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Senate Democrats Investigate a New Allegation of Sexual Misconduct, from Brett Kavanaugh's College Years; U.S. Imposes Tariffs On $200 Billion Of Chinese Goods; China Retaliates After New U.S. Tariffs On Its Goods; Tiger Woods Wins PGA Tour Even For First Time In 5 Years; Myanmar Violence; Rohingya Crisis Plan. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired September 24, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[02:00:10] ROSEMARY CHURCH, NEWSROOM ANCHOR, CNN: Later this week, we will hear from the woman who accuses a Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault, the new developments surrounding Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation. The U.S. and China exchange new trade war blows as massive tariffs take affect, how they could impact your wallet. And he pulled it off after five years. Tiger Woods makes a stunning comeback.
Hello and welcome to our viewers joining us from all around the world. I am Rosemary Church, and this is CNN Newsroom. This will be a historic and contentious week in the battle to confirm U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as he denies a new allegation against him. In just days, Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford are set to testify publicly in a closely watched hearing, even as Democrats are demanding an immediate halt to Kavanaugh's nomination process.
Ford, a research psychologist and professor, has agreed to tell her story before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. She alleges Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothes during a house party when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh firmly denies that ever happened. Meanwhile, the White House and Kavanaugh are also denying a new accusation against him of inappropriate sexual behavior.
This accusation is coming from a woman who says she attended Yale University at the same time as Kavanaugh. The New Yorker Magazine reports that 53-year-old Deborah Ramirez remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a college dorm party during the 1983-84 school year. However, two other people who Ramirez says were present at the party issued a statement to the New Yorker, saying they never heard that such an incident occurred.
CNN has not corroborated her story. Kavanaugh said in statement, and I am quoting here, this alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen and have said so. This is a smear, plain and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth and defending my good name and the reputation for character and integrity I spent a lifetime building against these last minute allegations.
And a White House spokesperson says this. This 35-year-old uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by Democrats designed to tear down a good man. This claim is denied by all who are said to be present, and is wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say.
The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh. And we will bring you much more on this story later this hour.
U.S. President Donald Trump turned to international issues Sunday, meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Their dinner ahead of the U.N. General Assembly comes days after Mr. Abe won a third term as Premier. He told Japanese television that they discussed North Korea and had constructive talks on trade. Mr. Trump has threatened a 25 percent tariff on Japanese vehicle imports as a means to reduce a trade deficit. The two men are set to meet again Wednesday.
Well, first, President Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-In later Monday. As Nic Robertson reports, Mr. Trump will be pressing for more details about the commitments made during the recent Korean summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIC ROBERTSON, INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, President Moon Jae-In has effectively become the go-between now between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un in North Korea. What President Trump is going to what to hear about is any additional details that President Moon can add to this commitment that North Korea appears to have made to continue denuclearization process at one of its sites.
And also to scrap and get rid off a missile test facility, now this missile test facility the North Koreans have said that they will allow international monitors from relevant countries. The details here that are not clear, publicly at least, which of those countries and when would this dismantling begin. And would this have an affect on other of the missile test facilities that North Korea has.
[02:04:55] What President Moon is also likely to tell President Trump is that what Kim Jong-Un wants is a declaration from the United States that the Korean War is over. Now, is President Trump ready to give that? That's not clear. But this is going to be the (Inaudible) of that meeting. And another person, another leader that President Trump is going to be talking to -- will have a summit with later in the week.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, he also is going to want to find out what President Trump has learned about Kim Jong-Un's latest proposals. Of course, the big issue everyone is going to be watching is what President Trump says about Iran. Of course, remembering last year, he used very tough and strong language directed at North Korea, calling Kim Jong-Un Rocket Man.
And this year, President Trump is going to be trying to isolate Iran, pointing out its meddling in the region, its sponsoring of terrorism. These are going to be issues he's going to discuss. And of course, that recent attack in Iran that Iran's leaders, President Rouhani has blamed the United States in Saudi Arabia for saying that they will essentially be revenge for that attack in Iran that killed more an two dozen Iranian soldiers and civilians in a military parade.
