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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
Interview with Hillary Clinton. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired October 15, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:10] FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: This is GPS, the GLOBAL PUBLIC SQUARE. Welcome to all of you in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria.
ZAKARIA: Today Hillary Clinton on a special edition of GPS. On Trump's foreign policy.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Why on earth would we want two nuclear challenges in Iran and North Korea at the same time?
ZAKARIA: On President Putin's vendettas against Hillary Clinton herself and America?
CLINTON: He wants a weak America. He wants an America that is divided from within.
ZAKARIA: On just what cost her the 2016 race.
CLINTON: He was running a reality TV campaign and stoking a lot of anxiety and a lot of fear.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It's going to be a disaster for our country.
ZAKARIA: And her marriage and that time when the whole world was able to watch its worst moments.
CLINTON: And I'm not going to say it was all, you know, rainbows and puppy dogs. It's hard.
ZAKARIA: Also America is making a new push for coal. Why China is going in a whole new direction.
A tale of two countries and two very different strategies.
ZAKARIA: But first, here's my take. When running against Donald Trump Jeb Bush made a prediction about his highly unusual Republican rival. He said Trump was a chaos candidate and that he would become a chaos president. Bush failed badly in the primaries. But that prediction is proving remarkably accurate. In this last week Donald Trump has thrown grenades into the American health care system and the Iranian nuclear deal, exploding the exists frameworks but with no clear replacement or strategy or solution.
In the first months of Trump's presidency, what was most striking was the lack of any actual accomplishments. Various lists have been compiled of the things Trump promised to do on day one of his administration -- label China a currency manipulator, start repealing Obamacare, begin building the wall. He kept only a handful of his promises. Mostly he was talk and not much action.
The world noticed. Last month, among the many insults that Trump volleyed toward North Korea. He sent one China's way. On September 3rd he tweeted that the U.S. was considering stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea. This was obviously a dig at China and a massive threat to the global economic system.
Were America to stop trading with China it would be a seismic event almost certainly producing a global recession.
In the past the Chinese have responded angrily to any such threat from Washington. Always zealous about articulating and defending their national interests. This time they responded by saying nothing. They didn't bother to reply. Beijing seems to have understood, it's Donald Trump. Don't take it too seriously.
Now perhaps sensing that he was increasingly seen as a paper tiger, Trump in recent weeks has become much more assertive. While he has still been unable to accomplish much by way of major policy, despite having majorities in both Houses of Congress, he has become much more aggressive in his rhetoric and executive actions.
On the environment, health care and foreign policy, Trump has decided to act but not in a strategic manner with a new policy carefully thought through, bolstered through consultations with key allies and then comprehensively implemented.
No. Instead it is a series of unilateral actions, speeches, executive orders, that disrupt existing policy without actually replacing it with an alternative framework.
The result in health care will be uncertainty, pain and confusion. Various groups and state governments will go to court. Insurance and health care providers will seek administrative reviews and clarifications. People will find it even harder to plan for the future and bank on having access to health care.
In foreign policy the damage might be even greater. The United States is now blasting an international agreement it is a sworn party to without exiting the agreement. It has taken five shots at an international framework and then yet still within it, sort of. The result is a foreign policy that is not just unpredictable but incoherent.
Trump has now signaled to countries like North Korea never make a deal with America because even if we sign we might still upend the whole arrangement anyway. In his speech on Iran Trump made the bizarre claim that other countries could get hundred-year intervals. Even if this was true, which it isn't, Trump's actions suggest that his at administration cannot even stay the course for a few years, let alone a hundred.
[10:05:05] Donald Trump's national security team, the so-called grownups, have signed on to this contradictory policy toward Iran which is a sad sign perhaps that they value their jobs more than their reputations.
Republicans used to pride themselves in being the party that was serious about foreign policy, committed to conservative values like order, continuity and credibility. Instead they have now as their leader an impetuous, mercurial showman who scorns any such stability. The result is just what Jeb Bush predicted, chaos.
And let's get started.
It has been 342 days since America voted in the 2016 presidential election. Most everybody expected Hillary Clinton to emerge victorious, but although she won the popular vote by a margin of almost three million the electoral college of course went to Donald Trump. And that is what makes one president of America.
