The Doorstep: Scandales financiers, Trump vs. Biden, et que faire de la Chine ?

25 septembre 2020

Animé par Tatiana Serafin, professeur de journalisme primé, avec Nikolas Gvosdev, chercheur en relations internationales et Carnegie Council Senior Fellow, The Doorstep est un podcast d'actualités internationales innovant qui invite les auditeurs à reconnaître que toutes les nouvelles mondiales sont locales dans un Internet sans frontières. Le premier podcast passe en revue des nouvelles peu connues comme les fuites de fichiers FinCEN et la deuxième vague de COVID-19 qui frappe l'Europe et leur impact sur les citoyens américains ; un aperçu de ce que l'on peut attendre du premier débat présidentiel la semaine prochaine ; et une discussion sur la relation de frenemy entre la Chine et les États-Unis et son impact sur les consommateurs américains, en particulier les utilisateurs de TikTok et de WeChat.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: Welcome to The Doorstep, a new podcast initiative sponsored by the U.S. Global Engagement program (USGE) of Carnegie Council. Its goal is to connect the stories of the day that are happening around the world with the day-to-day issues of you, the listener: How do things that happen in a part of the world or how does the formation of U.S. policy down in Washington connect with your own sense of personal security, prosperity, or just how you go about living your day-to-day lives?

I'm Nikolas Gvosdev. I'm a senior fellow here at Carnegie Council, and I direct the U.S. Global Engagement program, and I am pleased to be one of the co-hosts of this new podcast.

TATIANA SERAFIN: Thank you, Nick.

We are so excited about this podcast and the opportunity to speak to you all about what news is going on in the world that you may not have seen and that affects your daily life. My name is Tatiana Serafin, and I am a professor of journalism at Marymount Manhattan College and also part of the USGE Working Group here at Carnegie Council, and we will be talking to you today about news around the world that you may have missed with all that is going on in the United States today.

We have a big debate coming up next week that we will spend some time talking about in the second part of our podcast. What are we looking for from President Trump and Vice President Biden as we go forward in our daily lives?

We are also framing our podcast each week around a particular part of the world, and this week we take a look at news from Asia and what we need to be looking at from that part of the world.

We start with our first story of the week that I feel has been completely underreported, and that is the drop of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) files, leaked documents coming out to BuzzFeed News and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists that have been published and followed up by lists of dozens of international banks from Deutsche Bank to JPMorgan and their hiding of transactions that included things like money laundering and suspicious activity around the world from drug cartels and the Mafia. Each day there is a new story coming out. However, that news has been superseded by events here in the United States. Yet this impacts every single person because we are all part of the financial institution.

Nick, what do you think of the FinCEN story?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: I think it's a fascinating look at how the international financial system works and how the banking system works. Most people associate a bank with their local brick-and-mortar branch, or perhaps they have an online banking account, where they put money in, it sits there, and they pay bills.

This is pulling the curtain back to say that the major financial institutions are really in the business not of securing the financial networks for the public good, but they're looking at how they can make money, and they're not going to ask too many questions about where that money is coming from. One of the things that struck me was that people were filing compliance reports. The average bank employees were looking at things that were suspicious transactions.

For example, one of the ones that came up was Paul Manafort, who we know for his work in the Trump presidential campaign and his long association with oligarchs and shady political figures in Eastern Europe, particularly in Russia and Ukraine. At various points people were doing their job in the banks and saying, "Something looks suspicious about where these monies are coming from, the amounts, and where they're moving to." It reached the level of decision makers at banks, and it was like: "Forget about it. Thanks for reporting it, and we'll try to stay in very minimum compliance with Treasury Department regulations, but we're not going to call attention to it, and we're not going to do much about it, and we're certainly not going to stop doing business. We're not going to drive away valuable clients."

I think again that says something about the idea that the banks, which in theory are doing things on behalf of the public trust, in the end are going to be motivated by their own bottom lines. It also raises the question that over time, in order to combat this, will we see governments begin to impose stricter and stricter regulations and try to increase the range of compliance where this actually begins to potentially infringe upon people's privacy rights and ultimately some of their freedoms to be able to deposit their funds and spend them as they wish?

We are going to talk a bit about Asia later on, but certainly one of the things that I think many of us in the West or at least in the democratic world are concerned about is watching the development of China's Social Credit score system, where over time every activity that you do in public adds or detracts from your Social Credit score, and that includes what transactions you are doing, what you are buying, who are dealing with, and so on.