That kind of language is going to play into President Trump's hand that Iran is a maligned influence in the Middle East at the moment. This is how we can expect President Trump to sort of use this speech that he'll be giving at the UNGA. Nic Robertson, CNN, New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: So let's a closer look now at that terror attack in Iran. State media reported the gunman killed at least 29 people on Saturday. Iranian officials are blaming foreign powers like Saudi Arabia. And the President Hassan Rouhani mercenaries backed by the U.S. are responsible. The U.S. has condemned the attack and denies it was involved.
Now for what all of this means, CNN's Ben Wedeman joins me now live from the Lebanese capital Beirut. Good to see you, Ben. So Iran is convinced that the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are behind this deadly terror attack, as we just reported. The U.S. has denied any involvement. So who stands to gain from an attack like this? Who are the possible suspects here?
BEN WEDEMAN, SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Well, as far as the possible suspects go, there are two basically. One of course, is ISIS, which did put out a statement claiming responsibility. And we have seen that they've also put out a video with three of the four attackers, two of them speaking Arabic, one of them Farce or Persian. But they don't make any claims that they're doing this attack on behalf of ISIS.
The other prime suspect, and I am speaking in sort of a general sense, are groups that are working for the independence of this part of Iran knows as (Inaudible) or (Inaudible) which has a significant Arabic speaking minority. But as far as the view from Tehran is that behind these groups is Saudi Arabia, other gulf states, and ultimately the United States.
And of course, if they want to see any indication or point to any indication that perhaps the United States is in favor of it, of this sort of thing, of regime change in Iran. They don't have to look far. Over the weekend, Rudy Giuliani, the personal attorney for President Trump, did come out speaking at a gathering of Iranian opposition group, the (Inaudible), saying that the U.S. sympathizes with Iran regime change.
So certainly from Tehran's point of view, it is not hard to understand who would benefit from this attack. And I think their attitude is never believe anything until it has been officially denied as the United States has done now, Rosemary.
CHURCH: And Ben, what more are Iranian authorities learning about the nature of this attack, and why were they so vulnerable and perhaps unprepared for an attack like this?
WEDEMAN: Well, you know I think the reason why this attack took place is that Iran does have very efficient, so to speak, internal security services. And this is really the worst such attack in quite some time. Last June 18, people were killed when there was a simultaneous attack in Tehran on the Iranian parliament and the mausoleum late Ayatollah Khomeini.
And that of course, was a serious -- that was serious attack, but in terms of death toll, nothing like what we saw on Saturday. Now the Iranians are -- the government is not specifying exactly what they're going to do to whom at this point. So I think we'll have to wait and see if they are able to uncover more in terms of who was behind this attack.
[02:10:06] CHURCH: Yes, indeed. Ben Wedeman bringing us the very latest on this from Beirut in Lebanon, we will of course, check in with you again next hour. Appreciate that, Ben. Well, the trade war between the United States and China is rapidly intensifying. Just hours ago, the U.S. imposed a 10 percent tax on an additional $200 billion in Chinese goods.
And that could increase to a rate of 25 percent by the end of the year. President Trump has also threatened tariffs on another 267 billion in Chinese goods, the Chinese retaliating with a 5 to 10 percent tariff on 60 billion dollars in U.S. goods that they import. So let's turn to our Steven Jiang. He joins us live from Beijing.
Steven, we keep seeing this tit for tat trade war going on, this back and forth. It is difficult to know when it might end. But perhaps more importantly, what impact these tariffs are likely to have on consumers there in China. And are people feeling any effects right now?
STEVEN JIANG, SENIOR PRODUCER, CNN: Well, Rosemary, there was usually the time lag between when these tariffs are imposed and the concrete impact you will feel on the ground. But I think increasingly, a lot of Chinese exporters, these manufacturers who make products now for the U.S., for U.S. clients are starting to feel the heat. We were talking to some U.S. businessmen who say they may actually move factories to other countries like Vietnam or rather their suppliers may do that.
This has been a trend in the past few years because of the rising labor costs here. But I think the trade war may fasten that pace. But in terms of consumers, my colleague Matt Rivers has been going on the streets asking people, and he for example, found out if you eat a sandwich or a burger with American pork, then you may have to pay more.
So there is starting to be felt by the consumers here. But interestingly, I think the American consumers are actually also going to feel more concrete impact by this trade war, because previous rounds that tariffs mostly targeted industrial products. But this latest round targeted more consumer goods. So if you're an American consumer buying shampoo, dog food, or electronic appliances in Walmart or Target, they actually may notice price hikes on the shelves very soon.
