web analytics
a

Facebook

Twitter

Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.

703-406-7616

Call For Free 15/M Consultation

Facebook

Twitter

Search
Menu
Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 24)

As Trump and Xi Talk Trade, Huawei Will Loom Large

DONGGUAN, China — President Trump and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, are expected to try again to resolve their tariff war when they meet in Japan on Saturday.

First, they will need to figure out what to do about Huawei.

The Trump administration has squeezed the Chinese technology giant with nearly the full might of the United States government, choking off the firm’s access to vital American suppliers, barring it from the country’s telecom market and filing sweeping criminal charges against it.

Though Washington officials say those moves arose from national security concerns and are separate from the trade fight, few expect China to accept a deal to lift punishing tariffs that does not include relief for its biggest, most internationally successful tech firm.

“It is almost impossible for the Chinese to agree to almost anything while the Huawei action looms,” said Samm Sacks, a China expert at the think tank New America. “Even if this is walked back, the Chinese fundamentally mistrust this administration. At this point, there’s no walking back this mistrust.”

Beijing on Thursday again called on Washington to end its restrictions on Huawei, and Chinese officials have complained about the harm they said the administration’s moves against Chinese firms had done.

“We hope, in the spirit of free trade and the principles of W.T.O., that the U.S. will remove these inappropriate unilateral measures against Chinese companies,” said Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of commerce, referring to the World Trade Organization, earlier this week. “This is good for both sides.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155802522_c06c69c1-921f-4d6c-9c90-9a77ce47d08f-articleLarge As Trump and Xi Talk Trade, Huawei Will Loom Large United States International Relations Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Embargoes and Sanctions Computers and the Internet China 5G (Wireless Communications)

Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of commerce, in Beijing early this month.CreditWu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock

Washington’s blunt-force approach to stymieing China’s technological aspirations has split the business world, forcing tech firms on both sides of the Pacific to adapt at warp speed. Restricted from selling to Huawei, Silicon Valley is slashing revenue forecasts, although some firms have resumed certain sales that they do not believe are covered by Washington’s ban. American businesses of all kinds are bracing for retaliation from Beijing.

Huawei has swung into what employees call “war mode” to survive Washington’s fusillade. At the company’s campuses in the southern Chinese cities of Dongguan and Shenzhen, projects have been accelerated and working hours have ballooned, according to half a dozen Huawei workers who requested anonymity to discuss internal company matters.

Even the Coca-Cola that gives employees their midafternoon sugar kick now comes in cans custom-printed with pump-up messages. One can pairs the image of a raised fist with the words “In the frenzy of the fight, say no to vacation days.”

Mr. Trump has dangled the possibility of easing up on the company, saying last month that “it’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal.”

But any clemency for Huawei would face pushback in Washington. Hawkish officials and lawmakers see technology as an important front in a generational threat posed by China’s rise. And they see Huawei as the apex of all that is threatening about that rise.

Their message has been heard clearly in Beijing, even if Washington eventually dials back some of its restrictions on the company.

“The damage is certainly done, from Beijing’s perspective,” Ms. Sacks said. “I think we are in a new world now. And to the extent that there is some deal to be made, I don’t think it changes this new reality.”

Washington has gone after Huawei on multiple fronts in the past year. The Justice Department in January filed criminal charges against the company, related to alleged violations of sanctions against Iran. Huawei denies wrongdoing and says its products do not threaten any nation’s security — another allegation made by American officials, who say the company could spy on China’s behalf.

After trade talks went off the rails last month, the Commerce Department ordered what was once seen as the nuclear option against Huawei: No more parts and equipment could be purchased from American suppliers without special waivers.

The cafeteria at the Huawei Songshan Lake Campus in Dongguan, China.CreditHector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In response, China’s Ministry of Commerce has threatened to make a list of “unreliable” companies and people who could be punished for disrupting Chinese supply chains. Chinese officials have echoed the threat in meetings with American tech companies. Beijing has also proposed new cybersecurity regulations that experts say could impair the operations of foreign companies in China.

Still, Arthur Kroeber, a founding partner at the research firm Gavekal, said China would hurt itself as much as it hurt the United States if it took more steps to disconnect itself from the global economy.

“China’s only hope of influencing U.S. policy in a more positive (from its standpoint) direction is to keep the business community as some kind of an ally,” Mr. Kroeber wrote in an email. “This limits its ability to target U.S. firms for retaliation.”

Huawei’s leaders do not seem to believe that China and the United States are heading for a permanent divorce.

At an event last week, the firm’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, predicted that business would be tough for the next two years. But he said he hoped to resume working with American partners in the not-too-distant future.

Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, said last week that he hoped to be working with American partners again soon.CreditAly Song/Reuters

“We are not afraid of using American components,” Mr. Ren said. “We are not afraid of working with any American people.”

The company appears to understand that its fate is entwined with larger political discussions, which it can influence only indirectly. Huawei officials have avoided high-level contact with Washington ahead of this week’s Group of 20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, according to a person familiar with the company’s activities who was not authorized to speak with the press.

Huawei has spent only $55,000 this year on lobbying in Washington, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, ZTE, the Chinese hardware maker that the Trump administration nearly drove out of business last year, has spent nearly $1.4 million.

ZTE’s near-death experience drove Huawei to begin planning for similar contingencies. The company says, for instance, that it has been developing its own operating system to replace Google’s Android in Huawei handsets.

Such efforts have been redoubled in the past month. Huawei employees are being plied with round-the-clock meals and snacks. Buses and cars ferry workers home after days that routinely end, in many departments, after 11 p.m. or midnight.

Office walls have been adorned with motivational slogans. “We are in the first battle, victory is ours,” one goes. Another says, “The ace forces are dispatched, the mission must be completed.”

China’s government has helped to keep Huawei afloat. The company had been poised to become a major provider of equipment for 5G, the next generation of mobile internet. That is why some industry observers believe Washington’s restrictions on Huawei will delay the construction of 5G networks in China and around the world.

But a few weeks ago, China began issuing commercial 5G licenses to mobile carriers, ahead of the schedule that many observers had expected. Analysts at J.P. Morgan called the move an attempt “by the government to assure the world about China’s capability to push forward 5G.” China’s state-run telecom operators have also signed agreements to buy 5G gear from Huawei.

“They can survive,” Xiaomeng Lu of Access Partnership, a policy consulting firm, said of Huawei. The company will just have to stand more firmly on China’s side of the increasingly “splintered” world of tech, Ms. Lu said. “The U.S. only picks suppliers they trust, and China will pick suppliers they trust.”

Huawei’s leaders have long cultivated an aggressive “wolf culture” at the firm, one that celebrates individual dedication and team conquest. Recently, even mundane, administrative posts on the company’s social media pages have been studded with wartime language.

One post on the messaging app WeChat announced that cafeteria hours had been extended at Huawei’s campuses in Dongguan. It ended by pledging the company’s support to its employees:

The battle has begun,
As the bugle sounds the charge,
We will go forth hand in hand
To escort the warriors!

Paul Mozur contributed reporting from Shanghai. Carolyn Zhang and Luz Ding contributed research.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

As Trump and Xi Talk Trade, Huawei Will Loom Large

DONGGUAN, China — President Trump and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, are expected to try again to resolve their tariff war when they meet in Japan on Saturday.

First, they will need to figure out what to do about Huawei.

The Trump administration has squeezed the Chinese technology giant with nearly the full might of the United States government, choking off the firm’s access to vital American suppliers, barring it from the country’s telecom market and filing sweeping criminal charges against it.

Though Washington officials say those moves arose from national security concerns and are separate from the trade fight, few expect China to accept a deal to lift punishing tariffs that does not include relief for its biggest, most internationally successful tech firm.

“It is almost impossible for the Chinese to agree to almost anything while the Huawei action looms,” said Samm Sacks, a China expert at the think tank New America. “Even if this is walked back, the Chinese fundamentally mistrust this administration. At this point, there’s no walking back this mistrust.”

Beijing on Thursday again called on Washington to end its restrictions on Huawei, and Chinese officials have complained about the harm they said the administration’s moves against Chinese firms had done.