My concern from looking at this story is: What does this mean for banks as financial institutions deciding that profit is more important than public security? As you pointed out they have been accepting money from drug dealers, terrorist organizations, groups that are funneling money to terror groups that may be engaged in attacks in different places in the world, and organized crime, but that old adage that "money doesn't smell" is driving them. Governments in reacting to this may begin increasing the levels of security and surveillance where it begins to, over time, have a civil liberties impact.

TATIANA SERAFIN: I think it will be interesting to see. One of the countries, for example, that is called a "higher-risk jurisdiction," even compared to a place like Cyprus, is actually the United Kingdom. That's because the number of UK-registered companies that appears in these suspicious activity reports is over 3,000 companies just in the United Kingdom alone. People might think it's a problem that is not in your backyard, but in fact it is in your backyard, including Deutsche Bank. There is also a book out by David Enrich, Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction, which details some of the decisions that Deutsche Bank made in even providing the current president loans that were suspicious.

This has a reach into the United States, and I think that it should be getting more play here in the United States than it has been. Again, news supersedes some of this information, and sometimes financial information and financial stories are not the stories that get picked up, but they are stories that are also affecting us here, and we need to keep following this FinCEN story.

Some of the banks, now that this has come out, are putting out press releases responding to the story, where they are actually saying: "We have complied with everything the government asked us to do. We're fine." So it will be interesting to see in the following weeks how this story plays out, and we will be following it here at The Doorstep.

We want to move on to another story that I think is also very important as we look at the coronavirus, vaccine development, and how schools and places are reopening. News here in New York City is that the Metropolitan Opera is canceling its entire season. There is no New Year's Eve ball drop in New York City. So what is happening, and why are people being so cautious? I think if we take a look over at Europe we see a second wave hitting Europe in many countries. What do you think of that?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: If we think about the first wave of coronavirus, Europe was the precursor to the United States. Europe, particularly Italy, was harder hit by coronavirus in the early spring, and then it arrived on our shores, and we have been living with the impact since.

I think first that this should remind everyone that there has been all of this talk of a quick return to normalcy, we'll just lock down for a few weeks—or even if in some parts of the United States we never had effective lockdowns to begin with—but that somehow we will go through this for a few weeks and then we're done, and then we can just go back to living in the "before" times. As we talk about 9/11 as a date, we might start talking about March of 2020 as an inflection point where things changed, and there is a before and an after.

What's happening in Europe, I think, is a sense that this virus is resilient. It can recur. In the Northern Hemisphere we are going to be moving into fall and winter, which means that some of the mitigation measures we have depended on of people being outside—outside activities, restaurants being able to close off streets and put tables outside so people can congregate there and have a meal—all that is going to change as the temperatures start to drop, as it gets wetter, and that then calls to this question of a second wave.

One of the things that I think is important that we are going to see—and we are seeing in the European response—is governments extended their one "you get to lock everything down" card. I think increasingly even as the second wave comes through governments in Europe and then in the United States, certainly at the federal level but increasingly at the state and local level, governments are going to be very reluctant to try to return to some of the measures that were enacted in April and May and really begin to shut things down again.

So I think we are going to have to learn how we are going to cope with this and whether that means we accept higher rates of risk, whether it means we accept higher potential that there are going to be at-risk populations that we now are saying are going to have to live with the possibility of getting the virus because the containment measures aren't going to be effective. I don't know, but watching what's happening in Europe suggests that in the absence of a vaccine that works—and even though we have a number of vaccines in trial phases in the United States, in China, in Russia, and in Europe, we don't know if they're going to work, we don't know about side effects, and we don't know how long it will take.

As you said with the cancellations, I think this is beginning to hit home to people. When this first started people said, "Oh, a few weeks of disruption," and now it's summer to fall of 2021, and what does that do to how we live? What does it do to different parts of the economy that have depended on people being able to travel? Even things like a podcast like this—podcasts have been designed in many ways for commuters, something for you to listen to on the train or on the drive to work, but if more people aren't doing that, what does that mean moving forward? So watching the European response is quite indicative that I think we are going to be learning more to accept these higher rates of risk.

TATIANA SERAFIN: That, and I also think it's going to drive protests. We have already seen in London, where the guidance from the government came that for the next six months they want people to work at home, and the protests have already begun. I think this idea of protests around the world for various issues because people have been cooped up, they are getting an outlet for all this energy that has been subdued over the last six or seven months.

