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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
For Months, Donald Trump Has Rallied Against The Referees Of Global Trade, A Person That Has Actually Been Scaling The Statue Of Liberty, One Of China's Richest Man Has Died While In A Visit To Southern France, Wang Jian, Facebook's Whatsapp Messenger Is Working On A Feature To Prevent The Spread Of Hoax Messages In India; otester Climbs Statue of Liberty, Forces Evacuation; Angela Merkel: Auto Tariffs Could Trigger a Trade War; EU Officials Considering Car Tariff Talks; WTO Director General Responds to Trump's Threats; French Butchers Seek Protection from Militant Vegans; U.K. Anti-Terror Police Join New Nerve Agent Novichok Inquiry; Two British Nationals Exposed to Novichok. Aired 4-5p ET
Aired July 4, 2018 - 16:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: World Trade Organization, a catastrophe, but World Trade Organization makes it almost impossible for us
to do good business. Simply put, we have not been treated fairly by the World Trade Organization. The WTO has been a disaster for this country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAIN ASHER, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: You heard him say it there, a disaster, a catastrophe saying that the US has not been treated fairly by the World
Trade Organization. For months, Donald Trump has rallied against the referees of global trade, tonight, the head of the World Trade Organization
speaks to me right here on CNN as the United States marks Independence Day. It's the Day of Independence, Roberto Azevedo warns Donald Trump not to go
alone when it comes to trade.
Hello everyone, happy July 4th for those of who celebrate, I'm Zain Asher. Good evening. So, tonight, the head of the WTO responds and let me tell
you, he certainly does have a dire prediction. He is saying, that's what he said to me just a few hours ago, he said that if the US pulls out of the
World Trade Organization, expect things to go badly, very badly indeed. Take a listen.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTO AZEVEDO, DIRECTOR GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: I think it will be a blow to the system, to the multilateral system because the
largest economy in the world is outside the system, but at the same time, it would be a blow to the US as well. Both would live in a situation like
that, they would have almost a law of the jungle. Anybody can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: So the World Trade Organization is well and truly caught in the middle of this global trade war. Some people are still calling it a global
trade skirmish, but from its perch in Geneva, it's trying to hold the strings together as trade barriers are raised around the world. Obviously,
the United States is going after China and the EU with a bunch of tariffs, they escalated from mere threats to actual action.
Today, the WTO issued a warning that the tension is starting to damage global growth and in the worst case scenario, it could do more damage,
listen to this, more damage than the last financial crisis back in 2008. So, let's talk about a brief history of the WTO just to give you some
background here. Since the end of World War II, the WTO has had different names, but it has remained the center of the global trading system. It's
where roughly around 160-member countries are supposed to go, they go to the WTO to mediate disputes over trade.
In the last two decades, the United States has actually - this is quite ironic - they have actually been the most active member by far in terms of
going to the WTO to sort of try to settle any disputes. The US has been involved in 263 disputes, that is by the way about half of all the cases
total, and actually, the Americans have ended up winning a lot more than they've lost. So the WTO has actually ended up siding with the US more
often than not. That fact though has not stopped Donald Trump from calling the organization - you just heard in that sound bite there at the top of
the show, a disaster.
Lately, he has been issued very vile threats against the WTO. Take a listen.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: The WTO has treated the United States very badly and I hope they change their ways. They have been treating us very badly for many, many
years and that's why we were at a big disadvantage with the WTO and we are not planning anything now, but if they don't treat us properly, we will be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: "We will be doing something," I actually asked the WTO Director- General, Roberto Azevedo what he thinks Mr. Trump actually means by those comments. Take a listen.
(START VIDEO TAPE)
AZEVEDO: I can't tell, really. I suppose that often, when I hear complaints from the part of the US, it's about the dispute settlement
mechanism of the WTO, the disputes winning or losing disputes and the track record of the US is one of the best track records that we have by any other
WTO member. So, I suppose it cannot be that.
The US has been complaining also that the rules of the WTO need to be improved, they need to be reformed, updated, and I think they are not alone
in that view. There are many others who also believe that the WTO rules and procedures actually could be improved and well, if that is the
situation, I think others are willing. Members are willing to have a conversation about that.
The way the US is being treated, the US has been treated exactly the same way that every other WTO member has been treated, so I don't know how to
answer that question other than with the elements that I just offered you.
ASHER: Okay, but you admit that there are several members that think that the WTO needs to be improved and that certain things could be updated, what
would you say is your number one priority right now in terms of making key improvements?
AZEVEDO: I think members have structured their desires in terms of improvement of the WTO and it's entirely in their hands, I cannot improve
the WTO myself or the Secretariat. It's the members who have to negotiate on how they want to make changes. They have mentioned substantive things,
so agreements in areas in the rules that are in the gray zone that they think needs to be more clarified. They have also talked about process, how
to negotiate in a way that is more agile, more flexible, more nimble and they also have talked a little bit about dispute settlement, how to make it
faster, how to make it more effective.
All of those areas have been mentioned and others as well, and I think everything at this point in time is at the table. I think they have to sit
down and decide what are the priorities here.