So this is really, as you say a trade war with no end in sight. But as you also noted, the Chinese government increasingly finds it difficult to match the U.S. tariffs dollar for dollar because the U.S. imports a lot more from China than the other way around. But they -- the Chinese government still has a few tricks in their sleeves according to many economists.
For example, they could charge higher tariffs on U.S. imports, impose (Inaudible) quotas, restrict their citizen's travel to the U.S. for study and tourism, or providing tax relief for their companies who may have been affected by this trade war. So the bottom line is neither side is backing down. It may become a game of endurance to see which side eventually back off because enough pain has been felt on the ground, Rosemary.
CHURCH: Yes, indeed. Now there's always the possibility that Chinese consumers may decide not to purchase American goods. We'll watch to see what the outcome is there. Steven Jiang reporting there live from Beijing, many thanks to you. Well, a second woman is accusing U.S. Supreme Court Justice Nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.
He denies the new allegation, but could this be a game changer in his confirmation process. We will discuss that when we come back. And the end of a battle and the beginning of an era, just ahead, details of the Comcast bid for Sky and what this could mean for the media landscape. We're be back in just a moment.
[02:15:00] CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, Comcast is one step closer to changing the global media landscape by owning satellite giant Sky Broadcasting. The U.S. media giant outbid 21st Century Fox in an auction on Saturday. Now, the decision goes to the Sky board and its shareholders. Hadas Gold is following this story for us from London. She joins us now live.
Good to see you, Hadas. So what is the latest information you have on this? And what is the likely outcome here and of course, the global impact of such a move?
HADAS GOLD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Right. So this is a dramatic almost end to this process. In a very rarely used auction process over the weekend, Comcast outbid Fox by quite a bit to try and obtain the 61 percent of Sky that was available. Their bid was over $22 dollars a share compared to Fox's, which is around $20 dollars a share. Comcast bid value Sky at nearly $40 billion, and it was much higher than Fox's bid.
Now, Sky's independent committee that was created to help advice on this takeover process has unanimously recommended Comcast's offer. Sky shareholders have until October 11 to accept that offer. Now, we might see an acceptance beforehand. But we're pretty much guaranteed that these shareholders will accept Comcast's offer because it is so much higher, and everybody involved is pretty much acting as though this is a done deal.
Obviously now, the question will be what does Fox do with its 39 percent that it still owns? Now remember, Fox, a lot of its entertainment assets have been bought out by Disney. So anything that they do, Disney has to approve as well. The question will they hold on to or will they be a minority stakeholder in the company, or will they try to sell it back to Comcast. That's the question that everybody is looking toward right now.
CHURCH: All right. We'll keep a very close eye on what's going on there. Hadas Gold joining us live from London, many thanks.
GOLD: Thank you.
CHURCH: We'll take short break. Still to come, a golf legend makes a stunning comeback. The latest on Tiger Woods' big win, we're back in a moment.
[02:20:00] CHURCH: Many residents in North and South Carolina are still trapped after Hurricane Florence stranded without necessities as flood waters remain dangerously high. Conway, South Carolina has seen record setting flooding since the storm, and Nick Valencia took an aerial tour of the area.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK VALENCIA, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: More than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall, a small community here in South Carolina still dealing with major flooding. We're high above the skies of Conway, South Carolina. And we wanted to give you a bird's eye perspective of what residents are still dealing with here. And just take a look for yourself. This subdivision here is near the river, but now most of it is under water.
Earlier, we were in this community and saw residents as they were desperately trying to sandbag their homes, residents that didn't think that they were going to get any water. Now, that water is starting to creep into their homes. (Inaudible) we're told by the local emergency management that the river, the Waccamaw River which is causing this overflow was rising at about three inches per hour.
But by the end of the day, it had gone up at least two feet. But here we are. We're (Inaudible) that the river has stabilized sort of just a bit and has gone up just about a foot. They're still not expecting this river to crest until sometime early Tuesday. The National Guard is on hand as well as local resources to try to assist the residents who are still desperately clinging to hope that they will not lose their homes.