I think that's what we're seeing in our next story this week that I feel should be getting a little more attention, the protests in Belarus and the subtle quiet way that Lukashenko swore himself into office under the radar, despite the protests and despite the international world taking a look at what's happening in Belarus as an example of what happens in a place that has an election that is contested and where, then, someone takes over that might have implications for other countries with upcoming elections.

Nick, what do you think?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: That's a great point. When people look at a place like Belarus, before it would be to say: "Well, that's just one of those quirky East European countries we don't know too much about. That's just something that happens in that part of the world."

But no, this is in a way a canary in the coal mine. I think connecting it to what you just said about the wave of protest energy that has been driven by the coronavirus, by the lockdowns, by the frustrations, and by the fact that there is growing frustration around the world in a number of democracies, indicates that governments don't seem to be responsive or effective. This is what has driven the first wave of populist governments, but now populist governments throughout Europe and in other parts of the world have not been that effective in dealing with the coronavirus, and there is this second wave of protests.

I think connecting, to say: "Look, what's happening in Belarus is not something that is only Belarus in terms of, 'Well, that's just something that's happening there.'" It's part of this larger phenomenon of "global frustration" if we can use that as a descriptor.

But what it also means for politics I think is very important in that what happens when an election is contested? It speaks to how strong or how weak are your institutions, how strong or how weak are your political traditions about winning and losing and giving up office and contesting results? If the ballot box isn't the way in which these things are going to be decided, does it become a test of wills in the streets?

What we are seeing in Belarus is that both Lukashenko and his cadres and the opposition are settling in for what is essentially going to be a long-term war of political attrition. Lukashenko says: "I still control at least somewhat the loyalty of security forces, and I control the apparatus of government, so I could swear myself in," but of course as you pointed out he did so secretly, under the radar. Interestingly, no Russian representatives or any foreign representatives were there. It is kind of saying: "Yes, I control the apparatus of government, but I don't really control the streets. I don't control loyalty among the people."

And the opposition is counting on, "Well, if we keep coming out week after week and keep the protests up, at some point do we start peeling away people in the Lukashenko orbit to say this can't go on?"

But you're right. This has implications for other countries, including the United States, where we already have people being primed not to accept election results if their preferred candidate doesn't win. People are already talking about lawyers, about different schemes with regard to the Electoral College, when do you stop counting ballots, and when are ballots invalid?

We have already had this one story, The New York Times reporting that in Pennsylvania the question of what are called "naked ballots," that you send your ballot in but you forgot to enclose the security envelope around it. You're supposed to send your ballot by mail, you close it up, you put it in another envelope, and you send it. Well, are those ballots supposed to count or not? At what point do you stop counting ballots, say, a day after Election Day if the post office hasn't delivered it? A week after, and so on?

But what Belarus shows is that, in this day and age, particularly when you have the tools of social media available to organize and you have frustrations boiling over—going back to your point about coronavirus—and Belarus has had other stolen elections in the past. It's not like this is the first time this has happened. Why was this year different, and is there a link to people being under lockdown, the stress of coronavirus, the stress of the disease, of the pandemic? Did that push people over? Did it also tell people that in this kind of pandemic condition we've got nothing to lose, so we might as well go out and protest?

TATIANA SERAFIN: I think you hit the nail on the head with looking at these protests.

We will move on to Part Two of our discussion, which is, what is ahead for us here in the United States as you tied it into our protests here. We have 40 days until Election Day here in the United States, and we have a whole new wave of protests following the Breonna Taylor decision yesterday around the country. Black Lives Matter is important around the world. Protests have been happening.

It is also Climate Week here in New York City. We should have some activity around that as well, but going out in the streets, physically protesting has become this way for people to have their voice heard, and how is that going to impact where we are next week ahead of the debate? We have our first presidential debate next Tuesday. The anchor, Chris Wallace, has announced some of our topics, and one of the topics, in fact, is race and violence and the protests that have been happening; election integrity, which we have been talking about as well; the pandemic, which we are talking about; and of course, the Trump-Biden records.

I don't know what you think. Do you think foreign policy is going to be part of the Trump-Biden record discussion? We're concerned with this idea of how foreign policy is going to play in this election. If you read the Susan Rice op-ed in The New York Times the other day, I loved what she wrote: "Political polarization is a 'force multiplier' that deepens other threats and cripples our ability to combat them."

