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Trump Slams Harley-Davidson's Move Due to Tariffs; U.S. Nail Company in Peril Due to Trump Tariffs; Trump: Border Detention Facilities Are Nicer Than Under Obama; Officials Backing Off "Zero Tolerance" To Stop Separations; Deported Man Desperate To Reunite With 6-Year Old Daughter. Aired 9-9:30a ET

Aired June 26, 2018 - 09:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[09:00:00] POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The president is venting over Harley's plans to move some of its production out of the United States to avoid paying sharply higher tariffs slapped on their bikes in Europe. Tariffs imposed in response to these sharply higher U.S. tariffs on European steel and aluminum.

Now moments ago the president wrote, quote, "Harley-Davidson should never be built in another country. Their employees and customers are already very angry at them. If they move, watch, it will be the beginning of the end. They surrendered, they quit."

What a difference a year can make. Abby Phillips is at the White House.

And Abby, a year ago the president wrote, "Great meeting with Harley- Davidson executives from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the White House." That has certainly changed. What else is the president saying this morning?

ABBY PHILLIP, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Poppy. The president's clearly agitated by what is a direct result of his policy of initiating a trade war with Europe and with other parts of the world that he says is going to be easy to win.

Now he's saying that Harley-Davidson is basically throwing in the white flag. They're not sticking by him while he works this situation out. Harley has announced as you mentioned that they are moving their production to Europe to avoid paying a 30 percent tariff on products being sold in Europe. They're saying it's in direct response to this back and forth with the president and the European Union over tariffs, but President Trump is suggesting that, in fact, what they were doing was moving production overseas any way and are now using tariffs as an excuse to do that.

He's partly true in the sense that back in January, Harley-Davidson did move, you know, some Kansas City workers over to another country, but what he's seeing here is the result of this policy and a lot of Republicans are really crying foul here. We had Ben Sasse last night issuing a statement basically calling these tariffs stupid and Paul Ryan whose home state is Wisconsin where Harley is based issued a critical statement yesterday saying these tariffs are doing harm to the U.S. economy and that the way to deal with higher barriers is not to raise barriers of our own.

So President Trump is on the defensive here this morning as you can tell by the fact that about a handful of tweets went out on this very issue. He is now threatening Harley-Davidson with higher taxes as a result of this. We'll see what more we hear from Republicans but there's been a little bit of a disagreement among Republicans about how far they should push back on President Trump on this now that more and more companies are speaking out saying they have to make business decisions based on these tariffs. I imagine we'll be hearing more from his own party about the wisdom of this policy -- Poppy.

HARLOW: I think we will. Abby Philip, at the White House, thank you very much.

Luckily, our chief business correspondent Christine Romans is here to fact check all of this for us and to break it down. This is not like Harley-Davidson didn't go out with this big press release and saying you're wrong, Mr. President. We're moving. This was part of their legal filing, their 8-K that they have to do.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: That's right.

HARLOW: But of course the media caught wind of it.

ROMANS: That's right.

HARLOW: So what's fact here?

ROMANS: This is a regulatory filing. OK. So fact, earlier this year we heard from Harley-Davidson that it was going to add some production in Thailand. As you know, Asia is a huge market, a fast-growing market for Harley-Davidson so they're going to add some production there.

This is new and separate. This is the company in a regulatory filing saying that it would have to shift some production from the United States overseas so that it can try to avoid those tariffs. Those EU tariffs. What do those tariffs look like? An EU motorcycle tariff will be 31 percent up from 6 percent. The cost to Harley is $2200 per motorcycle. Rather than pass that on to its dealers.

HARLOW: Right.

ROMANS: And to its customers, it's going to move production so it can avoid that tariff in the first place and still serve its European customers. That is its second largest market and also a fast growing market.

The fact is here in this country, the growth has not been as robust and that's why you've seen some consolidation in Kansas City.

HARLOW: Sure.