ASHER: I mean, yes, you mentioned the time it takes to get a settlement. Obviously, it can take up to several years, and that is a problem for a lot
of countries, but one I guess, country that a lot of countries end up complaining about is of course, China. I know the Obama administration
rather brought several complaints against China.
They key issue with China is that, this is a country that floods the market with cheap goods, floods the global market with cheap goods, but also
limits access to their own market. I mean, what do you think needs to be resolved in terms of China's role in all of these?
AZEVEDO: Look, there are rules that apply to both China and everybody else, the rules are the same. China doesn't benefit from different rules
in the organization, so everybody is bound by the same rules. China negotiated their accession to the WTO by making concessions. Other members
also participated in this conversation, so it was not a bilateral conversation. China negotiated with many WTO members, and the terms of the
accession were agreed by everyone.
Whether or not some members now believe that those terms need to be rebalanced or re-examined, that's for them to sit down then and have a
conversation with China about that and I think China has always said that they're not averse to negotiations. They are ready to sit down and
negotiate as long as of course, the outcome is something that they perceive to be fair and balanced.
ASHER: Okay, so here we are, you have a huge country like the United States whereby obviously, as I am sure you know, Donald Trump, one of his
key sort of focuses has been on keeping his campaign promises to appeal to his base. My question to you is obviously, we've got this report that
Donald Trump might be considering, might, and I want to emphasize that word, "might" considering trying to find a way to leave the WTO. What is
your number one fear when it comes to that? I mean, do you think that's a real threat and a real concern? And also, what is the WTO - what relevance
does the WTO have if the United States ends up no longer being a part of it?
AZEVEDO: Well, to begin with, I think it's important to say that in every single contact that I have had with the US officials, and I have had a lot
of those and not one single time was it indicated or suggested that the United States is leaving the WTO or wants to leave the WTO so that for me
is mere speculation. I have not any indication that that would be the situation.
If in any situation is speculative at best, the US decides to leave or something like that, I think it would be a blow to the system, to the
multilateral system because the largest economy in the world is outside the system, but at the same time, it will be a blow to the US as well, both
would live in a situation like that. You would have almost the law of the jungle. Anybody can do anything and we know what happens in those
situations. You have retaliation. You have protectionism increasing significantly, reciprocal and mutual restrictive measures and that is the
worst case scenario for the global economy. We will see a significant slowdown of the economy, if not a contraction and everybody loses in this
scenario. There is no winner here.
ASHER: Okay, so listen, a lot of countries have said that, a lot of countries have said the idea of A, potential trade wars and trade
skirmishes, there is no winner and obviously, it's hugely detrimental to the global economy. I do want to ask though about other ways in which a
country like the United States where you have a President that really feels as though job losses have resulted from global trade, obviously, previous
Presidents like for example, George W. Bush had come out and talked about temporary steel tariffs for example that the WTO ended up ruling to be
illegal, but if there is a situation where a country feels as though ...
ASHER: ... their own industries are being decimated, like for example, Donald Trump that's the way he feels about the US steel industry because of
global trade, what remedies are there that they can pursue, other than leaving the WTO or initiating trade wars?
AZEVEDO: There are plenty of remedies, plenty. There are safeguard measures, anti-dumping measures, countervailing measures, there are
negotiations themselves. They can renegotiate the terms of trade with other trading partners. There are a number of alternatives for situations
I think also that we should not be too simplistic and believe that every job that is lost in the market today is lost because of imports or is lost
because of immigrants or anything that comes from the outside. There's loss of job because of new technologies, innovation, things that are
happening within the borders, not coming from outside the borders. If we just look at the trade component and try to fix this with trade restrictive
measures, people will be shooting themselves in the foot and there will be no solution here.
ASHER: Yes, I mean, that's something that a lot of people talk about, that it's not just about international trade, there are other factors when it
comes to the decimation of the US steel industry, technology obviously is one thing that people have to take into account.
AZEVEDO: A lot of people are talking about it. A lot of people are saying those things because they are true, because they actually exist. They are
not making it up. Nobody is speculating or saying things, yes.
ASHER: But I do want to say that Donald Trump is using the national security argument to justify steel tariffs, aluminum tariffs and some
countries are just - especially the EU sort of the EU as a whole body has come out and said, "Listen, this is nonsense," right? The idea of national
security being used as a way to justify steel and aluminum tariffs. It's utter nonsense. What do you make of the US using that argument?
AZEVEDO: Well, the views are clearly different. The United States believes that this is a national security issue. They believe also that
they can decide what is their national security and nobody else can challenge that or question that. Other members believe that that's not
quite true. That first and foremost, in this specific case, the steel and aluminum safeguards do not have or pose a national security threat, and
they also believe that a member does not have unlimited ability to decide what is its national security.
Those views are in conflict with each other. We don't know what side is right at this point in time. They have to have a conversation to see if
they come to terms with that and if they don't, some are already challenging each other in the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO. I
would much rather prefer a conversation and a negotiated solution though.