What do you think of that statement, and what are you looking ahead for in the debates next week?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: I think that is an important point. In the past when we have talked about foreign policy in elections we tended to think about it in very technical terms and specific issues: What's your position on Israel and the Palestinians? What's your position on border disputes between India and China? Can you name the leader of Uzbekistan? We have gotten used to compartmentalizing that.

But Susan Rice's op-ed—and a point that Ali Wyne made yesterday in a webinar at Carnegie Council on great-power competition—states that the ability of a country to project power, to project influence, and to be able to make a difference in the world, including the United States, depends on its internal domestic health. A country that is turning inward, that is unsure of its role in the world, where there are deep divisions, where there is the possibility for unrest, that becomes a foreign policy issue. Not just for the good of the world, but it is of interest to us as average American citizens that America plays a certain role in the world system, everything from—going back to the banks—maintaining the value of the dollar and maintaining the free flow of goods and services around the world because of what the United States does to keep global commons open. We have already seen the impact of even moderate supply disruptions on Americans' sense of well-being when toilet paper disappeared from stores across the country as people were panic-hoarding at the beginning of the pandemic.

A United States that other countries think of as unreliable or that can disappear from the world scene may be make them less likely to cooperate with us. That may not come up in the debate, but that is a subtext, and I think that when people say, "Why would Susan Rice, who is a former national security advisor, be talking about these domestic questions? Why shouldn't she be talking about the liberal international order is under threat?" it is because she is seeing this doorstep link between what happens at home with what the United States can do in the world. What the United States does in the world, if that is negatively impacted, has negative ramifications for us.

I'm not sure how much foreign policy is going to be formally in the debate. If the debate turns to things like the Green New Deal or environmental programs, there are foreign policy implications there. If the United States chooses to stop domestic production of its oil and gas, there will be a time when—we are not going to be able to transition to new energy sources right away. Does that increase, for example, Russia's and Saudi Arabia's leverage since they stay as hydrocarbon producers?

If the United States decides it's going to turn inward—going back to the Belarus question—if we are saying, "Look, we have to set our own house in order," we may be less likely to be as interested in the fate of pro-democracy movements from Belarus to Hong Kong.

Most likely what I think we are going to see—and this may be something that people are not as primed to think about where we're setting up President Trump and Vice President Biden as polar opposites—is a very interesting piece that Nahal Toosi wrote for Politico this past week saying that there is actually a lot of continuity between the Trump and Biden approaches to foreign policy. Yes, there is a very big difference in tone. Biden is not going to hector allies; he's not going to insult Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron; he's not going to have that kind of crude formulation of, "You better do something for us or you'll be sorry," that almost New York pressure style of: "You have a nice country here. It would be terrible if something bad were to happen to it."

But in many ways there is going to be some continuity. When it comes to China, for instance, Biden is trying, in some ways, to out-hawk Trump in the sense that China is a threat to the United States, the Chinese system is a threat, the Chinese economy, how China does business is a threat, that we are overly dependent for all sorts of vital goods and services whether it's personal protective equipment (PPE) or pharmaceuticals from China, and we need to diversify away from that and produce more at home.

There has been a convergence. Joe Biden is no longer as vocal a defender of free trade as he was when he was in the Obama administration, picking up some of the critiques that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have been making about a fair shake for the American worker. We may find that in some areas they may decide to clash on style at the debate, and Joe Biden will probably make a point that Donald Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin is an issue that should be discussed, but in some other areas there may be more continuity than we are expecting, and I wouldn't expect the debate to bring that out.

TATIANA SERAFIN: We'll see how much foreign policy plays in the debate and revisit that in our next podcast, but you bring up China, which brings us to our region of the week, looking at Asia, and this idea of a new Cold War between the United States and China, not maybe in military and ideological terms as much as in technological and economic terms that you mentioned.

As we are supposed to be celebrating this week the United Nations General Assembly here in New York City and the 75th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations, that ultimate multilateral institution to bring the world together, and instead people are appearing by themselves on screen in prerecorded messages, and it feels very alone here in New York. There is no buzz of activity up on the Upper East Side like there usually is, and we have statements from both President Trump and President Xi Jinping that are very isolationist and very pro-China, pro-U.S., and setting up the world as this duality. I will say that as number one, and the issues that are resulting from that—I do want your input on what's happening with TikTok and WeChat after we discuss this new Cold War, the United States versus China. What do you think about that?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: That's something that I think people should be paying attention to because again someone may say: "Well, this is foreign policy at the Washington level. How does this affect me?"

