TOWARD A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
President Barack Obama and President Ollanta Humala reaffirmed today their desire to strengthen the U.S.-Peru relationship by further deepening cooperation on economic prosperity and social inclusion; education; science and technology; and citizen security. The two leaders resolved to continue working together on a diversified cooperative agenda to bolster our relationship and ensure it remains strong and relevant to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century
Both Presidents acknowledged the historic relationship between our two nations and reaffirmed their intent to strengthen and deepen it based on shared fundamental values and principles such as democracy, respect for human rights, belief in open markets, and the rule of law.
Both leaders also recognized that the United States and Peru are working to consolidate a strategic partnership for the 21st century that will further enhance security, prosperity and development in the hemisphere.
They also welcomed closer relationships at the state and local level to expand opportunities for mutual cooperation.
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY AND SOCIAL INCLUSION
Underpinning our successful U.S.-Peru economic relationship is the successful implementation of the U.S.-Peru Trade Promotion Agreement, which facilitated nearly $16 billion in bilateral trade in 2012 and supported robust job creation in both countries. The two Presidents noted that in the four years since the Agreement entered into force, the United States and Peru have made it easier for our businesses to trade, further diversified our trading relationship, and continue to work jointly to protect the environment. They reiterated the importance of maintaining regular dialogue on specific proposals for deepening the trading relationship. The two Presidents also reviewed Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations, including at the 17th negotiating Round hosted by Peru in May, and reaffirmed their shared commitment to conclude negotiations this year.
Both Presidents discussed the importance of taking advantage of economic prosperity to also reduce poverty and inequality. In this context, the leaders noted the importance of public-private partnerships and expressed their belief in sustainable and inclusive economic growth.
The United States welcomed Peru to the Small Business Network of the Americas, wherein the United States will support the establishment of small business development centers in Peru to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with training and other job creating services.
The two leaders also highlighted joint efforts to expand internet connectivity to rural areas of Peru, apply science and technology to accelerate development, and provide support to 1,000 small- and medium-sized businesses led by Peruvian women entrepreneurs through the Pathways Access Initiative and ongoing Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas Initiative (WEAmericas). As founding members of the Equal Futures Partnership, Peru and the United States have committed to expand opportunities for women and girls and to promote gender equality across political, economic and social spheres.
The leaders reaffirmed their desire to boost sustainable, inclusive, and balanced growth and job creation; promote productive investment; reform and strengthen the international financial architecture; and enhance multilateral trade. They reiterated their support for a successful ninth WTO Ministerial Meeting, which will take place in December this year in Bali, Indonesia.
The Presidents also highlighted the importance of the "Pacific Alliance," one of the most innovative regional integration initiatives, and underscored its auspicious prospects for deepening trade liberalization and enhancing cooperation between its members.
The two Presidents highlighted education as an increasingly important strategic priority for both countries, focusing particularly on science, technology, innovation, and competitiveness. Recognizing the economic advantages for both countries of increasing contact between Americans and Peruvians, the United States and Peru launched an Education Policy Dialogue to further facilitate information-sharing and best practices, and to promote linkages to President Obama’s 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, as well as Peruvian scholarship initiatives such as “Beca 18” and “Beca Presidente de la República.” Both presidents also welcomed joint efforts to provide high-quality English language training and instruction to Peruvian teachers and students.
Both Presidents recognized the importance of cultural heritage to their respective nations and expressed willingness to continuously strengthen bilateral cooperation to prevent illicit traffic of cultural heritage property and restore it to its country of origin in accordance with bilateral and multilateral agreements to which both countries are party.
SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Both nations resolved to work together to address the impact of global climate change. The two leaders welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that lays out measures to enhance Peru's capacity to design and implement a Low Emissions Development Strategy. Through the design and implementation of such actions, the United States and Peru intend to work together to reduce emissions from Peru’s largest greenhouse gas emission sources.
The two countries also intend promote clean energy and energy security throughout Peru under the auspices of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas, and the “Connecting the Americas 2022” initiative. President Obama and President Humala affirmed their decision to work together toward successful outcomes at the international negotiations on climate change. This cooperation includes working together to building a new international climate regime that is ambitious, effective, and can attract the participation of all parties.
They welcomed strong and deepening cooperation on environmental related science and technology issues between the two nations, including the ongoing collaboration and exchange of experts between the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Instituto del Mar del Perú in the field of maritime matters, and the further establishment of a framework agreement between both institutions.
ENHANCING CITIZEN SECURITY
The two leaders reiterated their shared interest in enhancing citizen security, highlighting the importance of strengthening institutions that build and sustain the rule of law, protect human rights, and improve public security over the long-term.
President Obama applauded Peru’s participation in the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, where Peruvian peacekeeping forces have been continuously deployed since the mission’s establishment in 2004. President Humala welcomed U.S. support for the Peruvian National Police, including educational opportunities and training on enhanced community policing.
Highlighting the threat posed by narcotics trafficking to both countries, President Obama reaffirmed U.S. commitment to partnering with Peru to combat the production and trafficking of illicit narcotics. President Humala welcomed President Obama’s intent to increase counternarcotics and alternative development assistance to Peru by more than $20 million to provide additional support for the implementation of the Government of Peru’s counternarcotics strategy. The two leaders also applauded joint initiatives to: reduce the production of cocaine and further advance an inclusive and sustainable alternative development strategy in coca-growing regions, noting successes with cacao and coffee; investigate and prosecute organized criminal organizations; support Peru’s transition to a new criminal procedure code; and strengthen cooperation to combat money laundering and financial crimes.
The two leaders agreed to develop closer bilateral defense ties, and welcomed the progress made in the negotiations toward a robust new Defense Cooperation Agreement between the United States and Peru intended to address shared security challenges and threats such as drug trafficking, terrorism, proliferation, and natural disasters.
The United States and Peru also welcomed the signature of the Megaports initiative agreement to begin a cooperative effort to detect, deter, and interdict illicit smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive material.
The presidents expressed their mutual commitment to the Open Government Partnership as a means of enhancing transparency, government accountability to citizens, fighting corruption and encouraging citizen participation.
Presidents Obama and Humala will remain in close consultation on these and other issues of mutual interest in order to further the partnership between our nations.
12:16 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I'm very happy to welcome President Humala and his delegation to the Oval Office. We've been able to work together and interact in a wide range of multilateral forums, but this is the first time that I've been able to have the President here in Washington.
Peru is one of our strongest and most reliable partners in the hemisphere. We have a strong commercial and trading relationship. We cooperate on a wide range of security issues, including our counter-narcotics efforts. And we spent most of our discussion focused on how we can further deepen this important bilateral relationship.
I want to congratulate President Humala on being able to sustain strong growth rates in Peru, and his focus on broad-based economic growth that includes all people. As a consequence, Peru has been able to see not only increased growth but also reduced poverty and steps to reduce inequality.
For both the United States and Peru, growth is also dependent on our continued expansion in the global marketplace, and that’s why I'm very glad that Peru and the United States are working so closely together in finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which offers the possibility of opening up markets throughout the Asia Pacific region with high standards and protections for labor and the environment.
We've also agreed to a number of bilateral programs that will strengthen our cooperation. For example, as part of my 100,000 Strong in the Americas program, we're going to deepen education exchange programs between our two countries, and we're also focusing on how we work together to include small businesses and medium-sized businesses in a hemisphere-wide network that allows those businesses to access markets throughout the region.
And we also talked about how we can deepen at a strategic level our work together to continue to combat the scourge of transnational drug networks that have an adverse impact not only in Peru, but throughout the region.
So overall, the state of our relationship is very strong. I think it will become even stronger as a result of some of the initiatives that we have shaped in this meeting. And I'm very glad that President Humala was able to visit us. I also wish the Peruvian soccer team the best of luck this evening. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT HUMALA: (As interpreted.) Thank you very much, President Obama. My visit here is a sign of the strength that we want to carry out in our relationships between the United States and Peru.
We have found in your administration an open environment in which we can build on all the strategic areas so as to strengthen our bonds. I am convinced that under your administration we will substantively and qualitatively fight against the scourge of drugs.
But that has not been the only topic that we have addressed during our talk. We have also discussed about education, training, science, technology, and strengthening the capacities of our young population. We wish to move forward on exchange programs and scholarships not only with the United States, but also with the states of the union, so that way we can provide young people more opportunities.
We have agreed on the importance of building democracy on respecting human rights, on improving economic openness, on working on trade, because this allows us to grow our economies and to develop further. In addition, we have highlighted that Peru is an important trade partner with the United States. We provide economic growth. We have economic trust. We also provide legal stability.
Finally, we have invited President Obama, despite his busy agenda, to visit Peru. I hope he does find the time to come down and visit us.
We would like to thank you for your well wishes for the match this afternoon. The referee is from the U.S. (Laughter.) No, I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. (Laughter.) This is not true. I'm just kidding.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: If it was, hopefully the Peruvian team will be so strong that it doesn't need help from the referee. (Laughter.)
12:33 P.M. EDT
Today, The White House released the Great Gatsby Curve on its Tumblr.
"The Great Gatsby." You’ve probably heard of it -- a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald and now a movie (again) that highlights the inequality and class distinctions in America during the Roaring 20s.
But, unless you’re an economist, you’ve likely never heard of The Great Gatsby Curve, introduced in a speech last year by Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.
So what is it, then? As Chairman Krueger explained in his speech, The Great Gatsby Curve illustrates the connection between concentration of wealth in one generation and the ability of those in the next generation to move up the economic ladder compared to their parents.
The curve shows that children from poor families are less likely to improve their economic status as adults in countries where income inequality was higher – meaning wealth was concentrated in fewer hands – around the time those children were growing up.
So why does this matter for the United States? The U.S. has had a sharp rise in inequality since the 1980s. In fact, on the eve of the Great Recession, income inequality in the U.S. was as sharp as it had been at any period since the time of "The Great Gatsby."
“While we will not know for sure whether, and how much, income mobility across generations has been exacerbated by the rise in inequality in the U.S. until today’s children have grown up and completed their careers,” he said, “we can use the Great Gatsby Curve to make a rough forecast.”
10:38 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everybody. Welcome to the White House. It is a pleasure to have so many distinguished Americans today from so many different walks of life. We’ve got Democrats and Republicans; we've got labor and business leaders up on stage; we have law enforcement and clergy -- Americans who don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue, in fact, in some cases, don't see eye-to-eye on just about any issue -- (laughter) -- but who are today standing united in support of the legislation that is front and center in Congress this week -- a bipartisan bill to fix our broken immigration system.
And I have to say -- please give Tolu another round of applause. (Applause.) It takes a lot of courage to do what Tolu did -- to step out of the shadows, to share her story, and to hope that, despite the risks, she could make a difference. But Tolu I think is representative of so many DREAMers out there who have worked so hard -- and I've had a chance to meet so many of them who’ve been willing to give a face to the undocumented and have inspired a movement across America. And with each step, they’ve reminded us -- time and again -- what this debate is all about. This is not an abstract debate. This is about incredible young people who understand themselves to be Americans, who have done everything right but have still been hampered in achieving their American Dream.
And they remind us that we're a nation of immigrants. Throughout our history, the promise we found in those who come from every corner of the globe has always been one of our greatest strengths. It’s kept our workforce vibrant and dynamic. It’s kept our businesses on the cutting edge. It’s helped build the greatest economic engine that the world has ever known.
When I speak to other world leaders, one of the biggest advantages we have economically is our demographics. We're constantly replenishing ourselves with talent from across the globe. No other country can match that history. And what was true years ago is still true today -- who’s beeping over there? (Laughter.) You’re feeling kind of self-conscious, aren’t you? (Laughter.) It’s okay.
In recent years, one in four of America’s new small business owners were immigrants. One in four high-tech startups in America were founded by immigrants. Forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were started by a first- or second-generation American. Think about that -- almost half of the Fortune 500 companies when they were started were started by first- or second-generation immigrants. So immigration isn’t just part of our national character. It is a driving force in our economy that creates jobs and prosperity for all of our citizens.
Now, here’s the thing. Over the past two decades, our immigration system hasn’t kept pace with changing times and hasn’t matched up with our most cherished values.
Right now, our immigration system invites the best and the brightest from all over the world to come and study at our top universities, and then once they finish -- once they’ve gotten the training they need to build a new invention or create a new business -- our system too often tells them to go back home so that other countries can reap the benefits, the new jobs, the new businesses, the new industries. That’s not smart. But that’s the broken system we have today.
Right now, our immigration system keeps families apart for years at a time. Even for folks who, technically, under the legal immigration system, should be eligible to become citizens but it is so long and so cumbersome, so byzantine, that families end up being separated for years. Because of a backlog in visas, people who come here legally -- who are ready to give it their all to earn their place in America -- end up waiting for years to join their loved ones here in the United States. It’s not right. But that’s the broken system we have today.
Right now, our immigration system has no credible way of dealing with the 11 million men and women who are in this country illegally. And, yes, they broke the rules; they didn’t wait their turn. They shouldn’t be let off easy. They shouldn’t be allowed to game the system. But at the same time, the vast majority of these individuals aren’t looking for any trouble. They’re just looking to provide for their families, contribute to their communities.
They’re our neighbors. We know their kids. Too often, they’re forced to do what they do in a shadow economy where shady employers can exploit them by paying less than the minimum wage, making them work without overtime, not giving them any benefits. That pushes down standards for all workers. It’s bad for everybody. Because all the businesses that do play by the rules, that hire people legally, that pay them fairly -- they’re at a competitive disadvantage. American workers end up being at a competitive disadvantage. It’s not fair. But that’s the broken system that we have today.
Now, over the past four years, we’ve tried to patch up some of the worst cracks in the system. We made border security a top priority. Today, we have twice as many border patrol agents as we did in 2004. We have more boots on the ground along our southern border than at any time in our history. And in part, by using technology more effectively, illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades.
We focused our enforcement efforts on criminals who are here illegally and who are endangering our communities. And today, deportation of criminals is at its highest level ever.
And having put border security in place, having refocused on those who could do our communities harm, we also then took up the cause of the DREAMers, young people like Tolu who were brought to this country as children. We said that if you’re able to meet some basic criteria, like pursuing a higher education, then we’ll consider offering you the chance to come out of the shadows so you can continue to work here, and study here, and contribute to our communities legally.
