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Interview with Larry Summers on Trump's Trade Policy; A Friend Describes Mbappe's Rise in Football. Aired 2-2:30p ET
Aired July 25, 2018 - 14:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Welcome to the program. Ahead, Donald Trump welcomes the European Commission president to
Washington. We say about the transatlantic trade war? The former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers joins me from New York.
Plus, the rapid rise of French teenage football sensation Kylian Mbappe. From the urban ghettos of Paris to winning the World Cup, what does this
say about the power of immigration?
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
The White House says it will hand out $12 billion in cash to American farmers hurt by tit-for-tat tariffs, those levied by China, the European
Union and others in response to President Trump's own import taxes.
The announcement came just hours after the present tweeted that "tariffs are the greatest" and as he sits down with Europe's top official who
famously responded to Trump's tariffs by saying, "we can do stupid too."
Now, the two will see whether they can negotiate a way out of this Trump- made crisis.
Few people have more experience in making economic policy than Larry Summers. Her served as treasury secretary under President Clinton and top
economic advisor to President Obama and he's been president of Harvard University in between. He's joining me now from New York.
Secretary Summers, welcome to the program.
LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Good to be with you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, first and foremost, am I right, is it a Trump-made crisis and what do you make of handing out these billions in subsidies to make up
for the hurt that he seems to be causing?
SUMMERS: This is a $12 billion band-aid on a self-inflicted wound. There was nothing to be said for launching this tariff war. And now, as many
predicted, Americans, including farmers, have been the losers and now Americans are going to pay to compensate the losers.
But the whole thing is about self-inflicted wounds. Self-inflicted wounds because of higher prices for American consumers, self-inflicted wounds
because American producers are going to be less competitive because the inputs like steel for a car are going to be more expensive, and self-
inflicted wounds because, obviously, if we put tariffs on them, other countries are going to put tariffs on us, and that's going to make it
harder for us to export. And it is going to, at a slightly difficult moment, take the steam out of the global economy.
SUMMERS: There are real legitimate trade issues, but you have to address them with a strategy, not don't stop and I'm going to shoot myself in the
foot anyway, is the strategy we're following.
AMANPOUR: Shoot myself in the foot anyway. Let me pick up on that because, again, President Trump has tweeted that, as I mentioned, "tariffs
are the greatest" and the U.S. agriculture secretary said about these subsidies the following. I just want you to react to what he said today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SONNY PERDUE, U.S. AGRICULTURE SECRETARY: This is a temporary measure, hopefully, to show China and other countries, they cannot bully the U.S.
into caving in on unfair trade practices. That's exactly what President Trump's strategy is and I think it will work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: OK. So, Sonny Perdue there. Secretary Summers, is there a strategy?
SUMMERS: Not one that I can discern. Look, tariffs are taxes. They're taxes that raise the price of things people buy. They're particularly bad
taxes because they're regressive, falling more on middle class and poor people, and because the taxes support monopolies by American firms by
insulating them from competition.
So, the prices go up not only for the imports, but also for the American goods that compete with the imports. So, this is a tax first on middle-
class people strategy in a way that maximizes the burden that is placed on them.
And other countries now are importing much less from the United States because of what we've done, not much more than what we've done.
[14:05:00] Should one surgically use threats where other countries are behaving abusively? Yes. Should one launch a strategy where it's us
against the whole world, where we have taken our natural allies, like Canada and Mexico and Europe and alienated them completely, so others are
all drawn together to respond against the United States?
First rule of diplomacy is form a group of allies if you have an adversary. We've got some very legitimate concerns about China, but the strategy of
going after the whole world, of saying that somehow our national security is threatened by the importation of Canadian steel, strategies like saying
that it's somehow going to make us richer, to make it much more expensive to import car parts which, in fact, will make the U.S. a much less
competitive place to produce cars.
This isn't strategy. This is blundering about in anger.
AMANPOUR: Let's take the last point you just made about the car imports. Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, told CNN just a couple of days ago the
following about the idea of the threats of tariffs on European cars. Let's just play this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIE DIMON, CEO, JP MORGAN: If you do another $200 billion of tariffs in this national security thing about cars, I think that you're pretty there
close to having - reversing some of the benefits that we've seen in the economy.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: And BMW is the biggest exporter of American-made cars. They have plans manufacturing in South Carolina. So, I guess the question, is
it, as some have said, sort of an economic illiteracy in the White House or is it actually important because it's rhetoric, it's his base, it's
SUMMERS: I think it's a combination of illiteracy economically on the part of many who advise the president, coupled with the most cravenly political
approach to foreign policy that we've seen in the United States since the Second World War of pandering to the raw prejudices of people who were in
the president's base.