“We hope, in the spirit of free trade and the principles of W.T.O., that the U.S. will remove these inappropriate unilateral measures against Chinese companies,” said Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of commerce, referring to the World Trade Organization, earlier this week. “This is good for both sides.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155802522_c06c69c1-921f-4d6c-9c90-9a77ce47d08f-articleLarge As Trump and Xi Talk Trade, Huawei Will Loom Large United States International Relations Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Embargoes and Sanctions Computers and the Internet China 5G (Wireless Communications)

Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of commerce, in Beijing early this month.CreditWu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock

Washington’s blunt-force approach to stymieing China’s technological aspirations has split the business world, forcing tech firms on both sides of the Pacific to adapt at warp speed. Restricted from selling to Huawei, Silicon Valley is slashing revenue forecasts, although some firms have resumed certain sales that they do not believe are covered by Washington’s ban. American businesses of all kinds are bracing for retaliation from Beijing.

Huawei has swung into what employees call “war mode” to survive Washington’s fusillade. At the company’s campuses in the southern Chinese cities of Dongguan and Shenzhen, projects have been accelerated and working hours have ballooned, according to half a dozen Huawei workers who requested anonymity to discuss internal company matters.

Even the Coca-Cola that gives employees their midafternoon sugar kick now comes in cans custom-printed with pump-up messages. One can pairs the image of a raised fist with the words “In the frenzy of the fight, say no to vacation days.”

Mr. Trump has dangled the possibility of easing up on the company, saying last month that “it’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal.”

But any clemency for Huawei would face pushback in Washington. Hawkish officials and lawmakers see technology as an important front in a generational threat posed by China’s rise. And they see Huawei as the apex of all that is threatening about that rise.

Their message has been heard clearly in Beijing, even if Washington eventually dials back some of its restrictions on the company.

“The damage is certainly done, from Beijing’s perspective,” Ms. Sacks said. “I think we are in a new world now. And to the extent that there is some deal to be made, I don’t think it changes this new reality.”

Washington has gone after Huawei on multiple fronts in the past year. The Justice Department in January filed criminal charges against the company, related to alleged violations of sanctions against Iran. Huawei denies wrongdoing and says its products do not threaten any nation’s security — another allegation made by American officials, who say the company could spy on China’s behalf.

After trade talks went off the rails last month, the Commerce Department ordered what was once seen as the nuclear option against Huawei: No more parts and equipment could be purchased from American suppliers without special waivers.

The cafeteria at the Huawei Songshan Lake Campus in Dongguan, China.CreditHector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In response, China’s Ministry of Commerce has threatened to make a list of “unreliable” companies and people who could be punished for disrupting Chinese supply chains. Chinese officials have echoed the threat in meetings with American tech companies. Beijing has also proposed new cybersecurity regulations that experts say could impair the operations of foreign companies in China.

Still, Arthur Kroeber, a founding partner at the research firm Gavekal, said China would hurt itself as much as it hurt the United States if it took more steps to disconnect itself from the global economy.

“China’s only hope of influencing U.S. policy in a more positive (from its standpoint) direction is to keep the business community as some kind of an ally,” Mr. Kroeber wrote in an email. “This limits its ability to target U.S. firms for retaliation.”

Huawei’s leaders do not seem to believe that China and the United States are heading for a permanent divorce.

At an event last week, the firm’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, predicted that business would be tough for the next two years. But he said he hoped to resume working with American partners in the not-too-distant future.

Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, said last week that he hoped to be working with American partners again soon.CreditAly Song/Reuters

“We are not afraid of using American components,” Mr. Ren said. “We are not afraid of working with any American people.”

The company appears to understand that its fate is entwined with larger political discussions, which it can influence only indirectly. Huawei officials have avoided high-level contact with Washington ahead of this week’s Group of 20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, according to a person familiar with the company’s activities who was not authorized to speak with the press.

Huawei has spent only $55,000 this year on lobbying in Washington, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, ZTE, the Chinese hardware maker that the Trump administration nearly drove out of business last year, has spent nearly $1.4 million.

ZTE’s near-death experience drove Huawei to begin planning for similar contingencies. The company says, for instance, that it has been developing its own operating system to replace Google’s Android in Huawei handsets.

Such efforts have been redoubled in the past month. Huawei employees are being plied with round-the-clock meals and snacks. Buses and cars ferry workers home after days that routinely end, in many departments, after 11 p.m. or midnight.

Office walls have been adorned with motivational slogans. “We are in the first battle, victory is ours,” one goes. Another says, “The ace forces are dispatched, the mission must be completed.”

China’s government has helped to keep Huawei afloat. The company had been poised to become a major provider of equipment for 5G, the next generation of mobile internet. That is why some industry observers believe Washington’s restrictions on Huawei will delay the construction of 5G networks in China and around the world.

But a few weeks ago, China began issuing commercial 5G licenses to mobile carriers, ahead of the schedule that many observers had expected. Analysts at J.P. Morgan called the move an attempt “by the government to assure the world about China’s capability to push forward 5G.” China’s state-run telecom operators have also signed agreements to buy 5G gear from Huawei.

“They can survive,” Xiaomeng Lu of Access Partnership, a policy consulting firm, said of Huawei. The company will just have to stand more firmly on China’s side of the increasingly “splintered” world of tech, Ms. Lu said. “The U.S. only picks suppliers they trust, and China will pick suppliers they trust.”

Huawei’s leaders have long cultivated an aggressive “wolf culture” at the firm, one that celebrates individual dedication and team conquest. Recently, even mundane, administrative posts on the company’s social media pages have been studded with wartime language.

One post on the messaging app WeChat announced that cafeteria hours had been extended at Huawei’s campuses in Dongguan. It ended by pledging the company’s support to its employees:

The battle has begun,
As the bugle sounds the charge,
We will go forth hand in hand
To escort the warriors!

Paul Mozur contributed reporting from Shanghai. Carolyn Zhang and Luz Ding contributed research.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

As Trump and Xi Talk Trade, Huawei Will Loom Large

DONGGUAN, China — President Trump and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, are expected to try again to resolve their tariff war when they meet in Japan on Saturday.

First, they will need to figure out what to do about Huawei.

The Trump administration has squeezed the Chinese technology giant with nearly the full might of the United States government, choking off the firm’s access to vital American suppliers, barring it from the country’s telecom market and filing sweeping criminal charges against it.

Though Washington officials say those moves arose from national security concerns and are separate from the trade fight, few expect China to accept a deal to lift punishing tariffs that does not include relief for its biggest, most internationally successful tech firm.

“It is almost impossible for the Chinese to agree to almost anything while the Huawei action looms,” said Samm Sacks, a China expert at the think tank New America. “Even if this is walked back, the Chinese fundamentally mistrust this administration. At this point, there’s no walking back this mistrust.”

Beijing on Thursday again called on Washington to end its restrictions on Huawei, and Chinese officials have complained about the harm they said the administration’s moves against Chinese firms had done.

“We hope, in the spirit of free trade and the principles of W.T.O., that the U.S. will remove these inappropriate unilateral measures against Chinese companies,” said Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of commerce, referring to the World Trade Organization, earlier this week. “This is good for both sides.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_155802522_c06c69c1-921f-4d6c-9c90-9a77ce47d08f-articleLarge As Trump and Xi Talk Trade, Huawei Will Loom Large United States International Relations Trump, Donald J International Trade and World Market Huawei Technologies Co Ltd Embargoes and Sanctions Computers and the Internet China 5G (Wireless Communications)

Wang Shouwen, China’s vice minister of commerce, in Beijing early this month.CreditWu Hong/EPA, via Shutterstock

Washington’s blunt-force approach to stymieing China’s technological aspirations has split the business world, forcing tech firms on both sides of the Pacific to adapt at warp speed. Restricted from selling to Huawei, Silicon Valley is slashing revenue forecasts, although some firms have resumed certain sales that they do not believe are covered by Washington’s ban. American businesses of all kinds are bracing for retaliation from Beijing.

Huawei has swung into what employees call “war mode” to survive Washington’s fusillade. At the company’s campuses in the southern Chinese cities of Dongguan and Shenzhen, projects have been accelerated and working hours have ballooned, according to half a dozen Huawei workers who requested anonymity to discuss internal company matters.

Even the Coca-Cola that gives employees their midafternoon sugar kick now comes in cans custom-printed with pump-up messages. One can pairs the image of a raised fist with the words “In the frenzy of the fight, say no to vacation days.”

Mr. Trump has dangled the possibility of easing up on the company, saying last month that “it’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal.”

But any clemency for Huawei would face pushback in Washington. Hawkish officials and lawmakers see technology as an important front in a generational threat posed by China’s rise. And they see Huawei as the apex of all that is threatening about that rise.

Their message has been heard clearly in Beijing, even if Washington eventually dials back some of its restrictions on the company.

“The damage is certainly done, from Beijing’s perspective,” Ms. Sacks said. “I think we are in a new world now. And to the extent that there is some deal to be made, I don’t think it changes this new reality.”