ROMANS: And also moving some production to Pennsylvania.

HARLOW: And increasingly companies make products where they're sold. I mean, Ford didn't make all of these cars in the United States .

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: And then shift them all. That just doesn't make economic sense.

ROMANS: That's right.

HARLOW: So that's the sort of Thailand part of it.

ROMANS: That's right.

HARLOW: The president is not wrong but in this context it's rather misleading. He knew something like this was going to happen.

ROMANS: Yes.

HARLOW: Because they had warned that the reciprocal tariffs were going to be on like key American, like Kentucky bourbon, for example, and you know, these bikes are made in Wisconsin.

ROMANS: And this was strategic -- this is a strategic EU retaliation for those steel and aluminum tariffs. Ironically the steel and aluminum tariffs also raised the cost of making the bikes in the United States for the Harley-Davidson as well. So it's two of the president's policies that effect this company.

The president says something I thought was interesting in one of those tweets. He said, "Harley must know they won't be able to sell back into U.S. without paying a big tax." So he kept talking about this big tax he would put on Harley-Davidson. That's not how it works, Mr. President. They want to move the production closer to where they're selling it outside of those tariffs.

HARLOW: Right.

ROMANS: To sell to a foreign market, not to sell back to the United States.

[09:05:02] HARLOW: They wouldn't bring those bikes back here.

ROMANS: They would not bring those bikes back to the United States.

HARLOW: Yes.

ROMANS: That's not how the global sourcing works.

HARLOW: It works.

Thank you for the fact check this morning.

ROMANS: You're welcome.

HARLOW: Much needed, Romans. We appreciate it.

So another casualty of the president's tariffs on steel and aluminum, workers at America's largest nail plant, Missouri's Mid Continent Nail Corporation had to lay off 60 workers last week after the company says it lost 50 percent of its business in just two weeks. It imports steel from Mexico and because of those tariffs from the president, it says that it could go out of business completely by Labor Day. That would mean 500 American workers laid off. American workers in a county that voted 80 percent for President Trump.

Joining me now is James Glassman, a spokesman for the company.

It's nice to have you. Thanks for being with me this morning.

Thanks, Poppy.

HARLOW: So what do you do? I mean, what happens now?

JAMES GLASSMAN, SPOKESMAN, MID CONTINENT NAIL CORPORATION: Well, we got 500 workers in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, which is a population of 17,000 whose jobs are in severe jeopardy because they can't make nails at the same cost they used to be able to make nails out, and they're getting whacked by the Chinese who are making wind fall profits as a result of these tariffs. So we're asking for an exclusion.

We're asking for the president, for Wilbur Ross, the Commerce secretary, to say, OK, we'll give you an exclusion. Now there are 21,000 other applications for exclusions that have been filed.

HARLOW: Right.

GLASSMAN: We think we're quite worthy. The president can save 500 jobs by granting an exclusion.

HARLOW: Right. I --

GLASSMAN: But obviously the policy is what's caused this.

HARLOW: And I get that, but if you're the other 21,000, you know, applicants, you're thinking, why should you guys get bumped to the head of the line. But I hear you, you say, quote, "President Trump is doing what years of cheating by Chinese nail exporters couldn't do." Your argument, sir, is that in this community that helped the president win the White House, 80 percent of the electorate there voted for the president, that he is hurting them and helping China?

GLASSMAN: Right. So this is a company that has grown -- doubled its workforce despite the fact that the Chinese had been unfairly competing with it. Now we have filed many dumping cases and managed to survive and actually thrive against this Chinese competition and other -- competition from other countries as well.

After doing all this, the administration comes in and slaps on this tariff and is able to do something that the Chinese never were able to do, which is put this company on the brink of extinction.

HARLOW: So --

GLASSMAN: Yes. HARLOW: So I mean --

GLASSMAN: So we want to save the 500 jobs and keep this company running.

