U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan faced questions on Monday about San Francisco tidying its streets in the lead up to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.
FOX Business correspondent Hillary Vaughn asked him whether Biden “was embarrassed that an American city needs to go through a total makeover to be presentable for his out-of-town guests.”
During the conference that kicked off Nov. 11, Biden and Xi plan to get together to speak with each other, Fox News Digital has previously reported. That meeting is apparently slated for mid-week.
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Sullivan said that Biden was “incredibly proud of the record that the United States will bring as host to this summit.”
“The strongest economic record of any developed country, the lowest unemployment over a sustained period in half a century, far reaching investments in innovation and in ships, rebuilding America’s infrastructure,” he went on to list out as examples. “So actually, Joe Biden thinks he is walking into the summit on the front foot and able to showcase the United States as the premier destination for investment, good job-creating investment here in the United States, all of which will be on display while he is there.”
Sullivan added foreign countries visiting for APEC “are coming with a recognition that the United States is in a strong, indeed for a lot of people, enviable economic position.”
APEC has 21 member economies, including the U.S., China, Russia, Mexico and Canada.
“Does President Biden agree it’s more important to impress the leader of China than the American people that live in San Francisco and pay taxes every day?” Vaughn further asked.
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She also referenced a remark Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently made in connection to the clean-up efforts in the Golden City.
“I know folks are saying, ‘Oh, they’re just cleaning up this place because all those fancy leaders are coming to town,’” Newsom had said late last week. “That’s true, because it’s true — but it’s also true for months and months and months prior to APEC, we’ve been having conversations.”
Sullivan said he wasn’t familiar with the context of the comment and chose not to respond to her question. He also said he “completely reject[ed] the premise of your question.”
Some issues in San Francisco that have received widespread attention include homelessness, crime, drugs and office building vacancies worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crimes in the city in the period spanning the start of the year to Nov. 5 have gone down overall by 7% year-over-year, with homicide, robbery and motor vehicle theft crimes seeing increases and rape, assault, human trafficking, burglary, arson and larceny theft seeing decreases, according to the San Francisco Police Department.
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Mayor London Breed launched an initiative back in February called “Roadmap to San Francisco’s Future” with the aim of helping build back up the downtown section of the city. That area has seen companies like Nordstrom, Westfield and Park Hotels & Resorts pull out of locations there this year, with them pointing to an array of different reasons.
Hosting the conference is expected to bring San Francisco and businesses located in it a total of $53 million, according to reports.
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