do very much. why not? well, because it is not a big enough crisis while a lot of political leaders in the u.s. to put their country before their party or before their individual ambitions. that is a horrible view. that view persists. -- if that view persists, biden's ability to rebuild the damage to the european relationship will have a feeling. it will get better, of course. we will join paris. we will rejoin the world health organization. we can fix a lot of those things , but that is not the real problem. the real problem is that the united states increasingly is vastly more dysfunctional and
divided as a political system. as a representative democracy, than our european friends. and that was not true in 1989 when the walking down, when the soviet union collapsed, it was not even true in 9/11 when the americans and europeans fought together. this is not just a matter of one administration to rebuild, it is a generational issue, and i am not sure america has those generational leaders right now. ms. hill: you have raised a very important point here, ian. i still want to be able to push the china issue with wolfgang in a moment, but we have two questions here that ian has raised. the second part, china was a major point. some of the issues that ian touched upon have also been reflected in some of the questions.
ian was talking about the global reach of china and the fact that many countries, some considerable distance from both the u.s. and the european union, have very little choice when it comes to china. china is the big neighbor on their borders, the big factor in their economies, and also consequently has elliptical influence over them because of this economic heft. i think one of the questions is will the european union think about the implications of china's global role the way the u.s. has, not just in the security sense -- i mean, obviously, many europeans have not been thinking about what china has been doing on the periphery level of thinking, in the south china sea and northeast asia, pacific, southeast asia. there have been questions about
the sovereignty of european countries. is china getting too much of a foothold in some of the more vulnerable countries at least in europe, or south eastern europe, like in greece, buying the port facilities or making efforts to buy ports and other facilities in other parts of europe. so it is going to be a big global player. clearly, france as a member of the e.u. does. france has international reach with its navy and also has french possessions, territorial islands out in the pacific, as well. the u.k., obviously that is less of an investment there. if we think about that, i would really like to get to what ian said about the domestic side, and to get your thoughts as well. but can this e.u. think locally about china and the way the chinese uses hard power to
infringe on the sovereignty of others. it is not just the issue of human rights in xinjiang and the uighurs in tibet, but it is this hard power aspect of china, and the implication on other countries as well? amb. ischinger: the are literally at the beginning of a process in the european union -- we are literally at the beginning of a process in the european union of creating what would deserve to be called as a china strategy or policy. let me be very blunt about this. let me start with my country, germany. until very few years ago, the approach taken by german leaders, left, middle, and right, was that china is our biggest export market, full
stop. it was mainly a trade and investment issue. essentially, there was no developed strategy, no developed approach to china regarding such issues as hong kong, the human rights issue, etcetera. i think all members have begun to understand in the interim that if we try to deal with china as individual, very small nations -- germany happens to be the biggest one. we have 83 million inhabitants. that is nothing compared to more than one billion chinese. so i think we are beginning to try to figure out, can we as 27,
during a significant trading and investment power, can we develop something that would actually deserve to be called a european approach to china? and can we, on the basis of that , engage with the united states of america, with the incoming biden administration, to see where we can identify shared interests? i am sure those can be found very easily. with human rights issues, with intellectual property, cyber and so many other areas. i am not so pessimistic, but i think it is a major uphill battle. china, i am not sure many americans are aware of this,
china has been very, very clever in exploiting the absence of a coherent european-china approach. they created this process which they call 17 + 1. they found 17 european countries, all very small countries, and they actually organized a summit with these 17 countries. not all of them are members of the european union, but many of them are. and this is, of course, a classic example of how you organize things in such a way that if and when a decision in brussels needs to be taken on china, china can always call on some of these small countries and tell them, didn't we just buy your entire port, you,