I think the advisers who are giving him this advice should be embarrassed. In all honesty, I don't understand how many of the people who work for this
administration are able to face their children.
AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, you put it very bluntly there. And you have, in fact, tweeted about that. You've questioned why there hasn't been mass
resignations from the White House. You were actually talking about the fallout from the Helsinki Summit and you were tweeting after that.
But you are a former cabinet secretary. I mean, really? Is that even likely, has there even been such a thing? I mean, President George Bush
took the country to war and there weren't mass resignations.
SUMMERS: This is entirely without - Iraq war was, we now know, an egregious policy error. But even its sharp critics would not say it was
any illiteracy based on pandering for politics at the time.
Yes, there is a tradition of honorable resignation in American politics. There were people in the Clinton administration with whom I served who
objected very strongly to President Clinton's signing of the welfare reform bill and resigned.
There were people in the first Bush administration who resigned because they felt the United States needed to do more to stop the slaughter in
Famously, Secretary of State Cyrus Vance resigned because of his opposition to the Desert One invasion of Iran during the hostage crisis of President
So, there is a tradition of honorable resignation in American politics. And in all honesty, when we have a president who gives aid and comfort to
racists as the president did a year ago in Charlottesville, when we have a president who treats President Putin as a closer friend and ally than the
leaders of our longtime NATO partners, when we have a president who traduces the most basic concepts of economics, I don't understand why
people are so eager to hold on to their jobs that they don't resign in principle.
[14:10:29] Certainly, in the administrations of which I was a part, there were, as I mentioned, people who did resign in principle and there were
others who made clear that, if certain very salient lines were crossed, they would resign in principle.
What will it take to get some of the officials of this administration to be prepared to resign in principle?
AMANPOUR: So, let me ask you then, in this vein, but going back to the base and going back to trade and economics, the farmers have said that
these $12 billion in subsidies will not make up for the amount they're losing because of the tariffs.
And yesterday, President Trump, there's this huge controversy of don't believe your eyes, and he said the following about tariffs. And I want to
ask you about what he said when we've heard it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Other countries have tariffs on us. So, when I say, well, I'm going to put tariffs on them, they all
start screaming, "he's using tariffs."
China charges us, when we make a car, 25 percent tariff. We charge them 2.5 percent. Other than that, it's a fair deal.
Similar things with other countries, like the European Union. They're a big abuser, but it's all working out. And just remember, what you're
seeing and what you are reading is not what's happening.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, that last phrase is what caused a huge amount of backlash. The president basically saying that what's being reported is not the truth
and what I'm doing is actually working.
SUMMERS: Is it working? Do we see more American exports so far? No. Do we see higher American wages? American wage growth has actually slowed.
Do we see more purchasing power for American workers? No. Do we see American businesses feeling that they're more competitive as they operate
around the world? No.
What we see is somebody who stuck a knife in your shoulder and then put an inadequate Band-Aid over it and says that everything is OK now.
This is the least well-conceived international economic policy that the United States has pursued since the period before the Great Depression.
SUMMERS: And I suspect it will have quite serious consequences over time.
AMANPOUR: That's what I was going to ask you because, obviously, the stimulus of the tax reform and all of those deregulations, people are
wondering whether these issues that you're talking about, the cumulative issues that you're talking about, are going to have a serious blowback when
it comes to global economic growth, which includes American economic growth. What's your prediction?
SUMMERS: The one thing that we know that's always very hard for people to relate to is that policies affect the economy with substantial lags. And
this will, over time, have real consequences both economically and geopolitically.
Christiane, there was a previous summit where U.S. president looked weak next to a Russian premier. When John Kennedy went for his first summit to
Vienna early in his presidency, he allowed himself to be bullied by Khrushchev and he was terribly fearful of what the consequences would be
with an emboldened Russia. And he turned out to be right with the Berlin crisis a few months later and a Cuban missile crisis a year-and-a-half
after that summit, probably the two most dangerous moments in human history in terms of the threat of nuclear war.