HARLOW: I get that but -- I get that, I also get how businesses run. And if you don't get the exemption, you got two options. One is shutter by Labor Day, the other is move the company. Is it possible that this company could move to Mexico as a result of the president's policy?

GLASSMAN: Well, let's put it this way, it's obviously an option. It is something this company does absolutely does not want to do. It wants to save the jobs in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and I hope the president of the United States wants to save those jobs as well. And he has it within his power to do that, to save these jobs, to save these families, these people who are really up against it for doing nothing, through absolutely no fault of their own.

HARLOW: I mean, what's the response --

GLASSMAN: Just because of a misguided trade policy.

HARLOW: What's the response of the people there? What's the response of the workers, the people in Poplar Bluff --

GLASSMAN: They are --

HARLOW: -- who voted for the president?

GLASSMAN: They are scared. They are -- they're worried about their families. It's not like there are tons of other manufacturing jobs. This is the classic manufacturing plant, a manufacturing employer that the president of the United States says that he wants to preserve in the United States, and instead his policies are destroying this kind of employer in the United States. These kinds of manufacturers. Steel fabricators, they're all over the country and they're all being hurt because of these tariffs.

HARLOW: The -- here's the irony in all of this, is that not that far away -- within the same state in Missouri, you've got this metal company called Magnitude 7 Metals and they're benefiting from what the president has done on tariffs, so much so that "The Washington Post" reports 450 workers that were laid off are now getting their job back there because of these tariffs.

Do you have a problem -- do you take issue with the president essentially picking winners and losers here?

GLASSMAN: Yes, I got a big issue with it and I have a big issue with tariffs in general. I mean, let me say this. Larry --

HARLOW: But it's putting these folks --

GLASSMAN: Larry Kudlow --

HARLOW: -- almost the same amount of folks back to work, right. So?

GLASSMAN: Well, that's -- I mean, you can pick one and pick another, but overall, there's a lot more companies that are effected by high steel tariffs than steel producers are.

[09:10:03] Let me just say this.

HARLOW: That's true.

GLASSMAN: My good friend Larry Kudlow taught me a long time ago that tariffs equal taxes, so these are taxes on American consumers.

HARLOW: Are you going -- do you believe that the president will lose the support and the vote of these workers many of whom if you just look at the numbers voted for him in the last election?

GLASSMAN: I can't --

HARLOW: If this isn't turned around.

GLASSMAN: I can't say that, Poppy. I would say this, if I were a worker, if I were at Mid Continent I would be extremely unhappy with what this administration is doing. But, you know, I'm not even sure this was done on purpose. I think that the president can turn it around by making some changes and I think he's seeing what's happening with Harley-Davidson and others, and this -- and I just want to say this company I think couldn't be a better example of the kind of damage that's being done to American manufacturing jobs as a result of this extremely misguided policy.

HARLOW: James Glassman, thanks for being here. We appreciate it. Keep us posted on what you hear.

GLASSMAN: Thank you, Poppy. I will. I will.

HARLOW: All right. So the president says his detention facilities for migrants are better kept, better run than President Obama's. We'll have the latest on the immigration crisis from the border. Plus so much for civility. The president hurls insults at a campaign rally the same day he slams a Democrat for rhetoric he says went too far.

And it is primary day in America. In Staten Island, New York, a convicted felon who threatened to throw a reporter off a balcony could win the Republican primary. That's ahead.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR, NEWSROOM: President Trump now says the forced separation of undocumented migrant families, a policy he halted, after saying he couldn't, was in some sense - he says some of it was a learning experience. You'll hear in a moment because he talked about it at a rally last night in South Carolina.

He claimed the border drama won't be a Republican issue or a losing issue for Republicans. Listen to the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They were using pictures taken in 2014 when Barack Obama was president. I wasn't president.

Our facilities are cleaner, better kept and better run. That's the one thing I learned, OK? I saw that. But what we have is two extremes. And I liked it. I said, hey, this is fine for us.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: All right. Let's go to our Nick Valencia. He's at a migrant detention center in South Texas, the town of Los Fresnos.