So my administration has done what we can on our own. And we’ve got members of my administration here who’ve done outstanding work over the past few years to try to close up some of the gaps that exist in the system. But the system is still broken. And to truly deal with this issue, Congress needs to act. And that moment is now.
This week, the Senate will consider a common-sense, bipartisan bill that is the best chance we’ve had in years to fix our broken immigration system. It will build on what we’ve done and continue to strengthen our borders. It will make sure that businesses and workers are all playing by the same set of rules, and it includes tough penalties for those who don’t. It’s fair for middle-class families, by making sure that those who are brought into the system pay their fair share in taxes and for services. And it’s fair for those who try to immigrate legally by stopping those who try to skip the line. It’s the right thing to do.
Now, this bill isn’t perfect. It’s a compromise. And going forward, nobody is going to get everything that they want -- not Democrats, not Republicans, not me. But this is a bill that’s largely consistent with the principles that I and the people on this stage have laid out for common-sense reform.
First of all, if passed, this bill would be the biggest commitment to border security in our nation’s history. It would put another $6.5 billion -- on top of what we’re already spending -- towards stronger, smarter security along our borders. It would increase criminal penalties against smugglers and traffickers. It would finally give every employer a reliable way to check that every person they’re hiring is here legally. And it would hold employers more accountable if they knowingly hire undocumented workers. So it strengthens border security, but also enforcement within our borders.
I know there’s a lot of talk right now about border security, so let me repeat -- today, illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades. And if passed, the Senate bill as currently written and as hitting the floor would put in place the toughest border enforcement plan that America has ever seen. So nobody is taking border enforcement lightly. That’s part of this bill.
Number two, this bill would provide a pathway to earned citizenship for the 11 million individuals who are in this country illegally. So that pathway is arduous. You've got to pass background checks. You've got to learn English. You've got to pay taxes and a penalty. And then you've got to go to the back of the line behind everybody who’s done things the right way and have tried to come here legally.
So this won’t be a quick process. It will take at least 13 years before the vast majority of these individuals are able to even apply for citizenship. So this is no cakewalk. But it’s the only way we can make sure that everyone who’s here is playing by the same rules as ordinary families -- paying taxes and getting their own health insurance.
That’s why, for immigration reform to work, it must be clear from the outset that there is a pathway to citizenship. If we’re asking everybody to play by the same rules, you got to give people a sense of certainty that they go through all these sacrifices, do all this, that there’s at the end of the horizon, the opportunity -- not the guarantee, but the opportunity -- to be part of this American family. And by the way, a majority of Americans support this idea.
Number three, this bill would modernize the legal immigration system so that, alongside training American workers for the jobs of tomorrow, we’re also attracting the highly skilled entrepreneurs and engineers from around the world who will ultimately grow our economy. And this bill would help make sure that our people don’t have to wait years before their loved ones are able to join them here in America.
So that’s what immigration reform looks like: Smarter enforcement; a pathway to earned citizenship; improvements to our legal system. They’re all common-sense steps. They’ve got bipartisan support. They’ve got the support of a broad cross-section of leaders from every walk of life. So there’s no reason Congress can’t get this done by the end of the summer.
Remember, the process that led to this bill was open and inclusive. For months, the bipartisan Gang of Eight looked at every issue, reconciled competing ideas, built a compromise that works. Then the Judiciary Committee held numerous hearings. More than a hundred amendments were added, often with bipartisan support. The good news is every day that goes by, more and more Republicans and Democrats are coming out to support this common-sense immigration reform bill.
And I’m sure the bill will go through a few more changes in the weeks to come. But this much is clear: If you genuinely believe we need to fix our broken immigration system, there’s no good reason to stand in the way of this bill. A lot of people -- Democrats and Republicans -- have done a lot of good work on this bill. So if you’re serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it.
If you’re not serious about it, if you think that a broken system is the best America can do, then I guess it might make sense to try to block it. But if you're actually serious and sincere about fixing a broken system, this is the vehicle to do it. And now is the time to get it done. There is no good reason to play procedural games or engage in obstruction just to block the best chance we’ve had in years to address this problem in a way that’s fair to middle-class families, to business owners, to legal immigrants.
And there’s no good reason to undo the progress we’ve already made -- especially when it comes to extreme steps like stripping protections from DREAMers that my administration has provided, or asking law enforcement to treat them the same way they treat violent criminals. That’s not who we are.
We owe it to America to do better. We owe it to the DREAMers to do better. We owe it to the young people like Tolu and Diego Sanchez, who’s with us here today. Where's Diego? Right here. Diego came here from Argentina with his parents when he was just a kid, and growing up, America was his home. This is where he went to school. This is where he made friends. This is where he built a life. You ask Diego and he’ll tell you he feels American in every way -- except one; on paper.
In high school, Diego found out that he was undocumented. Think about that. With all the stuff you're already dealing with in high school -- (laughter) -- and suddenly, oh, man, really? (Laughter.) So he had done everything right -- stayed out of trouble, excelled in class, contributed to his community -- feeling hopeful about his future, and suddenly he finds out he's got to live in fear of deportation. Watching his friends get their licenses knowing he couldn’t get one himself. Seeing his classmates apply for summer jobs knowing he couldn’t do that either.
When Diego heard that we were going to offer a chance for folks like him to emerge from the shadows, he went and signed up. All he wanted, he said, was a chance to, “live a normal life” and to “contribute to the country I love.” And Diego, this year, was approved for deferred action. A few weeks ago, he graduated from St. Thomas University, where he was student body president and “Student of the Year.” (Applause.)
So now he’s set his sights higher -- master's degree and then law school so he can pursue a career in public policy, help America shape its future. Why wouldn’t we want to do the right thing by Diego? What rationale is there out there that wouldn’t want to make sure Diego achieves his dreams? Because if he does, that helps us all achieve our dreams.
So in the weeks to come, you'll hear some opponents of immigration reform try to gin up fear and create division and spread the same old rumors and untruths that we’ve heard before. And when that happens, I want you to think about Tolu. I want you to think about Diego. And I want you to think about your own parents and your own grandparents and your own great grandparents, and all the men and women and children who came here. The notion that somehow those who came through Ellis Island had all their papers right -- (laughter) -- had checked every box and followed procedures as they were getting on that boat -- they were looking for a better life just like these families. And they want to earn their way into the American story.
And if you’re willing to stand with them -- and if you’re willing to stand with all these outstanding leaders up here -- then now is the time to make your voice heard. You need to call and email and tweet your senators and tell them, don't kick this problem down the road. Come together. Work together. Do your job not only to fix a broken immigration system once and for all, but to leave something better for all the generations to come, to make sure we continue to be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. Do the right thing.
Thanks. God bless you. God bless America.
11:02 A.M. EDT
|Daily Press Briefing: June 10, 2013
U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki leads the Daily Press Briefing at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on June 10, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2013/06/210441.htm.
|From: statevideo Views: 284 5 ratings|
|Time: 01:09:20||More in News & Politics|
President Barack Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, in the East Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Today, we marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act with an event at the White House hosted by President Obama, the release of an important report from the National Equal Pay Task Force on the last fifty years since the Act was signed, a new web page with resources and information for women to make sure they’re paid equally, and a new video that gives an overview of our progress in equal pay.
On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, a milestone piece of legislation that requires men and women receive equal pay for equal work. However, fifty years later, women are still only earning approximately 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, and even less for women of color, so we are far from ready to declare victory.
To mark today’s anniversary, President Obama spoke at the event attended by leaders in the government, private sector and civil society who are all committed to building a 21st century workplace.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:
- Mark T. Nethery – Member, Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:
Mark T. Nethery, Nominee for Member, Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation
Mark T. Nethery is the Founder and Owner of Bluegrass Game Calls, LLC, a position he has held since 2008. In addition, Mr. Nethery is a freelance outdoor writer. Previously, he was Chief Operations Officer for the John Conti Coffee Company from 1978 to 2008. From 1985 to 1990, he served as a Restaurant Industry Liaison for the International Coffee Organization. From 1983 to 2008, he was the Chairman, President, Treasurer, and a Board Member of the Kentucky Restaurant Association, Louisville Chapter. Mr. Nethery has served as President of the League of KY Sportsmen since 2011.
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
- Daniel B. Baer – United States Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with rank of Ambassador, Department of State
- Michael G. Carroll - Inspector General, United States Agency for International Development
- James Cole, Jr. – General Counsel, Department of Education
- Keith M. Harper – United States Representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with rank of Ambassador, Department of State
- Catherine E. Lhamon – Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education
- Stephen W. Preston – General Counsel, Department of Defense
The President also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
- Brigadier General Anthony C. Funkhouser, USA – Commissioner, Mississippi River Commission
- Betsey Stevenson – Member, Council of Economic Advisers
President Obama said, “These men and women have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years to come.”
President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts:
Daniel B. Baer, Nominee for United States Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, with the rank of Ambassador, Department of State
Daniel B. Baer is a Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to joining the Administration in 2009, he was an Assistant Professor of Strategy, Economics, Ethics, and Public Policy at the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University. From 2007 to 2008, Dr. Baer was a Faculty Fellow in the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University. From 2004 to 2007, he worked at The Boston Consulting Group, first as a consultant and later a project leader. Dr. Baer received an A.B. from Harvard University, an M.Phil and a D.Phil from Oxford University.
Michael G. Carroll, Nominee for Inspector General, United States Agency for International Development
Michael G. Carroll is Deputy Inspector General at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), a position he has held since May 2012. From October 2011 to May 2012, he was Acting Inspector General at USAID. From 2006 to 2011, he was Deputy Inspector General, and from 2000 to 2004, he was the Assistant Inspector General for Management at USAID. Mr. Carroll was the Director of Administration at the Bureau of Industry and Security at the Department of Commerce from 2004 to 2006. Previously, he was Deputy Executive Director at the U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board from 1995 to 2000. Prior to that, Mr. Carroll served at the U.S. Information Agency as the Director of Administrative Services from 1992 to 1995, Director of Operations for the Agency’s Exhibits Service from 1987 to 1992, and as a Logistics Manager at its Office of Administration from 1984 to 1987. Mr. Carroll also worked for the U.S. Coast Guard from 1982 to 1984. Mr. Carroll received a B.A. from St. John’s University.
James Cole, Jr., Nominee for General Counsel, Department of Education
James Cole, Jr. is the Deputy General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Transportation, a position he has held since 2011. From 1996 to 2011, he worked at Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz in New York, where he was elected as partner in the Corporate department in 2003. From 1995 to 1996, Mr. Cole clerked for Chief Judge Stephanie K. Seymour of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. From 1990 to 1992, he was an analyst in the Financial Management Program at General Electric Capital Corporation. He has served on the Board of Directors for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and on the Board of Trustees for Prep for Prep. He received a B.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School.
Keith M. Harper, Nominee for Representative of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Council, with rank of Ambassador, Department of State
Keith M. Harper is a partner at the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, where he is chair of the Native American Practice Group. He currently serves as a Member on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harper was Senior Staff Attorney for the Native American Rights Fund from 1995 to 2006. From 2007 to 2008, he served as a Supreme Court Justice on the Supreme Court of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and from 2001 to 2007, he served as an Appellate Justice on the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court. From 1998 to 2001, he was an adjunct professor at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, and from 1999 to 2001, he was a Professorial Lecturer at the American University Washington College of Law. Mr. Harper was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Lawrence W. Pierce on the Second Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals. He began his career as a Litigation Associate with Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. He received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Catherine E. Lhamon, Nominee for Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Department of Education
Catherine E. Lhamon is currently the Director of Impact Litigation at Public Counsel, a position she has held since October 2009. Prior to this, she worked at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California as Assistant Legal Director in 2009, Racial Justice Director from 2005 to 2009, and Okrand/Wirin Attorney from 1999 to 2005. From 1997 to 1999, she was a Supervising Attorney in the Appellate Litigation Program at the Georgetown University Law Center. She clerked for the Honorable William A. Norris on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles, California from 1996 to 1997. California Lawyer honored Ms. Lhamon as an Attorney of the Year for Civil Rights in 2004. The Daily Journal named her one of the Top 20 California Lawyers Under 40 in 2007 and she was honored as one of the State’s Top Women Litigators in 2010 and 2007. Ms. Lhamon received her B.A. from Amherst College and her J.D. from Yale Law School.
Stephen W. Preston, Nominee for General Counsel, Department of Defense
Stephen W. Preston is General Counsel for the Central Intelligence Agency. Prior to his appointment in 2009, he was a partner at WilmerHale, where he was Co-Chair of the Defense and National Security Practice. He joined WilmerHale in 1986, and later returned in 2001 after serving at both the Pentagon and the U.S. Department of Justice. From 1998 to 2000, Mr. Preston was General Counsel of the Department of the Navy. From 1995 to 1998, he was Deputy Assistant Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Preston was Principal Deputy General Counsel of the Department of Defense, during which time he also served as Acting General Counsel. Mr. Preston received a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
Brigadier General Anthony C. Funkhouser, USA, Appointee for Commissioner, Mississippi River Commission
Brigadier General Anthony C. Funkhouser is Commander of the United States Army Engineer Division, Northwestern, based in Portland, Oregon. His military service includes an assignment as the Commander of the Tulsa Engineer District and service in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. He was a Commander of the 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood, and served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. From 2005 to 2006, he was Chief of Staff at the United States Army Engineer School at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri. He has received the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal. Brigadier General Funkhouser received a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the United States Military Academy, an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Missouri-Rolla, an M.S. in Strategic Studies from the United States Army War College, and an M.M.A.S. in Advanced Military Studies from the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
Dr. Betsey Stevenson, Appointee for Member, Council of Economic Advisers
Dr. Betsey Stevenson is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, a position she has held since 2012. From 2004 to 2012, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business. During her tenure at Wharton, she took leave from 2011 to 2012 to serve as a Visiting Assistant Professor and Visiting Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University. In addition, Dr. Stevenson was on leave to serve as Chief Economist at the Department of Labor from 2010 to 2011. From 2001 to 2004, she was a Senior Consumer Research Advisor at Forrester Research. Dr. Stevenson is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She serves on the Board of Directors for the American Law and Economics Association and as an Advisor at the Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. Dr. Stevenson received a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Los Angeles, California
10:21 A.M. PDT
MR. EARNEST: Good morning, everybody. Welcome aboard Air Force One on a beautiful Friday morning. I do have one quick update before we get to your questions. The first is the President has been getting updates on Tropical Storm Andrea. FEMA has been in close touch with local officials in the state of Florida and other states along the East Coast that are in the path of the storm. As you know, FEMA is responsible for both monitoring the storm but also being the primary liaison with local officials who are responsible for responding to this storm.
