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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Hurricane Irma Rips Through Caribbean; Trump Speaks at Tax Event as Irma Approaches; Mars Unveils New $1 Billion Sustainability Plan;
Aired September 6, 2017 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST: Closing bell ringing on Wall Street. The Dow is up a quarter of a percent. The gavel -- that's a nice strong
gavel that's brought trading to a close. It is Wednesday. It's September the 6th.
A storm of historic proportions. Hurricane Irma arrived in the Caribbean and set its sights on the heart of the U.S. tourism industry, southern
President Trump stumps the tax reform. You'll hear his remarks live in this hour.
And the chief executive of Mars tells me why going green will help make his company more money.
Now, live from the world's financial capital, New York City. I'm Richard Quest. I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight, hurricane Irma is ripping through the Caribbean. It's a category five behemoth. The statistics are truly frightening. 500
kilometers wide, 300 kilometer an hour winds and is barreling down on tiny islands that quite simply aren't equipped to cope. At least two people
have already lost their lives tragically. Right now, Irma is slamming into the U.S. Virgin Islands. Next, it's got in its sights, Puerto Rico, which
is bracing for impact. And slightly further north in Florida, the shelves are emptying, the gas stations are running dry of fuel and the governor is
urging residents to heed evacuation orders.
CNN is covering the storm in not only the way only CNN can, but the way you would expect. Look at all the correspondence that we have deployed over
the last 24 hours to track the developments. You're going to hear from some of them over the course of the next hour.
Let's just have a moment though to see exactly where the storm has been and where it is now headed to. So, this is first of all, you've got the path,
Barbuda for example, right down here, where communications were completely broken down in the damages not known to be told. Next door further up you
have Saint Martin where the French say four solid buildings were destroyed and it doesn't bode well for other structures.
Then you come up towards Puerto Rico over here. And you see the storm is expected, the center is coming soon. Also looming an economic crisis.
This shows you the idea towards Puerto Rico. $74 billion in debt, the U.S. territory. So, remember, it's not a state, it's a territory. It has its
own government, but it comes under the U.S. umbrella. It's unclear, bearing in mind, the debt levels that the territory already has how they
would ever afford to rebuild. But the federal government will of course, be providing support.
And then you've got Haiti in the both sides of the Dominican Republic. Back over here what I'm talking about with Haiti. You've got Haiti with
the Dominican Republic and there you got the storm and then Haiti a 2010 earthquake destroyed Port-au-Prince. And cholera outbreak in 9000. And of
course, last year, hurricane Matthew was the worst in some 50 years. Poorest country, by the way, Haiti, in the Western Hemisphere.
So, you see from Barbuda to Saint Maarten right the way up and we still haven't even talked about -- although we will in the course of this program
-- Florida. This is the path. Now let's go to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. Jessica Hasbun is the anchor at the new station
channel Noticias SIN. What's the situation? Tell me what your hearing?
JESSICA HASBUN, ANCHOR, NOTICIAS SIN: Well, what we're hearing now, as you can see behind me, Richard, the skies are still sunny here in the Dominican
Republic. But that's all expected to change later on tonight. We've got 17 provinces of the coastal area on highest alert, red alert. We've got
mandatory evacuations mandated by the government in these most vulnerable areas. There is a tropical storm warning for the southern portion of the
Dominican Republic. As like I said, you can see behind me the sun is still shining. And even though it's expected to make landfall not directly here
in the Dominican Republic, we are expecting tons of rain.
[16:05:00] QUEST: OK, So, Jessica, what are the preparations like? How well prepared -- bearing in mind what you know has happened as it's come
from Barbuda all the way up. How well prepared is the DR for what's about to arrive?
HASBUN: They're preparing. We are preparing as best we can. We've got about 3,000 evacuation centers ready. Shelters to receive these people who
need a place to go. Listen, these people that live near the rivers, near the coastline, our in those very vulnerable areas. People have been
clearing out the supermarkets, pumping gas and getting prepared as best they can. Those unfortunately, that don't have the financial backing to do
so, will have to evacuate. And the government is making sure they do to avoid, you know, human loss throughout these next couple of hours when Irma
is supposed to start impacting our coastline -- Richard.
QUEST: Jessica, good to see you. Keep safe and well and we look forward to talking to you in the hours ahead as this progresses. Thank you very
much for taking time in busy days.
In Cuba, the Royal Caribbean has canceled a cruise that was headed there until the storm passes. You see this once again the way the path moves
ever further north. They've also canceled two other cruises to the Bahamas, according to Royal Caribbean. To Havana the cruise ship is there.