And, Nick, the policy has changed. So, is it fair to say essentially after this executive order, it has gone back to what it was under the Obama administration for families with children, essentially catch and release?

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Back to a policy that was heavily criticized by then presidential candidate Donald Trump and it seems that now his administration is reverting to the same.

And with what customs and border protection, the head of that department, with what he said, it's unclear what's going to happen to migrants like the ones that we're about to show you.

In this newly released video of an incident that happened on Friday with 57 undocumented immigrants crossing illegally into Arizona arrested. And it underscores, Poppy, exactly what individuals and families are willing to put themselves through, risk their lives for a chance at life in the United States.

And we don't know what's going to happen to them because it seems now that the Trump administration is reverting back to a very controversy policy under then President Obama of catch and release.

And we're learning all of this now as we understand the DHS is asking for the Pentagon to house 7,000 unaccompanied children at Good Fellow Air Force Base.

It's something that was done back in 2014 during the influx of unaccompanied minors when 60,000 of them crossed the border. They were then housed at Lachlan Air Force Base in San Antonio.

Now, we understand these recommendations are now being made by DHS to the Pentagon. All of it needs to be approved by the defense secretary.

Meanwhile, here in Los Fresnos, outside of this detention center, it's all about family reunification and trying to expedite that process. And while we're reporting, Poppy, this is one of the buses that they're using to transport these migrants after they're released.

We understand that individuals here, some of them, according to immigration attorneys, have been released. It's up to them to find out where they're going and it's up to them to figure out the resources in order to get to where they want to go.

But back here, in front of this detention center, it is all about the families being reunified. We heard from ICE on Friday that reunifications were going to happen. However, this is a very painstakingly is a slow process.

According to immigration attorneys that I've talked to in there, it could be a month at best for these families who have not seen their children yet. Some of them have no idea where their children are to eventually be reunited.

Poppy?

HARLOW: Nick Valencia, appreciate the reporting. We're going to talk about one of those situations. A man deported back to El Salvador last week after crossing illegally into the United States is now desperately trying to find and be reunited with his 6-year-old daughter.

He says she is somewhere in this country. He doesn't know where. Listen to this heartbreaking phone call he had with her.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (SPEAKING IN FOREIGN LANGUAGE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HARLOW: She asks when will they get me out of here. He says soon. They have to fix the airplane. The reality is he doesn't know when he will be reunited and he's warning others in his home country not to travel illegally, not to cross illegally over the US border with their children.

Mayra Jimenez is with me. She is with RAICES and that is the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services operating in Texas. They're working to reunite these families. Thank you for being here.

MAYRA JIMENEZ, CHILDREN'S PROGRAM DIRECTOR, RAICES: Thank you for having me.

HARLOW: "The Washington Post" first reported this story and now a lot of people are following it. This 26-year-old father separated from his 6-year-old after he crossed illegally into the US for a second time. He had been deported back in 2016 as well.

Do you know where his 6-year-old daughter is at this point?

JIMENEZ: We actually have accepted representation for the daughter and we are assisting to get her back with her father as quickly as possible. So, we have located the child and we're working with both the consulate and the father to reunite them as quickly as possible.

[09:20:12] HARLOW: And ICE points to the fact that they were separated because he crossed over the border illegally. I mean, do you have any indication from the US government on what the plan is to reunite them now that he has already been deported?

JIMENEZ: It really varies. Every family that's separated, there is no criteria. We really have no idea what's going on or what their end goal was when they originally separated them.

All we know is that we are assessing this case individually and our goal is to reunite this 6-year-old with her dad.

HARLOW: I mean, how do you - you say we're representing her legally. What is it like to legally represent a 6-year-old who's crying over the phone for her father? What do you and your team members even say to her?