What we would encourage people to do -- there are a couple of things -- a couple of good reminders with the first storm of the hurricane season is this is a good time for individuals, particularly those who live along the coast, to consult with local officials about whether or not they live in an evacuation zone. We also encourage people to visit Ready.gov to see what they can do to protect or prepare themselves and their family in the event of a storm this hurricane season.
We anticipate the President will get additional updates as necessary, as the storm progresses.
So with that, we’ll open it up for questions.
Q So is the NSA domestic program, is it proving to be a distraction that’s going to hurt your agenda, Josh?
MR. EARNEST: The President, I think, is pretty focused on the ambitious domestic agenda that he’s laid out. You saw that the President spent some time yesterday at a school in Mooresville that’s investing in exactly the kind of technology that will improve the prospects of students who are going to come out and compete in a 21st global economy. The President believes that the foundation of a high-quality education is critical to a strong and growing and thriving middle class. That’s what the President is focused on.
You heard the President begin his day by talking about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and the impact that that will have on expanding access to quality, affordable health care for millions of Americans and lower the health care costs of millions of other American families and American small businesses.
So the President has laid out a pretty specific and ambitious domestic agenda, and that’s his top priority.
Q Is there a concern that the reports about the NSA surveillance will overshadow the meetings this afternoon and tomorrow with China’s President?
MR. EARNEST: Not at all. The President does have an important meeting this weekend with the President of China. It will be an opportunity for the President and -- the President of the United States and the incoming President of China to talk about the varied and complex bilateral relationship that we have with China -- from a range of diplomatic issues, economic issues, and security issues. There are opportunities for us to expand the areas in which we cooperate with the Chinese. There are certainly some areas of competition. Economic competition is probably among the most important of those.
But what we want to do is we want to examine this relationship and see if there are broader opportunities for us to expand those issues in which we cooperate.
So this will be an informal atmosphere where they'll have the opportunity to spend some time together in a variety of settings and talk over this wide range of issues. As you know, they’ve met before, but they haven’t had the opportunity to spend an extensive amount of time together talking about these issues that are very important to the citizens of both countries.
Q So companies from Apple to Yahoo have been denying that they gave the NSA access to their data and their information. Does that mean that the government accessed that information without their knowledge?
MR. EARNEST: Well, for specific operational details about the way that this program is conducted, I would refer you to the Director of National Intelligence. I’m not sure that I can get into the granular details that you’re asking about.
But what I can assure you is that these are -- that the authorities that we've been talking about, this Section 702, are authorities that have oversight of all three branches of government. This is a principle that we talked about a little bit yesterday when we were talking about Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
And it is important for people to understand that these authorities have oversight over all three branches of government. It’s also important for people to understand that these authorities do not apply to U.S. citizens or people who live in the United States.
Q And given what the President said today about the need for balance in these programs, and also what he talked about during his campaign when these programs were under President Bush, why hasn’t he done more earlier to at least give the public a general sense of what’s been going on, of what these programs are, and even why they’re important?
MR. EARNEST: Well, I’d say a couple of things about that. The first is there have been numerous debates inside the United States Congress that duly-elected representatives of the people have a responsibility to examine what kind of authority should be granted to the executive branch to protect the interests and national security of the United States of America. So there has been a robust debate in Congress about this, much of which has taken place publicly, that when we’re talking -- when we’re debating legislation, you have members of Congress who are casting public votes. And I would point out that the reauthorization of the Patriot Act has been approved by Congress many times with strong bipartisan support.
So there has been a debate. There has been an opportunity for members of Congress on both sides to weigh in. And what we’ve seen is members of Congress on both sides approve of these authorities.
In terms of the public debate, I would make the case to you that the President actually has sought to engage the public in these debates. The President gave a very prominent speech early on in his first term where he talked about striking the balance between protecting the constitutional rights and civil liberties of American citizens with the responsibility that the Commander-in-Chief has to protect the national security of the United States.
And the President gave another high-profile speech just a couple of weeks ago at the National Defense University where he talked about these issues again. Much of the attention was focused on the use of drones, but as I read yesterday during the gaggle, there was a portion of the speech that was dedicated to surveillance programs and a robust discussion of how to balance the privacy rights of American citizens and our national security interests.
So the President is genuine when he suggests that he welcomes a public debate about how to appropriately balance what I think the vast majority of Americans acknowledge are two very important priorities.
Q So he welcomes the debate, but is he willing to rein in some of these programs if the debate reaches that conclusion?
MR. EARNEST: Well, I would say two things about that. The first is, when this President took office, he did carefully examine these programs and did put in place tougher, stricter oversight measures. I think most people would argue that that actually is reining in his -- constraining his authority. So I would make the case to you that the President, when he took office, examined this balance and made some changes based on his own assessment.
Ultimately, this is the responsibility of Congress to engage in a debate about what kind of authority should be granted to the executive branch. So all the authority that we’re talking about is authority that has previously been approved by Congress. I understand that the reauthorization of the Patriot Act is coming up, so if Congress wants to engage in that debate again and wants to reexamine some of these issues and consider making some changes, they’ll have the opportunity to have that debate and they’ll have the opportunity to make some changes if that’s what they vote to do.
But none of that changes the President’s commitment to ensuring that we have strict oversight of all three branches of government. And when I say all three branches of government, I don’t just mean Congress being regularly briefed and I don’t just mean federal judges who are issuing warrants. I also mean individuals who are independent of the regular structure inside the executive branch -- inspectors general, for example, who also have a role to audit the conduct of national security professionals who are implementing these programs. And so that is also an important source of constraining the authority that the President has been granted, all within the bounds, though, of a robust defense of our national security.
Q Will he make some proposals on his own in the debate leading up to the Patriot Act reauthorization, or is he just leaving it up to Congress?
MR. EARNEST: Well, we -- the President, as you can tell from his answers today, has thought about this a lot and has some very strong views based -- that are informed primarily by his responsibility to protect the national security of the United States of America. But he also took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States, including the constitutional right to privacy that is enjoyed by American citizens.
So the President certainly has some thoughts about this -- there’s no doubt about that. So he would participate in that debate. This is not a debate that he wants other people to have. He would participate in this debate. I think that was evident from his answer today. I think that was evident from the speech that he gave two weeks ago. And we certainly would welcome the opportunity to have conversations with Congress about this as well.
Q As these reports have come out this week, has the White House heard from leaders in Congress who want to reopen the debate or who are suggesting to you that changes should be made?
MR. EARNEST: I don’t have any specific conversations to read out to you. I would -- there certainly is an opportunity for members of Congress to express their concerns, either publicly or to the White House, if they choose to do so.
Q Does this undercut the President’s message to President Xi this evening and tomorrow about sort of the Chinese, sort of domestic reforms in China, and sort of the human rights issues and things of that sort, in terms of -- and cyber as well? Does this -- do these revelations make the President’s case that much harder?
MR. EARNEST: I actually think that you could make the case that this is a pretty good illustration of the kind of conversation that we want to have about respecting civil liberties and protecting the constitutional rights of the people that you govern.
What the President did was he put in place some -- a very strict oversight regime, one that he strengthened when he took office, that, as I mentioned to Steve, constrained his own ability, constrained his own authority. And I think that is a testament to the strength of our system of government that we can inspire a lot of confidence in the American public and in the free media even, who have questions about these programs and have questions about the exercise of executive authority to keep the country safe.
The fact that there are different branches of government, some of whom are elected, like members of Congress, some of whom, as the President referenced, are insulated from short-term political pressures like the federal judiciary -- they have an opportunity to provide some oversight. And that is a testament to the strength of our system. It’s also a testament to the shared commitment of the people who are leading this country, both to protecting the constitutional rights of American citizens, but also protecting the national security of the United States.
Q Josh, what do you have to say to critics, especially those on the far left, who say that these revelations that the President’s surveillance policy is basically a redo of that of his predecessor?
MR. EARNEST: I’d say several things, actually. The first is just -- I’ll give a shorter version to what I said to Steve, which is that when this President took office, he reexamined the executive authority that he was granted by Congress to implement programs that protect our national security. Based on his assessment of those programs after taking office, he put in a stronger oversight regime that included more robust congressional oversight and that included a role for independent members of the executive branch to play in auditing the conduct of national security professionals. So I think there are some significant changes that the President has put in place from that standpoint.
But there are other broader, in some ways more prominent examples of changes that the President has made. I think the biggest one is ending the war in Iraq. You’ll recall that when the President ran for this office, the war in Iraq was the central front in the war on terror. The President disagreed with that and vowed to end the war in Iraq. And that's exactly what he did.
And I think that there have been -- we’ve made the case to you that there are significant benefits enjoyed by the American people in terms of the success we’ve had in fighting al Qaeda core because we’ve been able to move resources from Iraq to what we see as the central front -- or had been at the time was the central front in the war on terror.
I think another example would be ending the use of torture. That's something that this President did when he took office. I’d remind you that it’s the President’s predecessor who opened the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and it’s this President who is determined to close it.
Now, Congress has done some things to throw up some obstacles to that effort, but that's something -- you’ve seen reports today that the White House Chief of Staff has traveled to the prison at Guantanamo Bay with a couple of members of the United States Senate who share the President’s commitment to closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay. We believe that we should do that both because it’s in the interest of our national security, but also because it’s not a particularly effective or efficient means of conduct of our fight here, of keeping the American people safe.
So I think there are a variety of ways in which the President has fulfilled the commitments that he made during the campaign to better strike the balance between protecting the civil liberties of American citizens and protecting the national security of the United States and our interests.
Q Whose idea was it for Denis McDonough to go to Guantanamo Bay?
MR. EARNEST: I don't have the details about how that --
Q I mean, did it originate with Senator McCain or with Denis?
MR. EARNEST: Yes, I’m not sure how that trip originated. I know that it was a follow-up of the speech that the President gave a couple of weeks ago in which the President reiterated his determination to close the prison.
Q And do they expect -- are they going to review the hunger strikers? Or what are they going to do down there?
MR. EARNEST: My understanding is that they will -- that they're going to take a look firsthand at the conditions there and have some conversations with the folks who are responsible for administering the prison to gather some information to again take the next steps that are necessary to finally close the prison there.
Anything else? Okay, thanks, guys. We’ll see you on the ground.
10:35 A.M. PDT
President Barack Obama announces his intent to nominate Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, left, as the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to succeed current CEA Chairman Alan Krueger, right, in the State Dining Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
This afternoon, President Obama nominated Jason Furman to replace Alan Krueger as the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Furman, 42, will bring a vast amount of economic experience to the role. In 2009, he joined the Obama administration as an Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council.
Furman previously worked at the Brookings Institute as a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and Director of the Hamilton Project, the Council of Economic Advisers as a Staff Economist, and the World Bank as a Senior Adviser to the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President.
This is his second stint in the White House. Under President Clinton, Furman was a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council.
The President praised Furman’s work for the middle class, and urged Congress to confirm him quickly.
“When the stakes are highest, there’s no one I’d rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job,” President Obama said. “[Furman] understands all the sides of an argument, not just one side of it. He’s worked tirelessly on just about every major economic challenge of the past four and a half years, from averting a second depression, to fighting for tax cuts that help millions of working families make ends meet, to creating new incentives for businesses to hire, to reducing our deficits in a balanced way that benefits the middle class.”
State Dining Room
2:14 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, all of you. It’s now been nearly five years since an economic crisis and a punishing recession came together to cost far too many Americans their jobs, and their homes, and the sense of security that they had built up over time. And by the time I took office, my team and I were facing bubbles that had burst; markets that had cratered; bank after bank on the verge of collapse. And the heartbeat of American manufacturing, our auto industry, was flatlining. And all this meant that hundreds of thousands of Americans were losing their jobs each month. So this was a scary time. And nobody had any idea where the bottom would be.
Four and a half years later, our businesses have created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 36 months. The American auto industry has come roaring back. We’re producing more of our own energy, we’re consuming less that we import from other countries. Our deficits are shrinking rapidly. The cost of health care is slowing. The housing market is rebounding. People’s retirement savings are growing. The wealth that was lost from that recession has now been recovered.
All of this progress is a testament to the grit and resolve of the American people, most of all. But it’s also due in some measurable way to the incredible dedication of the men and women who helped to engineer America’s response. And two of those people are standing next to me, two very smart economists: Alan Krueger and Jason Furman.
Today, I can announce that Alan is heading back to teach his beloved students at Michelle’s alma mater -- Princeton University. When they get together all they can talk about is Princeton and they’re all very proud, and those of us who didn’t go to Princeton have to put up with it. (Laughter.) And I’m proud to say that Jason Furman has agreed to replace Alan as the Chairman of my Council of Economic Advisers.
During the crisis, Alan stepped in initially to help engineer our response as Assistant Secretary and chief economist at the Treasury Department. He was so good that we then had to beg him to come back, extend his tour, to serve as the Chairman of my Council of Economic Advisers, where he’s been the driving force behind actions that we’ve taken to help restart the flow of lending to small businesses, and create new jobs, and arm workers with the skills they need to fill them, to reduce income inequality, to rebuild our aging infrastructure, and to bring down our deficits in a responsible way.
And Alan is driven by the basic bargain at the heart of our economy -- the idea that hard work should be rewarded. He’s motivated by the principle that no one who works full-time in the greatest nation on Earth should have to raise their families in poverty or below poverty levels. His commitment to a rising, thriving middle class shines through in his often passionate presentations and -- at least for an economist they’re passionate. (Laughter.) And in the policies that he’s pushed, and I know this will continue to be a focus of his research.
Alan’s wife and son are here today, and I know that they’re all looking forward to having Alan back. (Laughter.) And now that Alan has some free time, he can return to another burning passion of his -- “Rockonomics.” The economics of rock and roll. This is something that Alan actually cares about -- seriously, on Wednesday he’s giving a speech at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He’s got a t-shirt under his suit -- (laughter) -- with a big tongue sticking out. (Laughter.) Don’t show it. (Laughter and applause.)