Well, when you're starting to talk or think in terms of Cold War or great-power rivalry, first of all you can't completely dismiss the military aspects. China is building up its military, it's building up its nuclear force, it's building up its ability to project power and defend its influence. And that means it's building up its ability to raise costs for the United States, certainly in East Asia and South Asia and then increasingly in other parts of the world.

It is a tragedy to think that we could be returning to a period like the original Cold War, where you have nuclear-armed superpowers that, to some extent, rest upon their ability to launch devastating attacks. I think a lot of us hoped that after 1991 we would never be living under the threat of a nuclear war, but here we are. That is a possibility as China continues to build up its nuclear deterrent.

But you're right, the economic and technological competitions are really where this is at. As people begin to consider, do we just trust a global market to source whatever I want and I don't really have to think about where it comes from or who is producing or any of the leverage or strings that may be attached?

I have always really disliked a [Mastercard] ad from last year which was having Camila Cabello walk down I guess somewhere in Brooklyn because it looked Brooklyn, and she is just merrily tapping away on her smartphone, and there are people on the side, sitting on the stoops. The idea is that she is getting goods to these different people—cupcakes, shoes, things like that—and she is just merrily tapping away, and it all appears as if by magic.

I think, first of all: Is that smartphone produced or assembled in China? Is she using Chinese-produced apps? Are those apps collecting data on her and feeding that into Chinese databases? Does it allow them to track what she is doing? But more importantly, there is the question of who is sourcing those goods and services. That might be a nice pair of shoes to double-click order on your smartphone, but are those shoes being made in a factory in China that is using prison or slave labor, and should that matter?

We have in the past said: "Well, global markets will settle this. It doesn't matter. We're all one big market. Globalization will solve all these things." But now we have to think about that. You mentioned the point about people are going back to school, but in a lot of places kids are not going back, or they are going back in a hybrid model. There is the ethical dilemma of: "Do I deny children education by saying, 'Well, we have an order of laptops, but they're coming from China, and we're not sure where they're sourced from, so we can either not purchase the laptops from China, and kids will not get education.' We'll let their education suffer."

Or do we say, "Well, our kids need those Lenovo Chromebooks, and we won't look too hard where the sourcing is from within China." The same thing with PPE.

Have been to your doctor's office or your dentist or anywhere and asked them where did their protective gear came from? If you have a toothache right now, would you be willing to say: "Well, I'm willing to delay getting that tooth taken care of for six months so that I know that my dentist didn't source her PPE products from China"?

TATIANA SERAFIN: I think that brings the issue of global trade directly to our doorstep as we look at how and what our policy is to China and how that impacts the goods that we get. I don't think that we cover that story enough, and hopefully we will see more of these supply chain stories that you mention.

But one of the stories that is impactful for a huge generation of Gen Zers—which represent 30 percent of the global population—is the TikTok/WeChat story, TikTok in particular, which this weekend was supposed to be unavailable, no more updates by the Trump administration threat, and after a last-minute maybe deal that is still up in the air between the Chinese owners and Walmart and Oracle—it's unclear why Walmart is involved in this deal—it's very confusing what is going on.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: Walmart wants the data.

TATIANA SERAFIN: Of course. Everybody wants data.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: If TikTok has developed great ways for the Chinese government to monitor you, then Walmart is salivating at the prospect of getting that data for itself.

TATIANA SERAFIN: Believe me, the TikTok problem caused more people to talk about China and the United States than any issue we have talked about today, Nick. I think that this was people saying: "Wait a minute. This is the way I express myself. What has that got to do with politics? What has that got to do with global trade? This has to do with my self-expression, my First Amendment rights." I think that is part of the lawsuit brought against WeChat being denied here in the United States, this idea that it is my First Amendment right to be able to talk to whoever I want to talk to. You can't deny me this app.

Do you think the government is able to do that?

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: The U.S. government can invoke a national security exemption. That is something also for people to understand. There are lots of national security exemptions that we don't think about but that can be invoked that will impact everything from your freedom of movement to what companies can do. The most famous one in the history books is when President Truman basically marched the heads of U.S. steel companies into the White House and said, "We're going to be nationalizing you for a while because it's a national security emergency."

The stated power is that, yes, the Trump administration has determined that this is a national security threat to the United States to have these apps being used by Americans because of the potential transmission of information to the Chinese government or at least to Chinese entities. Will people follow that?

