Rep. John Curtis says he has high hopes for President Donald Trump's just-completed meeting with North Korean president Kim Jong Un, but he acknowledges it's just the start of a long process.
"Expectations are so high that anything short of world peace is going to be a major disappointment," he said. "This is a critical first step, and I think we should applaud the president for getting us to this first step and recognize this is a big deal. But we also need to acknowledge we have a lot of work ahead."
Curtis, a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, knows that the North Koreans have broken promises to get rid of their nuclear weapons program several times before.
"It's fair to be suspicious, but there are some things that I think are different than those other times. They've supposedly destroyed one of their testing facilities. That's what's giving people the hope and optimism that this is different. But, we should be careful and continue to watch for progress beyond just the commitment."
Curtis also took note of President Trump's disruption of last weekend's G7 summit, where he refused to sign the joint declaration at the end of the meeting, then engaged in a war of words with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over trade.
"This whole tariff issue is where I do disagree with the president," said Curtis. "Canada and Mexico have been amazing trading partners. I'm a big believer in free trade, so I'd like to see us move in that direction and building relationships with our good trade partners."
But, Curtis also says President Trump is right to push back on countries that try to take advantage of the U.S.
"If you look at China, particularly with some specific industries, I would support wholeheartedly going after those bad actors. It's important that we get on the right footing on this, Nobody wins a trade war."
On the podcast of our full conversation with Rep. Curtis, we discuss international trade, immigration, net neutrality and efforts to curb the opioid epidemic. You can download the podcast here.