So Alan has become one of my most trusted advisors. He’s become a wonderful friend. I’m sad to see him go. But I know that he will continue to do outstanding work and, fortunately, he’ll still be available for us to consult with him periodically because he’s a constant font of good ideas about how we can further help the American people. So thank you very much, Alan, for all the good work that you’ve done. (Applause.)
I’m also proud to nominate another outstanding economist to take his place. Jason Furman is one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation, don’t take my word for it -- you can talk to other economists who know a lot more than I do about it. He’s won the respect and admiration from his peers across the political spectrum. His Ph.D. thesis advisor, Greg Mankiw, chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush. Nobel Prize Winner Joe Stiglitz, on the other side of the economic spectrum, hired Jason to work for the CEA under President Clinton.
After leaving President Clinton’s White House, Jason finished his Ph.D. in economics, quickly acquired a reputation as a world-class scholar and researcher. But public service kept calling, and Jason kept answering that call because he believes deeply in it. So from working at the World Bank on issues of inequality and international finance to developing new proposals to strengthen our health and retirement programs, he helped to shape some of our most important economic policy debates.
And when I asked him to join my team in 2008, even though his baby daughter -- that’s right -- (laughter) -- you were this big -- had just been born, he agreed to serve once again. And over the last five years I’ve come to trust not only his head, but also his heart, because Jason never forgets who it is that we’re fighting for: middle-class families, folks who are working hard to climb their way into the middle class, the next generation.
And when the stakes are highest, there's no one I'd rather turn to for straightforward, unvarnished advice that helps me to do my job. He understands all sides of an argument, not just one side of it. He's worked tirelessly on just about every major economic challenge of the past four and a half years, from averting a second depression, to fighting for tax cuts that help millions of working families make ends meet, to creating new incentives for businesses to hire, to reducing our deficits in a balanced way that benefits the middle class.
And so, Eve, Jason's wife, who is an accomplished writer herself, has put up with a lot of hours with Jason away. Henry and Louisa, who are here, they've made a lot of sacrifices so that their husband and dad could be here working for the American people. So I appreciate you guys for sharing daddy. (Laughter.) Just a little bit longer. (Laughter.) And the reason it's important is because while we've cleared away the rubble of crisis and laid a new foundation for growth, our work is nowhere near done.
Even though the economy is growing, too many middle-class families still feel like they're working harder and harder and can't get ahead. Inequality is still growing in our society. Too many young people aren't sure whether they'll be able to match the living standards of their parents. We have too many kids in poverty in this country still.
There are some basic steps that we can take to strengthen the position of working people in this country, to help our economy grow faster, to make sure that it's more competitive. And some of that requires political will. Some of it requires an abiding passion for making sure everybody in this country has a fair shot. But it also requires good economists. I know it's called a dismal science, but I don’t find it that dismal. (Laughter.) I think it's actually pretty interesting. Alan and Jason appreciate that. (Laughter.) So sometimes the rest of my staff thinks, oh, Obama is getting together with his economists and they're going to have a wonkfest for the next hour. (Laughter.)
But this stuff matters. It's not just numbers on a page. It makes a difference in terms of whether or not people get a chance at life, and also, how do we optimize opportunity and make sure that it -- we don’t have a contradiction between an efficient, growing, free-market economy, and one in which everybody gets a fair shot and where we're caring for the vulnerable and the disabled and folks in our society who need help.
So a growing economy that creates good middle-class jobs, that rewards hard work and responsibility, that’s our North Star. Jason shares that focus. I know Alan shares that passion. And Jason's new role as the Chairman of the Economic -- Council of Economic Advisors, he'll be working with some of our country's leading economists, including Jim Stock, who has joined us. And I'm relying on them to provide analysis and recommendations with just one thing in mind: What's going to do the most good for the most people in this country -- not what's best for a political party, not what's best for a special interest. I don’t have another election. It's not what's best for me -- what's best for our middle class, and everybody who is working hard to get there. That’s what the American people deserve.
So I would urge the Senate to swiftly confirm Jason Furman. And I want to, again, thank Alan for his outstanding service. I want to thank Jason and his family for continuing to serve the country they love. And for all the economists in the room, thank you for the occasionally under-appreciated work that you do. (Laughter.)
Thank you. (Applause.)
2:25 P.M EDT
Vice President Biden met with Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi this afternoon in Washington. The Vice President reaffirmed the United States’ close bilateral partnership with Kosovo and our enduring support for Kosovo’s independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The Vice President commended the leadership and political courage demonstrated by Prime Minister Thaçi and the Government of Kosovo in reaching agreement in the EU-facilitated Dialogue to normalize Kosovo’s relationship with Serbia. The Vice President underscored the importance of implementing the agreement fully and expeditiously to take advantage of this historic opportunity to secure peace and prosperity for the people of Kosovo and Serbia and to advance the European aspirations of both countries. The Vice President reiterated that the United States stands with Kosovo as a partner and friend and looks forward to deepening our partnership further in the years to come.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, in the East Room of the White House, June 10, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
It's been 50 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, but its goals today stand unrealized. In 2013, full-time working women still make less than men on average.
This morning, President Obama spoke at an event to mark the anniversary.
"The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average, he said. "Today, it’s about 77 cents. So it was 59 and now it’s 77 cents. It’s even less, by the way, if you’re an African American or a Latina. So I guess that’s progress, but does anybody here think that’s good enough?"
The President has made tackling this issue a priority since his first day in the White House. The first bill that President Obama ever signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. His administration was the first to create a White House Council on Women and Girls. He launched a National Equal Pay Task Force to help crack down on violations of equal pay laws, and earlier this year, he signed a presidential memorandum directing the federal government to close the gender gap for its employees.
But there's more work to do -- like passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, training more women for careers in science, technology, and math, and making sure that businesses offer parents the flexibility they need to excel in their jobs and care for their children.
"This will be part of our broader agenda to create good jobs and to strengthen middle-class security, to keep rebuilding an economy that works for everybody, that gives every American the chance to get ahead, no matter who you are or what you look like, or what your last name is and who you love," the President said.
For more perspective on the anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, check out the video below:
|Daily Press Briefing: June 7, 2013
U.S. Department of State Spokesperson Jen Psaki leads the Daily Press Briefing at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. on June 7, 2013. A text transcript can be found at http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2013/06/210413.htm.
|From: statevideo Views: 169 7 ratings|
|Time: 39:12||More in News & Politics|
11:53 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Everybody have a seat. Welcome to the White House. It is wonderful to see all of you. Thank you, Joe, for that kind introduction. Thank you, Valerie, for the great leadership you’ve shown on this. And to all of you -- business leaders and advocates, members of Congress, who are here, members of my administration -- I am so glad that all of you could be here to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.
When you think about it, we’re not just celebrating a law. We’re honoring the heroes who made that law possible -- the fierce determination of Americans who saw a wrong and worked to right it. There were women who were sick and tired of being sick and tired -- (laughter) -- of seeing the same jobs advertised with different pay scales. Women who were tired of being treated like second-class workers. Women like Dorothy Height and Congresswoman Edna Kelly -- (applause) -- and Esther Peterson, all who pushed to make the Equal Pay Act a reality.
And, today, we recognize the work of those brave women. But until equal pay truly is a reality, we’re also here to recommit ourselves to the work that remains to be done.
Fifty years ago today, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, right here in the White House. He said it was basic to our democracy. It’s the idea that all of us are created equal. And as I said in my inaugural address this year, our journey to equality is not complete until our wives, our mothers, our daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts.
The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned on average. Today, it’s about 77 cents. So it was 59 and now it’s 77 cents. It’s even less, by the way, if you’re an African American or a Latina. So I guess that’s progress, but does anybody here think that’s good enough?
THE PRESIDENT: I assume everybody thinks we can do better.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: We can.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we can. (Laughter and applause.)
Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work. Now, that’s wrong. I don’t want that for Malia and Sasha. I don’t want that for your daughters. I don’t want that to be an example that any child growing up ends up accepting as somehow the norm. I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman’s hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man’s.
Now, what’s important to realize also, though, is this is not just an issue of fairness. This is a family issue. This is a middle-class issue. This is an economic issue. Just last week, a report confirmed what we already know: that women are increasingly the breadwinners for American families. Women are now the primary source of income for nearly 40 percent of American families. Forty percent -- almost half.
That’s not something to panic about, or to be afraid about -– that’s a sign of the progress and the strides that we’ve made. But what it does mean is that when more women are bringing home the bacon, they shouldn’t just be getting a little bit of bacon. (Laughter.) If they’re bringing home more of the income and that income is less than a fair share, that means that families have less to get by on for childcare or health care, or gas or groceries. It makes it harder for middle-class families to save and retire. It leaves small businesses with customers who have less money in their pockets -- which is not good for the economy. That’s not a good example to set for our sons and daughters, but it’s also not a good recipe for long-term, stable economic growth.
So to anyone who says 77 cents on the dollar sounds pretty close to equal, I say, you’re math is bad. (Laughter.) You wouldn’t like it if your vote only counted in three out of four elections. (Laughter.) You wouldn’t like it if your daughters or sons went to school but they only got taught three out of four days a week, or four out of five days a week. You wouldn’t like it if you were forced to work every fourth day without pay. Men would be complaining about that. (Laughter.) They wouldn’t think that was equal or fair.
So this is the 21st century. It’s time to close that gap. That’s why the first bill I signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. (Applause.)
That’s why, as Valerie mentioned, I created the first-ever White House Council on Women and Girls, which is working to close that gap. (Applause.) And Valerie’s council -- this council is doing a great job in bringing the experiences of women into our federal policies as well.
It’s why I established a National Equal Pay Task Force to help crack down on violations of equal pay laws, which, by the way, they’re doing at a record rate. And, through education and outreach, they’re also helping employers develop tools to comply with the nation’s equal pay laws on their own. And that’s why, earlier this year, I signed a presidential memorandum directing the federal government to close that gap for good for its employees. (Applause.) We have to set an example.
It’s also why we’re using the latest technology to help workers get the information they need to figure out if they’re underpaid. And thanks to innovators like Rachel and Laquitta, who are up here, we can now say, “There’s an app for that.” (Laughter.)
But as long as this gap persists, we’re going to have more work to do. And now is the time to keep up the work that all those trailblazers started 50 years ago.
Now is the time for Congress to step up and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act so women have better tools to fight for equal pay for equal work. (Applause.)
Now is the time for us to encourage more young women to pursue math and science education. Now is the time for us to hire more STEM teachers so all our children are prepared for the high-tech, high-wage jobs of tomorrow.
Now is the time to make sure businesses offer men and women the flexibility to be good employees and good parents. And I really want to commend Deloitte and SumAll, and the CEOs who are with us here today, they are creating exactly the kinds of innovative workplaces that help hard-working Americans thrive, and they’re committed to pay equity. And so when you have a chance to talk to Joe, say thank you. And the CEOs who are out there, if you want a first-class company that is tapping into the talents and resources of all your employees, make sure that you’re putting in place systems so that they all feel like they’re being treated fairly and equally. It’s a simple principle and it’s a powerful one.
And now is the time to make sure that we are putting in place a minimum wage that you can live on -- (applause) -- because 60 percent of those making the minimum wage are women.
If we do all this -- and this will be part of our broader agenda to create good jobs and to strengthen middle-class security, to keep rebuilding an economy that works for everybody, that gives every American the chance to get ahead, no matter who you are or what you look like, or what your last name is and who you love.
That’s what I’m going to keep on fighting for. That’s what you’re going to keep on fighting for. And we have all of you and your predecessors to thank for the incredible progress this country has made in eliminating the barriers and injustices that might keep our daughters from enjoying the same rights, same chances, and same freedoms as our sons. I’m proud of you.
Thank you very much. (Applause.)
12:02 P.M. EDT
WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, June 11th, the White House will honor twelve people as museum and library “Champions of Change.” This Champions event will focus on libraries and museums who make a difference for their neighborhoods and for our nation. The honorees are providing powerful learning experiences. They are reaching young children and their families with early learning opportunities, offering exciting experiences for teens to develop skills in science, technology, engineering and math, helping immigrants learn English and pursue citizenship and providing services for hard-to-reach populations so that everyone can succeed in school and in life.
The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature groups of Americans – individuals, businesses and organizations – who are doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.
To watch this event live, visit www.whitehouse.gov/live at 4:00 pm ET on June 11. To learn more about the White House Champions of Change program and nominate a Champion, visit www.whitehouse.gov/champions.
Elizabeth Babcock, Ph.D.
San Francisco, California
Chief Public Engagement Office and Roberts Dean of Education, California Academy of Science – Elizabeth Babcock oversees the creation and implementation of the museum’s exhibits and education programs, including developmental resources and engagement opportunities for teachers, youth, families, and adults. She leads a team of dedicated educators, designers, and biologists who deliver a variety of programs aimed at increasing scientific literacy, developing digital skills, communicating critical science topics, and inspiring public engagement both at the museum and in the Bay Area.
Senior Manager of Learning Experiences, Chicago Zoological Society - Dave Becker is an educator and museum professional who leads NatureStart, the Chicago Zoological Society’s groundbreaking early childhood initiative. For the past 12 years, he and his team have consistently expanded the boundaries of early childhood environmental education within the Brookfield Zoo, as well as within the national and international zoo and aquarium community. Becker first began working with children as a 16-year-old youth volunteer and has continued to work with children and families in informal settings throughout his career, including 15 years as a social worker and nearly 20 years in the museum profession.
New York, New York
Deputy Director, Education and Guest Services, Children’s Museum of Manhattan -- For 20 years, Leslie Bushara has played a leadership role in the development, implementation, and evaluation of the Museum’s educational programming and curricula, which have made a lasting impact city-, state- and nationwide. She is currently working on major initiatives with the National Institutes of Health to create an early childhood health curriculum, NYC Housing Authority to develop a first-of-its-kind learning hub in NYC public housing, and the U.S. Department of Education on a trans-media math property for use in museums, libraries, schools and community-based organizations.
