特朗普开启亚洲行,随行人员安排暗藏玄机

编辑:给力英语新闻 更新:2017年11月6日 作者:纽约时报中文网(By MARK LANDLER)

周五,空军一号起飞前,特朗普总统与记者讲交谈。
周五,空军一号起飞前,特朗普总统与记者讲交谈。

东京——特朗普总统周日开始了他为期12天的亚洲之行,虽然他把强硬的贸易政策放在议程的中心地位,但特朗普却把自己两名最资深的经济顾问留在了国内,而且白宫经济学家也未随行,后者的反华态度对特朗普在贸易问题上的思考有很大的启发。

特朗普也没有带女儿伊万卡(Ivanka),今年7月,伊万卡曾陪同特朗普出席在德国举行的峰会,在有其他世界领导人参加的一次会上,伊万卡坐在了留给特朗普的空椅子上,引起人们侧目。她的丈夫贾里德·库什纳(Jared Kushner)是特朗普的高级顾问,对华政策曾是库什纳负责的事务之一,他将在特朗普总统访问北京后返回华盛顿。

为总统每次主要出行配随行人员都是一次有时神秘的内部政治活动,白宫需要分配“空军一号”上人们渴望得到的座位。但特朗普政府为此次行程配的随行人员正引一些人的特别关注,他们试图从中找到谁吃香、谁不吃香的线索,以及总统想向盟友和对手传递什么信息。

在有些情况下,政府配备随行人员的决定直接由国内的政治决定。白宫官员说,美国财政部长史蒂文·努钦(Steven Mnuchin)和国家经济委员会主任加里·D·科恩(Gary d . Cohn)都需要留在华盛顿,在国会为特朗普提议的税制改革进行游说。

这些官员说,伊万卡·特朗普也被拉进了有计划的减税活动,此前她曾在为自己偏爱的问题,也就是增加赡养子女的税收抵免进行游说,她的有效性出乎官员们的意料。

但是,伊万卡不参加此次旅行也排除了人们对她的服装系列不受欢迎的关注,她的服装系列是在中国工厂生产的,活动人士说,这些工厂的情况不符合她一直宣扬的赋予妇女权力的信息,她最近一次做这种宣扬是上周五在东京(她在特朗普到来之前已返回华盛顿)。

近几个月来,库什纳在中国政策上的角色也受到了类似的限制。今年4月,特朗普在自己位于佛罗里达的马阿拉歌庄园,与中国国家主席习近平举行了首次面对面的会晤,库什纳在这个过程中起过关键作用,他通过中国驻华盛顿大使崔天凯的一条秘密渠道安排了会晤。

但从那以后,库什纳一直在对华问题上保持低调,官员说,这在某种程度上是由于一些担忧,关系到他吸引中国投资者参与他家在纽约的房地产企业的努力,以及他的妹妹通过一个向外国投资者提供成为美国公民途径的签证项目吸引中国资金的活动。

政府没有安排经济学家彼得·纳瓦罗(Peter Navarro)随行的决定似乎更多考虑的是象征意义,而不是礼节。

作为白宫国家贸易委员会(White House National Trade Council)的负责人,纳瓦罗不会在总统亚洲之行代表团上自动获得席位。但与任何其他白宫官员相比,纳瓦罗被认为在贸易问题上所持的反华立场最严重。他关于美国与北京的贸易关系的尖锐著述——他的一本书的名字是《致死中国》(Death by China)——为他赢得了特朗普的注意和一份政府工作。

特朗普的前首席策略师、纳瓦罗的盟友史蒂芬·K·班农(Stephen K. Bannon)曾游说让纳瓦罗随行。班农曾对同事们说,把纳瓦罗留在国内将削弱总统在贸易问题上要以强硬信息面对中国的言论。

这也许正是问题的关键。特朗普的幕僚长约翰·F·凯利(John F. Kelly)对白宫人事进行了调整之后,纳瓦罗现在向科恩报告。科恩曾担任高盛(Goldman Sachs)的高管,他对班农和纳瓦罗倡导的最激进的贸易保护主义举措持反对态度。

虽然白宫一直表示要在贸易问题上向中国和其他亚洲国家施压,但在这次访问中,白宫不会要求中国采取任何重大步骤。政府官员说,白宫在寻求贸易关系上更多的大规模改变时,希望避免接受渐进的措施。

一些前官员对此感到失望,他们说,特朗普不用总统访问的机会设法从中国人那里得到有意义贸易改革措施,是一种浪费。特朗普总统带了29位公司首席执行官去北京,白宫似乎满足于展示一份给美国工业界带来几个数十亿美元贸易的清单。

“如果这是政策决定,那似乎是错失良机,”曾在峰会上为乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)总统担任经济向导的丹尼尔·M·普莱斯(Daniel M. Price)说。“我想不起来在总统出访中,没有把宣布交易与争取到额外的市场准入改革结合起来的时候。”

不过,把有争议的人物排除在白宫随行人员之外的做法有着悠久的历史。吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter)总统的国家安全顾问兹比格涅夫·布热津斯基(Zbigniew Brzezinski)曾不让外交官理查德·C·霍尔布鲁克(Richard C. Holbrooke)参加在与中国最高领导人邓小平的会晤,因为布热津斯基担心霍尔布鲁克的强硬风格会让邓小平不高兴。

特朗普带了他的商务部长威尔伯·罗斯(Wilbur Ross)和美国贸易代表罗伯特·E·莱特希泽(Robert E. Lighthizer)出访。不过,官员们说,罗斯将只参加北京的行程,罗斯在中国贸易问题上的历史更模棱两可。