Washington has gone after Huawei on multiple fronts in the past year. The Justice Department in January filed criminal charges against the company, related to alleged violations of sanctions against Iran. Huawei denies wrongdoing and says its products do not threaten any nation’s security — another allegation made by American officials, who say the company could spy on China’s behalf.

After trade talks went off the rails last month, the Commerce Department ordered what was once seen as the nuclear option against Huawei: No more parts and equipment could be purchased from American suppliers without special waivers.

The cafeteria at the Huawei Songshan Lake Campus in Dongguan, China.CreditHector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In response, China’s Ministry of Commerce has threatened to make a list of “unreliable” companies and people who could be punished for disrupting Chinese supply chains. Chinese officials have echoed the threat in meetings with American tech companies. Beijing has also proposed new cybersecurity regulations that experts say could impair the operations of foreign companies in China.

Still, Arthur Kroeber, a founding partner at the research firm Gavekal, said China would hurt itself as much as it hurt the United States if it took more steps to disconnect itself from the global economy.

“China’s only hope of influencing U.S. policy in a more positive (from its standpoint) direction is to keep the business community as some kind of an ally,” Mr. Kroeber wrote in an email. “This limits its ability to target U.S. firms for retaliation.”

Huawei’s leaders do not seem to believe that China and the United States are heading for a permanent divorce.

At an event last week, the firm’s founder and chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, predicted that business would be tough for the next two years. But he said he hoped to resume working with American partners in the not-too-distant future.

Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, said last week that he hoped to be working with American partners again soon.CreditAly Song/Reuters

“We are not afraid of using American components,” Mr. Ren said. “We are not afraid of working with any American people.”

The company appears to understand that its fate is entwined with larger political discussions, which it can influence only indirectly. Huawei officials have avoided high-level contact with Washington ahead of this week’s Group of 20 meeting in Osaka, Japan, according to a person familiar with the company’s activities who was not authorized to speak with the press.

Huawei has spent only $55,000 this year on lobbying in Washington, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics. By comparison, ZTE, the Chinese hardware maker that the Trump administration nearly drove out of business last year, has spent nearly $1.4 million.

ZTE’s near-death experience drove Huawei to begin planning for similar contingencies. The company says, for instance, that it has been developing its own operating system to replace Google’s Android in Huawei handsets.

Such efforts have been redoubled in the past month. Huawei employees are being plied with round-the-clock meals and snacks. Buses and cars ferry workers home after days that routinely end, in many departments, after 11 p.m. or midnight.

Office walls have been adorned with motivational slogans. “We are in the first battle, victory is ours,” one goes. Another says, “The ace forces are dispatched, the mission must be completed.”

China’s government has helped to keep Huawei afloat. The company had been poised to become a major provider of equipment for 5G, the next generation of mobile internet. That is why some industry observers believe Washington’s restrictions on Huawei will delay the construction of 5G networks in China and around the world.

But a few weeks ago, China began issuing commercial 5G licenses to mobile carriers, ahead of the schedule that many observers had expected. Analysts at J.P. Morgan called the move an attempt “by the government to assure the world about China’s capability to push forward 5G.” China’s state-run telecom operators have also signed agreements to buy 5G gear from Huawei.

“They can survive,” Xiaomeng Lu of Access Partnership, a policy consulting firm, said of Huawei. The company will just have to stand more firmly on China’s side of the increasingly “splintered” world of tech, Ms. Lu said. “The U.S. only picks suppliers they trust, and China will pick suppliers they trust.”

Huawei’s leaders have long cultivated an aggressive “wolf culture” at the firm, one that celebrates individual dedication and team conquest. Recently, even mundane, administrative posts on the company’s social media pages have been studded with wartime language.

One post on the messaging app WeChat announced that cafeteria hours had been extended at Huawei’s campuses in Dongguan. It ended by pledging the company’s support to its employees:

The battle has begun,
As the bugle sounds the charge,
We will go forth hand in hand
To escort the warriors!

Paul Mozur contributed reporting from Shanghai. Carolyn Zhang and Luz Ding contributed research.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S. and China Angle for Trade Truce, but Both Insist the Other Will Back Down

WASHINGTON — The fate of a yearlong trade war will reach a pivotal moment this weekend as President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China meet in Japan. But while both leaders appear open to a truce, they have hardened their positions ahead of the talks, leaving it unclear how the United States and China will resolve the tensions that have thrust the world’s two largest economies into conflict.

Both leaders have an incentive to avoid a further escalation of a trade war that has battered companies and consumers on both sides of the Pacific. The global economy is weakening as a result of the trade war, with China and America feeling the effects, putting Mr. Trump’s re-election and Mr. Xi’s popularity at risk. But neither leader wants to be seen as capitulating or agreeing to concessions that could give them less leverage once trade talks resume.

“There are still big substantive issues to resolve,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “I don’t know how you make a deal in the next year and a half that changes the direction of the U.S.-China relationship.”

The United States and China appeared to be on the cusp of a trade agreement in April, only to have negotiations collapse in early May after the Chinese government rejected some of the Trump administration’s demands. Tensions have only escalated since, with both sides ratcheting up tit-for-tat punishment, creating even more issues to resolve.

Mr. Trump raised tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products and has moved forward with preparations to tax another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. The United States has tried to cut off the telecom firm Huawei and other Chinese companies from buying American technological components over national security concerns, hamstringing prominent businesses.

In return, China has put its own higher tariffs in place on goods from the United States and threatened to draw up a blacklist of American companies that it views as “unreliable.”

The Trump administration says China must agree to a previous version of the pact, which would legally enshrine protections for intellectual property and require hundreds of billions of dollars of American products to be purchased every year.

Beijing has insisted that the deal must include lifting the tough American sanctions on Huawei, along with removing all of Mr. Trump’s tariffs and dropping any plans to impose more.

“The U.S. side threatens to implement additional tariffs on China, but it can’t scare the Chinese people at all,” Geng Shuang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a news briefing on Thursday in Beijing.

Even if Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi are able to strike a temporary cease-fire that would continue negotiations and forestall more tariffs, the meeting seems unlikely to produce the kind of transformative deal that Mr. Trump once promised.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 27DC-TRADE-01-articleLarge U.S. and China Angle for Trade Truce, but Both Insist the Other Will Back Down Xi Jinping United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) China

President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China in 2017 in Beijing. They will meet at the Group of 20 summit on Saturday in Osaka, Japan.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

China has balked at many of the Trump administration’s requests, including changing its laws surrounding intellectual property and the treatment of data, and curtailing state subsidies to its firms. It has also made little headway in its demands that the Trump administration remove all of its tariffs. On Huawei, Mr. Trump has sent mixed messages, describing the company as a national security threat but also saying that its fate could be determined as part of a trade deal.

The president’s top advisers are also divided, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Officials on the National Security Council, along with officials at the defense and intelligence agencies and Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser, have insisted that Huawei’s punishment not be softened. But economic advisers — including Steven Mnuchin, Jared Kushner, Larry Kudlow and even Robert Lighthizer, the top trade negotiator — say they are wary of the threat from Huawei but believe that some concessions could be made in return for progress on the trade front.

The window for a substantive discussion may be brief. Mr. Xi and Mr. Trump are scheduled to have only a Saturday morning meeting in Osaka, Japan, and not the lengthy dinner they had at the previous Group of 20 summit, last December in Buenos Aires.

At that dinner, Mr. Xi and Mr. Trump reached a narrow, temporary truce in which China agreed to resume buying American soybeans and the United States delayed plans to increase tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of goods.

Similar threats of escalation — to move ahead with tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese goods — hang over the meeting in Osaka. In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said that he would welcome a deal with the Chinese, but that he was ready to proceed with more tariffs if negotiations between the countries did not progress. But he softened the threat by saying he might charge a tax of 10 percent on those goods, rather than 25 percent.

“It’s possible we’re going to make a deal, but I’m also very happy where we are now,” the president said.

Mr. Trump also played down the economic toll his trade war is having on the United States and said China is eager to compromise.

“They want to make a deal more than I do,” he said. “The Chinese economy’s going down the tubes.”

Some of the president’s advisers have warned about the risk of a prolonged trade conflict and have tried to smooth the path to better relations in China in recent weeks.

A speech by Vice President Mike Pence that would have criticized China’s human rights record was twice postponed this month, and the administration has paused an effort to blacklist Chinese companies that are involved in the surveillance and detention of a Chinese Muslim minority.