As to the former first lady, former senator, former secretary of State and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has done a lot of reflecting in the past and looking forward to the future. Her book "What Happened" is still a month after publication atop the most read and most sold lists on Amazon.
I sat down with her on Wednesday to talk about what happened in the election but also about Trump foreign policy, about Vladimir Putin and his role in the 2016 election, and about something deeply personal, her marriage.
ZAKARIA: Secretary Clinton, a pleasure to have you on.
CLINTON: Thank you very much, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: So Donald Trump says that he wants a new policy toward Iran, that the nuclear deal didn't deal with all the other things that Iran does. Regional behavior, ballistic missiles. And that the whole idea here is to put much more pressure on Iran that the Obama administration policy was a mistake. What do you think of that?
CLINTON: Well, I think it's very dangerous. I think his talk about decertifying compliance against the advice of, I understand from even the people in his own administration as well as many voices on the outside. Sends the wrong message for a number of reasons. First of all it basically says America's word is not good, that even in the absence of evidence that Iran is not complying with the Iran nuclear deal, that this president is going to upend it.
That is bad not just on the merits for this particular situation but it sends the message across the globe that America's word is not good. We have different presidents and this particular president is I think upending the kind of trust and credibility of the United States position and negotiation that is imperative to maintain. Secondly, it once again gives Iran an advantage. If Iran is
complying, which all evidence is, then all of a sudden instead of working to isolate Iran on every issue, we are giving Iran the spotlight, the aggrieved party spotlight. That makes us look foolish and small, and plays right into Iranian hands.
Third point, this nuclear deal was to put a lid on Iran's nuclear program, which it has. That doesn't mean Iran is not engaging in other bad behavior which we always knew. I began the negotiations on the Iran deal. I got the sanctions through the Security Council as Secretary of State. I know that Iran plays a game of aggressiveness and undermining of our interest and the interest in the groin. There's no argument about that.
But my point has been and remains I would much rather deal with Iran's other bad behavior while not worrying at this moment about their nuclear program getting up and going again. And why on earth would we want two nuclear challenges in Iran and North Korea at the same time?
ZAKARIA: What about with that other nuclear power, North Korea? Trump says, look, let's face it. The policies of the last few administrations haven't worked. The North Koreans have raced faster than anyone imagined to obtain a nuclear weapons program, nuclear weapons, ballistic missile, intercontinental missiles. Isn't that fair that the past policy hasn't worked?
CLINTON: Well, I think there's two points to be made. Just because something hasn't worked exactly as you want it doesn't mean your first alternative should be threatening military action.
[10:10:06] It should be learning from what has and hasn't happened in the past, and engaging in an intensive diplomatic effort that lays on the table some of the risks, not only from North Korea's aggressive behavior with nuclear weapons and its development or its efforts to develop ICBMs that can reach American territory.
But it also is important to say, look, we will now have an arms race, a nuclear arms race in East Asia. We will have the Japanese who understandably are worried with missiles flying over them as the North Koreans have done that they can't count on America.
What deeply distressed me like a week, 10 days ago, when we saw him pictures of Secretary Tillerson in Beijing meeting with the Chinese, talking about diplomacy, which is exactly what he should be doing and I certainly applauded him for it. Then we get a tweet from the president basically saying forget about it, Rex. You know, they won't do anything. There is only one answer.
I find that so disturbing because you should not be talking about matters of peace and war and nuclear weapons with tweets and yet we know that is how this president behaves so --
ZAKARIA: Do you think Tillerson should resign?
CLINTON: I don't know the answer to that, because, you know, you have to ask what's next. I mean, at least in the very recent past, he did seem to be trying to do what a secretary of state should do until he was undercut by his president. I'm hoping that didn't stop him and others within our government, both inside the government and maybe, you know, trusted advisers outside the government from continuing direct diplomacy, looking for ways to try to contain.
Diplomacy preventing war, creating some deterrence is slow, hard going difficult work. And you can't have impulsive people or ideological people who basically say well, we're done with you. Well, you know, we're not done with their nuclear, we're not done with their aggressive behavior. You know, you've got North Korean officials saying you've licked the wick of war. You know, they're very dramatic with their rhetoric.
And this is playing in to Kim Jong-un's hands. I mean, the idea that he's going tit-for-that with the American president who is tweeting against him and calling him names? That is catnip to this guy. And what we've done is to build him up. Give him more legitimacy than he deserves to have given how his people are being treated and I think that's a very shortsighted and dangerous root to take.