Patrick Oppmann, is there cruise ship going to stay during the storm or are they going to take it out? I mean, is it safer in or out? Or is it now
simply too late for that ship to go?
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's not too late. A Norwegian Cruise line, they had a ship, the ship up into a few hours ago and actually went
back to Miami, Richard, about 11:00 a.m. So, just a few hours ago, to get passengers who are trying to get home back to the United States.
Intercourse many people have found that the passengers that we spoke with that when they get to Miami there is no flights. And that they've had to
rent cars and start driving.
So, it's a very complicated situation. You can't stay here. I would be surprised if this cruise ship tries to ride it out in port here. Because
it can get very, very rough. And were seeing a lot of beginnings of tourists leaving the coastal areas like Varadero, the beach resorts, to get
away from the storm. We just don't know yet because of course, these things keep changing almost an hour to hour basis. If Cuba is going to
receive glancing blow or something more significant. But this is such a powerful storm, richer, that anything at all could be devastating.
QUEST: Cuba of course, has had its long and bitter experience with hurricanes that have been deadly, costly and extremely damaging. Let me
ask you the same question I asked Jessica down in the DR. In terms of Cuba, how prepared are they? It looks a beautiful day behind you, Patrick.
I know that sort of the calm before the storm. So, are people taking preparation seriously?
OPPMANN: Absolutely. They tend to do that here, Richard. Because of course, most people can't evacuate anywhere. And island even as biggest
Cuba, it's bigger than all the other islands in the Caribbean combined, still compared to a storm like this if it hits Cuba directly just about
everyone on this island will be affected one way or another. And Cubans do have a long experience of evacuating when they're told to evacuate. The
government calms and takes people to shelters. Sometimes even bomb shelters or caves to ride out the storm. So, people take it seriously in
Cuba over the years has shown that the system they have works. So, there's not a large loss of life here. Still Richard, this comes at a time where
the economy here is even in worse shape than usual. Venezuela, Cuba's key ally, sending less oil. So, it really couldn't come at a worse time for
Cuba. Is knocking to be so much how they prepare for the storm, but the months ahead, how they recover and that could be a very long recovery --
QUEST: All right, Patrick Oppmann who is in Havana. We thank you for that and obviously, you'll keep close watch on that. This is where the
hurricane currently is at the moment. You can see it's moving from here up towards Puerto Rico towards the Dominican Republic where the preparations -
- you've just heard from both Patrick and from Jessica -- is taking place. But this is the path so far.
Where is it going next? If you take a look at the longer map. Starting down here in Barbuda down in the southern Caribbean, all the way up here.
Around about here at the moment. But to some extent this is where -- obviously, it skirts around Cuba and the Bahamas, that's serious, as
Patrick Oppmann. But this is where the focus is to some extent. Where tourists, for example, have already been ordered out of the Florida Keys,
where for example, tourism accounts for some 60 percent of the spending.
[16:10:00] Now, cruise ships are being severely disrupted. Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean have announced cancellations. Airlines are
bracing for chaos. Delta, American, United and Southwest are waving charges and cancellation fees uncertain Caribbean routes. And various
parks, museums and airports are closing across southern Florida. Disney, Universal are operating as normal. That could and possibly would change.
Hugh Riley is the Secretary General of Caribbean Tourism Organization. He joins me from Barbados via Skype. This is obviously very serious. We
never on this program count dollars before the human effect of these sort of tragedies. So, our mind is always first and foremost on that. But at
the same time, tourism is the economic lifeblood for your members.
HUGH RILEY, SECRETARY GENERAL, CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION (via skype): It absolutely is Richard. There's no question that that we have our minds
on the economic future of our people. Of course, we do. But you're right. Primarily, first and foremost, were concerned about the safety of the
people of the Caribbean and our visitors. And we're really very focused on that. So, keeping people safe, minimizing the damage and then getting the
recovery going again will be the priorities here.
QUEST: Now, from what you know so far, and we know Barbuda and Anguilla, communication has been lost. And hasn't necessarily in any meaningful
sense, been reestablished. What you know of the damage so far?
RILEY: Well, last night when we went to bed we were expecting that there was going to be a great deal more damage for instance in Antigua and
Barbuda then there has been. So, the damage in Antigua, which is really a primary focus, Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts, they were the primary
focus last night. That has been minimal, particularly as far as Antigua and St. Kitts are concerned.
Barbuda has sustained more damage. It's a smaller island, it's just minor island of Antiqua and Barbuda. But the very good news is that there has
been no loss of life. You know, the infrastructure can take a hit. Trees are down, some buildings have been damaged and have lost their roofs and so
on, but the basic infrastructure is in place in those territories and there has been no loss of life.