Some Trump administration officials have floated the idea of a six-month timeline to reach an agreement after the talks, though no consensus has been reached, according to one person familiar with the discussions.

China, too, has tried to increase its leverage. Mr. Xi announced a sudden visit to North Korea last week. Analysts said he could be trying to revive Mr. Trump’s disarmament deal with the North in the hopes of delivering a plan for the next phase of the nuclear negotiations to Mr. Trump when they meet in Osaka.

Mr. Xi arriving Thursday in Japan.CreditKazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Despite the tough statements, there is strong incentive in both countries to get talks back on track. In China, tariffs have piled on to the damaging effects of a sharp but temporary credit crunch last year, further weakening consumer confidence and growth in industrial production. Chinese consumers are seeing spiraling prices for products like pork and fruit. In the United States, the Federal Reserve has cited uncertainty surrounding trade policy as a threat to the economic expansion and a reason it may cut interest rates.

Many American manufacturers and retailers have been critical of the effect of the tariffs. In seven days of hearings that concluded on Tuesday, businesses including toymakers, book publishers and purveyors of fireworks testified that the tariffs would raise their costs and damage the health of their businesses.

American farmers, a key source of support for the president in the 2020 election, have also been hit hard by Chinese retaliation. Farmers are “one of the casualties” of the trade war, Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, told CNN in an interview on Tuesday. “I think a deal can be made, and it may be done quickly,” he said.

Mr. Trump now faces a dilemma of whether it will be better politically to remain tough on China and risk further damage to the American economy from the trade war or whether he should settle for a partial deal that could expose him to criticism of being weak on China.

There is a strong belief in China — both inside and outside the government — that Mr. Trump needs a deal more than Mr. Xi, given the 2020 election.

Andy Mok, a trade specialist at the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing research group that supports government policies, said there was “a hope” in China “that the U.S. will show some flexibility.”

“I think Trump is looking for a win to strengthen his chances in the election, but the trade war is also being understood by more sectors of the United States public,” Mr. Mok said.

On Wednesday, in the first 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate, four of the 10 candidates onstage named China as the greatest geopolitical threat.

“President Trump needs to look strong,” Joel Trachtman, a professor of international law at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

But removing tariffs that have harmed businesses and slowed the economy could also reduce the risk of a recession coming before the presidential election, he added.

“Which force is stronger — the political forces versus the economic forces?” Mr. Trachtman asked. “It’s hard to say.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Biden Comes Under Attack From All Sides in Democratic Debate

MIAMI — Joseph R. Biden Jr. repeatedly found himself on the defensive in the Democratic debate on Thursday over his record as well as his personal views, with the most searing moment of the night, and the primary campaign to date, coming when Senator Kamala Harris confronted him over his comments on working with segregationist senators.

Mr. Biden, the Democratic front-runner participating in his first major debate in seven years, was at times halting and meandering, but also forceful in pushing back on criticism of his record. Those attacks included a call for the 76-year-old former vice president to “pass the torch” to a younger generation, as well as questions about his positions on universal health care and deportation.

But the most dramatic confrontation was not over policy or ideology, but personal history. Peering down the stage to look at Mr. Biden directly, Ms. Harris assailed Mr. Biden for remarks he made earlier month invoking his work in a Senate that included a pair of notorious segregationists. She then went further, recalling that he had also opposed school busing in the 1970s.

“There was a little girl in California who was a part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bussed to school every day,” Ms. Harris said. “And that little girl was me.”

Mr. Biden responded indignantly, calling her attacks “a mischaracterization of my position across the board” — and then returned fire at Ms. Harris, who has faced criticism from the left for her record as a prosecutor in California.

“If we want to have this campaign litigated on who supports civil rights and whether I did or not, I’m happy to do that,” he shot back. “I was a public defender, I didn’t become a prosecutor.”

The exchange was the tensest moment in the first Democratic debates, which were split between Wednesday and Thursday to accommodate the party’s sprawling field. And they illustrated both Mr. Biden’s vulnerability and the urgency his rivals feel to start sowing doubts about his candidacy with Democrats who mostly view him as Barack Obama’s vice president.

At a moment when President Trump has inflamed the country’s racial divisions, the clash also went to the heart of the Democrats’ debate over whom to nominate. Should they put forward a moderate who could appeal to some of the white voters who elected Mr. Trump but who also carries baggage from an earlier political era? Or would they be more likely to win by energizing younger and nonwhite voters with a candidate like Ms. Harris, a California senator whose father is black and mother was of Indian descent?

Ms. Harris’s offensive also represented an effort to jump-start her campaign, which started with great promise in January but which has flagged as she has wrestled with whether to run as a progressive or appeal to her party’s moderate wing. Mr. Biden’s initial advantage in the Democratic contest is attributable in part to his strong backing from African-Americans — votes Ms. Harris needs to win to secure the nomination.

It was not on matters of race alone that Mr. Biden found himself under biting attack. When Mr. Biden delivered a laudatory account of his own skills as a congressional negotiator, boasting that he had coaxed a tax increase out of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, the former vice president earned a swift rebuke from a fellow moderate, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.

“The deal that he talked about, with Mitch McConnell, was a complete victory for the Tea Party,” Mr. Bennet said, arguing that Mr. Biden had made foolish concessions to Republicans on government spending without getting much in return. “That was a great deal for Mitch McConnell. It was a terrible deal for America.”

And without condemning Mr. Biden by name, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, too, rejected his deal-making ethos and called attention to his history of taking more conservative positions on abortion rights — including his past support for a ban on federal funding for abortion, known as the Hyde Amendment. Mr. Biden only renounced his support for the measure earlier this month.

“When the door is closed, negotiations are made, there are conversations about women’s rights and compromises have been made on our backs,” Ms. Gillibrand said. “That’s how we got to Hyde. The how the Hyde Amendment was created — a compromise by leaders of both parties.”

If Mr. Biden spent much of the debate on defense, so at times did the ascendant left wing of the Democratic Party, as a group of moderates led by Mr. Biden raised doubts — and repeatedly expressed something verging on alarm — about Democrats’ embrace of the far-left ideas pioneered by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Mr. Biden rejected Mr. Sanders’s demand for a single-payer health care system and said that seeking to expand coverage more incrementally was the more pragmatic approach. Two lesser known rivals, Mr. Bennet and former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, warned more ominously that Mr. Sanders and others who espouse his ideology could damage the Democratic Party and the country’s economy.

“If we don’t clearly define that we are not socialists,” Mr. Hickenlooper declared, “the Republicans are going to come at us every way they can and call us socialist.”

And Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., raised reservations about creating new universal college tuition benefits, suggesting that could end up providing unneeded financial support to wealthy students.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 27debate-ledeall3-articleLarge Biden Comes Under Attack From All Sides in Democratic Debate United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Sanders, Bernard Primaries and Caucuses Police Brutality, Misconduct and Shootings Miami (Fla) Harris, Kamala D Democratic Party Debates (Political) Buttigieg, Pete (1982- ) Biden, Joseph R Jr

Representative Eric Swalwell of California, right, used his first chance to speak to target Mr. Biden, recalling that the former vice president had once urged Democrats to “pass the torch” to a new generation of leaders.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Yet Mr. Sanders had ample company onstage from Democrats aligned with his vision for health care and much more, including Ms. Harris of California and Ms. Gillibrand, both of whom raised their hands to endorse the replacement of private care with a “Medicare for all” system.

For his part, Mr. Sanders defended his agenda with plain enthusiasm. From his first comments of the night, he said voters were demanding “real change” from their government, and suggested without naming names that opponents like Mr. Biden were offering paltry half-measures.

Americans, Mr. Sanders said, deserved a president who would “stand up and tell the insurance companies and the drug companies that their day is gone, that health care is a human right.”

And capturing the mood of ambition among liberals, Ms. Harris — a progressive running on somewhat more traditional Democratic policies than Mr. Sanders — struck a defiant note early in the debate when moderators asked whether Democrats had a responsibility to detail how they would pay for their plans.

“Where,” Ms. Harris countered, “was that question when the Republicans and Donald Trump passed a tax bill that benefits the top 1 percent and the biggest corporations in this country?”

The forum grew unruly at times as many of the candidates sough to interject comments when they were not called on to speak, creating a din that eventually prompted Ms. Harris to deploy a line she plainly had at the ready.

“America does not want to witness a food fight — they want to know how we’re going to put food on their table,” she said to applause.