Harriet Henderson Coalter
Director of Richmond Public Library – Harriet Coalter is a driving force pursuing innovative library efforts to serve children and parents and work toward school readiness. In Richmond, the public library system serves as the lead agency for Richmond’s Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiative. This effort has engaged 30 community organizations to improve the educational outcomes for children ages 0-8. Coalter also co-chaired the national Public Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read project, which has become the foundation for public library outreach to parents and caregivers of preschool children, as public libraries engage the child’s “first teacher” in preparing children for learning.
Fayetteville, New York
Executive Director, Fayetteville Free Library - The Fayetteville Free Library serves as a model for other libraries because of Sue Considine’s leadership and ability to relentlessly innovate. She has recruited and developed a team of dynamic professionals, support staff, and community members who offer cutting-edge library services in a state-of-the-art environment to an engaged community. Considine is a pioneer in the field of new librarianship and has worked to redefine the role of a librarian by creating opportunities for staff to lead at all levels. She believes in the idea of integrating emerging technologies – even if disruptive—into library services and recently launched the library’s digital media Creation Lab and Fab Lab.
Owner/Consultant, Anneal -- Jamie Hollier is a project manager, entrepreneur, and consultant who is passionate about technology and using it to create stronger communities. Hollier is the owner of Anneal, a consulting firm, and is a partner at Commerce Kitchen, a web development, design, and marketing company. She serves as the project manager for DigitalLearn.org, an online hub for those who teach and support digital learners. Before that she worked as the project manager for Colorado’s Public Computer Centers, which brought computers and training to 88 locations throughout Colorado and has already seen more than three million users. Hollier is a board member for the Digital Public Library of America and consults for Open Government and Startup communities in Colorado.
Queens, New York
Vice President, Government & Community Affairs, Queens Borough Public Library -- Jennifer Manley is part of the leadership team for one of the busiest libraries in the nation, circulating over 13 million items from a 7.5 million collection annually and welcoming over 13 million visitors a year to its 62 library locations. Immigrants make up more than 50 percent of the borough’s population and the library has become a leader in providing services to new immigrants. Thousands of immigrant adults and their families come to the library to learn English, learn about citizenship and become full participants in democratic society. Manley believes in the power of information and education to improve lives, one at a time, neighborhood by neighborhood.
Cheryl McCallum, Ed.D.
Director of Education, Children’s Museum of Houston – Cheryl McCallum is dedicated to bringing innovative high quality museum programs to all children, with a special emphasis on reaching children from low income neighborhoods. Her dedicated team of staff and volunteers engage children and their families in a “Playground for Your MindÔ,” which reaches 800,000 visitors annually who design rockets and cars, test their fitness, and conduct experiments. She also leads a team of educators that serves another 250,000 people through outreach programs with libraries, schools, and community centers. McCallum helps parents to engage in fun, high-quality museum learning activities that support their role as a child’s first teacher. As part of a decade-long collaboration with Houston Public Library, McCallum recently directed the development of Family Literacy Involvement Program (FLIPkits.org), which made 2,280 activity kits available for loan to families through 34 Library branches in Houston. The program has been replicated in many other cities around the U.S.
Chief Adult Learning Officer, Hartford Public Library-- Born in Paris, a native of Iran and now an American citizen, Homa Naficy joined the Hartford Public Library in 2000 to design and direct The American Place (TAP), program for Hartford’s immigrants and refugees. TAP has become a magnet for new arrivals seeking immigration information, resources for learning English, and preparing for United States citizenship. In 2010, the program was awarded two major grants, a citizenship education grant from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (the only library in the nation to receive such funding), and a National Leadership grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services designed to promote immigrant civic engagement.
Kansas City, Missouri
Teaching and Learning Services Librarian/Diversity Liaison, University of Missouri - Kansas City Libraries -- For nearly a quarter of a century, Gloria Tibbs has worked as a librarian. She has been with the Kansas City Libraries since 2001 and also serves as the Library’s Diversity Liaison, a role that enables her to diligently promote the principles of diversity, inclusiveness, and respect throughout the libraries, the campus, the greater Kansas City community, and the profession. In collaboration with colleagues, Tibbs develops programming opportunities to enhance cultural understanding, celebrate diversity, and engage UMKC students, faculty, and external community members in non-traditional means of intellectual discovery.
Library Director, Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma -- Sandy Tharp-Thee is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. She and Iowa Tribe of Oklahoma chairperson, Janice Rowe-Kurak, were honored with a 2012 Library Institutional Excellence Award from the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums. It recognizes an indigenous library that profoundly demonstrates outstanding service to its community. In three short years, the library evolved from an organization with no budget and no viable programs to a well-funded organization that is considered an “essential service.” The library now is widely-recognized for its work in advancing print and digital literacy among young and old, providing resources in employment and health, as well as activities to help preserve the Iowa people’s culture and history, and much more.
Teacher Librarian, Longfellow Elementary School, Howard County Public Schools, Maryland --Matthew Winner believes that school libraries play a vital role in creating lifelong learners and that gaming and game-based learning are highly effective tools in engaging and supporting the academic success of our students. Winner is the co-author of Teaching Math with the Wii, which will be published in October 2013 by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). He is the author of the Busy Librarian blog and was recently named a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker in the category of Tech Leaders.
Today, President Obama and President Xi agreed on an important new step to confront global climate change. For the first time, the United States and China will work together and with other countries to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), among other forms of multilateral cooperation. A global phase down of HFCs could potentially reduce some 90 gigatons of CO2 equivalent by 2050, equal to roughly two years worth of current global greenhouse gas emissions.
The agreement between the United States and China reads as follows:
Regarding HFCs, the United States and China agreed to work together and with other countries through multilateral approaches that include using the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, while continuing to include HFCs within the scope of UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol provisions for accounting and reporting of emissions.
HFCs are potent greenhouse gases used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and industrial applications. While they do not deplete the ozone layer, many are highly potent greenhouse gases. Their use is growing rapidly as replacements for ozone-depleting substances that are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Left unabated, HFC emissions growth could grow to nearly 20 percent of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, a serious climate mitigation concern.
The Montreal Protocol was established in 1987 to facilitate a global approach to combat depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer. Every country in the world is a party to the Protocol, and it has successfully phased out or is in the process of phasing out several key classes of chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and halons. The transitions out of CFCs and HCFCs provide major ozone layer protection benefits, but the unintended consequence is the rapid current and projected future growth of climate-damaging HFCs.
For the past four years, the United States, Canada, and Mexico have proposed an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs. The amendment would gradually reduce consumption and production and control byproduct emissions of HFCs in all countries, and require reporting in these areas. The amendment includes a financial assistance component for countries that can already access the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund, and leaves unchanged the reporting and accounting provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and Kyoto Protocol on HFC emissions.
WASHINGTON, DC – On Sunday, June 9, the President will depart the Palm Springs area to return to the White House. The arrival of Air Force One is open to pre-credentialed media, but closed to the public.
Members of the media who wish to cover the departure of Air Force One must RSVP HERE by TODAY 5:00 PM PDT/8:00 PM EDT, Saturday, June 8, 2013.
FOR PLANNING PURPOSES ONLY, NOT FOR REPORTING
All times are Pacific Daylight Time.
SUNDAY, June 9, 2013
Air Force One Departure
Palm Springs International Airport
3400 East Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA 92262
Media Coverage: Open to pre-credentialed media
Estimated Air Force One Departure time: 10:25 AM
Live Truck Parking: Live trucks will report to a controlled checkpoint located at the corner of Baristo Road and El Cielo Road at 6:00 AM. Please have your credentials ready as you approach the checkpoint. Once approved, the official will provide driving instructions to the designated parking areas.
Media Pre-set for Live Trucks: 6:00 AM – 7:15 AM (NOTE: Media will not have access to their equipment or live trucks during the security sweeps from 7:15 AM – 9:15 AM. Only live trucks are required to pre-set during this time.)
General Media Parking: Media will report to a controlled checkpoint located at the corner of Baristo Road and El Cielo Road beginning at 8:30 AM. Please have your credentials ready as you approach the checkpoint. Once approved, the official will provide driving instructions to the designated parking areas.
Media Entrance: Gate 9; directed on-site.
No Access to Live Trucks or Equipment: 7:15 AM – 9:15 AM
Media Check-in & Access: 9:15 AM at Gate 9
Final Media Access: 9:45 AM at Gate 9
Throw (distance from media riser to Air Force One): 180 feet
Cable Run (distance from live truck to media riser): 350 feet
No power, workspace, or wireless Internet will be available.
All names submitted for credentials must be accurate and reflect the identification media presents at checkpoints for entrance. RSVPs do not guarantee access. You will receive a confirmation e-mail if you will receive a credential to cover the event.
Media contact for logistical and planning purposes only: Karly Satkowiak, Karly_M_Satkowiak@who.eop.gov or 202-503-5880 mobile.
Remarks by President Obama and President Xi Jinping of the People's Republic of China After Bilateral Meeting
Rancho Mirage, California
8:09 P.M. PDT
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Everybody ready? Well, I know we’re a little behind, but that’s mainly because President Xi and I had a very constructive conversation on a whole range of strategic issues, from North Korea to cyberspace to international institutions. And I’m very much looking forward to continuing the conversation, not only tonight at dinner but also tomorrow.
But I thought we’d take a quick break just to take a question from both the U.S. and Chinese press. So what I’ll do is I’ll start with Julie Pace and then President Xi can call on a Chinese counterpart.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. How damaging has Chinese cyber-hacking been to the U.S.? And did you warn your counterpart about any specific consequences if those actions continue? And also, while there are obviously differences between China’s alleged actions and your government’s surveillance programs, do you think that the new NSA revelations undermine your position on these issues at all during these talks?
And President Xi, did --
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Why don’t you let the interpreter --
Q And President Xi, did you acknowledge in your talks with President Obama that China has been launching cyber attacks against the U.S.? Do you also believe that the U.S. is launching similar attacks against China? And if so, can you tell us what any of the targets may have been? Thank you.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, Julie, first of all, we haven’t had, yet, in-depth discussions about the cybersecurity issue. We’re speaking at the 40,000-foot level, and we’ll have more intensive discussions during this evening’s dinner.
What both President Xi and I recognize is that because of these incredible advances in technology, that the issue of cybersecurity and the need for rules and common approaches to cybersecurity are going to be increasingly important as part of bilateral relationships and multilateral relationships.
In some ways, these are uncharted waters and you don’t have the kinds of protocols that have governed military issues, for example, and arms issues, where nations have a lot of experience in trying to negotiate what’s acceptable and what’s not. And it’s critical, as two of the largest economies and military powers in the world, that China and the United States arrive at a firm understanding of how we work together on these issues.
But I think it’s important, Julie, to get to the second part of your question, to distinguish between the deep concerns we have as a government around theft of intellectual property or hacking into systems that might disrupt those systems -- whether it’s our financial systems, our critical infrastructure and so forth -- versus some of the issues that have been raised around NSA programs.
When it comes to those cybersecurity issues like hacking or theft, those are not issues that are unique to the U.S.-China relationship. Those are issues that are of international concern. Oftentimes it’s non-state actors who are engaging in these issues as well. And we’re going to have to work very hard to build a system of defenses and protections, both in the private sector and in the public sector, even as we negotiate with other countries around setting up common rules of the road.
And as China continues in its development process and more of its economy is based on research and innovation and entrepreneurship, they’re going to have similar concerns, which is why I believe we can work together on this rather than at cross-purposes.
Now, the NSA program, as I discussed this morning, is a very limited issue, but it does have broad implications for our society because you’ve got a lot of data out there, a lot of communications that are in cyberspace. And how we deal with both identifying potential terrorists or criminals, how the private sector deals with potential theft, and how the federal government, state governments, local governments and the private sector coordinate to keep out some of these malicious forces while still preserving the openness and the incredible power of the Internet and the web and these new telecommunications systems -- that’s a complicated and important piece of business. But it’s different from these issues of theft and hacking.
And every government is then inevitably going to be involved in these issues, just like big companies are going to be involved in these issues. I mean, you’ve got private companies that have a lot more data and a lot more details about people’s emails and telephone calls than the federal government does. And if we’re called upon not only to make sure that we’re anticipating terrorist communications but we’re also called upon to work with the private sector to prevent theft out of ATMs, et cetera, then we’re going to have to find ways to deal with this big data in ways that are consistent with our values; in ways that protect people’s privacy, that ensure oversight, and strike the right balance.
And as I indicated this morning, that’s a conversation that I welcome having.
PRESIDENT XI: (As interpreted.) As President Obama said, in our meeting this afternoon we just briefly touched upon the issue of cybersecurity. And the Chinese government is firm in upholding cybersecurity and we have major concerns about cybersecurity.
In the few days before President Obama and I meet today, I note sharp increased media coverage of the issue of cybersecurity. This might give people the sense or feeling that cybersecurity as a threat mainly comes from China or that the issue of cybersecurity is the biggest problem in the China-U.S. relationship.
The application of new technology is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it will drive progress in ensuring better material and cultural life for the people. On the other hand, it might create some problems for regulators and it might infringe upon the rights of states, enterprises, societies and individuals.
We need to pay close attention to this issue and study ways to effectively resolve this issue. And this matter can actually be an area for China and the United States to work together with each other in a pragmatic way. And I'm happy to learn that within the context of the China-U.S. strategic and economic dialogue, a working group has been established to discuss cybersecurity issues. So this is an issue that the two sides will continue to discuss.
By conducting good-faith cooperation we can remove misgivings and make information security and cybersecurity a positive area of cooperation between China and the U.S. Because China and the United States both have a need and both share a concern, and China is a victim of cyber attacks and we hope that earnest measures can be taken to resolve this matter.
Q I’m with China Central Television and my question for President Xi is, what are the main issues that were discussed in the longer-than-expected meeting this afternoon? And what are the major areas of consensus that have emerged from the discussion? And last year, when you were visiting the United States, you raised the concept of the two sides working together to explore what you call a new model of major country relationship, something that is unprecedented in the relationship and that can inspire future generations. And after this concept was raised, there has been much discussion and comment on it, both in China and the United States and in the world more broadly. So did you have further discussion on this issue in your meeting this afternoon?
And my question for President Obama is, what will the United States do to contribute to the building of a new model of major country relationship between China and the U.S.?