ASHER: Do you know what? It's so interesting because that's such a difficult position for the WTO to be in because at the end of the day, with
the dispute settlement, if you end for example siding with the US, it looks as though any country can just sort of scream national security and then
that's how they end up winning a trade dispute. On the other hand, if you side with the EU, then the US will scream, see of course, the WTO doesn't
have our back. We better leave, so it's such a difficult situation for the WTO to be in the middle of - especially when you have the President of the
United States potentially, and I want to emphasize the word "potentially" threatening to leave the body.
AZEVEDO: I have said that before, I think that solving this kind of dispute in the dispute settlement mechanism of the WTO is not the best way
to go, precisely because of the things you just said. There is basically no win scenario. No matter what the decision is, favoring one side or the
other. That's why I believe that the best solution for these situations is negotiations, sit down, try to understand each other, try to find a
solution even if that takes a lot of effort, but it's effort well spent.
ASHER: And finally, my last question to you, Mr. Azevedo is, obviously, we've got a trade skirmish or I guess some sort of - we're in the early
stages some would argue of a global trade war in terms of the tit for tat measures with the United States and various other places, what do you think
the global economic impact of that is going to be?
AZEVEDO: It's difficult to tell because it depends on how widespread and how deep this supposed war would be. We made some estimates, for example,
if all the tariffs in the world reverted to what they were before the trading system was created, the WTO and the GATT, we estimate it at about
60% of global ...
AZEVDEO: ... trade would disappear and about 2.4%, a 2.4% contraction of the global economy would occur. That's bigger than after the 2008 crisis,
which was the biggest contraction in 80 years, so I think this is definitely a scenario we want to avoid.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ASHER: Yes, you can certainly say that again. That is the head of the WTO speaking to me earlier. Obviously, a key point that he mentions is that
besides the fear of the US possibly leaving the WTO, he at this point is treating that as speculation. He also called on individual members to sort
of negotiate disputes among themselves before obviously, making it more serious in terms of more formal disagreement and complaint. Okay, we'll
have much more on the coverage of global trade battles a little bit later on the show.
In fact, Matthew Oxenford from the think tank Chatham House is going to be joining me a little bit later about what the head of the WTO had to say in
that wide-reaching tenor and you'll actually hear from the European Union Commissioner on growth and jobs about threats to European industry as well.
(START VIDEO CLIP)
JYRKI KATAINEN, EUROPEAN COMMISSIONER, VICE-PRESIDENT FOR JOBS, GROWTH, INVESTMENT AND COMPETITIVENESS: It's easy to start a trade war, but it's
more complicated to stop a trade war, so in that sense, it will be better to find a balanced approach.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And that in the studio is coming up in about 10 minutes from now. All right, so, I have some pretty strange, I guess, breaking news to bring
you, but very independence day, very sort of July 4th relevant. If you look very closely on the screen, this by the way, I should mention is the
bottom half of the Statue of Liberty. I wish I could actually zoom in for you because I am not sure if you can actually see it. But, guys, if we can
actually get the closer image up, okay, so where that is highlighted on the bottom of the Statue of Liberty, there is a man who has been trying to
scale the Statue of Liberty. This news is coming to us, into CNN, this of course is Liberty Island that is home to the iconic Statue of Liberty
basically probably one of the most - I would say the most famous statue image in New York City, Liberty Island is in the New York Harbor.
This man, you see there, bottom-ish of your - this person rather, at the bottom of your screen has been trying to scale the Statue of Liberty. We
know that the Statue has been evacuated. This is a statue that has by the way three million visitors a year. Obviously, today is July 4th, it's
Independence Day, so you imagine that there are a lot of tourists and Americans flocking to this part of the city, but there has been a man that
has - or person rather that has actually been scaling the Statue of Liberty. This news is coming to us from US Park Police and the NYPD. We
should actually have a live reporter on the scene in just a few moments. We'll bring you much more news as we get it.
Obviously, that is needless to say, extremely dangerous. All right, so in a moment, it takes two to stop a trade war. Angela Merkel appeals to
President Trump to wind down the conflict before it is too late.
ASHER: One of China's richest man has died while in a visit to Southern France, Wang Jian, the Founder and Chairman of HNA Group was actually 57
years old. Police say he was killed after falling more than 10 meters - falling more than 10 meters up a wall that he had climbed to take a photo.
A bit of background for you on the businessman, Wang actually owned 15% stake in HNA, that by the way the company that has expanded rapidly outside
China. It's holdings included Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines and a share in Virgin Australia a well. Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, a stake in
Deutsche Bank, Radisson Hotels and also real estate in London, New York and Hong Kong. In an effort to reduce its debt loan, HNA recently sold Hilton
Hotels, Azul Airlines and $10 billion worth of real estate.
Melissa Bell is joining us live now from Paris. So, obviously, Melissa, you know some of the details of his death are extremely, I would say, gory.
We don't want to turn off our squeamish viewers, but just walk us through what happened here.
MELISSA BELL, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well what it appears to have been, Zain, and this is the very early stages, an investigation is under way and it is
being treated as an accident. What we understand is that he was with employees of the conglomerate. He was visiting Bonnieux, which is a very
picturesque village in the South of France in Provence. It involves a sort of hill on which there's a church and a number of different walls, what we
understand happen is that he was hoping to have a picture of himself taken with a greater view of the surrounding area, and again, one of the most
beautiful parts of France and he lost his footing and fell in that drop.