To the surprise of exactly no one, President Trump sneaked a look at the Democratic debate in between meetings with world leaders in Osaka, Japan. And to the surprise of exactly no one, he professed not to be impressed.

[Sign up for our politics newsletter and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

Mr. Trump evidently passed a television set just before joining Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany. “All Democrats just raised their hands for giving millions of illegal aliens unlimited health care,” he (or perhaps an aide) quickly typed out on his Twitter account. “How about taking care of American Citizens first!? That’s the end of that race!”

He then sat with Ms. Merkel and went ahead with the same criticism of Democrats as reporters were invited in the room. “They didn’t discuss what they would do for American citizens,” he said. “That’s not a good thing.”

For Mr. Biden, who leads the field in national and early-state polling, the first debate was as much about reassuring his party’s voters that he is up to the task of serving as commander in chief as it was about firing off a pithy one-liner or demonstrating fluency on any policy matter.

Mr. Biden’s aides have been irritated by the focus of their rivals and the news media on his 35-year record in the Senate, and were hoping Mr. Biden could use the forum to remind primary voters of perhaps his most powerful asset: his service as Mr. Obama’s vice president.

[The latest data and analysis to keep track of who’s leading the race to be the Democratic nominee.]

Having stumbled in some of his public remarks since entering the race in April, Mr. Biden must vindicate his supporters’ claims that he would be the safest bet to defeat Mr. Trump. What alarms some of his supporters is that his garrulousness and pride have also led him to display defensiveness and at times to strain to prove his liberal bona fides on issues they would rather not engage on, especially with lesser known candidates in the race.

Mr. Biden’s supporters were also worried about what might be his biggest vulnerability — his own indiscipline — rather than about any line of attack from another candidate on the stage. But attacks were possible, too. Mr. Sanders has already gone after Mr. Biden for backing a number of free-trade pacts, and some of his advisers were counseling him to do so again on Thursday.

But others took the opportunity first. Representative Eric Swalwell of California used his first chance to speak to target Mr. Biden, recalling that he had once urged Democrats to “pass the torch” to a new generation of leaders. Mr. Biden began chuckling before Mr. Swalwell finished his critique and eventually said: “I’m still holding on to that torch.”

Two other low-profile candidates were just as pointed in their critiques of Mr. Sanders.

[We tracked down the 2020 Democrats and asked them the same set of questions. Watch them answer.]

Mr. Hickenlooper called Mr. Sanders’s “Medicare for all” proposal unrealistic. “You can’t expect to eliminate private insurance for 180 million people, many of whom don’t want to give it up,” he said.

Mr. Bennet went even further in targeting Mr. Sanders, noting that he could not even get single-payer coverage passed in his own home state.

“Vermont rejected Medicare for all,” Mr. Bennet said.

Mr. Sanders rejected the attacks, noting that the polls show him faring well in a general election and arguing that the best way to defeat Mr. Trump was to expose his populist rhetoric as hollow — by providing voters with the genuine article.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

U.S. and China Angle for Trade Truce, but Both Insist the Other Will Back Down

WASHINGTON — The fate of a yearlong trade war will reach a pivotal moment this weekend as President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China meet in Japan. But while both leaders appear open to a truce, they have hardened their positions ahead of the talks, leaving it unclear how the United States and China will resolve the tensions that have thrust the world’s two largest economies into conflict.

Both leaders have an incentive to avoid a further escalation of a trade war that has battered companies and consumers on both sides of the Pacific. The global economy is weakening as a result of the trade war, with China and America feeling the effects, putting Mr. Trump’s re-election and Mr. Xi’s popularity at risk. But neither leader wants to be seen as capitulating or agreeing to concessions that could give them less leverage once trade talks resume.

“There are still big substantive issues to resolve,” said Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute. “I don’t know how you make a deal in the next year and a half that changes the direction of the U.S.-China relationship.”

The United States and China appeared to be on the cusp of a trade agreement in April, only to have negotiations collapse in early May after the Chinese government rejected some of the Trump administration’s demands. Tensions have only escalated since, with both sides ratcheting up tit-for-tat punishment, creating even more issues to resolve.

Mr. Trump raised tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products and has moved forward with preparations to tax another $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. The United States has tried to cut off the telecom firm Huawei and other Chinese companies from buying American technological components over national security concerns, hamstringing prominent businesses.

In return, China has put its own higher tariffs in place on goods from the United States and threatened to draw up a blacklist of American companies that it views as “unreliable.”

The Trump administration says China must agree to a previous version of the pact, which would legally enshrine protections for intellectual property and require hundreds of billions of dollars of American products to be purchased every year.

Beijing has insisted that the deal must include lifting the tough American sanctions on Huawei, along with removing all of Mr. Trump’s tariffs and dropping any plans to impose more.

“The U.S. side threatens to implement additional tariffs on China, but it can’t scare the Chinese people at all,” Geng Shuang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, said at a news briefing on Thursday in Beijing.

Even if Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi are able to strike a temporary cease-fire that would continue negotiations and forestall more tariffs, the meeting seems unlikely to produce the kind of transformative deal that Mr. Trump once promised.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 27DC-TRADE-01-articleLarge U.S. and China Angle for Trade Truce, but Both Insist the Other Will Back Down Xi Jinping United States Politics and Government United States Economy Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 International Trade and World Market Customs (Tariff) China

President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China in 2017 in Beijing. They will meet at the Group of 20 summit on Saturday in Osaka, Japan.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

China has balked at many of the Trump administration’s requests, including changing its laws surrounding intellectual property and the treatment of data, and curtailing state subsidies to its firms. It has also made little headway in its demands that the Trump administration remove all of its tariffs. On Huawei, Mr. Trump has sent mixed messages, describing the company as a national security threat but also saying that its fate could be determined as part of a trade deal.

The president’s top advisers are also divided, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Officials on the National Security Council, along with officials at the defense and intelligence agencies and Peter Navarro, a top trade adviser, have insisted that Huawei’s punishment not be softened. But economic advisers — including Steven Mnuchin, Jared Kushner, Larry Kudlow and even Robert Lighthizer, the top trade negotiator — say they are wary of the threat from Huawei but believe that some concessions could be made in return for progress on the trade front.

The window for a substantive discussion may be brief. Mr. Xi and Mr. Trump are scheduled to have only a Saturday morning meeting in Osaka, Japan, and not the lengthy dinner they had at the previous Group of 20 summit, last December in Buenos Aires.

At that dinner, Mr. Xi and Mr. Trump reached a narrow, temporary truce in which China agreed to resume buying American soybeans and the United States delayed plans to increase tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion worth of goods.

Similar threats of escalation — to move ahead with tariffs on a further $300 billion worth of Chinese goods — hang over the meeting in Osaka. In an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Trump said that he would welcome a deal with the Chinese, but that he was ready to proceed with more tariffs if negotiations between the countries did not progress. But he softened the threat by saying he might charge a tax of 10 percent on those goods, rather than 25 percent.

“It’s possible we’re going to make a deal, but I’m also very happy where we are now,” the president said.

Mr. Trump also played down the economic toll his trade war is having on the United States and said China is eager to compromise.

“They want to make a deal more than I do,” he said. “The Chinese economy’s going down the tubes.”

Some of the president’s advisers have warned about the risk of a prolonged trade conflict and have tried to smooth the path to better relations in China in recent weeks.

A speech by Vice President Mike Pence that would have criticized China’s human rights record was twice postponed this month, and the administration has paused an effort to blacklist Chinese companies that are involved in the surveillance and detention of a Chinese Muslim minority.

Some Trump administration officials have floated the idea of a six-month timeline to reach an agreement after the talks, though no consensus has been reached, according to one person familiar with the discussions.

China, too, has tried to increase its leverage. Mr. Xi announced a sudden visit to North Korea last week. Analysts said he could be trying to revive Mr. Trump’s disarmament deal with the North in the hopes of delivering a plan for the next phase of the nuclear negotiations to Mr. Trump when they meet in Osaka.

Mr. Xi arriving Thursday in Japan.CreditKazuhiro Nogi/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Despite the tough statements, there is strong incentive in both countries to get talks back on track. In China, tariffs have piled on to the damaging effects of a sharp but temporary credit crunch last year, further weakening consumer confidence and growth in industrial production. Chinese consumers are seeing spiraling prices for products like pork and fruit. In the United States, the Federal Reserve has cited uncertainty surrounding trade policy as a threat to the economic expansion and a reason it may cut interest rates.

Many American manufacturers and retailers have been critical of the effect of the tariffs. In seven days of hearings that concluded on Tuesday, businesses including toymakers, book publishers and purveyors of fireworks testified that the tariffs would raise their costs and damage the health of their businesses.