[14:15:00] Now, I don't think we're at that point, but the kind of weakness our president displayed with President Putin, the kind of breaking off of
relations of trust and alliance that he's shown with Germany and other countries in Europe, over time - you can't know whether it's going to
happen in a week or a month or a year, but, over time, history suggests that those things have profound, profound consequences.
Christiane, I was in Rome about a month ago. And maybe this is too dramatic a thing to say, but all I could think of is I saw Rome, saw the
Colosseum, saw all of that. It was a terrible reminder that preeminence and great strength and leadership were not forever.
AMANPOUR: Wow. On that note -
SUMMERS: When they rotted away, it was from within.
AMANPOUR: Larry Summers.
SUMMERS: That is what I worry about with this president.
AMANPOUR: Well, we appreciate your perspective. Thank you so much at this important time.
Now, of course, at heart, tariffs are driven by economic anxiety. Imports take our jobs. The same with migration and the fear that immigrants take
our jobs. That's what people think.
President Trump tends to stir up these fears both at home and abroad. Remember what he said about immigrants during his visit to Europe earlier
this month. Just take a listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I just think it's changing the culture. I think it's a very negative thing for Europe. I think it's very negative.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That's why this year's World Cup and the victory of Les Bleus, the French national team, was an eye-opener because 15 of the French team's
23 players, seen here with President Macron, are of African descent.
The breakout star, Kylian Mbappe, has a father from Cameroon and a mother from Algeria. He is the pride of his underprivileged Parisian banlieue.
And it seems all of France poured into the Champs-Elysees, to celebrate their mostly black and Arab heroes.
Celebrate, not demonizing them. But Germany's star player Mesut Ozil pulled out of his national team after the defending champions lost to South
Korea. He said and he posted, I am German when we win, but I'm an immigrant when we lose.
My next guest Nabil Larbi is a friend and neighbor of Kylian Mbappe and he's a municipal councilor in Bondy, the burb that launched Mbappe's
triumph. And I spoke to him about all of this from Paris earlier this evening.
Nabil Larbi, welcome to the program.
NABIL LARBI, BONDY MUNICIPAL COUNCILOR: Thank you, Christiane.
AMANPOUR: So, let's talk about your friend Kylian Mbappe. What is it that you know about him and his family? Were you surprised or were you - kind
of expect him to be this successful?
LARBI: So, Kylian Mbappe, I'm not really surprised of what he became right now because I know his family really good.
His father and his mother were my neighbors in Bondy and he lives not far from my house. And I could see before that the education they gave to
their children, Kylian, was really nice with big values. And he kept that.
And when we saw him playing football very young, when he was a little children, we could see that he has some gift, like a gift in football. So,
I'm not really surprised of what Kylian Mbappe became.
AMANPOUR: So, tell me, you've just mentioned Bondy and you've called him a child of Bondy. Tell us for our viewers in America and around the world,
what is the significance of Bondy? What is life like in those suburbs?
LARBI: So, Bondy is a really nice place, but Bondy suffered of something really bad like a reputation, which is not good. When we hear about Bondy
in media, in all around the world, we have bad things. We hear that it's a no-go zone, like it's a fake news. Bondy is a really nice place.
But, indeed, Bondy is a poor city. We can find in Bondy each religion - every religion, every ethnicity of people. There is people from all around
the world living together. And that is a strength in Bondy and not the weakness. That strength is the image of Bondy.
AMANPOUR: I want to read to you what one of the other players, one of the other French players said after the win. Pogba, he basically said, now
there is no color, black, yellow, everything; we are all united; now, you are all proud of us forever.
Is that something you feel? Do you believe that the immigrant-born French who made up the majority of your national team are really accepted as
[14:20:07] LARBI: Of course. I can understand what Pogba said. He's right when he said we are all French. We are all together; there is no
But on the reality, we can take, for example, what Trevor said in America on TV. He said something really, really very nice. He said that,
unfortunately, when you do something good, you can be seen as a French here in France. When you do something bad, you're from the origin terrain,
you're like African. And, unfortunately, that's a reality in France. So, I can understand what Pogba said.