The good news in all of this, no injuries so far has been recorded. But this has become a really, very, very much so miserable situation for the residents that are still dealing with this, nine days after Hurricane Florence made landfall. The next community is expected to be Georgetown, which is about 40 miles away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CHURCH: Nick Valencia with that report. Let's go to the pacific now. And Typhoon Trami continues to swirl, but could soon reach super typhoon intensity. So our Meteorologist, Karen Maginnis, has been keeping a very close eye on this. So what is going on, Karen?
[02:25:06] KAREN MAGINNIS, METEOROLOGIST, CNN: Rosemary, I have the same reaction to this as I did with Mangkhut, which plowed across the northern portion of Luzon. This has undergone an (Inaudible) replacement cycle, meaning the eye was kind of covered up. But now it is clearly defined. It looks like a beast on the satellite imagery. Right now, 120 kilometer per hour wind, and there is some speculation does it move more towards the northwest, or does it move more towards the north.
Either way, we're looking at maybe Taiwan, perhaps the southern Japanese islands of Ryukyu. So we will watch this. It is going to slows down, as it slows down, it's going to gain intensity. As it does, it becomes a super typhoon. And yes, indeed, this does look very impressive on our satellite imagery. And here's the forecast of accumulation of precipitation, because this indirectly is influencing the weather across Japan.
As it does, it could bring some flooding rains there. Speaking of flooding, in Tunisia, just to the south of the capital city, we had four fatalities from this heavy downpour, and numerous reports of damage to homes and streets. They saw over 200 millimeters in a very short period of time, Rosemary.
CHURCH: All right. Thank you so much for that, Karen. Appreciate it. We'll take a short break here. Still to come, the U.S.-China trade war continues to escalate. And if you love gadgets like the Amazon Echo, it's going to cost you. The story is up next.
[02:30:14] CHURCH: A very warm welcome to our viewers joining us here in the United States and of course all around the world. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM. I'm Rosemary Church. I want to update you on the main stories we're following this hour. The U.S. and China are hitting each other with tariffs. Just hours ago, the U.S. imposed a 10 percent tax on 200 billion dollars in Chinese goods.
This round hits thousands of consumer goods like furniture and electronic. China is retaliating with tariffs on 60 billion dollars on U.S. exports. Iran is vowing deadly and unforgettable revenge after a terror attack at a military parade on Saturday. Authorities say the gunmen killed at least 29 people in the country's southwest. They have blamed multiple factions including the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nicky Haley denies the U.S played a role.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with U.S. President Trump Sunday ahead of the U.N. General Assembly. In remarks on Japanese television, Mr. Abe said the two men discussed North Korea and had constructive talks on trade. Mr. Trump has threatened a 25 percent tariffs on Japanese vehicles to reduce a trade deficit. Well, President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh is now denying a new allegation of sexual misconduct. And the White House is standing by him calling the allegation part of
a smear campaign. This comes as Kavanaugh's original accuser is set to tell her story before the Senate Judiciary Committee within days. Christine Blasey Ford alleges Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed, tried to remove her clothes, and covered her mouth during a house party when they were both teenagers. Kavanaugh denies that ever happened. More now from CNN's Jessica Schneider.
JESSICA SCHNEIDER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: The date is set for Christine Blasey Ford's testimony. It will be on Thursday at 10 a.m. and it will be an open hearing. Now, Blasey Ford will testify first in front of the committee after which Judge Brett Kavanaugh will testify. Blasey Ford will also have security since she's been receiving death threats since her identity became public. And there is still uncertainty as to who will be doing the questioning.
It's possible Republicans could bring in an outside attorney who is a female. But Blasey Ford's attorney say they want the senators doing the questioning since they've been dismissive of her allegations. Now, meanwhile, the Chairman Chuck Grassley issues a statement Sunday saying that the committee itself had been investigating and of the four other people Blasey Ford says were at the party including Judge Kavanaugh according to the committee all have denied any knowledge or recollection of Blasey Ford's version of events.
And of course, Judge Kavanaugh has also issued several forceful denials. And meanwhile, the White House and Judge Kavanaugh are now also denying another allegation against Kavanaugh of inappropriate behavior. This time from a woman who says she attended Yale with the Supreme Court nominee. The New Yorker reported on Sunday that 53- year-old Debra Ramirez remembers Kavanaugh exposing himself to her at a dormitory party during the 1983-1984 school year.