American farmers, a key source of support for the president in the 2020 election, have also been hit hard by Chinese retaliation. Farmers are “one of the casualties” of the trade war, Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, told CNN in an interview on Tuesday. “I think a deal can be made, and it may be done quickly,” he said.

Mr. Trump now faces a dilemma of whether it will be better politically to remain tough on China and risk further damage to the American economy from the trade war or whether he should settle for a partial deal that could expose him to criticism of being weak on China.

There is a strong belief in China — both inside and outside the government — that Mr. Trump needs a deal more than Mr. Xi, given the 2020 election.

Andy Mok, a trade specialist at the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing research group that supports government policies, said there was “a hope” in China “that the U.S. will show some flexibility.”

“I think Trump is looking for a win to strengthen his chances in the election, but the trade war is also being understood by more sectors of the United States public,” Mr. Mok said.

On Wednesday, in the first 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate, four of the 10 candidates onstage named China as the greatest geopolitical threat.

“President Trump needs to look strong,” Joel Trachtman, a professor of international law at Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

But removing tariffs that have harmed businesses and slowed the economy could also reduce the risk of a recession coming before the presidential election, he added.

“Which force is stronger — the political forces versus the economic forces?” Mr. Trachtman asked. “It’s hard to say.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Michigan Republicans Tune In to Democratic Debate. No Conversions Reported.

PORTAGE, Mich. — Not everyone watching Wednesday’s Democratic debate was looking for a hero.

In a windowless room in southwest Michigan, a political man cave with a signed picture of Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, a flat-screen TV was tuned to an unfamiliar destination, MSNBC. A dozen activists with the Republican Party of Kalamazoo County, sat down over pizza and locally brewed Two Hearted Ale to scout the opposition.

After two hours, they got up still confirmed Republicans, but impressed and perhaps wary of some of the competition.

[We tracked down the 2020 Democrats and asked them the same set of questions. Watch them answer.]

“I think Trump wins Michigan again, but it’s going to be tight,” said David Eyke, the chairman of the county party.

Tony Dugal, a commercial photographer, called Senator Elizabeth Warren, the highest polling Democrat on stage, “the most legitimate threat to Trump’s re-election from what I see at this point,” adding, “She’s not afraid to confront the issues.”

But Sam Nelson, a political science student who has worked on local campaigns, disagreed. “If they nominate a radical socialist, I think he has a really good chance to win again,” he said of President Trump.

And Tony Lorentz, an auctioneer, who was the closest to the kind of Trump supporter that journalists tend to find at diner counters, mocked Democrats’ promised programs for tuition-free college and “Medicare for all.”

“Free, free,” he said. “What happens when they run out of free?”

As Ms. Warren attacked the concentration of wealth in a few hands, arguing, “that is corruption pure and simple,” one of the Republican debate-watchers said, “Holy cow, that’s strong language.”

“I don’t know, we have the lowest black unemployment,’’ Mr. Nelson responded to Ms. Warren.

There were few zingers from candidates on stage in Miami, but the Republican debate-watchers aimed a few of their own at the TV. When Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York said there was plenty of money in America, “it’s just in the wrong hands,” Mr. Lorentz shot back, “It’s in the hands of the people that work for it.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157065963_99510946-4ad9-4ef5-ae8c-2f967ca978bb-articleLarge Michigan Republicans Tune In to Democratic Debate. No Conversions Reported. United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 KALAMAZOO, Mich. Democratic Party Debates (Political)

The Democratic presidential debate played at the Kalamazoo County G.O.P. headquarters. The debate-watchers weren’t swayed, but they were impressed by some of the competition.CreditMark Felix for The New York Times

[The latest data and analysis to keep track of who’s leading the race to be the Democratic nominee.]

And as Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota discussed criminal justice reform, one man said, “I’m not feeling it, Amy.”

(The dozen men insisted that the Republican Party of Kalamazoo included women, too, but none had answered a last-minute callout to attend).

Mostly, it was a respectful and interested audience, ages 21 to 75, with professions from student to lawyer to retired police officer.

Although some had anticipated an evening of Trump bashing, the president’s name was infrequently mentioned from the stage. When it was, the men quickly came to his defense.

There were swift objections when former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas said the president “has made us weaker as a country.”

“We’re way stronger,” Mr. Nelson said dismissively.

“At least Trump’s trying to get all these allies to pay their fair share,” said Raymond Shoup, a financial adviser. “They’ve gotten to grow free for all those years under our protection.”

On foreign affairs, the subject of withdrawal from Afghanistan sharply divided the two sitting members of Congress in the debate, Tim Ryan of Ohio and Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, and it also divided the debate-watchers. Ms. Gabbard, a veteran of the war in Iraq, cited two Americans killed that day in Afghanistan to argue for withdrawal.

“You’re insulting their sacrifice,” Mr. Lorentz said.

“She’s absolutely right,” countered Evan Oudekerk, a 21-year-old student.

“Evan’s a liberal on this issue,’’ someone said.

Mr. Oudekerk, who is chairman of the Western Michigan University College Republicans, said he had been a Rand Paul supporter in 2016. “The best thing about Trump is his America First policy,” he said.

Ms. Gabbard turned out to be the discovery of the night for the Republican crowd, with several praising her for clear and forceful answers.

“Wow, she cuts right through,” Mr. Eyke said when the congresswoman said she wanted to ensure “no sick American goes without getting the care they need, regardless of how much or little money they have in their pocket.”

The amount of Spanish spoken during the debate, by three fluent candidates, seemed to make some in the room uneasy.

“Speak the King’s English,” one man said to Mr. O’Rourke at one point.

Another mocked what he considered pandering: “Vote Democratic, he speaks Spanish.”

But Scott McGraw, a former newspaper publisher, turned serious. “Well, the Hispanic vote could make the difference,” he told the room.

“I really feel like we should be able to get more; they line up with our values,” Mr. Dugal said, referring to Hispanic voters. “We’ve just got to figure out a way.” Mr. Trump, he acknowledged, “has work to do” on the issue.

Immigration brought out the strongest opinions, both on stage and at the debate watch.

“Open those borders!” Mr. Lorentz chided at one point, before pivoting to a favorite subject: “And how are you going to pay for it?”

Andrew Smith, 26, watched the Democratic presidential debate with fellow Republicans at their party’s Kalamazoo County headquarters.CreditMark Felix for The New York Times

As Julián Castro, the former housing secretary and former mayor of San Antonio, mentioned the father and young daughter who drowned trying to swim the Rio Grande, and whose bodies appeared on front pages in a heart-wrenching photo, Mr. Eyke, the county chairman, said: “This is a tragedy, I think we all agree. This is a human rights crisis.”

“I’m in favor of DACA myself,” he added when the debate turned to that Obama-era policy offering legal protection for migrants brought to the country as children.

“I’m not,” another man said.

“If you could guarantee DACA didn’t encourage people coming over, I’d be all right with it,” someone else put in.

The conversation veered from the debate to the failed talks between Republicans and Democrats in Washington over border issues.

“Give ’em DACA if they work with us on border security,” Mr. Nelson said. “That would be a good deal. But they don’t work with us.”

“All these Democrats just a month ago said this is a man-made crisis at the border,” he added. “Now they know it’s a crisis, but they’re just blaming Donald Trump.”

“We’re all pro-immigrant,” Mr. Dugal said. “Everyone I’ve talked to wants immigrants to come, we just want them coming legally.”

When Governor Jay Inslee of Washington said he would welcome asylum seekers to his state, Mr. Lorentz shot back: “Well, take ’em all. There’s no problem there. You can have ’em all.”

The men ended the evening saying Democrats had painted an overly dark picture of America to convince voters that the country needed rescuing from the president. Mr. Trump had begun his term speaking of “American carnage,” but in their view, had brought peace and prosperity.

“I think we all think things are going better right now,” Mr. Nelson said.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Supreme Court Leaves Census Question on Citizenship in Doubt

WASHINGTON — In a setback for the Trump administration, the Supreme Court on Thursday sent back to a lower court a case on whether the census should contain a citizenship question, leaving in doubt whether the question would be on the 2020 census.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said the explanation offered by the Trump administration for adding the question — asking whether a person is a citizen — was inadequate. But he left open the possibility that it could provide an adequate answer.

