President Trump, China, United States discussed on Morning Edition
Rachel Martin and I'm Steve Inskeep good morning president trump famously said that trade wars are easy to win at the moment he is finding it easier to pause the president has repeatedly announced terrace and repeatedly put them off amid fears of further economic damage in a trade war and this week both the US and China are backing off China wave to tear us on some US goods and then president trump delayed terrace against some Chinese goods with that move the president avoids imposing tariffs on October first which is the seventieth anniversary of the people's Republic of China and here's chief economics correspondent Scott Horsley is covering all this got good morning good morning Steve what happened here. the president described his decision last night as a gesture of good will and as you say it follows a similar albeit smaller Pollock branch from the Chinese side earlier in the day the US and China are set to go back to the bargaining table here in Washington sometime in early October we don't have an exact date yet but sometime in the days following that October first date and it might not have been the friendliest start to those talks had the U. S. actually gone through with trump's planned to boost terrace on some two hundred fifty billion dollars worth of Chinese imports so what the president's last night is it he's postponing that terror for increased till October fifteenth so it's still sort of hanging over the talks like a sword but as you as you say we have seen this before where the president threatens terrace and then kind of blinks as the as the talks actually approach not always though sometimes he actually go through with the test through their terrace in effect right now what are the terrorists that the Chinese put off. China agreed to waive terrace on something less than two billion dollars worth of American exports so not a not a really large amount these were mostly things that China needs for its own industrial production things like industrial grease some some some additives to animal food not the really marquee US exports like soybeans in port which is still subject to to big trade restrictions in China thank you nevertheless codes are gone well it it Wall Street it has been eager for any sign of the de escalation in the trade war and so they took China's action yesterday small though it was as a something of a break from we saw another rally on on the market yesterday well Scott you mention that the president described as a gesture of good will honoring the founding of the communist state of China which is is rather interesting and also allowing for these trade talks but are there also concerns the administration about the economic damage that this round of terrace would do. there certainly are warning signs out there I mean in in August we saw the manufacturing sector in the U. S. shrink for the first time in three years and just a few days ago we had a warning from the economic forecasters at Deutsche Bank who said unless there's a de escalation and the trade war we're looking at a likely recession in the U. S. next year now they they're not anticipating recession because they they forecast is a move just like this some backing down by both sides but it's important look at the politics here as well the political geography manufacturing is not a huge part of the US economy is only about eight percent of jobs nationwide but in the counties that Donald Trump one he and twenty sixteen it's it's about twelve percent and in the counties that he won in battleground states manufacturing counts for twenty one percent of the job so that might get the president's attention also when Deutsche Bank says there's a chance of a recession next year of course the president is hyper aware of of that that election being next year there can't be much doubt about that that's right and yet forecasters really aren't looking for some sort of grand agreement here at these October barring talks maybe a smaller deal perhaps some concessions by the Chinese some concessions by the U. S. side an agreement to undo the worst damage of the trade war Scott thanks for your insights you're welcome that's impure Scott Horsley. we told you yesterday about an NPR investigation revealing gross mismanagement and waste at the US prison at Guantanamo bay Cuba that came after former lawyer at the military court filed a federal whistle blower complaint today we tell you about another allegation that same lawyer says he was fired for pursuing settlements to avoid the death penalty for detainees he represented pushing instead for life in prison and pure Sasha Pfeiffer has the story the whistle blower is retired airforce colonel Gerry brown and he became legal adviser to the head of Guantanamo's court in April twenty seventeen ten months later he in his boss were abruptly terminated we were called under false pretenses to meeting the Pentagon and then handed letters with no explanation and our credentials were season we were escorted out of the building brown says he'd been shocked by Guantanamo's lack of progress just one finalized conviction and forty prisoner still there in its cost more than six billion dollars since two thousand two he also says prosecutors are unlikely to win death penalty convictions because so much evidence is tainted by torture if they do get convictions the appeals process could take another fifteen years and cost billions more so brown and his boss Harvey Risch a cough he used to head Guantanamo's court had an idea to save time and money negotiate plea deals with prisoners facing the death penalty including caliche Sheik Muhammad alleged mastermind of the September eleventh terrorist attacks he talked to me from the very beginning about his belief that the commission's had ground more or less to hold and he felt strongly about taking a position to move the cases and get justice for the family members rather than go to trial the inmates would plead guilty and get a life prison sentence that could resolve the court's legal gridlock they haven't been successful they're incredibly expensive wouldn't it be better if we just said they didn't work this time but Klay deals are unacceptable to people who believe that the men behind the almost three. thousand deaths caused by the nine eleven attacks should be executed at a military court hearing NPR attended in July lead prosecutor told the judge that any torture the prisoners were subjected to is quote like a feather to in and feel of what these people are responsible for so prosecutors are insisting on the death penalty. soon after starting settlement talks brown and his boss were fired the Pentagon says they lost their jobs not because they were negotiating with prisoners but for not following proper chain of command and their quote needlessly destructive and divisive manner wish to cough would not comment for this story neither would any current Guantanamo prosecutors or the US office of special counsel were brown filed this complaint but former prosecutor more status would there's a deal to be struck that has some light at the end of the tunnel for the detainee and some finally for the government then thinking we were sitting down having to talk about Davis was one time most chief prosecutor from two thousand five to two thousand seven he says it's become a symbol of human rights violations and since the government says it can keep holding the prisoners even if they're found not guilty he considers settlements a practical alternative otherwise it's just throwing more money after money has already been wasted NPR spoke with the lead lawyers for all six one time to move prisoners facing the death penalty each of them acknowledge the brown in Russia cough had approached them about a plea deal David Nevin was until recently the top attorney for collegiate Muhammad terms of what could accelerate the process if the death penalty came off the table. then with that with that change everything hello yeah we'd be done we've been done a long time ago that is one of numerous defense lawyers who for years have been calling the military commissions legal theater and a show trial because even if they're quit and they won't be released and if they're convicted and sentenced to death the odds are that they will die in prison before they can ever be executed so there is an exercise in futility and you really have to ask yourself is this a wise use of resources what's your answer today I my answer is absolutely not it's an utter waste of time and money the Pentagon says Guantanamo's military court and prison costs three hundred and eighty million dollars a year but several one time the lawyers told NPR that tally is probably an underestimate because it doesn't include resources from other government agencies or service members salaries like the eighteen hundred guards for Guantanamo's forty prisoners what that annual bill does include our government charter flights caring just a few passengers to and from the island hundreds of thousands of dollars of government devices intentionally destroyed each year due to spills of classified information Pentagon funded defense attorneys billing about half a million dollars a year and total legal costs nearly sixty million dollars annually this is ridiculous Cheryl Borman is the lead attorney for one lead but not cash who is accused of helping train some of the nine eleven hijackers we.