AMANPOUR: So, Nabil, you know Mesut Ozil said the same thing. When I win, I'm German; when I lose, I'm an immigrant. And I would like to play for
you what Trevor said on his program and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TREVOR NOAH, "THE DAILY SHOW" HOST: Yes, I'm so excited. Africa won the World Cup. Africa won the World Cup. Africa won the World Cup. Africa
won the World Cup.
I mean, look, I get it, I get it. They have to say it's the French team, but look at those guys, huh? Look at those guys. You don't get that tan
by hanging out in the South of France, my friends.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, what did you feel when he said that because your government responded very, very sharply. For instance, the French ambassador, Gerard
Araud, he said, "By calling them an African team, it seems you're denying their Frenchness. This, even in jest, legitimizes the ideology which
claims whiteness as the only definition of being French."
LARBI: So, first of all, concerning Trevor, the first interview for me is a little bit broadline when he spoke in front of the TV, but the second one
was really clear and nice for me because he explained the thing really good.
He said that the Frenchness of the people is, in front of the media, when they do something good. For instance, they win the World Cup, so they're
But, sometimes, when they do something bad or something that is not really nice for France or something less, they are seen as foreign people, they
are seen as African people (INAUDIBLE). So, I can understand what he said.
AMANPOUR: So, Nabil, Kylian did not come out of nowhere. He came out of some very, very important French training camps, these football camps, he
got the academies. He was really trained. There is a big effort to train people like Kylian and many other foreign-born or foreign descendants in
But as you say, that's that. And then, you have this study that was done in France not so long ago, which showed that a huge proportion of people
who look for jobs, if it's seen on their application that they have an Algerian name or any kind of foreign-sounding name, they won't get the job.
What can happen to make it more equal just in the recruiting?
LARBI: Of course, what you said right here just is a reality. Kylian himself has a name - a foreign name. He's from a Cameroon father, an
Algerian mother, but he managed to do something because of the values, because of the education of his parents.
But not only that, because of what the City of Bondy tried to do in his policy. The policy of Bondy to do something good for the young people, to
put some equipment for them to play football, to train and so on.
Now, the policy has to be more strong with the people that - with the racism. The racism is unregarded (ph) in France. And I think that what
happened with Kylian Mbappe with the French team can put the spotlight in France and we hope that it's not only a shooting star.
Kylian Mbappe has to not be only a shooting star, but to put the spotlight on Bondy, on the suburbs, on the banlieue to show that we can do something.
People now, in banlieues, seeing Kylian Mbappe, we can be somebody now. We can be somebody.
AMANPOUR: And do you think Kylian Mbappe and the success of Les Bleus, who are anything but bleus, they are all colors except for white, very, very
minority white in your winning team. Do you believe that they can show these anti-immigration politicians, like the National Front, like Le Pen
and others, that they need to change their policies? Do you think it will have an impact on the politics of today?
[14:25:11] LARBI: Definitely, yes. I think so because, now, on the contrary of '98, when we won the first World Cup, now with the social
networks and so on, people can talk about it.
AMANPOUR: Twenty years ago, when France won its first World Cup, nothing much changed in society then. Do you think times have changed? Will this
bring a change even though it didn't in 1998?
LARBI: I'm not totally agree with you because some things changed in 1998 when we won, but, unfortunately, 2001 came and the Al-Qaeda attacks in
America happened, so only three years after that, and it occulted everything that happened good.
And now, from 2001 and 2005, with the riots in France, everything was going to be bad. So, now it's better. Our feeling is better. And this victory
can, I'm sure, bring us something good, really good for all the people in France.
AMANPOUR: So, Nabil, as a descendant of Algerian family, what did you feel personally when your team won?
LARBI: So, when I see French playing, I feel very proud because it's like my team won. I'm very proud and I'm behind them. And when Algeria team
plays, I am the same. I support Algeria and the French team in the same step because I feel both.
Like Trevor said, we can feel both, not only French or Algerian. I am French and Algerian. And I hope that everybody can be proud of what he is,
and not hiding our origins, our foreign origins because we are afraid of racism or no. We have to be proud of what we are.
And this is France now. And the French team showed the world what is France. And we are not - we do not have to be shame on that.
AMANPOUR: Wonderful. Nabil Larbi, thank you so much for joining us from Paris on this beautiful summer evening.
And that's it for our program. Thanks for watching. And goodbye from London.