ZAKARIA: Next on GPS, the Russia question. In 2011, as the Arab Spring was toppling dictators, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged Russians to protest Vladimir Putin's rule. Did Putin decide to mess with her election as payback? I'll ask her.
Don't forget if you miss a show, go to CNN.com/Fareed for a link to my iTune's podcast.
[10:17:49] ZAKARIA: I've got to ask you about another world leader one. Vladimir Putin.
ZAKARIA: You write about him. It seems like there was bad chemistry from the start. You talked about how he would sit in a way that --
ZAKARIA: It was almost disrespectful. You'd call it man spreading.
ZAKARIA: They way he would --
ZAKARIA: And I was wondering whether you've thought about, because you recount the events that we try to highlight in a documentary as well, basically the Arab Spring happens in 2011. He gets nervous about it then the Russian elections are impending, protests, and in December of 2011 you say when asked in Lithuania, you say -- you come out in favor of democracy in Russia, implicitly those protesters.
There are many people who believe that Vladimir Putin decided that you were out to get him. That he -- that you were trying to do a regime change in Moscow and he was going to get you back. And that the election interference was payback for that speech.
CLINTON: Well, the intelligence community has said in its reporting on the Russian interference in our election that Putin has a grudge against me. I was speaking on behalf of free and fair elections and democratic process, and that the Russian people who are going to have an election deserve to have one where their votes were actually counted and to have a competitive political system.
Now I was the messenger on that message. But I think that Putin's campaign against us is much more about American democracy. He has a strong belief that he has spoken about that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a catastrophe in human history. And he really does want to destabilize democracies in Europe, in our country, undermine the Atlantic alliance, undermine NATO, undermine the European Union because he believes that that will then give Russia a real chance to be dominant certainly in Europe and certainly along its borders even as far as Central Asia. And that the United States, which he views as his primary adversary, will be weakened.
[10:20:08] Now I think he was successful in what he did in our election because the more we learn about it the more we understand that highly sophisticated intelligence analysts tried to sow divisiveness within our country. He wants an America that is divided from within, which is really the only way that anybody will ever take us down if we turn on each other.
He was shrewd in his analysis that I would have been much more willing to stand up and speak out as I had as a senator and as a secretary of state. And he had some familiarity, maybe not personally but through proxies with Trump and Trump's mindset which is very positive towards authoritarian behavior.
I think he made a smart bet from his perspective. At this moment he is not getting everything he wants because thankfully we have checks and balances and we have members of Congress who passed sanctions which Trump signed but is not enforcing, to send a clear message that you can't mess in our elections, Vladimir Putin. So he got some of what he was looking for, both with the president who was elected and with the divisiveness that was generated. He hasn't gotten everything but keep an eye on him because he is not done.
ZAKARIA: "What Happened" is the name of Hillary Clinton's book. It was also the question on many people's mind in the days and weeks after November 8th, 2016. I'll ask her whether her campaign misdiagnosed what Americans cared most about. It turned out it wasn't the economy.
[10:26:02] ZAKARIA: In the book you said at one point that one of your campaign advisers pointed out to you that on the bases of the polling it seemed like there are two dominant issues, economics, slow recovery and political gridlock.
And I wondered, you know, you've got a lot in here but you're very carefully and analytically analyze what may have gone wrong. Was the big mistake in a sense that there was a mistake that it wasn't just those two issues? What Trump showed was that there was a series of cultural issues around immigration, race, and that these were very passionately felt by a whole group of people, working class whites, and that in a sense you guys missed that.
CLINTON: You know, Fareed, I talk about that in the book because there's no doubt in my mind that there was economic anxiety which we were prepared to address and I believe we did even though it was hard to break through on the media because we were running a presidential campaign that we thought was aimed at telling people what I would do as president. He was running a reality TV campaign and stoking a lot of anxiety and a lot of fear.
So we had the economic anxiety. And in fact exit polls show, as I relayed in the book, that for people who said the economy was their number one issue, they actually voted for me. But what he did from the very first day of his campaign was to tap into all this cultural anxiety.
ZAKARIA: What should Democrats do to try to deal with the reality that there is this cultural anxiety? Is there -- you know, is there any way to connect with it without succumbing to prejudice?