QUEST: Huge, how quickly do you think you can get something approaching a tourism industry normality? I mean look, you're that that part of the year
where frankly, this is where you make the money heading towards autumn and winter vacations, Northern hemispheric winter vacations in the Caribbean.
RILEY: Right, this is one of those sensitive areas you know, Richard, that we always have to be aware of. First of all, there are territories that
are struggling to get their act together, get their tourism sector back together again. And that will happen fairly quickly. And then there are
some parts of the Caribbean that are completely untouched by this. I mean, your model for instance, shows that it's going north and it's going towards
the southern tip of the United States. But there are wide swaths of territory thankfully, that will be completely untouched by this.
So, yes, Irma has affected the Caribbean, but the Caribbean we're still talking 40 million people in the archipelago that stretches from, you know,
just below -- but just South of the United States, all the way down to the northern tip of South America. So, it's a wide area of territory. But
you're absolutely right. We are resilient people and we are going to have to use all the help that we can get internationally and regionally in a
course locally and try and get our act back together again. And we shall in shortly.
QUEST: Hugh, we wish you well. We'll talk more. Let's you and I make sure we talk again after this is over so we can put it into perspective of
exactly what's happening. I appreciate it.
Wall Street is mixed as hurricane Irma battles the Caribbean. The travel stocks obviously, you can expect, Carnival and World Caribbean fell roughly
3 and 4 percent. And American Airlines gained 1 percent despite canceling flights throughout the weekend. You paid your money you take your choice
when you look at some of the adversity of this. Marriott is in the red, hotels in the path of the hurricane.
Overall, let's look at the numbers for Wall Street. And 54 points for the Dow Jones Industrials. Paul La Monica is here. Yesterday down 1 percent,
over 200 points off. Today up 54, but it's a week 54, isn't it?
PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, the market was higher earlier in the day so we didn't close that the best levels. But I think
will take a gain after the big drop yesterday. Because remember on the show, we were talking about is this the beginning of a correction perhaps.
And you know, we can't say into days that what's going to happen to the market for the rest of the year. But it's encouraging that buyers were
back to that.
QUEST: And hurricanes as such, I mean, I was talking to Peter Tuchman at the stock exchange about this. He makes the point that it's an anxiety
issue. Because on the one hand, you do get a downward shift because of the disruption.
[16:15:02] But there's also a rebuilding and there's a pent-up demand that comes. So, it tends to even itself out.
LA MONICA: We have seen that in the past with hurricanes and other natural disasters that you get what might seem like an inexplicable economic bump
because there is so much rebuilding. But as you point out, let's not lose sight of the fact of the potential human loss and casualties that could
happen as a result of a hurricane that is by all accounts extremely damaging, extremely terrifying right now. This is not something that that
I think we want to look at the dollars and cents just yet, of course.
QUEST: Absolutely. Stay with me one second, while I just update you with the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, Stan Fischer, has resigned.
In a letter to Donald Trump he cited personal reasons for the decision. Mr. Fischer will leave next month. Stan Fischer is one of -- I mean, I've
known the man for years. He's one of those men who says what he means and means what he says, but he was a breath of fresh air at the Fed.
LA MONICA: Yes, I think he was. We are used to fed members talking in jargon and gobbledygook. It's gotten better since Alan Greenspan left.
We've had more transparency under Ben Bernanke and then Janet Yellen. But I think a lot of people are looking at this move as not just what is it me
now that Fischer is out, because I think that was expected. What does Donald Trump do with regards to Janet Yellen? Does he keep her? Does he
decide to go another way? Gary Cohn is a guy whose name gets thrown about even though there's been some dissension there.
QUEST: Donald Trump would also have the chance pretty much to remake the entire board of governors. He's already named one. There is one
nomination on the table. He's got two more he can do. And if he gives Yellen and Fischer that will be what, five altogether.
LA MONICA: Five of the governors, including the two most important, obviously, in the chair and vice chair. So, it would be quite an
achievement. It's not necessarily maybe as sexy as remaking the Supreme Court, but it has the potential to really influence the financial markets
in the overall economy for years to come.
QUEST: Paul La Monica, thank you, sir.
LA MONICA: Thank you.
QUEST: Donald Trump insists there's no mixed signals on his DACA immigration policy. The chief executive of Mars tells me what his company
is doing about the Dreamers, when we continue.