So, again this is being treated as an accident, but it is of course causing a whole new light on the conglomerate itself, which is finding itself at a
crucial crossroad, at a crucial moment, Zain. Not only because of that debt as you say, it had been acquiring a number of companies over the last
couple of years. In two years, 123 different deals was struck as it expanded overseas outside of China and that has come into the line of sight
of Chinese regulators. It was known as what they call a gray rhinoceros. That it is large, it is obvious, but it is a problem that if it picks up
speed can run away very quickly even as it goes visible, but unobserved or not closely enough followed.
And they have been worried about the amount of deals, the amount of investments that have been carried out abroad on big names and not so much
on strategic investment, so it had been trying to scale back at $90 billion debt that it had run up. The other crucial point about this is the way
that it is run. There has been this opacity, Zain, over the last few months about who precisely owned it shares, and of course, the death of its
Chairman who owned 15% stake will once again raise questions about that.
In fact, the questions were such that a number of different Wall Street banks have simply refused to carry on doing business with it. So, the fact
that its 15% now will have to be reallocated and redistributed, re- accounted for will again raise questions about how this very opaque structure HNA functions and this is also a crucial moment for the
conglomerate because within China, seven of its listed companies has suspended trading for a number of months, a statement from the company is
due on the 9th, which is of course, Monday. We are likely to learn more, but the death of this particular leader, its Chairman, will - does come at
a very difficult time for the conglomerate, all eyes really on whether the company will have to announce when it declares whatever it has to declare
on the 9th, Zain.
ASHER: Yes, obviously, this is a huge story for the business world. Of course, we have to be human about this. Our thoughts and prayers go out to
his family members on what I could only imagine as an extremely tragic day. All right, Melissa Bell, live for us there. Thank you so much. Appreciate
that. Okay, Facebook's WhatsApp Messenger is working on a feature to prevent the spread of hoax messages in India, and that's after a spate of
killings and lynchings that were triggered by rumors shared on the service.
Nikhil Kumar who is our New Delhi Bureau Chief has the story and I to warn some of you, as I always do that some of you may find some of these images
very, very disturbing.
(START VIDEO TAPE)
NIKHIL KUMAR, NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF, CNN: Zain, WhatsApp has found itself at the center of a growing problem here in India - the spread of fake news,
often with deadly consequences. A tension on this problem intensified here after a spate of mob attacks triggered by fake messages shared on the
Facebook-owned service. For the past six weeks, nearly a dozen people have been killed in separate incidents after being falsely accused of child
KUMAR: ... based on WhatsApp rumors. The violence is pushing the government here to find those responsible for abusing the social platform.
India's Technology Ministry said the law and order machinery is taking steps to apprehend the culprit. And India in fact issued a warning to
WhatsApp, Tuesday. The Ministry saying the spread of these fake messages was a matter of deep concern.
WhatsApp now said it is working on a new feature to help prevent hoax messages in India, the company's biggest market with over 200 million
users. The company says it's horrified by the violence and is testing a tool that will show you that when a message goes forward, rather than one
composed by the sender. The idea is to send a signal to users to think twice before forwarding unsubstantiated rumors.
The company also says it is working with local academic experts to learn more about how these fake messages spread. They're also going to work more
closely with the law enforcement to combat this fake news. They are trying to tackle this serious and now deadly problem, Zain.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
ASHER: Nikhil Kumar, thank you so much. We're going to take a break, but before we go, I want to show you these beautiful live pictures side by
side. You've got the New York Harbor there on one side of your screen with the Statue of Liberty of course, and alongside it, Paris, which is 10:30 in
the evening. By the way, just to show you how these two cities are tied, the French actually dedicated and gave the Statue of Liberty as a gift to
Americans. The statue was actually dedicated on October 28, 1886, so a bit of history for you there showing how these cities are inextricably linked.
We'll have much more news after this quick break. Don't go away.
All right, let's join our sister network, CNN US with some breaking news from the Statue of Liberty in the United States. Let's listen in.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN: (In progress) -- these immigration issues, arrest, deportations et cetera, now the police there are setting up a device to
safely get the final protester down. We are going to keep an eye on this story going forward. I'll just go back to Phil now. So, based on what
we've heard there, so we've got a final protester it appears and it seems like the focus now, Phil is getting that person off their safely especially
if they don't want to come down.
PHILIP MUDD, COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST, CNN: Not quite yet. There's a couple of focuses here. I'm not going to assume that's the final
protester. When I go into that conversation or when the NYPD goes into a conversation with the group that's there, the first immediate question is,
you got a criminal event. You've got to potentially talk to them about what they are thinking about going into this, but my first question would
be, "Are you part of a group that's planning something broader across New York City?" You can't guarantee that today or tomorrow or next week that
they haven't thought about further protests that would disrupt life in New York City.
So it's not just resolving what happened at Liberty Island, it's figuring out if something else is a foot here.
SCIUTTO: Understood, abundance of caution always important. We're going to continue to follow the story, we're going to take a short break now,
more details on this unfolding story when we come back.