“The reasoned explanation requirement of administrative law, after all, is meant to ensure that agencies offer genuine justifications for important decisions, reasons that can be scrutinized by courts and the interested public,” the chief justice wrote. “Accepting contrived reasons would defeat the purpose of the enterprise. If judicial review is to be more than an empty ritual, it must demand something better than the explanation offered for the action taken in this case.”

The practical impact of the decision was not immediately clear. While the question is barred for now, it is at least possible that the administration will be able to offer adequate justifications for it. But time is short, as the census forms must be printed shortly. The decision was fractured, but the key passage in the chief justice’s majority opinion was joined only by the court’s four-member liberal wing.

[Here’s what you need to know about the debate over adding a citizenship question to the census.]

Government experts predicted that asking the question would cause many immigrants to refuse to participate in the census, leading to an undercount of about 6.5 million people. That could reduce Democratic representation when congressional districts are allocated in 2021 and affect how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal spending are distributed.

The administration’s stated reason for adding the question — to help enforce the Voting Rights Act of 1965 to protect minority voters — has been questioned by three federal judges. Recently discovered evidence from the computer files of a Republican strategist undermined the administration’s rationale and suggested that the true reason for the question was to help “Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.”

The case — United States Department of Commerce v. New York, No. 18-966 — has its roots in the text of the Constitution, which requires an “actual enumeration” every 10 years, with the House to be apportioned based on “the whole number of persons in each state.”

But the government has long used the census to gather information beyond raw population data. In 2020, for instance, the short form that goes to every household will include questions about sex, age, race and Hispanic or Latino origin. Some of those questions may discourage participation, too.

Since 1950, the government has not included a question about citizenship in the forms sent to each household.

The census, the nation’s largest peacetime mobilization, is overseen by the Commerce Department. In March 2018, Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary, announced that he planned to add a citizenship question.

Westlake Legal Group supreme-court-key-cases-2019-promo-1560726705697-articleLarge-v4 Supreme Court Leaves Census Question on Citizenship in Doubt Voting Rights Act (1965) Voter Registration and Requirements United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Supreme Court (US) Ross, Wilbur L Jr Redistricting and Reapportionment Commerce Department census bureau census

The Supreme Court’s Biggest Decisions in 2019

The term’s most important cases will help chart the future of a court in transition.

He acknowledged that it could have “some impact on responses” but said the information sought was “of greater importance than any adverse effect that may result from people violating their legal duty to respond.”

In sworn testimony before Congress, Mr. Ross said he had decided to add the question “solely” in response to a Justice Department request in December 2017 for data to help it enforce the Voting Rights Act. Three federal trial judges have ruled that the evidence in the record demonstrated that Mr. Ross was not being truthful.

He had already decided to add the question, the judges found, and he pressured the Justice Department to supply a rationale.

Documents disclosed in the case showed that Mr. Ross had discussed the citizenship issue early in his tenure with Stephen K. Bannon, the former White House chief strategist and an architect of the Trump administration’s tough immigration policies, and that Mr. Ross had met at Mr. Bannon’s direction with Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state and an opponent of unlawful immigration.

After the justices heard arguments in April, more evidence emerged from the computer files of Thomas Hofeller, a Republican strategist. It suggested that the Trump administration sought to collect citizenship information so that states could draw voting districts by counting only eligible voters rather than all residents, as is the current practice. That would, Mr. Hofeller wrote, “be advantageous to Republicans and non-Hispanic whites.”

Whether such districts are permitted by the Constitution is an open question, as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her 2016 majority opinion in Evenwel v. Abbott.

“We need not and do not resolve whether, as Texas now argues, states may draw districts to equalize voter-eligible population rather than total population,” Justice Ginsburg wrote.

In a supporting brief in that case, former directors of the Census Bureau noted that there were practical obstacles to counting only eligible voters given the available data. But they added that “directly inquiring about citizenship status as part of the short-form census is not a solution to the data problem.”

“Doing so,” they wrote, “would likely exacerbate privacy concerns and lead to inaccurate responses from noncitizens worried about a government record of their immigration status.”

The administration has said that census forms must be printed by June, but the groups said the real deadline is October, leaving time for further legal proceedings.

Even as the justices deliberated, trial judges held hearings to consider what to do about the new evidence. Administration lawyers said the challengers were pressing a conspiracy theory based on “smoke and mirrors,” and they urged the Supreme Court to render a prompt decision.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Two Women Who Heard E. Jean Carroll’s Account of Being Attacked by Trump Go Public

Two women in whom E. Jean Carroll confided about having allegedly been sexually attacked by Donald Trump in the 1990s spoke publicly about it for the first time in an interview excerpted on the New York Times podcast “The Daily,” describing the conflicting advice they gave their friend at the time.

On Wednesday, Megan Twohey, a Times reporter, interviewed Ms. Carroll and the two women, Carol Martin and Lisa Birnbach, who had not been publicly identified until now. It was the first time since the alleged assault that the women had discussed it together.

ImageWestlake Legal Group the-daily-album-art-articleInline-v2 Two Women Who Heard E. Jean Carroll’s Account of Being Attacked by Trump Go Public Twohey, Megan Trump, Donald J The Daily (Radio Program) Sex Crimes Carroll, E Jean #MeToo Movement

Listen to ‘The Daily’: Corroborating E. Jean Carroll

Ms. Carroll and the two women who corroborated her sexual assault allegations against President Trump go on the record with Megan Twohey, a New York Times reporter.

President Trump has forcefully denied the accusation, saying Ms. Carroll was “lying,” that he didn’t know her and that he wouldn’t have assaulted her because “she’s not my type.”

Portions of the interview were played Thursday on “The Daily,” and a fuller article about Ms. Carroll by Ms. Twohey, Jessica Bennett and Alexandra Alter will follow later in the day. For now, here are the main takeaways from the interview:

■ The two women in whom Ms. Carroll confided were well-known figures in the ’90s world of New York media. Ms. Martin was a news anchor on WCBS-TV in New York from 1975 to 1995. Ms. Birnbach is a writer best known for “The Official Preppy Handbook,” a best seller released in 1981. She has occasionally written for The Times.

Both knew or had met Mr. Trump during that period: Ms. Birnbach had recently interviewed him at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Palm Beach, Fla., while Ms. Martin had met him at her news station and had a friend who briefly dated him.

■ When Ms. Carroll told the two women about the alleged attack, they had very different reactions: Ms. Birnbach said she told Ms. Carroll to call the police, while Ms. Martin told Ms. Carroll not to talk about it because Mr. Trump was too powerful. Ultimately, Ms. Carroll, thinking she was partially to blame for the encounter, remained silent about it for decades.

“I said: Don’t tell anybody. I wouldn’t tell anybody this,” Ms. Martin said.

■ Ms. Carroll eventually stopped believing that what happened to her was her fault, but she does not want to consider herself a victim and does not describe the incident as a rape.

“Every woman gets to choose her word,” she said. “Every woman gets to choose how she describes it. This is my way of saying it. This is my word. My word is fight. My word is not the victim word.”

“I have not been raped,” she continued. “Something has not been done to me. I fought.”

■ Ms. Carroll said she originally intended to write a book about touring the country and cheekily asking women if they’d be better off without men. Then accusations against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein ignited the #MeToo movement, and she realized she needed to reckon with her own experiences. The book morphed to include an account of her own encounters with men, including Mr. Trump.

■ Ms. Carroll said she had no expectation that telling her story would have an impact. At 75 years old, she has come not to expect such stories to come to anything.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Democrats Diverge on Economy and Immigration in First Debate

MIAMI — Democratic presidential candidates leveled a stark critique of President Trump’s immigration policies and the condition of the American working class in the first primary debate on Wednesday, but split in unmistakable terms over just how aggressively the next president should seek to transform the country along more liberal lines.

The strength of the party’s progressive wing was on vivid display in South Florida, starting in the first minutes of the debate when Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts branded the federal government as thoroughly corrupt. Ms. Warren, the highest-polling candidate onstage, called for the government to bring to heel oil companies and pharmaceutical companies, and embraced the replacement of private health insurance with single-payer care.

“We need to make structural change in our government, in our economy and in our country,” Ms. Warren said, setting the tone for the handful of populists in the debate.

Joining Ms. Warren in driving hard from the left were two lesser known candidates — Julián Castro, the former housing secretary, and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York — who sought to jump-start their campaigns by confronting rivals who hesitated to match their progressive demands on immigration, health care and national security policy.

The debate, the first of two featuring 10 candidates each, underscored just how sharply Democrats have veered in a liberal direction since Mr. Trump’s election. On issues ranging from immigration and health care to gun control and foreign policy, they demonstrated that they were far more uneasy about being perceived as insufficiently progressive by primary voters than about inviting Republican attacks in the general election.