QUEST: Donald Trump insists that there are no mixed signals when it comes to the White House position over the dreamers. The undocumented will soon
lose their right to live and work in United States. The President said while he hopes Congress will find a solution, he will not rethink his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President are you having any second thoughts about DACA?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No second thoughts.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President are you confident that Congress can do something for Doctor recipients?
TRUMP: I hope they do.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[16:20:00] QUEST: And so, we go straight to North Dakota with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, is about to take the stage.
He's going to be talking about tax policy. We're not expecting him to say anything on DACA. But it's not clear. I mean, who knows what the
President will say. We will listen in for a moment or three and just put it into perspective. The president of United States.
TRUMP: Thank you everybody, thank you. I was just with our governor. He said, you know, Mr. President we could've had 25 times the number of
people, but for policy speeches they like to keep them just like this. But I appreciate it this is tremendous and this is truly a tremendous state and
we appreciate it very much. We appreciate you being here, thank you.
And the policy were talking about is cutting your taxes. Do you like that policy? Well you're the hard-working people who provide the energy that
makes this country run and were finally getting the government out of the way so you can do your jobs. Finally happening.
Prior to leaving the White House I had a great bipartisan meeting with Democrat and Republican leaders in Congress and I'm committed to working
with both parties to deliver for our wonderful, wonderful citizens. It's about time. We had a great meeting with Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and
the whole Republican leadership group. And I'll tell you what we walked out of there Mitch and Paul and everybody, Kevin and we walked out and
everybody was happy. Not too happy because you can never be too happy. But they were happy enough. And it was nice to see that happen for a
change. Because that hasn't happened for a long time in this country. For very long time.
I wanted to take a moment to send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Texas and Louisiana who have truly suffered through a catastrophic
hurricane. One of the worst hurricanes in our country's history and guess what? We have another one coming. You see that. But our hearts are heavy
with sadness for those who have lost everything. They've also filled us with hope because you watched and you witnessed the unyielding strength and
resilience of the American spirit. You look at that in Texas. You looked at Louisiana. You saw the spirit. You saw the spirit of so many other
people coming from all over. It was a great thing. I was there twice and I will tell you the people were absolutely incredible. What they've gone
through you would not believe this could've happened. And I know you have a little bit of a drought. They had the opposite. Believe me. You're
better off. You are better off. They had the absolute opposite.
The compassion of our citizens and the courage of our first responders makes is all very proud to be an American. I could tell you I was deeply
inspired by the faith and perseverance of those who I met and by all of the people that were there, so many people. And unfortunately, now are getting
ready to respond to hurricane Irma. And these incredible people that we have at FEMA and the other groups, they thought they'd get a night of
sleep, one night. Just one night. They're not getting anything. There right now going to Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. And
they're already there. And there being hit with some very, very strong and powerful wins.
The ones coming now, Irma, they're saying is the largest one in recorded history in the Atlantic Ocean. Coming out of the Atlantic, which gets big
ones. So, I just want to thank everybody and all of the people that are going down. And there really now again in harm's way. Will work together
to help save lives, protect families and support those in need. Together we will recover and we will rebuild.
I also want to tell the people of North Dakota in the Western states who are feeling the pain of the devastating drought that we are with you 100
percent. 100 percent. And I've been in close touch numerous times with our Secretary of Agriculture. He's doing a fantastic job, Sonny Perdue.
Who's been working with your governor and your delegation to help provide relief and were doing everything we can. But you have a pretty serious --
I just said to the governor, I didn't know you had droughts this far north? Guess what? You have them. But were working hard on it and it'll
disappear. It'll all go away.
I want you to know we'll always stand strong and unified with our farmers and our ranchers, the backbone of America. Then I can tell you 100
[16:25:01] So, we're here today to talk about our plan to create a new age of American prosperity by reducing the crushing tax burden on our companies
and on our workers. The taxes are crazy. The highest taxed nation in the world. We're going to turn that around very quickly.
This is a once in a generation opportunity and I mean that. I think this is the one time you're going to get. And I'm honored to be joined by some
of the fantastic leaders who share this goal with us. Senator Hoeven -- where is Senator. Senator, stand up Senator. Doing a fantastic job. Come
on up Senator, come on up here. Get up here. Fantastic job. Thank you, Senator.
Governor Burgum, come on up governor. Beautiful job. Come on. Lieutenant Governor Sanford. The governor tells me he's the best Lieutenant Governor
in the country. So, I don't know, we'll check it out. Congressman Cramer. Senator Heitkamp, Senator come on up. And I have to say, you are all in
favor of tax cuts, aren't you? Come on up Senator. These are great people. They work hard. They're for you a 100 percent and we just want
their support. Because we need support.