JIMENEZ: It is very challenging, right, to deal with someone who's so tender aged, who's so scared in the system. We have a program specifically at RAICES that focuses just on child representation and we get necessary training to talk to kids who are tender age, provide very complicated legal information in a very basic way.

So, we do receive a lot of training in order to do this type of work.

HARLOW: A lot of these families coming over the border are economic migrants, they're looking for a better life for them, for their families. They're fleeing violent crime, death threats in their home countries.

What the administration says repeatedly is, you can seek asylum in America, but you have to do it legally by going through the ports of entry. What's your response to that?

JIMENEZ: Well, I think that everyone has a right to due process, right? That is a constitutional right. And if they want to do that - to allow them to do that regardless of the way they came in, they have the right to seek asylum. They have the right to seek any type of immigration relief.

Our goal at RAICES is to assist as many of these families to help them in that process.

HARLOW: I ask you because a Democratic talking point that we're hearing from a lot of Democrats right now is that these ports of entry are not admitting people quickly enough for asylum seekers. It's sort of a ruse that the administration isn't being fully transparent when they talk about that being the legal way to seek asylum in this country.

Have you seen any evidence of that or would you recommend to those fleeing their home countries to go through these ports of entry?

JIMENEZ: I think there's points to each, right? We've seen it all. We've seen families who have crossed - trying to cross the river. We've seen parents who have presented themselves at the border and been turned away. We've seen parents who have actually presented themselves and have been able to enter.

There is no system. There is no criteria. So, right now, we really don't have other recommendation other than just to - for these families that there are immigration laws. And if you do qualify for something, to speak to an attorney and we can try and assist you.

HARLOW: You heard in the last few days the president saying essentially throw due process out when it comes to these immigrants, that they should not go through the court system, they should be immediately turned around and returned to their country.

The White House tried to explain that yesterday by saying due process does not mean that it has to necessarily be in the courts that way. I think it's important to note that, unlike American citizens who may have committed a crime that are guaranteed legal representation in the form of a public defender, that is not the legal right of these undocumented immigrants, correct?

So, how many of them do you see going through with no representation?

JIMENEZ: That is completely correct. There is no right to court appointed counsel in immigration proceedings. If you cannot afford a counsel, you're expected to fight your immigration case by yourself.

There are thousands of families of kids, of separated parents who are completely unrepresented because they do not have the resources to get counsel.

Again, as previously mentioned, these families are leaving everything they've ever known for just a chance of a better life. So, when they get here, they don't have the resources to pay for a private immigration attorney.

HARLOW: Mayra Jimenez, thank you for being here. We appreciate it.

JIMENEZ: Thank you.

HARLOW: All right. We're moments away from the start of trading on Wall Street. Trade fears top of mind for investors today as the president talks tough on tariffs. How will the market react? The opening bell is next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[09:29:00] HARLOW: All right. Moments ago, protesters outside of the Allegheny courthouse in Pittsburgh, you are seeing the aunt of the young man on your screen there, Antwon Rose, who was shot and killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer just about a week ago after fleeing from a car that was suspected to have been involved in a shooting.

He was unarmed at the time. He was shot in the back as he ran away from police. You hear them protesting. We believe that's his aunt, Justice. Justice saying how old was he? 17 years old. That police officer has been placed on administrative leave. And Antwon Rose was laid to rest just yesterday.

Let's go to Wall Street. The opening bell about to ring. Could it be another big selloff. Cristina Alesci on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. What are we looking at?

CRISTINA ALESCI, CNN MONEY AND POLITICS CORRESPONDENT: Well, investors were definitely spooked yesterday. They knew some kind of restrictions on foreign investment into the US, specifically from Chinese entities were going to be placed, that the administration was going to do that.

But then, the administration sent out some mixed signals on how broad some of those measures might have been. And if there's one thing that Wall Street hates is uncertainty, it's question marks, and that's what we're hearing a lot of today. That's what I've been hearing consistently throughout these years, throughout this year.