This is an interesting thing because we're used to this certainly from the Russian side. Russia for years has tried to get Russians to stop using things like Facebook and use domestic social media clones or knockoffs: "Don't use Facebook; use VKontakte. Don't use Google; use Yandex." But this is the first time that the United States government is saying: "We're going to have an American section of the Worldwide Web that we don't want China in." Do Americans want that? Will Americans say no, this is, as you said, a violation of rights, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of commercial choice, and will there be a way to try to change that?

My guess from the legal side is that we already have the precedent with the Dubai ports case in the 2000s, that yes, we can compel the American subsidiaries for TikTok and WeChat to have to break off from their Chinese mother company and be separate. The law probably will favor what the Trump administration is doing.

But as you said, there is also the revolt of the consumers, and what will they do? Also, will there be entrepreneurs saying, "Well, great. Now there's a TikTok-shaped hole in the social media market for me to fill"? We will see how that plays out.

TATIANA SERAFIN: Facebook via Instagram is already experimenting with a TikTok rival. They might actually be happy about this, although to your point we have traditionally in social media dominated the world. Facebook around the world is the one that people brush up against. That is also this maybe change in direction where the United States isn't the one that is developing new social media platforms. Maybe that is going to be spread out more in other countries, and we will see how that pans out.

I want to thank you so much for your time today. This has been such an interesting discussion.

Going back to the fact that the United Nations General Assembly would have been meeting this week, and one of the people who just gave a speech was President Putin, who you mentioned. What did he say? You wrote a very interesting blog post about his idea of what the world should look like, which we will be discussing in the next two weeks when we talk about Europe and its implications on the United States.

NIKOLAS GVOSDEV: This is an interesting point. As you mentioned about the new Cold War between the United States and China, Putin essentially is making a pitch for saying: "Hey, countries in Europe and Africa and Asia, if you don't want to be sucked into a U.S.-China rivalry, why not let Russia take the lead in being the bridge between the two and connecting and mediating between China and the United States? Let's avoid a kind of Cold War."

The real interesting test in the weeks ahead is going to be what the European reaction to this is. Is Europe worried about being sucked into a U.S.-China Cold War, or are Europeans increasingly looking at China as a threat to them? I think that also depends on how the U.S. election turns out. They are more likely to perhaps be open to a Joe Biden-Kamala Harris administration than they would be to a Donald Trump-Mike Pence team in the White House, but we will have to see.

Again, coming back, how does this affect you and me? Over time will we see a situation where Europeans and Americans together say: "We're going to stop sourcing and buying as much as we do from China, and we're going to start buying from each other more, even if it means we're going to have to pay more in terms of the dollar or euro price, but we'll know that we're getting goods from other democracies and other countries with which we share these ties as opposed to overly dependent on China"? That could be a real change in coming years, but some of that is going to depend on bringing it back to this: The ultimate decider is the consumer, and is the consumer willing to pay more?

Some polling we have been doing at the Carnegie Council and that we have been releasing suggests that, at least in principle, members of what we might call the "educated, informed public" are indicating that they would be willing to pay more for goods and services at Walmart or higher-end stores if they knew that it wasn't sourced from China or sourced from countries with human rights problems or environmental issues. But that will be an interesting test as we move forward. Are people willing to buy less but to buy knowing that it comes from a place that isn't exploiting slave labor or doesn't violate environmental standards? That's an interesting question for us to wrap up with.

As you noted, we are in Climate Week. Everyone can hang ribbons and commit to doing that, but ultimately will people be willing to do the pocketbook issues, to put their pocketbooks where their mouths are?

TATIANA SERAFIN: That is definitely an issue that we are going to keep following as the economy keeps struggling to recover from the pandemic.

Thank you so much, Nick. This was such a pleasure.


For our audience out there, the main host of The Doorstep is Tatiana Serafin, so tweet questions to her at @TatianaSerafin or to the Carnegie Council @CarnegieCouncil on Twitter, and we can take your questions and comments and respond to them in future broadcasts.

Vous pouvez aussi aimer

<a href="">Protest against U.S. military attacks on Syria, April 2017</a>. CREDIT: Fibonacci Blue via Wikimedia Commons

5 DÉCEMBRE 2018 - Article

Misconnecting with the U.S. Public : L'effondrement narratif et la politique étrangère des États-Unis

Au cours de l'année écoulée, le programme d'engagement global des États-Unis a concentré son attention sur les forces et les faiblesses persistantes des récits qui peuvent ...