prime minister of greece? how dear you vote against us? we just built you up. this is a perfect example of the kind of challenge we face. i think the willingness and the awareness in europe is growing that we need to build this comprehensive strategy, and we need to find a way to engage with the united states in order to hopefully on import and strategic issues, confront china with a transatlantic rescission. that would be the ideal -- transatlantic position. that would be ideal. it will involve heavy lifting. now, on the other question, just very briefly, as a former
ambassador, i learned that you should never tell your host country what to do. it's a bad idea. so i am not going to talk about what republicans should not do, etc., etc., that is for americans to figure out. what i worry about is that in these types of situations, seen from the outside world, the incoming administration has a weakness because apparently there are, i don't know, 17 million, or at least a significant part of these 70 million for consider the new president not a real president, and illegitimate president. that is seen by the outside world as a weakness. i would be totally surprised after having spent 40-plus years in international diplomacy, i would be totally surprised if folks in beijing and moscow and a number of other capitals say, let's check it out let's see
whether this guy, joe biden, will be strong enough and has enough support to actually play a role of strength, and have time for international things. may he is going to be so preoccupied with his domestic challenges, but we will have more free reign in africa and the middle east and elsewhere. joe biden, that is my concern, will not have a lot of vacation time coming up on the 20th of january. he will be tested. i would be totally surprised if the chinese, the russians, and others -- and i am not talking about military testing, but it could be political. it could be cyber. it could be advances made by the chinese in the middle east, in africa, and elsewhere. in other words, this year starts
as a year -- i would say 2021 is the year of significant danger. ms. hill: can i bring in a couple of questions in the chat? one coming from a viewer on capitol hill, the senate foreign relations committee. she picks up on the point that ian was making about the difficulty of incoming president biden really being able to take any steps in foreign policy because of the feeling you just spoke about and ian just lead out, the divisions over his efforts. been talking about the debate here in the united states, that jack sullivan and others were also a part of this for even the campaign was underway, about trying to make foreign policy
more responsive to the interests of the american people, particularly the middle class, the working class and other parts of europe. this is a debate that has been going on in europe, as well. germany, having had much more of an egalitarian society in many respects for long periods, started to worry about inequality. in the u.k.. , inequality is a must as bad as it was back in the 1920's and 1930's, like here in the united states. promises that money sent to brussels would be turned back and spent here in the united kingdom. the yellow vest movement in france is an outgrowth of inequality in france and the great divide between the city elite and the suburbs, the body banlieus of paris.
we have seen this in italy, the rise of the populist government. i could go on and on. as i think back to an earlier history after world war ii, the united states stepped up for europe when europe was also divided, when there were c coup efforts in greece, turkey, portugal, spain, the franco period, and the question of democracy. and the united states helped. perhaps given the long history of germany and its struggle with overcoming divisions, not just after world war ii but the unification of germany, might help as well. so i am wondering, when joe biden is talking about build back better, maybe building forward together, maybe this is a time that europe could help. there are a lot of questions in the chat about, kind europe forgive the united states -- can
europe forgive the united states? there is a lot of feeling of resentment that has built up. that can't really be forgiven. ian has pointed out, there is a lot of problems that have here. is there some way europe could step forward on this point? particularly germany. then he is asking about lessons from germany on contemporary thinking and historical thinking. then i would like to ask ian for his thoughts, as well? amb. ischinger: absolutely, fiona. i think the single stupidest thing for germany and actually for the entire european group of partners of the united states, whether you are talking about the e.u. or nato partners, doesn't make much difference here, the stupidest thing would be for us to sit back and wait until joe biden makes everything
right again, which donald trump has made wrong. creating doubts about nato, calling the e.u. a foe instead of a partner, etcetera, etcetera. so instead of waiting for america to come across the atlantic again, and, of course, i am happy to say, i should have said at the beginning, a little anecdotal point -- the only international decisionmaker i know who attended my conference, the munich security conference as early as 1980, the only active international decision-maker that i know is joe biden. we could have mentioned john mccain, but he has, of course, left us.