ZAIN ASHER, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: All right, some breaking -- some - - sorry, business story to update you on. Angela Merkel sent a special 4th of July message to Washington when the U.S. is driving, well, towards a
German chancellor called on President Trump to make peace before it's too late.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANGELA MERKEL, CHANCELLOR, GERMANY (through translator): We now have tariffs on aluminum and steel and we have a discussion which is very
serious. There appears first two will be imposed with tariffs when they are imported into the United States.
Ladies and gentlemen, this has the character of a trade conflict. I don't want to use any other word for now, it's worth every effort to try and
dispute those conflicts so it doesn't turn into a war. But this obviously takes two.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: And European officials want the United States to come to the table, they're trying to put together a deal of their own. The "Financial Times"
reports officials in Brussels are looking into whether it's possible to reduce tariffs between the world's biggest car exporters.
The European Commission's vice president for jobs and growth wouldn't confirm to us whether those talks are ongoing. The G3 kept it in, did say
Europe is ready to improve trading conditions if only the U.S. would negotiate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JYRKI KATAINEN, VICE PRESIDENT FOR JOBS, GROWTH, INVESTMENT & COMPETITIVENESS, EUROPEAN COMMISSION: First of all, we want to avoid trade
war. Second, we are always ready to improve trading conditions as we have proposed to U.S. authorities.
But unfortunately, up until now they haven't accepted those. And third, EC started to discuss on lowering tariffs or opposing tariffs on some product,
it must be mutually beneficial. So on taxing(ph) to costs, the U.S. has to lower -- has lower tariffs than Europe.
But for instance --
STEPHANIE SY, CNN: Right --
KATAINEN: On pickup trucks, U.S. has higher tariffs than Europe has.
KATAINEN: So whatever you do in trade, it must be mutually beneficial and WTO compatible.
SY: How will the EU respond if President Trump were to decide to target European car imports?
KATAINEN: Of course, we have to respond because we have been and will be ready to negotiate, but not under any kind of threat. So we have already
now responded the way which is compatible with WTO to higher aluminum and steel tariffs.
And if there are higher tariffs on other goods, we have to respond. So I do hope that U.S. authorities would be very careful not to trigger a trade
war because it would lead to trade job losses in the United States too.
SY: President Trump's overall stance is that there's a trade imbalance between the U.S. and its major trading partners including the EU. What is
the EU willing to do to address that?
KATAINEN: Well, actually, the first question is how do you calculate or how do you count the trade balance or imbalance because the global rally
chains are so wide (INAUDIBLE) looking at more platforms. The planned value sometimes is in the United States, some component values are
somewhere else and production value is in probably in China.
So this is the first question. The second thing is that if you can't -- for instance, that the trade balance on services, they are surplus to U.S.,
also if you can't -- profits made by American companies in Europe, then the whole world trade balance is in favor of the United States.
Only in goods Europe has a trade surplus to U.S. So first issue, accept the basic principles of the U.S. authorities as we have done earlier. So
it's very difficult to discuss trade balance-related issues if the fundaments are understood so differently.
SY: President Trump has been very critical of the WTO, and just earlier this week, there was a report that he's even circulating a bill that would
pre-empt the U.S. from having to follow WTO rules. What kind of reform is required at the WTO to address some of the Trump administration's
KAITANEN: I just came back from China last week and we had very good discussions with Chinese authorities on reforming WTO. I conveyed the
European message to Chinese that because the market has changed, because technology has changed and because many things have changed, and since the
last time we formed WTO, we have to be ready to start working for reforming WTO.
[16:35:00] Taking into account industrial subsidies, forced technology transfers in some cases and things like that. So I do hope that U.S.
authorities would engage on this reform job because unilateralism is never good.
Trade wars and unilateral access are not useful because it's just triggering neck of this bureau.
SY: What is your greatest fear about how bad that spiral can get at this point?
KATAINEN: I try to avoid threatening or speaking problems up. So -- but there are some economists who have already counted how many billions all
the markets could lose. Their GDP or home percentages -- but GDP, U.S. and Europe and China would lose. So it's --
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right, we had to break out of that because I want to take you now back to New York to show you these live pictures of the Statue of
Liberty, we are just gone 4:30 in the afternoon, we see a protester, a woman who has scaled the bottom part of the Statue of Liberty at New York
harbor on Liberty Island.
It turns out this is actually part of an abolish ICE protest. It is an abolish ICE protest, actually want to hand you over now to my colleagues on
Cnn, U.S. for more on this story.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: You see there's a lot of distance you can fall if things don't go well.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Oh, absolutely, I mean and that 's a good vantage point there as well because it shows you how clear Liberty Island is which
you can imagine wouldn't be that clear on a day like today, independence day.
It's usually packed with tourists, but it has been evacuated, but yes, most people are trained to have these conversations and yes, no hostage, but
they deal with people who are suicidal, in this case it seems to be a protester, so they're trained, but again the hostage negotiation team, they
are even more trained in these situations.
So there's really more just reinforcement that's on its way to help this ESU officers try to get her down.
SCIUTTO: And we have Philip Mudd here as well who long time CIA and also FBI, works in counterterrorism. But as you look at this unfold here now,
how difficult is it to resolve something like this?