CLINTON: Well, I have said, and I really believe this that I'm not going to give up on the progress of the last 50 to 60 years in our country. We are a fairer, better nation because we have the Civil Rights Act. Because women's rights were recognized and we both knocked down discrimination and created more doors of opportunity, that we are treating gay people with respect and giving them their equal rights as citizens.
That, you know, when you look at freedom of religion, something that was so critical to our constitution why are we scapegoating Muslims? You know? People who are here in our country making contributions. So my view on this is it's a terrible mistake for Democrats or anybody to walk away from these core values and rights.
We have to stand up for them and we have to do a better job, number one, of explaining to people, you are being snookered. But you know what? The real threat to your future is a government that doesn't care about you and is taking actions that will make your life even harder and is favoring the wealthy beyond anything we've ever, ever seen before.
ZAKARIA: But doesn't it distrust you then that you watch here, you make up that argument, that very cogent argument, and he plays with the NFL controversy? CLINTON: Yes. Yes.
ZAKARIA: Which is purely symbolic.
ZAKARIA: And it's clearly an attempt to, again --
CLINTON: But look at his numbers are shrinking. The people who are still favorably disposed to him are really the hardcore of his base. It may be enough to win a Republican primary. It may be enough to scare Republican members of Congress who worry about getting a Bannon inspired opponent from even the further right, so yes, it has political consequences within the Republican Party, but we have to do a better job of making it really clear that a lot of what he is doing is to distract from the very real impacts of actions he and his government are taking.
They are turning back regulations on equal pay, on overtime pay. That's money out of workers' pockets. They are going after health regulations by opening the door to chemicals and pesticides that the scientific community say "What are you doing? These will affect children's health and other people's well-being."
So we can go down this line -- and we have to do a better job of making it clear what the stakes really are. I can understand why people either didn't take him seriously or said he's not going to really do that when he's president. I said in my concession speech, "Give him a chance." You know, let him be the president for everybody. But I opened the book with my reaction to his inaugural speech, which was dark and divisive, continuing the worst aspects of his campaign.
ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," sexism and misogyny: how women are treated in today's America. Hillary Clinton talks about her experience on the campaign trail.
ZAKARIA: You have a story; you say something in the book which I thought was very interesting when talking about you as a woman. You said that you thought Bill Clinton had a good story to tell about his life.
CLINTON: Right, right.
ZAKARIA: You know, he grew up in these very impoverished circumstances, first person in his family to go to college. You say Obama had a great story to tell, Kenya, Indonesia, all that. And you say your story was OK; it was a nice, you know, middle-class upbringing.
ZAKARIA: But then you say, actually, you had a great story to tell about being a woman.
ZAKARIA: But you say you don't think America is a country, yet, where telling the story of being a pioneer for women's rights would get you universal applause. Why?
CLINTON: Well, because I think sexism and misogyny are endemic in our society. And I do try to take readers on a journey with me. And obviously I use Bill's story and Barack's story to tell how galvanizing, you know, they were. Because people immediately saw this arc of, you know, from, you know, poverty in Hope, Arkansas; you know, from a biracial family in Hawaii, how really impressive and exciting their stories were.
I'm a middle-class girl from the middle of the country. And so I always struggled with, like, OK, so what's my story? And it suddenly dawned on me that I was the beneficiary of these radical changes in, you know, women's rights and opportunities that began in the '60s and continue, and that I could have and maybe should have tried harder to tell that story.
But I quickly add, as you point out, I never thought there would be that receptive an audience. And I think that what's happened since this election may have cracked that open. I hope it has. I hope -- you know, I'm seeing tens of thousands of people on my book tour. And I've now shaken, you know, about 7,000, 8,000 hands in book signings, and spoken to, you know, 10,000 more, and I've got much still to do.
There seems now to be a willingness by more and more women and girls to claim their rights in a very explicit way, not an apologetic way, not like, "Oh, you know, excuse me, let me express my opinion," but, no, "I have an opinion; I want to tell you what that opinion is."
And I'm hoping that, in the book, the chapter on being a woman in politics really does further that discussion. Because I was appalled at the level of sexism, and obviously the behavior of Trump both in the past and during the campaign was kind of Exhibit A of what we're up against.