PRESIDENT XI: (As interpreted.) In the first meeting that I’ve had with President Obama this afternoon, we had an in-depth, sincere and candid discussion on the domestic and foreign policies of China and the United States, on our joint work to build a new model of major country relationship, and our international and regional issues of mutual interest. And the President and I reached important consensus on these issues.
I stated very clearly to President Obama that China will be firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and China will be firm in deepening reform and opening up the country wider to the world. China will work hard to realize the Chinese dream of the great national renewal and will work hard to push forward the noble cause of peace and development for all mankind.
By the Chinese dream, we seek to have economic prosperity, national renewal and people’s well-being. The Chinese dream is about cooperation, development, peace and win-win, and it is connected to the American Dream and the beautiful dreams people in other countries may have.
President Obama and I both believe that in the age of economic globalization and facing the objective need of countries sticking together in the face of difficulties, China and the United States must find a new path -- one that is different from the inevitable confrontation and conflict between the major countries of the past. And that is to say the two sides must work together to build a new model of major country relationship based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation for the benefit of the Chinese and American peoples, and people elsewhere in the world.
The international community looks to China and the United States to deliver this. When China and the United States work together, we can be an anchor for world stability and the propeller of world peace.
I stand ready to work with President Obama to expand on all levels of exchanges between the two sides. I look forward to maintaining close communication with the President through mutual visits, bilateral meetings, exchange of letters and phone calls. And I invited President Obama to come to China at an appropriate time for a similar meeting like this. And we look forward to visiting each other country.
At the same time, the two sides will work hard to make progress in the various bilateral mechanisms, such as the strategic and economic dialogue and the high-level consultation on people-to-people exchange. Also, the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Minister of National Defense will both make visits to the United States within the year.
Our two sides should also step up exchanges and cooperation in economy and trade, energy, environment, people-to-people, and cultural fields, as well as at the sub-national level, so that we can deepen the shared interests of the two countries and expand them to all areas.
We should also improve and strengthen the military-to-military relationship between the two countries and promote the building of a new model of military relationship between the two sides. The two sides should also improve coordination microeconomic policies so that by strengthening cooperation, we can contribute to our respective development at home, and promote strong, sustainable and balanced economic growth in the Asia Pacific region and the world at large.
And I’m confident in our joint effort to build a new model of major country relationship. I believe success hinges on the human effort. Firstly, both sides have the political will to build this relationship. Secondly, our cooperation in the last 40 years provides a good foundation for us to build on. Thirdly, between China and the United States, there are over 90 intergovernmental mechanisms which provide the institutional underpinning for our efforts.
Fourth, there is strong public support for this kind of relationship between China and the United States. There are 220 pairs of sister provinces, states and cities between China and the U.S. There are 190,000 Chinese students in the United States, and 20,000 American students in China.
And 5th, there is enormous scope for future cooperation between China and the U.S.
Of course, this endeavor is unprecedented and one that will inspire future generations. So we need to deepen our mutual understanding, strengthen our mutual trust, further develop our cooperation and manage our differences so that we can avoid the traditional path of inevitable confrontation between major countries and really embark on a new path.
The Chinese nation and American nation are great nations, and the Chinese people and American people are great peoples. As long as we stand high and look far, as long as we make specific progress and accumulate them over time, as long as we maintain confidence and determination, as long as we have wisdom and patience, I'm confident that we will succeed in achieving this historical mission.
I'm sorry for going too long. Thank you.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I think President Xi summarized very well the scope of our conversations. We spoke about some very specific issues -- for example, President Xi mentioned the importance of military-to-military communications. In the past, we've had high-level diplomatic communications about economic and strategic issues, but we haven't always had as effective communications between our militaries. And at a time when there's so much activity around the world, it's very important that we each understand our strategic objectives at the military as well as the political levels. So that's an example of concrete progress that can advance this new model of relations between the United States and China.
So we'll be taking steps to institutionalize and regularize such discussions. But more broadly, I think President Xi identified the essence of our discussions in which we shared our respective visions for our countries' futures and agreed that we're more likely to achieve our objectives of prosperity and security of our people if we are working together cooperatively, rather than engaged in conflict.
And I emphasized my firm belief to President Xi that it is very much in the interest of the United States for China to continue its peaceful rise, because if China is successful, that helps to drive the world economy and it puts China in the position to work with us as equal partners in dealing with many of the global challenges that no single nation can address by itself.
So, for example, neither country by itself can deal with the challenge of climate change. That's an issue that we'll have to deal with together. China as the largest country, as it continues to develop, will be a larger and larger carbon emitter unless we find new mechanisms for green growth. The United States, we have the largest carbon footprint per capita in the world; we've got to bring down our carbon levels in order to accommodate continued growth. And so that will translate then into opportunities for specific work around green technologies and research and development, and interactions between our scientists so that we can, together, help advance the goal of a sustainable planet, even as we continue to grow and develop.
We've got a lot of work to do to take these broad understandings down to the level of specifics, and that will require further discussions not only today and tomorrow, but for weeks, months, years to come. But what I'm very encouraged about is that both President Xi and myself recognize we have a unique opportunity to take the U.S.-China relationship to a new level. And I am absolutely committed to making sure that we don't miss that opportunity.
Thank you very much, everybody.
8:47 P.M. PDT
2:27 P.M. PDT MR. RHODES: Hey, everybody. Thanks for coming to this briefing to wrap up the meetings over the last two days between President Obama and President Xi. I’ll turn it over here to our National Security Advisor Tom Donilon to give a readout of those meetings. Afterwards we’ll take questions. Tom, of course, has been very focused on this China meeting as a lead person for the President on U.S.-China relations, so he can speak to anything associated with that or other foreign policy questions. I’m happy to also take questions on the FISA-related stories that have been in the news recently. In that regard, I would draw your attention to a fact sheet that we sent to our press on the collection of intelligence pursuant to Section 702 of FISA, as it provides a very good baseline of details on that program. But with that, I’ll turn it over to Tom to give you an opening presentation. Then we’ll take questions. MR. DONILON: Thank you, Ben. Good afternoon, everybody. I’m sorry to be a little late. I wanted to talk today about the quite unique and important meetings that took place between President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China over the last couple of days here in California. I’d say at the outset that the President had very good discussions in an informal atmosphere, uniquely informal atmosphere, with President Xi over the last two days. The discussions were positive and constructive, wide-ranging and quite successful in achieving the goals that we set forth for this meeting. Before I turn to the specifics on the meeting, I wanted to give some context for this. The meeting, of course, is an important part of the President’s broad national security strategy we’ve outlined since the beginning of this administration, underscoring the importance of the United States having productive and constructive relationships with the important powers in the world. And our strategic observation that if those relationships are constructive and productive, then in fact the United States could more effectively pursue its national interest and that we could, with others, solve global problems more effectively. This meeting is also central to our Asia Pacific rebalancing strategy. As I’ve said many times, the President believes that Asia’s future and the future of the United States are deeply and increasingly linked, and we judged early during our term in office -- actually during the transition -- that we were under-weighted in Asia, and we had been over-weighted in other parts of the world in the prior six or seven years, particularly with respect to our military operations in the Middle East and in South Asia. So we undertook a determined strategy aimed at sustaining a stable security environment and a regional order rooted in economic openness and peaceful resolution of disputes, and respect for the universal rights and freedoms in Asia. Our rebalancing strategy, of course, has a number of elements: strengthening alliances, deepening partnerships with emerging powers, empowering regional institutions, helping to build regional economic architectures that can sustain shared prosperity -- TPP obviously is at the core of that. And of course it includes building a stable, productive and constructive relationship with China that we’ve been about from the outset of the administration. With respect to this meeting, as I said at the outset, in many ways it was a unique meeting. And again, if you go back through studying each of the encounters between an American President and the leadership of China since President Nixon’s historic meeting in February of 1972 in China, I think the uniqueness and the importance of a number of aspects of this encounter really come to the fore. Number one, the setting and the style. The setting here obviously was in a very informal setting and the style was informal between the President of the United States and the President of China, which is not the normal setting for these meetings if you’ve studied them over the years. I guess the closest meeting that came -- with respect to kind of style -- would have been the Crawford meeting in 2002 between President Bush and Jiang Zemin. But that meeting was at the end of his tenure, Jiang Zemin’s tenure, and the total meeting time was only, I think, an hour and a half or two hours. This meeting was entirely different obviously. Secondly, the length of the discussions, which we calculated approaching eight hours, and the breadth and depth of the discussions, which were quite strategic and covered virtually every aspect of the United States-China relationship. Third, the timing -- and the timing was quite important here. It is at the outset of President Obama’s second term in office as President of the United States. It is at the outset of President Xi’s tenure as President of China, an expected 10-year period. So, point one. Point two, it also comes at an important moment of transition for the United States. As I said, we’re embarking on the President’s second term but also at a point where we really are looking at second-term priorities and our economy is recovering, I think, and a lot of the restoration work that we’ve done in the first term is coming to fruition. And third, we do face an intense range of bilateral, regional and global challenges on which U.S.-China cooperation is critical. So the setting, the style, the length of discussion, the breadth of the issues discussed, and the timing I think all underscore the point that this is an important and unique meeting between the U.S. President and the leader of China. And again, I think if you go back through and do a careful study of the encounters between the leaders of the United States and China since 1972, I think that really does become quite clear. How did this meeting come about? Let me discuss that for just a couple of minutes. We have, from the outset of the second term, undertaken to, in a deliberate and purposeful way, engage with the leadership of -- the new leadership of China. Indeed, President Obama had a telephone conversation with President Xi congratulating him on his election as President on March 14th, the day he was elected. I think he had literally just come from the meeting and President Obama talked to him that afternoon. We then undertook a series of encounters with the Chinese. Secretary Lew went out almost immediately to discuss economic issues. General Dempsey, the head of our Joint Chiefs of Staff, went out to discuss military and security issues. Secretary Kerry went out to discuss diplomatic issues and foreign policy issues. And I followed the three of those meetings with my own travel to China just a couple of weeks ago to discuss the broad range of issues facing the United States and China, and to lay the foundation for this meeting. So again, we've had a purposeful and deliberate effort to engage with the leadership of China and to work on this relationship as we go into our second term. Next, we asked ourselves, when should the President and President Xi meet each other. And on the current schedule, that wouldn’t have been until the G20 meeting in St. Petersburg this September. And it struck us as being too long of a time; the vacuum would have been too great. And the President decided that he would undertake to try to schedule a meeting at an earlier date. And that, of course, is this meeting. We also thought hard about the style of the meeting and what the purpose would be. And we had as a goal, a specific goal to build a personal relationship between the President and President Xi, and have an opportunity not under the pressure of being on the margins of another multilateral meeting to really sit down and explore the contours of the U.S.-China relationship. The structure of the meetings: The meetings began, as you know, yesterday afternoon, and the initial topics for discussion were the priorities that each President has for his country today in order to set the strategic context for the discussion. So President Xi talked at some length about his plans for his presidency and his government's plan to cross a range of issues, starting with the economic issues. President Obama talked about his plans for his second term and how he saw things unfolding, and then they had a broader conversation about how these -- the strategic context affected U.S.-China relations. So that is, again, I think a unique conversation between a President of the United States and a President of China to have, again, at the outset of President Obama's second term and at the beginning of President Xi's term, a quite lengthy discussion about how they see where their countries are domestically and what their priorities are internationally. That was the first set of sessions. Secondly, last night, over dinner, we discussed a full range of bilateral issues, including security issues, and have a lengthy conversation last night about North Korea, which I can talk about if you'd like to do that. This morning, President Obama and President Xi went for a walk to have a one-on-one meeting -- a true one-on-one meeting -- with just interpreters present -- went for a walk around the property here and then found a place to sit down. That meeting lasted for about 50 minutes this morning -- and again, talking about a number of the key issues between the United States and China. They came back from that meeting, and we sat down again at the conference table and then undertook a quite extensive discussion about economic issues, including cyber issues -- which of course we believe needs to be at the center of the economic discussions that the United States and China are having. As I said, last night at dinner we had a lengthy discussion about North Korea, and let me talk about that just for a couple of minutes. As I said, it was a significant discussion last night during the dinner. And as you all know who cover this issue, China has taken a number of steps in recent months to send a clear message to North Korea, including through enhanced enforcement of sanctions and through public statements by the senior leadership in China. The Presidents agreed last night that this is a key area for U.S.-China enhanced cooperation. They agreed that North Korea has to denuclearize; that neither country will accept North Korea as a nuclear-armed state; and that we would work together to deepen U.S.-China cooperation and dialogue to achieve denuclearization. The President also stressed to President Xi that the United States will take any steps that we need to take to defend ourselves and our allies from the threat of that North Korea presents. The two sides stressed the importance of continuing to apply pressure both to halt North Korea's ability to proliferate and to make clear that its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons is incompatible with its economic development goals. The discussions on this issue I believe will allow us to continue to move ahead and work in a careful way in terms of our cooperation to work together to achieve our ends. I think the bottom line is I think we had quite a bit of alignment on the Korean issue -- North Korean issue, and absolute agreement that we would continue to work together on concrete steps in order to achieve the joint goals that the United States and China have with respect to the North Korean nuclear program. As I said during the economic discussion that we had today, cybersecurity and cyber issues were an important topic. And again, I think they took -- actually those issues took up most of the discussion this morning between President Obama and President Xi. Obviously, given the importance of our economic ties, the President made clear the threat posed to our economic and national security by cyber-enabled economic espionage. And I want to be clear on exactly what we're talking about here. What we're talking about here are efforts by entities in China to, through cyber attacks, engage in the theft of public and private property -- intellectual property and other property in the United States. And that is the focus here, which is why it was in the economic discussion this morning. And again, we had a detailed discussion on this. The President underscored that resolving this issue is really key to the future of U.S.