You see that with what's happening in Congress. Nobody can get anything through Congress. We need support. So, thank you senator -- Senator
Heitkamp. Everyone saying, what you doing up here? But I tell you what? Good woman and I think will have your support. I hope we'll have you
support. And thank you very much Senator. Thank you for coming up.
QUEST: So, there is the president with the local politicians in North Dakota. Obviously, the president's now going to go on to talk about the
different tax policies that is hoping to change. He is now facing multiple challenges on the legislature front. From tax reform to immigration to
disaster relief and the debt ceiling. Stephen Collinson is the CNN's White House correspondent. And Stephen Moore is a former economic advisor to
Donald Trump's presidential campaign and a major influence on his tax policy. We'll start with you Stephen Moore. They all said they don't want
to just do tax cuts, they want to do tax reform. You know that's easily said and rarely done.
STEPHEN MOORE, CNN SENIOR ECONOMIC ANALYST: The staff lawyers are tough. You know, I was there believe it or not 30 years ago when Ronald Reagan
reformed the taxes in a great bipartisan initiative that got 97/100 votes in the United States Senate. Think about that for a minute. When was the
last time anything past 97 to 3? It is much more difficult because what you're doing is, you know, you're lowering tax rates for everybody to make
the economy more efficient, but you're taking on special interest groups. You're taking on the housing lobby or the bond industry or your taking on
charitable groups. So, it's a heavy lift. I'm somewhat skeptical that he will get tax reform done in the next month or two. I do think of anything
happens it's more likely to be a tax rate reduction. You just heard him mention that we have the highest tax in the world. I think that's where
this is headed right now.
QUEST: Yes, and of course, that's simply not sure, isn't it? I mean you could take the nominal rate of corporation tax, which very few companies
actually pay. And certainly, when it comes to income tax, there's no way that the United States is the highest rate in the world.
MOORE: We have the highest statutory and we have one of the highest effective rates as well. So, we tax our corporations very heavily. And
you know, I think most economists would agree we would be much better off with a more efficient system that again, lowered those rates and got rid of
some of those loopholes. Because you're right, some industries or pay nothing. You know.
QUEST: Stephen Collinson, it looks like a debt ceiling deal has been done. A three-month deal which is classically kicking the can down the road. But
with all the other stuff still on the legislative agenda, where do you see the strengths and weaknesses?
STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: I tell you what, Richard. It's a really fascinating day in American politics today. You heard the
president there talk about that meeting he had with the Republican, Democratic leaders in the Oval Office this morning. The Republicans went
into that meeting looking for an 18-month extension of the debt ceiling and the Democrats were offering three months. Well what happened in the end
was that the President sided with the Democrats.
[16:30:00] And he undercut the Republican leadership who wanted who wanted to take the next debt ceiling fight until after the midterm elections,
because obviously, it's a very tough vote for conservatives to make. So, the president appears to have done a deal with the Democrats. The result
of which could be to give us another spending and debt ceiling showdown before Christmas. But the effect of that actually perhaps gives a little
bit of space for him now to push to push this tax reform effort that you saw today.
QUEST: Gentlemen, we have to keep it brief because obviously we heard from the president. Stephen and Stephen or Stephen and Stephen, we'll have you
again to both go through these in the future. Thank you, gentlemen, I appreciate it.
Hurricane Irma is battling the Caribbean and now heading for Puerto Rico. We'll talk more about it and will be live in the territory after the break.
QUEST: I'm Richard Quest. We'll have more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in a moment. First, allow me to update you with the headlines at this hour.
Hurricane Irma is unleashing her fury on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. The category five storm blasted into the Leeward Islands hours
ago. It sustained winds of 300 kilometers an hour. One of the most powerful hurricanes ever to lash the Atlantic region. Now it's tracking
towards Puerto Rico. The forecasters say the U.S. state of Florida is in its path by the weekend.
President Trump's is breaking with his own party and supporting a Democratic plan to fund relief for hurricane Harvey. The aide is tied to
measures that would raise the U.S. debt ceiling for three months and keep the American government open through the end of the year.
United Nations investigators say the evidence shows Syria's government attacked its own people with sarin gas. It happened in April, 83 people
were killed and hundreds were injured. Syria and Russia claimed an airstrike at a chemical weapons depot and a rebel held area.
International Organization for Migration says nearly hundred 150,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar's rocking state heading for Bangladesh.
Myanmar's government says more than 400 people died in recent clashes there and most of those were extremists. Activist tells CNN many victims are
Puerto Rico is preparing to feel the full force of one of the strongest storms that I was just telling you about. Allison Chinchar is tracking
Irma's path from the CNN weather center. So, let's take this bit by bit. Show me where Irma is at the moment.