I mean, clearly, for the protester -- and if you're just joining us now, earlier in the day, this person was joined by seven or eight others in the
(INAUDIBLE) to ban her, talking about abolishing ICE, the agency deals with a lot of enforcement of the immigration laws.
So a protest on July 4th at the Statue of Liberty, I imagine the protester wants to keep the attention of the world on himself so does not have an
incentive to get off quickly. So how do you resolve something like this?
MUDD: Well, there's a couple of things going on here. Look --
Excuse me, stepping back if you look at the video, you know why it's difficult to resolve this. This is going to be resolved peacefully. The
question is about the safety of the officers and the individual involved. If you're a ground lover here, you could resolve this now.
But despite the frustration with this individual, you can't afford to risk their life for their hell, so they're going to sit there --
SCIUTTO: Yes --
MUDD: And be very cautious. The second very issue that's going to take ours to resolve is, I got to go back to my old life and say, I need some
identification here because that is a name because I want to know things like social media profile, what this person has said in the past I
mentioned a moment ago.
Is that give me an indication about whether they're part of a group, whether they're planning something further. This issue is going to be
resolved quickly. My question will be is there a secondary issue with some affiliated group that we're going to see later today or tomorrow or
something, I doubt it.
But you can't believe that until you prove it.
SCIUTTO: Well, we're going to continue to monitor the breaking news here. There's Liberty Island on July 4th closed off to visitors, a protester
there, police negotiating with that protester, trying to get them down safely, we will bring you any updates as they happen.
ASHER: You heard our Jim Sciutto there, saying, Liberty Island on July 4th closed to visitors because of a protest happening around the Statue of
Liberty and one person you saw in those images there scaling the statue out of protest, the abolish ICE protest.
We'll have much more news after this big break, don't go away.
[16:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
ASHER: We're turning now to our top story, the director general of the World Trade Organization has responded to reports that Donald Trump might
consider pulling the United States out of the group. Speaking to me right here on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS, Roberto Azevedo said it would be bad for the
world and especially bad for the United States. Take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROBERTO AZEVEDO, DIRECTOR GENERAL, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION: Well, I think it would be a blow to the system, to the multilateral system because the
largest economy in the world is outside the system.
But at the same time, it will be a blow to the U.S. as well, both would leave in a situation like that. You would have almost a law of the jungle,
you know, anybody can do anything.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ASHER: All right, so to put all of this trade talk together, I want to bring in Matthew Oxenford in London, he studies the global economy at
Chatham House. Matthew, thank you so much for being with us.
So this week, Donald Trump said that the WTO has treated the U.S. very badly, I hope they change their ways, they've been treating us very badly
for many years. We're not planning anything now, but if they don't treat us properly, we will be doing something.
When Donald Trump complains about the WTO not treating the United States properly, are his complaints justified. What are your thoughts?
MATTHEW OXENFORD, CHATHAM HOUSE: I think that if you look at the historical record of the U.S. and the WTO over the last several years, the
United States has won 91 percent of the cases that has brought to the WTO, which is significantly more than the average case that's been brought
before the WTO.
It's I think what the Director Azevedo said about the United States being treated exactly the same as every other country, has a lot of merit to it.
So they are very much treated like one of many -- of any country at the WTO.
ASHER: So the fact that there are above -- you know, I don't know if I should call it a trade war escalation or just -- some people are just using
trade skirmishes right now. The fact that that is happening right now in the world today, doesn't that -- isn't that evidenced that there needs to
be some reform at the WTO, that they should be doing something.
OXENFORD: I think the WTO has a lot less power to act unilaterally than people think it does, and operates entirely by consensus. Which means that
many issues that are by their very nature contentious, issues like technological change, forced technology transfer, anti-dumping restrictions
are going to by their nature be contentious.
And that means that it's very hard for consensus-based organization like the WTO to move quickly to adjust this. If the parties themselves aren't
willing to hammer this out through negotiations, only a limited amount of the WTO can do.
ASHER: So there's -- I mean, there's only a limited amount they can do while they're relevant.
OXENFORD: Basically, this goes back to what the director was saying about the law of the jungle. Everybody knows that a trade war is not in
anybody's interest because it can escalate so quickly. You're going to have a tit-for-tat escalation.
The WTO provides a common set of rules that everyone agrees to by, so that it doesn't lead to endless escalation where everybody thinks that they've
been treated unfairly leading to more and more -- more and more trade skirmishes that will eventually lead to trade wars.
By having this common set of rules, everybody avoids the survival of the fittest --
ASHER: And --
OXENFORD: And the survival of the most aggressive.
ASHER: And actually, Mr. Azevedo did say to me that, listen, like he agrees basically that there does need to be some reform that he mentioned
that is up to the members individually to come up with what those reforms should be.
He sort of indicated(ph) that his hands are tied. But Matthew, we have to leave it there, thank you so much, appreciate that.
[16:45:00] OXENFORD: Thank you.
ASHER: All right, we're going to take a quick break here, we'll be back just after this quick break, don't go away.
ASHER: Welcome back everybody. French butchers are asking the government to protect them from vegan militants. The vegans are being accused of
smashing store windows, spraying anti-meat slogans and splattering fake blood.