-China economic relations. He asked President Xi to continue to look seriously at the problem that we've raised here. And again, I gave a speech on this in March in New York, and went through exactly what the agenda would be for us with respect to China, and number one is to acknowledge this concern. And I think this concern is acknowledged at this point. Number two -- to investigate specifically the types of activities that we have identified here -- and the Chinese have agreed to look at this. And third, to engage in a dialogue with the United States on norms and rules -- that is what is acceptable and what's not acceptable in the realm of cyber. The two Presidents provided guidance to the new cyber working group, which, as you know, has been set up under out strategic economic dialogue, which will engage in a dialogue, as I said, on the rules and norms of behavior in cyberspace that will explore confidence-building measures. And we instructed the teams to report back on their discussions to the leaders. Other issues that were discussed at some length obviously was the economy -- and we can go into some depth on that if you'd like to -- human rights, and importantly, military-to-military relationships between the United States and China. This has been an important aspect of our discussions with China in the last year and a half or two years, and the fact is, of course, that it's the military-to-military relationship that lag behind our political and our economic relationship. This was acknowledged on the Chinese side, and we actually have some momentum behind increasing and deepening these relationships as we go forward here, as we try to build a comprehensive and positive relationship with China. I think, again, that the Presidents' meetings here at Sunnyland were, as I said, without a doubt unique. And as President Obama said yesterday, the challenge that he and President Xi face us to turn the aspiration of charting a new course here for our relationship into a reality, and to build out what President Xi and President Obama call the new model of relations between great powers. So, with that, I'd be glad to take your questions. I could also go on for another hour or two about the details of the meeting. (Laughter.) Q Tom, you said that the concern about cyber is acknowledged at this point by the Chinese. How specific are they in this acknowledgement in the private meetings, given that in public they tend to avoid acknowledging this? And Xi also mentioned last night at the bilat that China has been a victim of cyber-hacking as well. Are they saying that the U.S. is targeting China, or are they leaving that sort of more broad in these discussions? MR. DONILON: A couple of things -- and, thanks, Julie. Number one, as I said, it's important to understand exactly what we're talking about here. The discussion that we're having with China with respect to this topic is really not focused on cyber-hacking and cyber crime. These are problems that we've faced and we've faced jointly, and we need to work together in a joint way to defend ourselves against these and to come up with norms of rules of the road with respect to those problems that we face as two nations whose economy and whose full range of activities are increasingly online and increasingly linked up to the Internet, which makes them vulnerable. That's not the focus of the discussion, though, that we had today -- except to the extent that we both acknowledge that this is a problem and for the two large economies in the world addressing them is important. The specific issue that President Obama talked to President Xi about today is the issue of cyber-enabled economic theft -- theft of intellectual property and other kinds of property in the public and private realm in the United States by entities based in China. And the President went through this in some detail today with some specifics today and asked the Chinese government engage on this issue and understand that it is -- if it's not addressed, if it continues to be this direct theft of United States' property, that this was going to be a very difficult problem in the economic relationship and was going to be an inhibitor to the relationship really reaching its full potential. We've undertaken, as you know, a systematic effort with respect to this issue. We have had conversations with the Chinese about it over the course of the last year or so. We've raised it publicly. I did so -- the first administration official to do it. And we have had increasingly direct conversations with the Chinese through the various dialogues that we've set up. What's critical, though, I think is that it is now really at the center of the relationship. It is not an adjunct issue, it's an issue that is very much on the table at this point. With respect to the question that you asked directly about whether they acknowledge it, it's interesting, you could ask whether or not the Chinese government at the most senior levels was aware of all the activities that have been underway with respect to the cyber-enabled theft -- you can't answer that question, though, today. You'd have to -- it's quite directly and it's quite obvious now that the Chinese senior leadership understand clearly the importance of this issue to the United States, the importance of the United States of seeking resolution of this issue. Q If I could just draw you out a little bit more on that, Tom. You said that the President went through some very specific information about cyber-hacking. Did he outline some specific cases of theft? And if you could go into North Korea a little bit -- what specifically did they agree to do? Did they -- are there going to be more talks? Go back to the United Nations? What exactly? MR. DONILON: With respect to cyber, I think it's accurate to say that the President described to President Xi the exact kinds of types of problems that we're concerned about, and underscored that the United States did not have any doubt about what was going on here, that in fact, that these activities had been underway and that they were inconsistent with the kind of relationship that we want to build with China, which is a comprehensive partnership. Having a comprehensive partnership at the same time when you have large-scale theft underway is not -- well, it's going to be very difficult to do. But this, as I was saying to Julie, I think what's important here is this is a broad relationship with China. We have a full range of issues. We have a half-a-trillion-dollar-a-year trade relationship with China. We have all manner of interaction between the United States and China. We are highly interdependent countries and societies and economies, and again, we have a range of issues. And this is an issue that's come to the fore and it's one that is going to have to be resolved, again, in the context of this broad relationship. With respect to North Korea, I think the important point here is full agreement on the goals -- that is denuclearization; full agreement that in fact the Security Council resolutions which put pressure on North Korea need to be enforced, and full agreement that we will work together to look at steps that need to be taken in order to achieve the goal. Why? Now, let's talk about that for just a second also with respect to motivations here. How have the Chinese and the United States come to the same view with respect to North Korea and the absolute unacceptability of a full-on nuclear weapons program. And I think it comes to this. It comes to the impacts, if you will, of North Korea continuing to pursue a nuclear weapons program which would allow them to become a proliferator, which would allow them to present a threat to the United States, as we’ve discussed and I’ve discussed with this group before, and which would allow them to really upend, if you will, security in Northeast Asia. A recognized nuclear weapon state in Pyongyang, weapons program in Pyongyang would of course have profound implications in the rest of Northeast Asia, and these are obviously results that the Chinese don’t want to see. They’re results the United States doesn’t want to see. So I think what you have essentially underway here is a shared threat analysis and a shared analysis as to what the implications and impact would be of North Korea pursuing a nuclear weapons program. Yes. Q Mark. MR. DONILON: Hi, Mark. Q Can I ask a FISA question? MR. DONILON: Yes, but I’d rather -- Q Sorry. Can I ask a FISA question? Can you tell me what kind of investigation the President wants into the leaks of the FISA material? Does he want a criminal investigation? MR. DONILON: Ben, do you want to take this? MR. RHODES: Yes, I’ll take this. First of all, Mark, what we’re focused on doing right now, and you’ve seen this in the DNI statement, is, frankly, doing an assessment of the damage that is being done to U.S. national security by the revelation of this information, which is necessarily secret because the United States needs to be able to conduct intelligence activities without those methods being revealed to the world. So currently there’s a review underway, of course, to understand what potential damage may be done. As it relates to any potential investigations, we’re still in the early stages of this. Obviously the Justice Department would have to be involved in that. So this is something that I think will be addressed in the coming days by the Justice Department of the intelligence community in consultation with the full interagency that’s been affected by these very disturbing leaks of national security information. Q And one question on China -- on the lighter side. Can you tell me about the bench that was given as a gift? Did President Xi -- MR. DONILON: You want to do the bench? MR. RHODES: Yes. MR. DONILON: I’ll let Ben do the bench. Q Did the President deliver it? MR. RHODES: I understand a few facts about the bench. The bench was made out of a redwood, which is obviously very unique to this part of the United States. And the Protocol Office I think can give you more details, but I think Tom mentioned that the two leaders were able to take a walk and were able to sit on what became the bench that the Chinese will be taking with them. But again, I think it’s illustrative of the beautiful part of the world that we’re in, of course, extending up farther north. And we can get you additional details from our protocol people. MR. DONILON: Mark, just a couple of things to add on, though, not with respect to the bench specifically but with respect to the personal interaction between President Obama and President Xi. We, as I said earlier, really saw this as an opportunity for the two Presidents at an important moment here to deepen their personal relationship, to establish and deepen their personal relationship as a foundation for going forward; to address the range of issues that we have to address. And I think from that perspective that this meeting was quite successful -- a lot of time together, a lot of personal time together including -- again, quite unusual for the President of China and the President of the United States to spend pure one-on-one time together without any aids present, just interpreters, as I said, for an extended period of time. A very lively dinner last evening, and also at the end of the sessions today, Mark, the President also was able to spend some time with President Xi and his spouse, Madam Peng, this afternoon for about 30 minutes before the Chinese delegation left for Beijing. So I wanted to give you a sense of kind of all those elements that we think are important to building the kind of relationship that we’d like to see built between the two leaders as well as the relationship that we’re building between the two governments. MR. RHODES: Jessica. Q I’ve got two questions -- MR. DONILON: Okay. Q I think President Xi invited President Obama to China. It’s important to follow up on that quickly to build on this relationship. Could you talk briefly about a little bit of the color in the meeting with the First Lady of China? And then turning to the FISA question, now that the DNI declassified some information about PRISM, maybe you can speak a little bit more freely about it. Can you help people understand, now that the administration says only non-U.S. persons are targeted, The Guardian reports that 3 billion digital items were collected off U.S. servers just in March. How can you explain that and assure Americans that surveillance was limited to non-Americans? MR. DONILON: Thanks, Jessica. With respect to the visits, again, this was a unique visit to California by President Xi. And by the way, what’s also another interesting aspect of this is that the United States proposed this and there was really quite quick acceptance by President Xi of the invitation to have this meeting quite early in his term. With respect to future visits, which is your question, I think they come in two categories, and we discussed them in the meetings. One would be a similar informal visit to China and the other would be the more formal reciprocal exchange of state visits. And the Presidents discussed both those issues and agreed to have their teams work on the timing and attempt to schedule this. I think the bottom line is this, though, Jessica. Number one is that the President would like to have a similar session in China, outside the capital in a more relaxed setting to have the kind of informal give-and-take that he had here. And certainly we will work to put together the next, if you will, cycle of exchanges of state visits to Washington and Beijing. With respect to the meeting that the President had with Madam Peng and President Xi, it was about 30 minutes. It took place in the sunroom if you -- in the Annenberg House. They discussed a number of things, including her career and her activities as First Lady of China. Ben, do you want to take this one? MR. RHODES: Yes. Jessica, first of all, I'd point you to the DNI facts on PRISM, which I think put out a lot of information, including the fact that the U.S. government cannot target anyone under the court-approved procedures for Section 702 collection unless there is a foreign intelligence purpose for the acquisition of that information. So in other words, even for foreign persons there has to be an additional step to identify a nexus to foreign intelligence collection to pursue additional information. For U.S. citizens and U.S. persons and people in the United States, they cannot be intentionally targeted by this program, so they are not a part of what the goal of this collection is. Furthermore, if any U.S. citizen were to become engaged in -- was engaged in activities that were of interest to the government, we would have to -- just as with the phone situation, we would have to go back and obtain a warrant to pursue further collection on the content of any U.S. individual's communications. So there would have to be an additional layer beyond PRISM for the U.S. government to pursue, review information associated with a U.S. persons potential connection to, for instance, terrorism. Q Can you comment on that volume of data, and, if possible, how that volume of data relates to non-U.S. persons? MR. RHODES: I can't comment -- I mean, the NSA and the intelligence community are probably the people that could comment on the volume of this data. To be clear here, it's not as if there are people sitting there reading every piece of information that may be in the universe of collection that the U.S. government has. As we discussed with the phone program, there is a type of data that we call metadata that is more extensive but more anonymous type of collection. I think the point that’s very important for Americans to understand is that for the U.S. government to decide to pursue an investigation of an American citizen or a U.S. person, there would have to be an additional step beyond these programs that have been described to get a warrant and to essentially pursue a lead if there's a suspected nexus to terrorism. So just as the President said, we're not listening to anybody's phone calls. We're also not going out and seeking to read people's electronic communications. If we were able to detect a potential nexus to terrorism, we'd have to go back to a judge and pursue a warrant to try to investigate that lead, just as we would in any other intelligence or criminal procedure. So as the fact sheet makes clear, these are broad programs that do not, again, target U.S. persons or people in the United States. And to go a step deeper, we'd have to go back and go through all the procedures of getting an additional warrant. I think that the fact sheet also lays out, as we said with the information related to telephone data, that this is rigorously overseen by all three branches of government. So this is a FISA provision, so the court is involved in all of this activity. This is also overseen by Congress in their semi-annual reports, for instance, provided to Congress on these activities. And they're obviously part of the Patriot Act that has been reauthorized by Congress in 2009, 2011. And of course, the executive branch has built-in procedures for reviewing these programs through inspector generals and other mechanisms to make sure that there's not abuse and to make sure they were putting in place appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. Q Follow up -- MR. RHODES: We'll get to you. But I want to -- let's go to Jackie here. Q Hi. Just on two separate things real quick. Did you discuss at all the TransPacific Partnership, and did China indicate a willingness to join those discussions? And on the climate change -- it's quite a significant agreement that you released. You said before the meeting there would be no deliverables. Does this not qualify as a deliverable? Was it a surprise that this came together? MR. DONILON: Thanks, Jackie. With respect to the second question -- I'll come back to the first in a minute -- it's not a surprise. We have been working on it. Earlier this year, Secretary Kerry set up a working group on climate to develop practical steps that we could take together to address climate change. And during the course of the meeting, by the way, more generally, the Presidents did discuss climate and, of course, agreed that we have a strong joint interest in addressing the climate issue -- a strong joint interest from a lot of perspectives, including sustainable economic growth. As a result of the working group's efforts, there was ready today an example of practical cooperation. And it was, Jackie, just ready for the two Presidents to agree to today to work together to address the impact of the hydrofluorocarbons on climate change. The U.S. has been leading the effort to use a Montreal Protocol process to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs. More than 100 countries support the effort, and today, importantly, China agreed to work with the U.S. on this initiative. HFCs, as you know, are a potent source of greenhouse gases. I think we passed out a detailed fact sheet with respect to this agreement. But again, I think -- I'd just underscore, it's the sort of practical cooperation we're working on to see more of in the climate change area and in other areas of our relationship. So the bottom line there is that we had the working group set up. The work had been done. It was ready to be agreed to, and we didn’t see any need -- any reasons that the Presidents across the table just shouldn’t agree to it today and put it out formally, with respect to our joint work now at the Montreal and the Montreal process. Second question, the other question you asked was about TPP. A couple of points on that. As you know, the TransPacific Partnership is one of the major initiatives that the administration has underway. It's really the principal thrust of our economic work and our rebalancing effort in Asia. We hope to try to complete the TPP by later this year, and maybe as early as October. And as I said, it's been a very important project for us. It was discussed a bit today, with President Xi indicating that China was interested in having information on the process as it went forward and being briefed on the process and maybe setting up a more formal