尽管罗斯曾敦促美国在钢铁进口上对从韩国、到墨西哥、到德国的一系列国家采取强硬立场,但他去年夏天曾试图与中国达成一项协议,让中国自愿降低自己的钢铁产能。罗斯向特朗普提交这项协议时,特朗普愤怒地将其否决了,特朗普说,他要对向美国出口钢铁的国家征收关税。

然而,特朗普此行将有一整套国家安全顾问班底陪同。国务卿雷克斯·W·蒂勒森(Rex W. Tillerson)将陪同总统前往每一站,国家安全顾问H·R·麦克马斯特中将(Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster)也将全程陪同。

在一些分析人士看来,这表明白宫要在寻找对朝鲜施加区域性压力上做出更大的努力,以应对朝鲜的核武器和弹道导弹项目,而不是要对亚洲和美国之间的贸易关系进行全面改革。

翻译:Cindy Hao

The Subtle Messages Sent by Who Is, and Isn’t, Joining Trump in Asia

TOKYO — President Trump has put a hard-line trade agenda at the center of his 12-day trip to Asia, which begins here on Sunday. Yet Mr. Trump is leaving his two most senior economic advisers back home, as well as the White House economist whose anti-China views inform much of Mr. Trump’s thinking on the subject.

He is also not taking his daughter Ivanka, who accompanied him to a summit meeting in Germany in July and raised eyebrows after she took his empty seat during a session with other world leaders. Her husband, Jared Kushner, a senior adviser who once laid claim to the China portfolio, will return to Washington after the president’s stop in Beijing.

The staffing of any major presidential trip is an exercise in internal politics — sometimes byzantine — as the White House parcels out coveted seats on Air Force One. But the Trump administration’s staffing of this trip is drawing particular scrutiny from those seeking clues about who’s up or down, and what message the president is trying to send to allies and adversaries.

In some cases, the administration’s staffing decisions have been driven by straightforward domestic politics. White House officials said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, both needed to stay in Washington to lobby Congress for Mr. Trump’s proposed overhaul of the tax code.

Ivanka Trump, too, is being enlisted in the tax cut campaign, these officials said, after she surprised officials by proving effective at lobbying for her pet issue, an expanded tax credit for children.

But leaving Ms. Trump off the trip also removes an unwelcome spotlight from her clothing line, which is manufactured in Chinese factories under conditions that activists say fall short of the message of women’s empowerment that she has been preaching, most recently in Tokyo on Friday (she returned to Washington before Mr. Trump arrived).

Mr. Kushner’s role on China has been similarly circumscribed in recent months. He was pivotal in arranging the first face-to-face meeting between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s Florida estate, in April, which he did through a back channel with China’s ambassador to Washington, Cui Tiankai.

But Mr. Kushner has taken a lower profile on China since then, in part, officials said, because of concerns about his efforts to lure Chinese investors into his family’s real estate ventures in New York City, as well as his sister’s campaign to attract Chinese money through a visa program that offers American citizenship to foreign investors.

The administration’s decision to leave the economist Peter Navarro off the plane appears to be more about symbolism than protocol.

As director of the White House National Trade Council, Mr. Navarro would not automatically be guaranteed a place on a presidential delegation to Asia. But more than any other White House official, Mr. Navarro is identified with an anti-China stance on trade. His strident writings on the American trade relationship with Beijing — one of his books is titled “Death by China” — won him Mr. Trump’s notice and a job in the administration.

Stephen K. Bannon, Mr. Trump’s former chief strategist and an ally of Mr. Navarro’s, lobbied to get him a seat on the plane. Leaving Mr. Navarro at home, he has told colleagues, undercuts the president’s talk of confronting China with a tough message on trade.

That may be precisely the point. Mr. Navarro now reports to Mr. Cohn, after a reshuffle engineered by Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, John F. Kelly. Mr. Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, has argued against the most aggressive protectionist moves advocated by Mr. Bannon and Mr. Navarro.

While the White House has talked about pressing China and other Asian countries on trade, it is not asking the Chinese for any major steps during this trip. Administration officials said the White House wanted to avoid accepting incremental measures when it is seeking a more wholesale change in the trade relationship.

Some former officials were disappointed, saying Mr. Trump was squandering an opportunity to use a presidential visit to extract meaningful measures from the Chinese. The president is bringing 29 corporate chief executives to Beijing, and the White House seemed content to roll out a list of billion-dollar deals for American industry.

“If that’s the policy decision, it seems like a missed opportunity,” said Daniel M. Price, who served as President George W. Bush’s economic “sherpa” at summit meetings. “I can’t recall a presidential visit that did not couple the announcement of deals with the securing of additional market access reforms.”

Cutting contentious figures, however, has a long history at the White House. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, once excluded the diplomat Richard C. Holbrooke from a meeting with China’s paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, because Mr. Brzezinski feared Mr. Holbrooke’s forceful style would upset him.

Mr. Trump is bringing his commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, and the United States trade representative, Robert E. Lighthizer, on the trip. But Mr. Ross will be present only for the Beijing stop, officials said, and his history with China trade issues is more ambiguous.

While Mr. Ross has pushed for the United States to take a tough line on steel imports by countries from South Korea to Mexico to Germany, he tried to cut a deal with China last summer, under which the Chinese would voluntarily reduce their capacity in steel production. When Mr. Ross presented the agreement to Mr. Trump, he angrily vetoed it, saying he wanted to impose tariffs on countries that export steel to the United States.

Mr. Trump will, however, be backed by a full complement of national security advisers. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson will accompany the president on every stop, as will the national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster.

To some analysts, that suggests the White House will make a much stronger argument on mustering regional pressure on North Korea over its nuclear and ballistic missile programs than on overhauling the trade relationships between Asia and the United States.