President Trump Identifies the Competition in National Security Speech

Matthew McMullan

Matthew McMullan Communications Manager, Alliance for American Manufacturing

Happy Holidays! President Donald Trump gave a speech last week in which he described (broadly) his administration’s national security strategy. Though he only mentioned them once and twice by name respectively, he called China and Russia “rival powers.” Okay.

The Chinese and Russian governments reacted predictably to the rhetoric, in the speech and the accompanying policy document. And some have noted the marked shift in rhetoric between the Trump and Obama administrations.

This language was closer to what Trump said on the campaign trail than what he’s said earlier this year – when he hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping at the fabulous Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, and then during his visit to Beijing in November. The talk of economic rivalry, of competition in trade and jobs, is a return to campaign form after Monday’s speech.

But don’t get it twisted: So far, it’s still just talk.

And many of those who professionally watch U.S.-China diplomacy say China, in reality, isn’t yet holding its breath:

Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University and a leading expert on Chinese diplomacy, was equally perplexed. “What is the strategy after all? It’s not clear,” he said.

Shi, like several other Chinese experts, read Monday’s speech as a sign that the White House may adopt a tougher line on China, but cautioned against taking Trump at his word.

“China doesn’t pay much attention to what Trump says, it mainly pays attention to what Trump does,” he said.  

“We need to wait and see what he will do rather than what he said,” echoed Lu Xiang, an expert in Sino-U.S. relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

The gap between what Trump has said on China and what he’s done is the source of much debate here — and Monday’s speech did little to change that.

The bilateral goods trade deficit is still enormous; the Buy American, Hire American executive order has gone nowhere; and those big trade enforcement actions on steel and aluminum have been idling for over six months.

Let’s see if the president goes beyond talk and follows through on some of this stuff.


Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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There is Dignity in All Work

There is Dignity in All Work