What could Donald Trump's views on trade and China could mean for trade-dependent, China-tied Washington state? Seattle Times economy columnist Jon Talton breaks it down.
First, President-elect Donald Trump jumped on the phone with Taiwan’s president, rattling Beijing. Then China swiped an American drone from international waters. This week, Trump named the author of the book “Death by China” his director of trade and industrial policy.
What’s all that mean for Washington? We’re the country’s most trade-dependent state and China is our largest trading partner, worth $29 billion per year.
We ask Seattle Times economy columnist Jon Talton, who says at 3:35, “We are in totally uncharted territory with this president.” Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric has been one of his most consistent themes, Talton says.
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China wants to be taken seriously as a global power, having gone through what it believes was “a century of humiliation at the hands of the West,” Talton says at 9:45. So if the U.S. goes nationalist, China will respond “tit for tat.”
The columnist signs off on a terrifying note at 19:40, reminding us that Seattle is a first-strike nuclear target, with nearby Bangor submarine base, aircraft carriers and Boeing.
At 20:40, we rehash Monday’s wild Electoral College vote. Times politics reporter Jim Brunner was in Olympia to witness four of Washington’s 12 presidential electors go rogue, breaking their pledges to honor the state’s popular vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Three voted instead for former Secretary of State Colin Powell, while one voted for Faith Spotted Eagle, a Native American elder and activist from South Dakota.
The defector electors, who cited Founding Father Alexander Hamilton’s view that they should be a backstop against presidents who are unqualified or unduly influenced by foreign powers, succeeded in making headlines. But they were unsuccessful in denying Trump the White House.
Just two Republican electors joined Washington’s defectors in the effort, leaving Trump with 304 votes. He needed only 270.
Why was Washington such a hotbed? One reason was the lack of love for Clinton among the state’s hardcore Bernie Sanders supporters, Brunner says.
This week’s loser in local politics: The Hamilton electors. The winner: King County’s ballot drop boxes. A majority of voters used them last month.
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