But there were also several avowed pragmatists who voiced hesitation or outright disagreement over some of their party’s most ambitious policy demands. Most prominent among them was Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who expressed doubts about liberal plans for single-payer health care and free college education; she instead called for more modest alternatives like the creation of an optional government-backed health insurance plan.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_157062276_37382372-112e-4f4c-bf97-ee21c3b955d2-articleLarge Democrats Diverge on Economy and Immigration in First Debate Warren, Elizabeth United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Sanders, Bernard Presidential Election of 2020 Miami (Fla) Democratic Party democratic national committee Debates (Political) Booker, Cory A Biden, Joseph R Jr

The debate on Wednesday featured three of the female candidates in the 2020 presidential race: from left, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. Three other female candidates will participate in the debate on Thursday.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“It’s a bold approach, it’s something that Barack Obama wanted to do,” Ms. Klobuchar said, linking her more moderate views to those of one of the most popular Democrats in the country. She added, of a single-payer bill written by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont: “I am just simply concerned about kicking half of America off of their health insurance in four years.”

Though Ms. Warren and Ms. Klobuchar did not engage the other by name, Ms. Warren drew loud applause by retorting that politicians who suggest “Medicare for all” is impractical are really telling Americans “they just won’t fight for it.”

Other candidates tried to chart a middle path between those poles on health care, with Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey saying that he supported single-payer care but would embrace more incremental options as well. “We have to do the things, immediately, that are going to provide better care,” he said.

[Sign up for our politics newsletter and join the conversation around the 2020 presidential race.]

At times the forum became a free-for-all of cross talk among candidates desperate to wedge their personalities and signature ideas into brief snippets of television airtime. But even the disagreements were squarely over matters of policy substance: There were no personal attacks or criticisms of character, and nothing resembling the Trump-style personal taunts that came to define the last crowded presidential primary, waged among Republicans in 2016.

There were Democrats boasting about their executive résumés — Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington trumpeted the laws he had personally enacted, on matters like health care and abortion rights — and those who focused on sharing aspects of their personal biographies. Ms. Klobuchar, for instance, spoke of her father who attended community college.

Perhaps mindful of the debate’s South Florida venue, several took pains to flaunt their Spanish-language skills, particularly when it came time to discuss immigration. Among those were Mr. Booker, Mr. Castro and former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas.

“The situation now is unacceptable,” Mr. Booker said in Spanish, of the crisis unfolding on the Mexican border. “This president has attacked, he has demonized immigrants. I am going to change this.”

Julián Castro, left, with Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. Mr. Castro dominated the segment devoted to immigration, promoting his proposal to decriminalize illegal immigration.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

After drawing little notice initially, Mr. Booker offered a series of commanding answers in the second hour of the two-hour debate on issues such as guns and L.G.B.T. rights, and he repeatedly highlighted his residency in heavily black Newark.

Mr. Booker is one of two African-Americans in the debate field, along with Senator Kamala Harris of California, who will appear on Thursday. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. enjoys an early lead in the polls thanks in part to his support among black voters.

Mr. Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, dominated the segment devoted to immigration, promoting his proposal to decriminalize illegal immigration — a policy that Ms. Warren has adopted in recent days and that Republicans have gleefully highlighted to argue that Democrats support open borders.

Turning to Mr. O’Rourke, whose unsuccessful 2018 Senate bid and presidential candidacy have overshadowed him, Mr. Castro asked his fellow Texan why he would not support making illegal immigration a civil offense.

“I just think it’s a mistake, Beto,” said Mr. Castro.

Mr. O’Rourke noted that he had introduced legislation in Congress to decriminalize “those seeking asylum” and said that he had unveiled a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

[The latest data and analysis to keep track of who’s leading the race to be the Democratic nominee.]

But Mr. Castro interjected that it was not sufficient to relieve only those seeking asylum from criminal penalty, because many of those charged for crossing the border illegally are “undocumented immigrants.”

Mr. Booker made clear that he sided with Mr. Castro on the question, an illustration of the party’s shifting center of gravity on perhaps the dominant issue of the Trump era.

While the candidates looking to break out were most eager to confront others onstage, the better-known and better-financed contenders were less eager to duel with one another.

When the debate turned to tech companies, Mr. Booker stopped short of endorsing Ms. Warren’s call to break up the biggest firms, like Facebook and Google, while saying it was clear that the economy “is not working for average Americans.”

When Mr. Booker was reminded that he had attacked Ms. Warren this year for naming some of the corporations she would break up, he retreated. “I don’t think we disagree,” he said, adding that he also felt strongly about “the need to check corporate consolidation.”

Mr. O’Rourke also declined to hit back when he found himself under attack, first by Mr. de Blasio and then by Mr. Castro.

When the moderators asked the 10 candidates which of them would support eliminating private health insurance as part of a single-payer health care plan, only Ms. Warren and Mr. de Blasio raised their hands.

“How can you defend a system that’s not working?” Mr. de Blasio demanded of Mr. O’Rourke.

Ms. Klobuchar was the most firm in staking her claim to moderate terrain and also got off a handful of one-liners that drew applause and laughs.

[We tracked down the 2020 Democrats and asked them the same set of questions. Watch them answer.]

When Mr. Inslee boasted about his record in support of abortion rights, Ms. Klobuchar noted the gender diversity of the candidates.

Two lesser known House lawmakers, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, right, and Tim Ryan of Ohio, second from left, clashed over how aggressively to target the Taliban.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“I want to say there’s three women up here who have fought pretty hard for a woman’s right to choose,” she said.

And she scorched Mr. Trump for his erratic posts on Twitter. “I don’t think we should conduct foreign policy in our bathrobe at 5 in the morning,” she said.

There was little discussion of foreign policy until near the end of the debate when two little-known House lawmakers, Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Tim Ryan of Ohio, clashed over how aggressively to target the Taliban.

Mr. Ryan also used his limited time to challenge his own party. “We are not connecting to the working-class people in the very states that I represent in the industrial Midwest,” he said, scorning Democrats “Ivy League” attitude.

Mr. de Blasio was the most aggressive candidate when it came to confronting his rivals. But it was unclear if the New York mayor, who polls indicate is disliked by those Democrats who have heard him, would reap the benefit from his carrying the liberal banner.

Ms. Warren’s repeated denunciations of economic elites and Washington’s governing class won repeated ovations. But her unabashed willingness to terminate private health care, a question she had evaded in the past, alarmed some members of her own party who fear that embracing a single-payer system would hand Republicans a political weapon in a country where nearly 60 percent of people are on private plans.

Ms. Warren was less precise when she asked how she would push through her agenda if Republicans still control the Senate in 2021. And while she never mentioned her rivals by name, it was clear Ms. Warren is building a case for why Democrats should reject Mr. Biden’s consensus-oriented politics.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York, left, and Mr. Ryan both challenged their own party during the debate.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

For the most part, though, the contenders trumpeted their own proposals and résumés while training their fire on Mr. Trump and Republican economic policies, which they said were favoring the wealthy.

“He says wind turbines cause cancer, we know they cause jobs,” Mr. Inslee said.

The debate came at a moment when party activists were unified on the urgency of ejecting Mr. Trump from the White House but deeply divided over the best approach.

Dating to the day after Mr. Trump’s inauguration, when millions of women marched in American cities, Democratic contempt for the president has produced a supercharged liberal activism — and prompted a new level of engagement culminating in last year’s elections, which saw the largest turnout for a midterm campaign in a half-century.

This energy has carried over into 2019, as many of the Democratic hopefuls have attracted unusually large crowds at early rallies and forums, large numbers of small-dollar donors and hundreds of volunteers who are already following every dip and rise in the race.

And for many of the party’s primary voters, the back-to-back debates represented their first extended look at the Democrats’ historically large, and diverse, field.

So far, the race has been chiefly defined by a central question: Should Democrats rally behind Mr. Biden, a moderate who is the field’s best-known candidate, or find a more progressive alternative? While Mr. Biden has proved to be resilient in the polls since entering the race in April, he is a fragile front-runner and has already seen his advantage ebb in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Mr. Sanders has retained much of the grass-roots and financial network that powered him to unexpected success in the 2016 Democratic race, but he has struggled to expand his appeal beyond his committed supporters.

That is in part because the party’s left flank now has a wealth of alternatives, including Ms. Warren, who has recently surged in a number of surveys after months of laying out a series of ambitious policy proposals.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com