ALLISON CHINCHAR, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Right, so Irma right now is just to the northeast of Puerto Rico. Again, kind of crossing over areas of the
Virgin Islands. It's moving west northwest at about 26 kilometers per hour, which means that is going to take this particular storm further west
towards the Dominican Republic as well as Haiti. But again, here you can see the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and this being
Puerto Rico. Now it does not look like it is going to make direct landfall per se over Puerto Rico. It's just likely going to skirt just to the north
of it. But again, with wins of 295 kilometers per hour even skirting the northern coast it's still going to have incredibly large impacts for Puerto
Rico. Again, here's a look at the closer radar. Again, you can see these incredibly heavy bands of rain have been plummeting Puerto Rico for several
hours now. And now the winds from the main center of the storm are likely going to increase. We have hurricane warnings --
QUEST: Let me jump in here. Because from Puerto Rico -- I think you're where, but I want to take this bit by bit. From Puerto Rico, you move
towards Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Now Haiti, one of the poorest -- if not the poorest country in the world at the moment. How much at risk is
the DR and Haiti?
CHINCHAR: OK, so the northern fringe of both of those are likely going to have hurricane force winds, which is why they have hurricane warnings out
from this. Rainfall and storm surge are also going to be pretty big impacts here. But the southern regions of both Haiti and the Dominican
Republic likely are going to have quite as much of an impact as the northern threshold of both of those countries.
QUEST: To Florida. I see you've got Cuba there is well in the purple. Because we're going to be talking about Florida next. Tell me the realms
of possibilities for this storm as it heads towards Miami, Fort Lauderdale and the Florida beaches.
CHINCHAR: Right. So, as it moves from where it is, is going to take the storm surge with it. But notice the southern fringe. OK, we talked about
the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Those are likely going to have 1 to 2 meters of storm surge. But notice as he gets further and closer to
Florida and the Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos. Now were talking a storm surge threat of 4.5 to 6 meters. That's because they will be on the right-
hand side of the storm. Now this storm as it gets closer it's going to make a very sharp right-hand turn. The exact when it makes that turn will
have all of the implications for Florida. If it makes that turn quickly, stay right directly over the Bahamas, it's more likely to be a landfall say
around the state of Georgia or into North Carolina for the U.S. If it delays in any way shape or form on that right-hand turn, Florida will
likely take the direct landfall from Irma in the coming days.
QUEST: Right, so at the point we cannot or you cannot say definitively that Florida gets hit. I realize were dancing on the head of a pin here
because, you know, the model is. But just to be clear of what we know and what's likely impossible?
CHINCHAR: It is still questionable whether they will take a direct landfall. But they are still likely to get impacts because they will be
close enough to still receive very heavy rainfall from the outer bands and rip currents will still likely be an issue even if it doesn't make landfall
It is still questionable whether they will take a direct landfall but still likely to get impacts because they are close enough to receive rainfall and
rip currents will be an issue even if it doesn't make landfall in Florida.
QUEST: Allison, perfect. Thank you. I appreciate that. We now know where it is, where it's going, and what might happen next. With the storm
days away from Florida shores, as Allison says, if it makes a late turn north. Thankfully preparations are well underway.
Unfortunately, gas stations are running dry and in shops shelves are emptying. The government's opening shelters. The National Guard has been
activated. Supplies of emergency response vehicles are on standby. The Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, is urging Floridians to heed these
evacuation calls when and if they come.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SCOTT, GOVERNOR, FLORIDA: I cannot stress this enough. Do not ignore evacuation orders. Remember, we can rebuild your home but we cannot
rebuild your life.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The mayor of Miami Beach has asked residents to voluntarily leave before mandatory evacuation. Philip Levine, who has been very kind and
been on this program many times. Good to see you, Mr. Mayor, thank you.
I wish you and I as we have in the past were talking on more happier circumstances. But we or not tonight. So, tell me how -- you saw what
happened in Houston. Miami is no stranger to these hurricanes. How prepared are you, sir?
PHILIP LEVINE, MAYOR, MIAMI BEACH: Richard, we're as prepared as we could be. We have been communicating with our residents, I literally just issued
a letter telling the visitors of the hotels, please leave Miami Beach now. This is voluntary but as the
Mayor I'm telling them to leave, and also urging our residents if you have somewhere to go, family, friends, please leave Miami Beach now. Don't wait
for the evacuation order. We have been putting in portable pumps and generators.
[16:40:00] We have sand bags that we have been putting out all day for residents to collect and border up their houses. And fortify them the best
they can. But this is a very powerful storm, Richard. We're not messing around here and we take it very, very seriously.