so, joe biden is really the only person i know with a role at this time, the single most important role in world affairs at this time, who has been engaged in these types of international activities for years. i can't think of a better qualified person than him to deal with what i call the three t's -- truth, trust, and transparency. i think these three elements, which sound simple, are really the framework for cooperative, for meaningful, for successful international cooperation and for a successful diplomacy. i think joe biden can rebuild
trust easily as a person, but also through the policies he develops. we on the european side should come to washington, should go to washington and be mindful of the fact that joe biden needs to be able to say to the american taxpayer, we are actually doing stuff with europe that benefits our farmer or our taxpayer, our middle-class. if he says he wants to do foreign policy for the middle class, that is exactly what he will want to say to the american taxpayer before the next election in 2022 comes up. and i think there are many issues where, in fact, we can maybe not help, but where we can become operative and have an open mind -- where we can be cooperative and have an open mind. i know this is not a common
position in germany at this moment, but if you ask me, i would advocate an initiative by my government. chancellor merkel will step down later this year. i would advocate an initiative by maya government, by the entire european -- by my own government, by the entire european union to reopen the question, should we propose to the united states another attempt at a comprehensive trade in basement cooperation scheme -- trade investment cooperation scheme that would benefit both sides of the atlantic and bring us together closer, make us stronger together. i thought it was foolish at the time that we failed to get that through because of all sorts of considerations on both sides of the atlantic. so there is low hanging fruit. we should come to the u.s. in a proactive manner and help
create a situation where joe biden 10 proclaim -- can proclaim and present success stories to his voters, especially to those who believe that donald trump should have gotten a second term. ms. hill: ian, what would success look like, kind of the most useful proactive approach? there is a lot of skepticism, to be frank, wolfgang, about the trade agreement as it was before, because the world has evolved. ian, i have heard you talking about this on tv and in some of your comments, we have a lot of divisions of the digital sector, taxation. trying to think about this in the early cd context, of taxation, not just of the regulation of the digital giants in the united states. this would all be part of biden's approach, to figure out
how to pump the u.s. economy back up. the struggle of taxes and where revenue is going, it will not be a per spacious beginning here. obviously, china and russia will be watching us closely. china has a different perspective of russia, which likes to see -- perspective than russia, which likes to see more divisions. we would like to show that we are able to do things together, but also in the united states, it is very important to have that success. joe biden has to deliver. what would it look like from your perspective? ms. bremmer: let us stipulate that coming of the box, the europeans will want biden to look stronger than he is. they will want to help him get some successes. make the summitry look good and positive. it is in everyone's best interest for that to occur.
i think if that works, at the margins, it will make a difference. some of the areas i could see that being promising, there is a big difference between europe with a very strong sustainable stimulus but also plays out with tariffs and trade, and where the americans are lumped in with the more carbon-intensive countries, and we have a trade fight with europeans over climate. that looks very different than saying we want to make the cop meeting in november in scotland, the historic breakthrough meeting that is much bigger than anything we accomplished in paris. and boris johnson, by the way, will also be a big part of that cause he is hosting it. the europeans, americans and brits trying, and john kerry be having a shot at the nobel that he has wanted for a very long time. all that stuff. that would be interesting.
on technology, there is a big difference between the united states and europe that both understand that china is the world's largest data market. it is largely controlled by the government. oriented towards maximal surveillance, no privacy, enormous consolidation, and an absence of human rights and liberties. and even though we have different approaches, we need to find a common approach together on not just on 5g but on anything with a chip in it. we need to create architecture around the ethics of artificial intelligence, and how we roll out applications. there is a big difference between that and the u.s. social media companies deplatforming trump and hashtag stop the steal, and the europeans saying that is wrong. i am concerned.
i mean, both of these issues, fundamental issues about new architecture that we don't yet have the real organizational, the people in place to deal with it -- never mind the organizational structure -- a very constructive u.s.-european relationship on those issues would make the world look different than one where the europeans are going their own way. so i do think that at the margins, in the margins are big, the margins my students frequently turn in on their papers to make them more pages --i think that does matter. but i want to go back to what you said before with jake sullivan, and that is we need a foreign policy that resonates with the average american. we need a foreign policy the average american feels like it matters to them. a system that feels less broken. i personally think that the
trade agreements would be a great thing to have done strategically for the u.s. and europe. i would suggest that before anything is promoted by the germans, have them ask the biden administration quietly, and i am sure they will do that, to make sure this is something they remotely feel they could lift. tpp failed under obama and biden , not under trump, because the average american does not support free trade right now. the average american does not support u.s. troops all over the world right now. does not support promoting and exporting democracy all over the world right now, because we are not even sure we have democracy in our own country. we people in the biden administration including the president-elect himself oriented to doing this, we have to have a foreign policy that feels
connected to american citizens. we have failed at that. it foreign policy establishment in my country has failed at that for decades. people on this call have failed at that for decades. they failed not because they don't care, although many don't care, they have failed because it is freaking hard. and the country is getting much more divided. the social media business actual business structure, is itself incompatible with a healthy, civil society. and because the nature of capitalism and the animal spirits that are an least kind of uniquely by the american system, increasingly is irrelevant for a lot of americans that have very little to contribute to that. so, i really believe jake is
being honest when he says, i want a foreign policy that resonates for average americans. but we should all recognize just how daunting a task that is going to be. and if you don't get that right again, the feeling on what the transatlantic relationship could be even with the best of intentions is actually pretty low. ms. hill: this is a very important point. actually, i remember from an earlier munich security conference that you and many of your colleagues were talking about how to bring in more varied voices into discussions at the security conferences. you had mayors and governors. obviously, the munich security conference -- germany itself is a very diverse country, but the question was how to bring in people who are more representative of the groups,
ian was mentioning the foreign policy establishment tends to be very divorced from, even though we may have had our origins in these settings, once you become part of this foreign policy grouping, you kind of our talking about the larger meta level of things and not how it affects the micro events at home. this seems to be something the e.u. might be well placed to assist with. because the european union, like most european diplomatic services, has representation of other united states. you have consulates and delegation headquarters, relationships with governors and mayors in big metropolitan areas. europe has a great experience with regional development. so this may be something -- again, when thinking about ttip -- perhaps in a different way.
