In his first address to a joint session of Congress, delivered on February 24, President Obama discussed the financial crisis, his plans to help homeowners and stem job loss and his approach to foreign policy challenges such as the Middle East.
On February 25, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion on the foreign and domestic issues addressed in the speech, and the political and substantive reaction. Senior Political Correspondent Jeanne Cummings of Politico moderated a panel of experts including Brookings Vice President and Director of Governance Studies Darrell West, and Brookings Senior Fellows Rebecca Blank, Thomas Mann and Tamara Wittes.
Former Brookings Expert
Chancellor - University of Wisconsin-Madison
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Sentiment inside the Beltway has turned sharply against China. There are many issues where the two parties sound more or less the same. Trump and others in the administration seem heavily invested in a ‘get very tough with China’ stance. It’s possible that some Democrats might argue that a decoupling strategy borders on lunacy. But if Trump believes this will play well with his core constituencies as his reelection campaign moves into high gear, he will probably decide to stick with it, if the costs and the collateral damage seem manageable. But that’s a very big if, especially if the downsides of a protracted trade war for both American consumers and for American firms become increasingly apparent.