QUEST: We know -- you may have heard Allison talking about the track and even if it takes an early turn north, you're still going to get clobbered
by the ferocious winds and rain, aren't you?
LEVINE: I was going to say the size this storm, it's a monster, 300 to 400 miles in diameter. I don't want anyone to think this is a little baseball
and you can possibly miss it. It's massive. The state of Florida is 140 miles diameter width. This thing is two, three times the size.
QUEST: And looking at the picture behind you, I can see the buildings. Large tall buildings and beautiful Miami Beach. One of my favorite places
to visit. But those buildings are secure? They can withstand hurricane force winds of the highest magnitude?
LEVINE: Well, Richard I can tell you after Hurricane Andrew the building codes were, absolutely dramatically increased so the buildings that were
built after that are much stronger. But we have many old small buildings, we have homeless populations, we have senior residents. This is a major
coordination and we want people to understand they should shelter as soon as the mandatory evacuation comes which is expect will be coming soon.
QUEST: Do you think the evacuation order should come now?
LEVINE: I think it should come soon. That is up to the county's decision. I can tell you as the mayor of Miami Beach I haven't been waiting, I've
been telling the residents and visitors time to move out. If you have someplace to go, don't get caught traffic and congestion. Go now.
QUEST: I'm guessing you will not be evacuating too far away because you have to be there to lead the teams.
LEVINE: I'm never leaving Miami Beach. I'm be right there in a fortified command center with other folks from our city to protect residents,
property and safety.
QUEST: Mr. Mayor, good to see you. We'll talk when this l over. We wish you well.
LEVINE: Thank you.
QUEST: Thank you. Chief executive of Mars, the company hasn't never given an interview until now but the company says it feels compelled to speak out
on the climate change issue. An exclusive interview is next.
QUEST: Mars is one of the world's biggest food companies along with pet foods as well.
[16:45:00] For decades this company has been out of the public eye and when you look at the confectionary industry there's a dark underbelly to the
whole trade, tales of spies and corporate espionage in the background. And in the past, think about it, chocolate is the industry which inspired
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Now listen, carefully because I'm going to make you very rich indeed. Mr. Wonka is working on a fantastic invention. The
everlasting gobstopper. If he succeeds he'll ruin me. So, all I want you to do is get hold of one everlasting gobstopper and bring it to me so that
I can find the secret formula.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: The tales of espionage, now Mars is putting those days behind it. The chief executive of this company is finding his voice and using it to
speak out on the issue of climate change. We all know the products whether it's M&Ms, Twixes or things like Pedigree dog food. Now Mars has announced
a major new green investment, a $1 billion across its entire business.
The issue of climate change is one that affects its entire supply chain where you make these. Remember, Mars I not just a chocolate company.
There is the Pedigree dog food, Wrigley Gum, Uncle Ben's rice and the company's new plan will affect all of these products. $1 billion will be
spent over the next three years.
It will reduce greenhouse emissions by 2/3 before 2050. It will roll out new programs that would tackle inequality among workers in its value chain.
That's what this plan is all about and while the cynics may suggest a big company would, you know, its profits behind it all, these were the issues I
spoke about with the CEO. His first TV interview and Grant Reed spoke to us exclusively. I asked him why this issue was so important that he felt
compelled to make a stand.
GRANT REED, CEO MARS: We have been heavily involved in sustainability in its broadest sense and human rights for well over decade in recent times.
What we found was we're not making enough progress. The industry isn't make enough progress, the planet is not making enough progress to hit the
Paris Agreement climate agreement's development goals. We have got to change that trajectory. That's why I'm here.
QUEST: How do you do that? My understanding and I have looked at this a few times in different companies is its fine to have highfalutin policy
documents that you can all pass around but this really about nuts and bolts on the ground making individual changes with the suppliers. Tell me the
practicalities of what you're looking to do?
REED: You are spot on, so what -- we spent a lot of time on our own supply chain making massive changes.
QUEST: Such as?
REED: We have got zero waste to landfill through all our facilities. We have cut our greenhouse gases by 27 percent in the last few years. We're
making those changes within our own supply chain.
QUEST: The skeptics will say and you can hear maybe even the cynics will say c'mon. Grant pull another one for goodness sake. You're a big
business who is designed to make billions in profits. What do you care about the supply chain's sustainability goal in remote parts of the world?
You are having us on.