mechanism for the Chinese to get information on the process and the progress that we're making with respect to the TPP negotiation. Of course, we've agreed to do that. Essentially, it was a request for some transparency with respect to the effort. And again, we expect to complete that effort this year. That, of course, is one of the major trade initiatives that we have underway, and another one will be discussed when we go to Northern Ireland at the G8 later this month, which is the trade and investment we seek to negotiate and complete with the Europeans, which are, I think, two of the major economic interests in the world right now. Q So at this point, China will just be kept informed? It's not -- MR. DONILON: At this point -- that was their request, yes. Just to be direct -- Q Diplomacy and -- MR. DONILON: Well, at this point -- as I said, we have been working very hard on this. We are substantially along the path with respect to this agreement. We hope to complete it this year. And President Xi's point today was that the Chinese would like to be kept informed and have some transparency into the process. And I've given you everything that was said on it. Thanks, Jackie. Q Thank you. Was there anything President Obama told Mr. Xi about the tension between Japan and China over the Senkaku Islands? MR. DONILON: They discussed the Senkaku Island issue at some length last night at the dinner. The United States' view on this, as you know, is we don’t take a position, ultimately, on the sovereignty issue. But the President's points last night were along these lines -- that the parties should seek to de-escalate, not escalate; and the parties should seek to have conversations about this through diplomatic channels and not through actions out of the East China Sea. That’s essentially the conversation that took place last night. Q I wanted to talk you specifically about Sunnylands. Why did you choose the Annenberg Estate? And did the Presidents have a chance to golf, go fishing? Does the President have plans to use the golf course? And were you guys a little bit disappointed that President Xi did not stay at the estate? MR. DONILON: Well, thank you for the question. Number one, we came to the facility here because we were familiar with it as an available conference center for presidential meetings and secretary of state meetings. So we had had a file on Sunnylands, if you would, as a possible summit place, number one. Number two, as I said earlier, we were seeking to have an early meeting between President Obama and President Xi. President Xi was traveling to Latin America, President Obama was going to be on the West Coast in the month of June, and we lighted on the idea that one way to do this in a relaxed setting would be to -- and to do it early -- would be to have it in California -- again, connected with President Xi's visit to Mexico and Central America, and to President Obama's planned visits out here to Northern California and Los Angeles. So it fit together. And as you know, it's a facility which is intentionally and precisely designed for exactly these kinds of meetings. And it was a terrific facility for us to use today. I don’t know -- President Obama was staying here and the Chinese delegation stayed at its hotel. That’s the normal -- that would be the normal approach that -- it would be unusual for them to stay in the same place. Q What about the golf? MR. DONILON: I don’t know about golf. MR. RHODES: We'll keep you updated on golf. (Laughter.) Q It's a big deal out here. MR. DONILON: I do a lot of things in my current position, and one of them is not golf. (Laughter.) Q Mr. Donilon, what type of outreach is the administration going to do with other Asian allies, specifically about this meeting, in order to reassure them in a situation where the U.S. and China are getting much closer that it's not at the cost of the other allies being edged out? And then, secondly, on the timing of your announced departure, it seemed a little odd that it came just days before this summit. Could you maybe explain the context of that timing, and why it was before and not after? MR. DONILON: Okay. Number one, with -- it's an excellent question on the allies and partners in the region. We have been in touch with allies and partners in the region prior to this meeting to go through with them what we expected to be the issues and our approach. I personally talked to senior officials in most of the allied governments prior to the session. We certainly will be in direct touch with them after the session. I think I actually have meetings with representatives on Tuesday to go through a complete debrief, and I expect that the President will be in touch with his counterparts of the key allies to go through this. Again, this is part of our rebalancing effort here. And our rebalancing effort to Asia is a comprehensive effort to correct what we saw as an imbalance in our efforts globally, to invest more in Asia because we see our future linked to Asia increasingly as we go into the 21st century. And as I said earlier, that rebalancing effort has many elements to it. It includes, first and foremost, reinvigoration of our alliances, and I think we’ve been quite successful on that, frankly, from the time we’ve come into office. It includes engaging and deepening our relationship with emerging powers such as India and Indonesia, and we’ve been quite active on that. It involves our working on, if you will, the security and political architecture in Asia, and we have been working very hard on that -- including, by the way, the President’s decision to participate at the summit level in the East Asia Summit and our determination to make that institution be the premiere diplomatic and security institution in Asia. And I think that’s made a big difference. It includes our efforts, as I was just discussing with Jackie, on the economic side where we’re trying to build out the economic architecture and come up with win-win approaches here, and the TPP is our principal effort right now with respect to economics. And it includes building a productive and constructive relationship with China. Our partners and allies in the region expect us to meet our obligations to them. They expect the United States to continue to undertake the security efforts, forming a platform, if you will, which has been the basis on which the economic and social development of Asia has been built, and continue to provide all that. But they also expect us to engage in a productive and constructive relationship with China. And we have those dual expectations, and as a principal power in Asia, we go about meeting those expectations. With respect to my plans, my conversation with the President with respect to my retiring from this current job began really at the end of last year. The President asked me to stay on through the middle of this year. We had a number of projects that we had underway, including a trip that we’ve taken, including to the Middle East and other places; a number of the economic initiatives that I’ve talked about here; and working on the China relationship, which we have done. I wanted to have a -- those of you who know me, it’s not going to surprise you -- I wanted to have a structured and timely transition. I wanted to have enough time for Ambassador Rice to work with me day in and day out as she begins her tenure as National Security Advisor on July 1, right at the middle of the year. And this was the timing that worked for that, frankly. This has been carefully considered. It has been the subject of multiple conversations between me and the President and me and Ambassador Rice, and it was the right time. Now, why before the meetings today? I thought it was important, frankly, to be as transparent with my Chinese counterparts as possible. I have been, as you know, the principal White House person dealing with the senior Chinese leadership since we’ve come into office. I have spent tens and tens of hours with the senior leadership in China over the last four and a half years. And frankly, I would not have been comfortable coming to a summit with individuals with whom I’ve been working on some of the most sensitive issues in the world and not be totally upfront with them about what my plans were going to be. Q Thank you. President Obama mentioned that the U.S. and China should have a healthy competition. So could you elaborate on what a healthy competition will be like, what areas those competition will come from, and what we will expect from the U.S. to work with China to build that healthy competition? Thank you. MR. DONILON: Yes. To build a healthy competition you would expect between any two large countries -- so within that context, it’s the kind of healthy competition that you would expect between any two large countries in all manner of areas, including in the economic area. And so it was I think a pretty straightforward observation about the relationship. Now, what, though, we have also been talking about here is the importance of not having the relationship deteriorate unnecessarily into strategic rivalry, if you will. And again, this is really what’s at the root of this new model of great power relations that President Xi and President Obama have talked about, that President Clinton -- that Secretary Clinton also talked about in a very important speech she gave last year at the U.S. Institute for Peace. What is the root of this? Why have we come on to this? And it’s rooted in the conversation that you and I are having. It’s rooted in the observation and the view by many people, particularly in the international relations field and some people in the United States and some people in China, that a rising power and an existing power are in some manner destined for conflict; that in fact this just an inexorable dynamic between an arising power and an existing power. We reject that, and the Chinese government rejects that. And the building out of the so-called new relationships, new model of relation between great powers is the effort to ensure that doesn’t happen; is an effort to ensure that we don’t succumb to the idea that somehow relations between countries are some immutable law of physics -- that, in fact, this is about leadership, it’s about conscious decisions and it’s about doing what’s best for your respective people. MR. RHODES: Okay, we'll take a couple more. I'll go to The Guardian here. Q Thanks for taking the question. I had a broad national security policy question which I’d like to address to the National Security Advisor if possible because it’s not specifically about FISA. Yesterday, the President said that the American people shouldn’t be alarmed at what they’ve learned this week about surveillance because there was sufficient oversight from both Congress and the judiciary. What would you say to those who say that you have been invoking special privilege on numerous occasions to stop appeals reaching court? And in the case of congressional oversight, very recently Congress was told that you didn’t count how many times U.S. data was accessed, whereas today, through the informant data mining tool that we’ve written about today, we find out you count every last IP number -- IP address. So how can you reassure the American people that that congressional and judicial oversight is working in the way the President says it is? MR. DONILON: Well, that’s a specific question you asked and I’ll turn that over to Ben. But I think I can say this, though, is that these programs are very important to the United States and its ability to protect itself, number one. Number two, as the President said yesterday, these programs are subject to oversight not just in the executive branch, which has very careful procedures and processes to ensure particularly that the privacy and civil liberties of Americans are protected, but also subject to very careful oversight by a court, an independent branch of government of the United States, and through careful and persistent briefing and oversight by the Congress. And that’s I think a very important aspect of this entire discussion, as the President laid out yesterday. MR. RHODES: On the specifics, you had a couple of questions there. First of all, I think as NSA provided in a statement to The Guardian, they do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication that they’re collecting. So it’s not as if they have an ability to answer specifically the question of what are the identities and numbers of the individuals associated with collection. What they do do is apply a range of tools, both automated and manual, to review and characterize communications and to ensure the protections of the American people. So essentially what that means is there are safeguards built into the way in which they collect and review data to ensure that privacy rights are respected. And as I said, any additional investigation associated with anybody would require additional authorities being granted by a judge. With respect to the Congress, on the Section 702 program that was declassified today, this was reauthorized by Congress in December 2012, and it has a reporting requirement to Congress. So the Director of National Intelligence and the Attorney General have to provide semiannual reports that assess compliance with the targeting procedures as well as the minimization procedures associated with targeting. And there are additional briefings that are made to both the Intelligence and the Judiciary Committees in Congress associated with this particular program. I would also note for people, and we’ve made this available, that with respect to the other provisions associated with telephone data under FISA, we I think made available to people that there had been numerous -- I think 13 -- briefings that we identified that have been given over the recent -- in the recent past on that provision of FISA -- and also the relevant intelligence oversight committee is the Intelligence Committee. And I think you’ve seen a letter from Senators Feinstein and Chambliss from last February -- or February of 2011 that offered to provide briefings to other members of Congress who had additional questions about this particular program authorized by FISA. So the point is people have asked about what is the President’s view generally. And I’ve been with the President since early 2007, and he expressed concerns about some of the lack of oversight and safeguards associated with programs in the past -- for instance, when you had warrantless wiretapping that did not have that full oversight of a judge. What he’s done as President is say which programs are necessary, which capabilities are necessary to protect the American people, and which aren’t. So for instance, the enhanced interrogation technique program that we felt amounted to torture we did not feel was appropriate with our values or necessary for our national security, so we ended that program. With respect to some of these other programs that have been in the news recently, the principle that he brings to bear is how do we ensure that there are appropriate checks and balances and oversight built into everything that we do. So, for instance, how do we make sure that all three branches of government have eyes on these programs? They are necessarily secret. We have an intelligence community for a reason. We have a threat from terrorism that we have to combat. We have an enemy that deliberately tries to work around our methods of intelligence collection. So we can’t simply broadcast to our terrorist enemy, here’s how we collect intelligence on you. That’s why, given the fact that it’s secret, you need to bring in the courts and you need to bring in Congress. So everything that has been done and reported on in the last several days involves programs that have congressional oversight -- and regularized congressional oversight -- from the relevant committees. Also, through the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, in other briefings -- there’s opportunities for other members to be briefed on these programs. So the elected representatives of the American people do have eyes on these programs. With respect to the courts, it’s a FISA program. So by definition there is a judge who must sign off on these activities. And as I said, there must be additional signoff if there is going to be efforts to pursue an investigation. And we build in checks within the executive branch. So we’ve established, under our administration, very regularized inspector general reports of everything that we’re doing. So within the context of necessarily secret programs, we make sure that there are layers of oversight from all three branches of government. And that’s something that the President believes is necessary to ensure that their privacy and civil liberties concerns are taken into account, to ensure that we’re reviewing whether these programs are effective and necessary given the nature of the threat that we’re facing. And that’s the principle that he’ll continue to bring to bear. And the debate that’s been sparked by these revelations, as he said, while we do not think that the revelation of secret programs is in the national security interest of the United States, the broader debate about privacy and civil liberties, he lifted up himself in his speech at NDU the other day, when he went out of his way to identify this as one of the tradeoffs that we have to wrestle with, given the fact that if we did everything necessary for our security, we would sacrifice too much privacy and civil liberties, but if we did everything necessary to have 100 percent privacy and civil liberties protections, we wouldn’t be taking common-sense steps to protect the American people. So we’ll have that debate. We welcome congressional interest in these issues. We welcome the interest of the Americans people and of course the media in these issues. But we feel confident that we have done what we need to do to strike this balance between privacy and security by building in these rigorous oversight mechanisms. Q With regard to North Korea, did they discuss about the resuming Six-Party talks or about strengthening the sanctions against North Korea? And my second question is did they discuss about the repatriation of North Korean defectors? Thank you very much. MR. DONILON: Yes. With respect to North Korea, there was a discussion about the importance of enforcing the United Nations Security Council resolutions and increase -- and continuing that pressure on North Korea so that the choice is very clear to North Korea. On the Six-Party talks, it was a discussion about the importance of any talks going forward being authentic and credible, that is, talks that would actually lead to a sensible result. And we really haven’t seen from the North Koreans at this point that kind of commitment on the substance of potential talks, I think, at this point to move forward. And I didn’t -- on the -- Q North Korea defectors. MR. DONILON: That was not discussed. MR. RHODES: The last question will go to Kristin. Q Thank you. MR. DONILON: Hey. Q Hi, Tom. How far in advance did you realize that the Chinese First Lady would be coming to this summit, and did you think about including Mrs. Obama in the events at all? MR. DONILON: I don’t know the exact timeline, but my understanding is that when we scheduled the meetings here, that there was a discussion about Madam Peng coming and that it was indicated at that point that Mrs. Obama’s schedule would not permit her to come on these dates here. And the dates, of course, are driven by a number of other factors -- President Xi’s travel schedule, President Obama’s travel schedule. And so that was understood well in advance of the meetings. MR. RHODES: Okay, thanks, everybody. MR. DONILON: I just want to say thank you. They were really thoughtful questions. It’s obviously an enormously important relationship and an enormously important moment for this relationship and the thoughtful questions really are appreciated. And I’ll see you in Northern Ireland and in Germany. Okay, thanks, everybody. Thank you. 3:21 P.M. PDT