Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer to the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, Brewer and Leahy analyzed the cozy relationship between presidential candidate Joe Biden and China and discussed some of the unfair advantages the country receives by partnering with governmental agencies and Wall Street banks.
(Senator Tom Cotton clip plays)
Leahy: That’s Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas. I like that guy. A month ago, Clint, he was sitting in the same seat you are in this studio and delivering a similar message. I think China is a real albatross around the neck of the campaign for Joe Biden. And Tom Cotton is driving that home. What do you think?
Brewer: I think China has been and will be, the central issue for America for the next 50 years. It really already has been for the last 20 years, we just haven’t recognized it and talked about it.
Leahy: That’s a very good point.
Brewer: I think that this election, for all of the ranker and the divisiveness and you can’t say there is not in America right now. There is. I think one of the positives about it is we are very frankly and openly talking about China. And we’ve not done that.
Now when the Soviet Union was our biggest issue from a defense standpoint, political standpoint, geopolitical standpoint, and economic standpoint, we talked about that very openly. We recognized there was a Cold War. With China, we haven’t done that. And really this election cycle, and to some extent in the last four years with the president, we have more nakedly and openly discussed the issue of China than we ever have before.
And I think I’ve said it before on this show, I think that part of the president’s path to victory is to help Americans understand that getting that relationship right is the biggest challenge we have as a country from a macro-economic standpoint. And from a national defense standpoint.
Leahy: Well, the other thing that I find interesting and how you might respond to this. I think Joe Biden is utterly compromised by China in every way. Especially with Hunter Biden’s involvement in that big hedge fund. There was a report by Just the News that he was involved in a hedge fund and bought a Michigan company and shut that company down and shipped all that production to China. That was a story last week. These stories are not really getting a lot of that coverage in the mainstream media. Why is that do you think?
Brewer: I think they are complicated stories. The way you just described it, most Americans don’t know what a hedge fund is. Let’s be honest right? They are complex stories. It’s kind of like a lot of coverage that happened during the Clinton era. Some of their financial dealings and their ties to interesting people in Arkansas were a little thick for people to report.
Leahy: A little bit.
Brewer: In order for China to truly become a factor in this election, the President’s campaign has got to hone a message and figure out what piece of it resonates with Americans. Or if there is one.
Leahy: Well that’s a question. Do you think the President can make Joe Biden’s compromised relationship with China matter to the general public?
Brewer: Look, what matters to regular people? What matters to regular voters? That’s the question. It’s our health. It’s not disputable that COVID-19 came from China. It’s not disputable that any number of viruses, from the H1N1, Swine Flu, Avian Flu, just keep naming them, have originated there.
They continue to refuse to reign in things. We talked about climate change. And you want to talk about the environment? Let’s talk about wet markets in China. Let’s talk about these markets that harvest wildlife and where these viruses come from. They have just refused culturally to reign that in.
If you can connect people’s health and the awfulness of this pandemic if you can connect that and our economic prosperity and how it’s been harmed by China, and you can make those cases in a way that Americans can get, then it matters to them. Then maybe you can tie Biden to China in a way that’s meaningful at the polls. How many days are left did you say?
Brewer: Unless they’ve already got that in the can, now these are very skilled people that work for both campaigns. And how you make that quick turn and find that silver bullet, I don’t know if it’s there or not.
Leahy: I think it’s a very good point. It’s a very good point. I read these things all the time and say oh my goodness this is awful. I’ll give you an example. In 2013 Biden promoted and had the Obama administration sign a waiver that allows Chinese companies to come into the United States and raise money in our public markets, but not comply with all the SCC reporting requirements.
It was a little obscure waiver. And that’s been on for seven years now. And Joe Biden did it. And the Chinese have come in and raised money here, and then they engage in practices that are in essence anti-American. Here is the other thing that’s interesting about it, all the big Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and that crowd, they love this stuff. There is an initial public offering called Ant Financial that this guy Jack Ma from Alibaba has put together. It’s like a 40 billion public offering.
Goldman Sachs and all the big Wall Street firms are on it. It’s out there, and yet after talking to several folks who are Washington-China policy types, they say this is outrageous because they are going to be able to raise $40 billion and not follow the same rules of reporting that American companies are. Now, that to me seems important. And yet Clint, my question to you is that too obscure?
Brewer: Yeah, that’s pretty obscure. (Leahy laughs) You are talking about Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.
Leahy: And not just Sarbanes-Oxley, regular SCC reporting process.
Brewer: Simple. Yeah, exactly. SCC Edgar system filings that any American can discover on any publicly traded company. That’s hugely problematic. And here are the contradictions. China is technically a communist country, but one that has gone very capitalist in a lot of ways.
Leahy: In some ways, I think it’s sort of a communist fascist almost kind of combo.
Brewer: It’s a very hybrid.
Leahy: The elite controls it. It’s very, very top-down.
Brewer: It is.
Leahy: It’s a crusher of individual freedom and liberty.
Brewer: Many of the ‘companies’ that come out of China have government sponsorship or ownership.
Leahy: In other words, the guys that run the government are getting filthy rich from China.
Brewer: Well they are. The sad part is, you mentioned the Ma. Some of the business people coming out of China are really good business people. The ones that fall, whether they are sponsored by the state system or of the state system, I mean, Alibaba is a really good platform.
It’s not that the truly capitalistic ideas coming from individuals out of China are bad, it’s that they are owned and sponsored by the state. And they just don’t have there the separation between business and government that we have here.
Leahy: Yes. And you know what’s interesting is if you look at the companies that appear to be aligned with China. Large companies that have government protection here like Google, in particular, comes to mind. And it’s a little frightening to me to see this coalition coming together.
Brewer: The thing is, what companies are preparing for is when and if China finally truly opens its markets, right? And I don’t mean its markets to trade in. I mean its economy. China has the largest population on the planet. So it’s the largest base of consumers. If I’m Google, I’m like even if it takes 10 to 20 years, we are going to want to access those consumers.
Leahy: Or the NBA. They genuflect before China.
Leahy: Interestingly enough, LeBron James, the big champion of Black Lives Matter, says nothing about slave labor camps in China and is making millions of dollars from playing in the NBA, which is making money from China.
And Nike has got a deal there. And yet the head of the sheriff’s department in LA said, OK. You’ve come out talking about Black Lives Matter, how about coming out and talking about the sheriff’s deputies that were shot in the face the other day? How about saying a prayer for them? He’s not gotten permission from the guys at the Chinese Communist Party to say anything about that.
Brewer: Yeah. And that’s another thing that Americans don’t really understand, even people like Mr. James who should. China, from a human rights standpoint, is a very complicated place. What we see with things like Alibaba, what people don’t see are the behind the scenes in China with human rights, which is very difficult to understand.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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