REED: I would say to the cynics is first, I am an optimist, second, this is good business. We're talking about a sustainability spending $1 billion
over the next few years in our supply chain. There's a return on investment and when you use less water, you're using less electricity. You
are creating a more vibrant supply chain in the farms, putting farmers first, increasing yield, increasing productivity. It is just good business
and in these days of millennials you attract more talent. So, we think it's good business.
QUEST: Why is Mars speaking out now? Why are you raising your public profile?
REED: First of all, I think the size of the issue, if you can't find your voice and something affects the health of the planet and all the people in
it, then you will probably never find your voice. The second thing is consumers and our customers and the supply chain are looking for more
transparency, they are looking to have our view and if you don't write your own story, somebody will write it for you.
I think it is a balance of those things. The big issues, we want to focus, we want to make a difference. We think it is good business, we think
there's a return on the investment and we think it is good for all our people in our supply chain. And that is mutuality one our principles.
QUEST: You'll get it right sometimes, and you'll get it wrong sometimes?
REED: Absolutely. We have made mistakes. I've made mistakes when I've been running some of these areas. But the key is don't give up progress
trying to seek perfection.
[16:50:00] You know, if the we work on it together, we work with the industry which we have been doing in paces for a number of years. Working
pretty competitively, we don't see any competitive advantage out of this, we just want to make a difference. We think that is good for Mars, good
for our consumers and the planet. I think that seems like a good reason to have a voice.
QUEST: That's the chief executive of Mars. As we continue tonight, T- Mobile is changing its policies as Irma approaches the United States, and we'll hear what they're doing along with other companies after the break.
QUEST: Companies are responding to help customers caught up in Irma's path. JetBlue is capping ticket prices to every city in Florida it flies
to at $159 including tax, and waiving cancellation fees. Comcast is opening its XFINITY wi-fi hot spot to noncustomers, and T-Mobile offering
free calls and unlimited data to customers in Puerto Rico, not already on an unlimited plan. The chief operating officer of T-Mobile joins me now.
This idea of responding to the crisis of Irma is significant for the company, isn't it?
MICHAEL SIEVERT, COO, T-MOBILE: Of course. Look, this has been a big event. Harvey has been a big event and Irma looks like it's going to be a
big event for us. It's heartbreaking what happened with Hurricane Harvey. We're pleased our network was able to hold up and provide services to
people at a critical time and we're scrambling right now to make sure we're able to do the best we can for our customers in Puerto Rico and Florida as
QUEST: So, you arranged to come on program to talk about your arrangement with Netflix itself as a revolutionary idea. Why have you decided to
partner with Netflix?
SIEVERT: Well, look, today is just a big day for us. This is what we call an un-carrier move. This is the 14th time we have done this, which is to
do something big, bold and differentiated for our customers, and this one is a biggie, and we announced today that Netflix is on us. For all of our
family plan customers on T-Mobile one with taxes and fees included. This is obviously a huge day because people love Netflix.
QUEST: I mean Netflix is the network de jure if you like or the platform de jure. How much is it going to cost you? Because you're not charging
the customers. I am assuming Netflix isn't giving it to you for free, therefore, it's coming out of your pocket.
SIEVERT: That's exactly right, you know, look, we were able to get a small discount but this is us paying for Netflix. Don't be mistaken about that.
You know, we have done this many times before, our un-carrier strategy is simple. Do something big and bold and outrageous for our customers and
watch our business respond.
[16:55:00] And our business has responded to this strategy so well. What happens is people come to T-Mobile and bring their revenues. People who
already here stay longer and revenues, profits and cash flow follow. And now what we do with that cash is simple. We plow it right back into more
differentiation in our network. And in our un-carrier stores.
QUEST: So, is the idea that you will only be able to watch Netflix on your mobile device?
SIEVERT: No, this is your exact same subscription to Netflix you already enjoy. That means you can watch it at home, on your mobile device,
wherever you want. The only difference today versus yesterday is it's on us for every T-Mobile One customer on a family plan.
QUEST: It's brutal out there in the mobile industry in the U.S. at the moment, isn't it?
SIEVERT: Well, it sure is for the other guys. We have been taking more than a million new customers a quarter for 17 quarters. All three of our
competitors are in decline in terms service revenues. Negative service revenues for Verizon, AT&T and Sprint. This strategy of doubling down on a
great network with the fastest speeds and highest capacity and investing in un-carrier moves, that's what customers love. It's really working.
QUEST: Thank you, sir. We have to keep you brief for obvious reasons with Hurricane Irma coverage, thank you for joining us. We appreciate it, that
is our program on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. The news continues. You'll see this see this where Hurricane Irma is moving up towards now
Puerto Rico. Stay with CNN because the news never stops. Neither do we.