And there does seem to be a backlash against women speaking out. You see it online as women express an opinion and then are totally deluged. You see it in Silicon Valley. You see it in the media. You see it in a lot of places where women's advancement has gone very far, much further than it certainly seemed at the time when I was coming of age. But there is this pushback now. And I think we need -- and not just women but fathers of daughters and husbands of wives and people who care about fundamental fairness.
And in the book, I say, "Look, you know, 'feminist' seems to be like a word nobody wants to use, but that's because it's not appropriately understood. Feminism is not about women having more rights. It's about women having equal rights in the workplace, in the politics of a society, in the culture, having the right to be yourself and to be able to express that and to have that both appreciated and providing a platform to go as far as your talent and hard work will take you." ZAKARIA: You lost the white women vote. Do you think white women in America voted their race over their gender?
CLINTON: You know, here's what I say in the book. And there's a -- there's a tiny little silver lining, because I just barely won white college-educated women, but I lost, you know, white women overall; won black women by a very large 94 percent, won Latina women by 68 percent. So I won women overall and I lost, you know, white women, predominantly non-college-educated white women.
I do think that gender has not become a political mobilizing factor the way that race has and the way that I think President Obama almost transcended it and was able to, you know, be elected twice. I think that gender is still a challenge in the political arena.
Now, more and more women are running and more and more women are getting elected at various stages in our political process. I say all the time, as I write in the book, the best way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics. And I am -- with a new organization I've started, Onward Together, I am supporting and helping to fund groups that are trying to do just that.
So it's not there yet, and there's a lot of reasons for that. And, honestly, Fareed, as I say in the book, I would have won but for Jim Comey's letter on October 28th. I think, every day that goes by, the evidence of that becomes clearer. And I don't -- I don't blame any woman who hears that, oh, the FBI is opening another investigation into Hillary Clinton, for saying, "Well, oh, I'm not wasting my vote" or "I can't vote for her" or "I'm just not going to vote now." I -- I get that. Because, you know, for women their vote is a very personal commitment. And they want to be sure they're right. And there was unfortunately a lot of noise at the end with the Comey letter and Wikileaks that raised a lot of questions in the minds and hearts of a lot of women.
ZAKARIA: More with Hillary Clinton in just a moment. Is there something she would like to do differently if she had the chance to do it all over again? A very revealing answer, when we come back.
ZAKARIA: I think the most frank and revealing passage in the book, to my mind, at least -- and this must have been hard to write -- was about your marriage with Bill Clinton.
You say, "We had dark days in our marriage. You all know about them -- and please consider for a moment what it would be like for the whole world to know about the worst moments in your relationship. There were times I was deeply unsure about whether our marriage could or should survive. But on those days I asked myself the question that mattered most to me, 'Do I still love him? And can I still be in this marriage without becoming unrecognizable to myself, twisted by anger, resentment or remoteness?' The answers were always yes, so I kept going."
CLINTON: Yes, that's right. ZAKARIA: And you talk about how you want to talk about this only because it might help other people.
ZAKARIA: So my question to you is, what was it that allowed you to come to that conclusion?
Was it that you decided it was worth forgiving the things that happened in the past? Is it possible to forget them? Do they -- do they come up? How do you -- you know...
CLINTON: Well, you know, today is actually our 42nd wedding anniversary. We have been together through our entire adult lives. And I have -- you know, I feel like I have gained so much, learned so much from my relationship with Bill. I've been tested, as you certainly point out. And every marriage is different. I would not in any way tell somebody what they should do in their marriage, faced with disappointment and pain. And I could only do the best job I knew to do to try to come to grips with what the feelings were that I had, were they strong enough to maintain a marriage, to continue our life together, to make our home a welcoming and joyous place?
And I'm not going to say it was all, you know, rainbows and puppy dogs. It's hard. And I think staying in any long marriage is hard, for all kinds of reasons that don't have, you know, an easy formula to look up. And some people -- I've had dear friends who have had problems in their marriage and ended their marriage. I've had dear friends who had problems in their marriage, worked through them and were glad they did. I fall into that second category.
ZAKARIA: Do you feel as though, when you look back on this whole life, is there something you would do differently?
People often look at your -- at your career and say, "Brilliant woman, you know, very well-briefed, but a little too programmed; if she had only been herself more." Do you feel like you wish you had let the real Hillary come out?