The French Butchers Confederation says more than 100 butchers, fishmongers and sea shops have been targeted in the last six months. Joining me now
live now is Constantin Imbs who is the chair of the French Vegan Federation.
So Constantin, thank you so much for being with us, I mean, when you hear that butchers are basically --
CONSTANTIN IMBS, CHAIR, FRENCH VEGAN FEDERATION: Thank you --
ASHER: Asking the government to protect them from I guess people like you, what do you make of that?
IMBS: Well, it may sound very ridiculous at first, totally ludicrous that people who are killing billions of animals every year with great big knives
ask for protection, police protection from animal lovers. But there's some truth behind that because of not exactly the Vegans.
That is not totally correct, but because of the anti-speciesism ideology. The tags that have been written on the windows of the butcher shops claim
that the butchers are species which means that they believe that the butchers actually killed the animals because they belong to a different
Now, that isn't totally correct. Humanity has been consuming animal products for vital reasons until 1947 where Vitamin B12 was discovered, as
a matter of fact not very far from New York. And since Vitamin B12 has been discovered, it's now possible not to eat any animal products because
this was the only nutrients, Vitamin B12 that was lacking from diets.
So people need to be educated to that, and of course activists who are throwing stones at windows are not educating to compassionate choices nor
to Vitamin B12 supplementation. And so they are throwing stones as well as much to his credit on the Vegan movement and escalation is definitely
possible due to the anti-speciesism ideology as well as graphic butchers.
Because graphic butchers are very violent and what they show is violent and so the activist want to respond with similar violence. Now, that doesn't
help the spread of veganism of course, which speaks education and education again.
ASHER: OK, so you're saying that these --
IMBS: The answer to your question. Yes, you answered my question perfectly, so you're saying that -- OK, I'm sorry, Constantin, I have to
leave it there, we have a press conference that is happening out of the U.K., OK, so we're going to go to the U.K. now where there's a press
conference on unconscious couple that was found a few days ago due to a toxic substance. Let's listen.
NEIL BASU, HEAD, COUNTERTERRORISM POLICING, UNITED KINGDOM: Earlier today, Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills from Wiltshire Police gave an update on
the situation. However, I can confirm tonight that there has been a significant development, and that the counterterrorism policing network is
now leading the investigation into this incident.
[16:50:00] This evening I've received test results from Porton Down that show that the two people have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok at
approximately 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, the 30th of June, the Southwest Ambulance Service was called to a residential address in Amesbury.
A 44-year-old woman had collapsed and she was subsequently taken to hospital. At around 3:30 p.m. that day, the ambulance service was called
back to that same address where a 45-year-old man had also fallen ill. The man was taken to hospital and Wiltshire Police was then informed.
From an initial assessment, it was thought that two patients had fallen ill after using drugs from a potentially contaminated batch. However, on
Monday, the 2nd of July, due to the concerns over the symptoms, both the man and the woman were displaying, samples from both patients were sent to
Porton Down laboratory for analysis.
Following the details analysis of those samples, we can confirm that the man and woman have been exposed to the nerve agent Novichok which has been
identified as the same nerve agent which contaminated both Yulia and Sergei Skripal.
The latest update we have from the hospital is that both patients remain in a critical condition. Both are British nationals and are local to the
area. Officers are still working to identify their next of kin. At this stage and this is important -- at this stage no one else has presented with
the same symptoms linked to this incident.
The priority for the investigation team now is to establish how these two people are coming into contact with this nerve agent. And I have around
100 detectives from the counterterrorism policing network working solidly on this investigation alongside their colleagues from Wiltshire Police.
We have cordoned off a number of sites in the Amesbury and Salisbury areas that we believe the two individuals visited in the period before they fell
ill. This is a precautionary measure. While we continue to investigate how they came to be exposed to the substance.
I do want to reassure the public that there's no evidence that either this man or woman recently visited any of the sites that have been contaminated,
following the attempted murders of Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
Looking ahead over the coming days, people in the area can expect to see an increased police presence which will include officers wearing protective
equipment as they carry out activity at a number of sites. This will look very similar to some of the activity you've all seen take place in
Salisbury earlier this year.
And again, this is a precautionary, not necessarily a measure that allows officers to safely carry out meticulous and systematic searches for
evidence that will support the investigation. This must be done with great care as you will appreciate, to ensure there's no outstanding risks to both
those brave officers and the public at large.
I appreciate there will be a great deal of speculation as to whether this incident is linked to those events in Salisbury in March this year. I
would ask that the complex investigation into the attempted murders of Yulia and Sergei remain ongoing and detectives continue to sift through and
assess all the available evidence.
They are following every possible lead to identify those responsible for what remains a reckless and barbaric criminal act. However, I must say
that we are not in a position to say whether the nerve agent was from the same batch that the Skripals were exposed to.
The possibility that these two investigations might be linked, but clearly, a line of inquiry thoughts. It is important however that the investigation
is led by the evidence available and the facts are laid(ph) and we don't make any assumptions in indulge in speculations.