these events going on in germany right now about how you deal with the discrepancies in wealth and of allotment tween different parts of germany -- and development between different parts of germany. you have decline in parts of northern westphalia that have to be turned around. all over europe, there is this challenge. i don't know if you have been thinking about this. a different way of thinking about ttip that could involve some of the regional development perspective, may be drawing on some of europe's experience in bringing countries along and lifting them up. i am not suggesting the united states should join the e.u., but i think there are different ideas that europe has. i don't know whether there is any debate about this in europe at this time, but it would be interesting to see, could europe help with the united states thinking about how to pull its foreign policy closer to an american in iowa? you have been all across the united states in your role
as ambassador here. do you have any thoughts on this? amb. ischinger: my first thought is, we europeans certainly, lee, germans -- we germans, made a big mistake some 20 years ago, in the early 2000's. we thought that the relationship with the united states was now on such firm footing post german reunification that, why did we need so many consulates in the united states? let's cut it down to three or four, and these institutes where people can learn german, do we really need that? so we closed some. other europeans have followed in that line. i think we should now do the exact opposite. we should build up our presence
not just in terms of diplomatic presence, but in terms of cultural and relationship presents. my motto -- when i talk to german parliamentarians and others about this, -- my motto has been, when i look at the united states and all the polarized political debating in washington, d.c., mime what all has been, don't think a washington -- my motto has been, don't think of the u.s. only in terms of washington, d.c. don't forget -- and most europeans are for getting this all the time -- don't forget that if california were a separate country, it would be one of the biggest countries of the european union in terms of economic power, the number of people living, etcetera. so engage, engage, engage. i think it should be our european recipe not only with
lawmakers in washington, d.c., but with statehouse, parliamentarians in state capitals, with governors. we happen to have currently at least one governor who actually previously served as ambassador to germany. he happens to be the governor of the wonderful state of new jersey. and there are plenty others who are interested in talking to europeans. the day before yesterday, i saw this really interesting message by arnold schwarzenegger. he is not german, but he is at least austrian. that is almost as good as german. [laughs] so we have so many contact point . engage is i think what we should be doing in order not to allow the atlantic to grow wider. and it will grow wider, and we will understand each other less if we don't, from both sides,
proactively engage, engage, engage all the time and at all levels. not only at the level of public intellectuals, ourselves, but at all the levels in all the categories of our lives -- the business community, civil society, religious leaders, and local and regional parliamentarians from both sides. you're absolutely right, europe has a lot of diversity to offer, and maybe some of this can be useful for this or that aspect of the american story. i think we should redevelop the kind of transatlantic optimism that existed when i was a young
diplomat in the 1970's. it was in the middle of the cold war, but we were actually optimistic about managing the challenges. i think we will manage the challenges this time also. ms. hill: fantastic, wolfgang i have got a note saying we're out of time. you give us an uplifting sense of optimism for the end. i think that is the message to take away -- when the world is in danger, get back to basics. start to think again about how we can build ourselves up and restore that sense of optimism and that can-do spirit we have had in so many difficult times in the past. i want to apologize to people who send in questions that we did not directly get to, but i think we touched upon in one way or another on most of this number specific questions about how europe and the united states might do with critical issues like iran, the middle east. but as you say, if we can get
back to the basics in a relationship, we can frame a lot of those discussions. we touched on russia on one way or another, we did a lot of discussion on china. this has been a very rich discussion. i would like to thank ian for joining us to give us your, as usual, very insightful perspective on these issues. i know you will continue to speak out. i would like to encourage everyone to get wolfgang's book. i think he will be very pleased if you buy the english version from the press available in all the usual outlets. wolfgang, i wish you every success with the book. it is really a platform for the discussions like this. i do hope, even though you can't go on a tour, you can certainly use zoom and all the other outlets like this to reach a larger audience, and when we are all able to travel again, we would love to see you here as well as join you in various events in europe and