2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates Answer CFR’s Foreign Policy Questions

July 30, 2019

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July 30, 2019—The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) invited the Democratic candidates to articulate their positions on twelve critical foreign policy issues before the second set of presidential debates. The questionnaire was sent to all candidates on July 8. To date, CFR has received responses from nine candidates: Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Representative John Delaney, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Representative Seth Moulton, Representative Tim Ryan, Senator Bernie Sanders, former Representative Joe Sestak, and Marianne Williamson.

Candidates’ answers are posted exactly as they were received. CFR will update the website as additional candidates respond.

CFR asked each candidate the following questions:

·         How, if at all, should China’s treatment of the Uighurs and the situation in Hong Kong affect broader U.S. policy toward China?

·         Would you rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What changes to the existing agreement, if any, would you require before agreeing to rejoin the accord?

·         Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?

·         What, if any, steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?

·         Would you commit to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of your first term, or would you require certain conditions be met before doing so?

·         Given the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen, what changes, if any, would you make to U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia?

·         Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, if so, how would you go about trying to achieve it?

·         What, if any, additional steps should the United States take to remove Nicolás Maduro from power in Venezuela?

·         By 2050, Africa will account for 25 percent of the world’s population according to projections by the United Nations. What are the implications of this demographic change for the United States, and how should we adjust our policies to anticipate them?

·         Under what circumstances, if any, would you support the United States joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership?

·         How would you discourage the proliferation of coal-fired power plants in developing countries?

·         What has been the greatest foreign policy accomplishment of the United States since World War II? What has been the biggest mistake?

We invite you to browse the candidates’ answers.

For more information, please contact the Global Communications and Media Relations team at 212.434.9888 or communications@cfr.org.

 

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