Therefore we came to hear from anyone who might have information that could assist the investigation. And if you think you do, I'd urge you to contact
our police, calling 0800-789-321. Now the investigation team as it has done in March worked closely with experts from public house, England who
had emphasized that based on the number of casualties affected, that it is not linked, there's a significant health risk to the wider occupants(ph).
But of course, the chief medical officer for England is with me and will now update you on the very latest public health advice. After which we'll
be happy to take one or two questions. Thank you.
SALLY DAVIES, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, ENGLAND: I'm Professor Sally Davies; the chief medical officer for England and as you have heard, these two
patients in a critical condition following exposure to the nerve agent Novichok. Following events in March, we have a well established response
to this type of incident and clear processes to follow.
[16:55:00] Our priorities at this time are to care for the patients and to understand the circumstances surrounding how these two individuals became
unwell, just ensuring there's no further risk to the public health from this incident. As the country's chief medical officer, I want to reassure
the public that the risk to the general public remains low.
I understand that those in Salisbury and its surrounding areas will be concerned of this news, particularly those who recently visited the areas
now cordoned off by the police. My advice for any individual that may have been in any of the areas now cordoned off from 10:00 p.m. on Friday evening
onwards is highly precautionary.
As before, my advice is to wash your clothes and wipe down any personal items, shoes and bags with cleansing or baby wipes or disposing them in
usual ways. This is the same public health advice I gave during the previous incident, but now it's a (INAUDIBLE) approach.
I should also warn the public to be careful as always from picking up any unknown or already (INAUDIBLE) such as needles and syringes. You do need
to say goodbye from a health professional unless you are experiencing symptoms as any individual could have been significantly exposed at the
same time would be by now have symptoms.
Those people from the area who are concerned should call NHS-111. I also want to highlight that the areas of Salisbury already cleaned the back in
use like the Maltings are safe. I'd like to commend the professionalism of our emergency staff as well as those at Salisbury District Hospital,
particularly the Intensive Care unit.
And I want to reiterate the police are still investigating how this event happened and the public should continue to follow police's(ph) advice and
that's the Public Health England. We will ensure regular updates as we get further information, thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) --
BASU: That is a fairy, but it's speculation at the moment, I don't have any intelligence or evidence that they were targeted in any way. There's
nothing in their background to suggest that at all. So at this point in time, it's nothing but a fairy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a possibility though that the Novichok which they happened to be kind of poisoned with was the same batch which at --
BASU: There's that possibility, it's the same nerve agent, whether we can ever tell it was from the same batch will be up to scientists to determine.
DANIEL SANDFORD, BBC: Daniel Sandford from "Bbc News". Have you yet found any items which might be the source of contamination at any of the
locations that you cordoned off? Some kind of -- describe the items that might have been its source?
BASU: No, we haven't, so we know what the nerve agent is, we know they've been exposed to, and clearly the line of inquiry we're following is a very
detailed examination of that movement just like we had to do with Yulia and Sergei to determine where they might have been exposed. So we know what
the nerve agent is, we don't know what the transmission mechanism was.
Which is why the professor's advice is so important because actually we shouldn't be picking up anything that we have no idea what it is, and that
basically because we have no idea what container may have contained the nerve agent at this time.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These are the first comments to begin with publicly, we wanted(ph) to either target the original police officers responding to
this, how worried are you now (INAUDIBLE)?
BASU: Well, I think we have to remember what the professor's advice was, that this remains a low risk to the general public. We've obviously
cordoned off areas where we know that our two victims today have been and we reexamine those meticulously.
Where we have decontaminated signs from the previous exposure to this nerve agent, we are happy that those signs are safe and probably you should know
that they are safe, and we would continue the investigation as diligently and as quickly as possible.
It requires great care, when we're satisfied, if anyone was exposed to that level of nerve agent by now, they would be showing symptoms. And as I've
said, this is very important, no one's presented with those symptoms so far. Thank you very much for your time.
DAVIES: Thank you.
ASHER: All right, you just have been listening to a life press conference where the assistant commissioner for counterterrorism at Metropolitan
Police and also the medical examiner as well who brought us some very significant breaking news.
And that is the couple in Amesbury in the U.K. who were found exposed to an unknown sort of toxic substance they have now discovered, and this is key,
they have now discovered that toxic substance they were exposed to was indeed the nerve agent Novichok.
The nerve agent Novichok which -- this is key -- was the same nerve agent that Sergei Skripal and his daughter -- Sergei Skripal being the former
Russian double agent who had settled in the United Kingdom since the year 2010 under a spy-swap regime - was also exposed to as well.
They mentioned that on June 30th, police entered the residential address of this couple in Amesbury. They found a man and his wife who were critically
ill, took them to hospital. They initially thought that they may have been exposed to possibly drugs. After testing, though, they realized that is
was indeed the nerve agent Novichok.
In terms of public safety, because their focus is really now on keeping members of the public safe, and also reassuring them that they're not in
danger as well - in terms of public safety, they have cordoned off several parts of Amesbury.
And they are also working diligently retrace the footsteps - retrace the footsteps of where this couple may have been, where they have - who they
have interacted with, as well. So that was the nerve agent Novichok that this couple was exposed to.
I'm Zain Asher, that was QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. You are, of course, watching CNN.