CLINTON: You know, I've obviously heard that. And it always, sort of, you know, amuses me, actually, because I think I've been the same person. Now, I will say this and I say it in the book. I mean, I've cared about the same things ever since I was 21 years old. I've cared about kids. I've cared about families. I've cared about health care and women's rights. I've cared about all the same things. I have tried to live my life with integrity and with a sense of purpose to it. And I've been really privileged to serve in a lot of capacities where I thought the work I did made a difference.
Having said that, I admit I was not the most natural politician. You know, stepping out on Daniel Patrick Moynihan's farm when I announced I was running for the Senate back in '99, never thinking I would be in that position, being persuaded I should try it, I was not at all sure it was for me. I'm much -- I'm much easier about doing the job, and being a political figure is much harder for me. So I have had to learn as I went. You know, I loved serving in the Senate. I built great relationships
and even friendships and worked across the aisle to get things done for people. I loved serving in President Obama's Cabinet. And here was my former opponent asking me to be his secretary of state. I left that job with a 69 percent approval rating.
Now, when I get into the political arena, it is absolutely true, given the scars I have from the attacks that I have been, you know, under for so many years, I probably come across as a little too guarded, a little too careful. I talk about, you know, letting my guard down in this book. And I wish that, maybe, I had done more of that because that might have been easier for people to understand. But I am really mission-focused. And that may not be a good fit for the reality TV era of politics we find ourselves in.
And, you know, that's why, you know, I've said, look, I'm going to do everything I can to keep talking about the future, fighting for the future I want, standing up against, you know, policies that I think are bad for America and the world. But I'm -- I'm going to continue to be myself the best I can be.
ZAKARIA: Hillary Clinton, pleasure to have you on.
CLINTON: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Now for something completely different. The Trump administration said this week it's bringing back coal, despite admissions from the coal industry that it will never really come back. And while America is going back to the 19th century, China is moving into the 21st, faster than anyone might have expected. I'll explain.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SCOTT PRUITT, ADMINISTRATOR, EPA: The war on coal is over.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: That was Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, announcing the Trump administration's repeal of the Obama era Clean Power Plan. That policy from the last administration was intended to curb carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. The story ran on the front page of the New York Times, and right under it was another story detailing China's massive new investment in electric cars, part of Beijing's determination to dominate the era of clean energy technology.
It is a tale of two countries and two strategies. The Trump administration has decided to move into a new century, the 19th Century. In 1950 coal accounted for half of all U.S. electricity generation. It is now down to a third. Additionally, massive automation has meant that jobs in the industry are disappearing, down from 176,000 in 1985 to just 50,000 in 2017.
Machines and software are replacing workers in coal mines, just as surely as in other industries. And these trends are unlikely to change, despite Trump's policy shift. The reason is economics. The price of natural gas has plummeted in recent years and its share of U.S. electricity generation has nearly tripled since 1990. Solar costs have also been plummeting.
Coal-fired power plants are one of the nation's leading source of carbon dioxide emissions, and most scientists agree those emissions lead to global warming. And, of course, coal-fired power plants cause terrible air pollution, with all its attendant health problems and costs. That's one of the reasons why China, which suffers over a million deaths a year because of poor air quality, is making huge investments in clean energy.
The country has become one of the world's leading producers of wind turbines and solar panels, with government subsidies enabling its companies to become cost-efficient and global in theirs aspirations.
According to a recent report from the U.N., China invested $78.3 billion in renewable energy in 2016, almost twice as much as the United States. Now Beijing is making a push into electric cars, hoping to dominate what it believes will be the transport industry of the future.
In 2016 China sold more than twice as many electric cars as in the United States, an astonishing catch-up for a country that had almost no such technologies just 10 years ago.
All of this has already translated into jobs, "big-league," as President Trump might say: 3.6 million people are already working in the renewable energy sector in China, compared with 777,000 in the U.S.
Donald Trump has often talked about how China is killing us and how he's tired of hearing about China's enviable growth numbers. He should notice that Beijing is getting its high growth by focusing on the future, the next areas of growth in economics and technology, and ensuring it will be the world's leading producer of clean energy.
Meanwhile, the United States under Donald Trump will be engaged in a futile and quixotic quest to revive the industries of the past. Who do you think will win?
For more on this, go to cnn.com/fareed and read my Washington Post column this week. And thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. I will see you next week.