January 20, 2022

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Secretary Michael R. Pompeo With Paul W. Smith of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR Detroit

12 min read

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Via Teleconference

QUESTION:  Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, good morning, sir.  It is an honor to have you on the Paul W. Smith Show in Detroit, Michigan.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Paul, it’s great to be with you, sir.

QUESTION:  You know we’re right on the border with Canada and there are a lot of people who want to get over there where – I know that’s something that you’ve been working with Canada on in terms of restoring nonessential travel.  And unfortunately, we still are having our COVID-19 cases.  In fact, they’re kind of heating up again.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Yeah.  Look, it’s important.  We’ve got to get America back going again.  And the Canadians want this, too.  We’re going to find a path forward – I am confident of that – before too long.  We see it in the great state of Michigan, we see it in states all along the Canadian border, we see it on our southern border as well.  We see it with country – with Europeans who want to come over and invest and create jobs in America as well.  We’re working to create a set of international protocols so that we can do the right thing, make sure people stay safe and healthy, but make sure also that people can do the things they need to do to take care of their families and their businesses.

QUESTION:  You’re in the heart of the automotive industry, and a lot of things have been done in China, and have been – we’ve depended on China for buying a lot of our product over the last several years.  What about travel to China?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So the Chinese Communist Party presents a very unique challenge for the United States of America.  This is a nation that under the leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping desires frankly to destroy our way of life, the very democracy that we depend on, all the things that the great people of Michigan care so deeply about.  And for a long time we’ve allowed them to do things that just treated us unfairly, right.  If a car manufacturer wants to operate there, it’s very different than when a Chinese company wants to come operate in the United States.  We just weren’t treated fairly.

And so what President Trump has tried to do, and he’s directed me to do, is create a set of reciprocal understandings where we’re treated fairly, we get the basic understanding that we’re not going to be cheated by them, we’re not going to have them steal the very intellectual property that our automotive industry depends upon.  We’ve made real progress; there’s still a long ways to go.  It’s been 40 years since a president’s been prepared to protect the American people, protect American industry.  We’re determined to do that.  We’ll get travel going again with the Chinese, but it’s the case that they have to respect America and treat people from Wisconsin and Michigan and Pennsylvania and my home state of Kansas in a way that is fair and reasonable.

QUESTION:  Well – and let’s face it, we’ve been letting China get away with stealing our intellectual property forever.  We forget that this is a government that participates openly in the counterfeiting of products, the – what we call the “knock-offs.”  I’ve been to China —

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Right.  (Laughter.)

QUESTION:  — a number of times for the auto shows, and it’s like astonishing that you see PING golf clubs, and then you realize PING had nothing to do with it.  Or you see a Chevrolet Camaro – they call it something else, but clearly they completely copied the Chevrolet Camaro, for example.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  I’m only chuckling – it’s not remotely funny – I’m chuckling because you describe a couple of brand names.  I could go through another 50, probably; you could too.

QUESTION:  I know.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  In the end, what – certainly that’s bad from a lot of perspectives, but the worst part about that is the millions of American jobs, the decrease in salaries and wages, that that’s foisted on the American people from what is hundreds of billions of dollars of stealing ideas and thoughts and the hard work of people of Michigan and the United States of America.  It’s unacceptable.

And Paul, for a long time, we said well, we can’t deal with this, they buy a lot of our stuff, or they ship us a lot of really cheap stuff and so we just can’t deal with it.  President Trump has said no, we’re going to deal with, we’re going to confront them.  We’re going to protect America and the American working-class citizens.  And we are hard at it.  We’ve made some progress.  The Chinese are now finding that we’re no longer going to turn the other cheek every time, and I am confident – it will take a while, Paul – but I’m confident we’ll get to a much better place.  And you’ll see American economic prosperity flow from that.

QUESTION:  I – listen, I agree with you.  I salute the President.  I salute you, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, for doing that.  It’s about time somebody hold China accountable for these activities they’ve been getting away with forever.

Tell me what Clean 5G Networks are and how you’re promoting that effort.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  So this is another example of what we were just talking about, Paul.  So the Chinese Communist Party uses companies like Huawei and ZTE – they’re really – when the American people hear the word “company,” we think of private companies.  These are really state-owned enterprises, really the Chinese Government or they put these telecommunications systems in – they’re in places like in the Midwest – and they can get access to your kids’ data and what their face looks like and who their friends are.  That’s just unacceptable.

And so what we’ve done – we call it in the Clean 5G Network – is we’ve said look, information that belongs to the American people needs to stay on systems that are trusted, that we know, that we know aren’t going to end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.  And so we are encouraging telecommunications providers, like those who operate in America, and those all around the world, to say please only put information on networks you understand and know and aren’t connected to the Chinese Communist Party.  And so we’ll designate them “clean,” and we’ll permit Americans to have their data on those systems.

It’s a security component to it; it’s a safety component to it.  There’s also a huge economic component to it as well.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, I congratulate you and the President for the Middle East peace and the stability we have not seen maybe forever.  And the institutional media does not play it up or even talk about it the way they should because they don’t like this President.  But be that as it may, nobody can take away from the President and you what you’ve accomplished in the Middle East.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Well, that’s kind.  What the President’s done has been important for citizens all across America.  I was a soldier once, a long time ago now.  We will have few American young men and women who have to go to the Middle East and fight because of the work that the United States has done under President Trump’s leadership.  We now have two countries who have accepted that Israel’s here to stay, that it’s the Jewish homeland.  They want to partner with it, not hate it.  We’ll find more countries that will want to do that as well.

It has flipped the traditional script.  The old story that – for eight years, President Obama said well, you can’t do anything until you solve the problem Israel and the Palestinians.  The truth is people in the Middle East and the Gulf States, they want peace too, and the Abraham Accords have now begun to deliver on that important promise.  It’ll save lives of America’s armed forces and our wonderful kids that go serve, and it will create less risk that a terror event that starts in the Middle East will come to our homeland.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary of State, I appreciate you staying a little extra, and very last question here.  For – you’re still in the service, you’re in the Army, so to speak.  Your general is a tough one.  And most recently, the quote was when he – we were talking about releasing those emails from Hillary Clinton, which should have been done a long time ago, but he’s doing it – quote, “They’re in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out, which is very sad.  Actually, I’m not happy about him for that reason.  He was unable to get them out.  I don’t know why.  You’re running the State Department, you get them out.”

I’ve got to imagine – and I’ve known – knew Donald Trump 30 years ago when I was at WABC in New York.  I haven’t talked to him lately, sadly, but he’s a very tough guy.  And he’s a very tough boss.  And are you able to go to him after he says something like this publicly and say look, boss, give me a break here, this is what I’m working on?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  (Laughter.)  I never ask for a break.  He’s a demanding boss.  I serve at his pleasure.  I – I’m working to deliver on the things that the American people voted for him and said he’s going to be the Commander-in-Chief.  And so my task in running the State Department is to deliver good outcomes for the American people at his direction.

And so we’ve talked about it.  There’s a whole handful of things I’m sure he’d say he didn’t think we did well enough, while there’s a whole handful of things I know I wish we had done better, too.  We continue to work on them, we strive for excellence every day, and we’re going to do – we’re going to do right by the American people.  We’ve done good things; there’s more work to do.  I hope we get the opportunity to do that.

QUESTION:  I hope you do, too.  Seventieth and current Secretary of State of the United States of America, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  Thank you, sir.

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Thank you, sir.  You have a good day.

QUESTION:  You do the same.

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