However, two other people Ramirez says were present at the party issued a statement to The New Yorker saying they never heard of such an incident. And CNN has not corroborated her story. Kavanaugh has released a statement saying this, this alleged event from 35 years ago did not happen. The people who knew me then know that this did not happen and have said so. This is a smear, plain, and simple. I look forward to testifying on Thursday about the truth and defending my good name and the reputation for character and integrity I've spent a life time building against these last minute legations.
White House Spokesperson (INAUDIBLE) said this 35-year-old uncorroborated claim is the latest in a coordinated smear campaign by the Democrats designed to tear down a good man. This claim is denied by all who were said to be present and wholly inconsistent with what many women and men who knew Judge Kavanaugh at the time in college say. The White House stands firmly behind Judge Kavanaugh. Ramirez was initially hesitant to speak publicly because she said her memory contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time.
After she reassessed her memory over the course of about six days with her attorney, she did go on the record with The New Yorker. Jessica Schneider, CNN Washington. CHURCH: And we'll discuss all of this later this hour with a guest.
Let's take a short break. But still to come, we've been waiting years to say this. Tiger Woods wins.
[02:35:03] The golf legend's huge comeback victory. We'll have that for you on the other side after the break.
CHURCH: Welcome back, everyone. Well, just before the break, we were discussing new allegations being leveled at Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh. We want to have more on that. Of course, the week ahead being the confirmation hearings for Mr. Kavanaugh. So Richard Johnson joins us now to discuss a week that promise to captivate the U.S. political world. He is a lecturer on U.S. politics and international relations at Lancaster University. Good to have you with us.
RICHARD JOHNSON, LECTURER IN U.S. POLITICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, LANCASTER UNIVERSITY: Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: So a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh has surfaced in The New Yorker magazine involving a second woman, but her story has not been corroborated to any great degree from her freshman year at Yale. As the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford regarding her sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, could these new allegations potentially be a game changer and force the committee to hit the pause button and investigate these allegations?
[02:40:02] JOHNSON: Well, the committee really can't afford any more delays. The Senate goes out of session for the elections on the 26th of October and really between now and then, it's the Senate to have sort of questioning and scrutiny that has to go through the committee and then on to the Senate floor. And really we could get to a point where we get up to the elections without a final vote on the Senate floor at the Supreme Court nominee.
Now, I suspect that's what the Democrats might be hoping happens that they delay this sufficiently and that then the elections happen and then the maybe make it politically impossible for a nominee -- a new nominee to get through in the lame duck session. There's been precedent for this. In 1968, The Republicans filibuster Lyndon Johnson's nominee for chief justice of the United States (INAUDIBLE) in October of 1968, so roughly the same period time as now --
CHURCH: Sorry to interrupt you. But an investigation would take maybe three days, so I mean we're not talking about a huge delay here and the reality is that any change in the midterm elections. That's not going to have any impact until the New Year. So Brett Kavanaugh denied this ever happening, right? And says, it's a smear campaign against him. He says he looks forward to testifying Thursday and defending his good name. But wouldn't an investigation help him do just that rather than this
effort to rush the confirmation hearing through as quickly as possible and leave the impression that all of these allegations sort of left hanging basically and essentially a stain against Brett Kavanaugh? Then, it's in his interests.
JOHNSON: Well, if we think of another historical parallel, in 1991, during the Anita Hill testimony, Clarence Thomas responded sort of -- he came out swinging in response to her testimony. He denied all of the accusations. He famously said that he was the subject of a high- tech lynching. He said that he'd been lynched and caricatured by the United States Senate rather than hung from a tree. So he came out with this very, very strong response and in the end he was successfully confirmed. We have to remember this is not --
CHURCH: -- he had an investigation. There as an investigation for him and in that situation too there were witnesses for both sides. There was this sense that he weren't getting a he said he she said scenario where you're not actually hearing from all of those involve, right?
JOHNSON: At the end of the day, United States Senate is political body. It's not a court. The Senate Judiciary Committee is not a jury. There won't be any verdict on guilt or innocence on this. And so the real question is about whether or not this shifts the political reality in the Senate and it could well do. I think what's -- at the moment, the situation has made it much more plausible that you'll get unanimous democratic opposition to this nomination which wasn't so clear early on.
You have some senators -- Democratic senators in battleground states in the Senate elections like North Dakota and Ohio and so, Indiana, West Virginia where we thought perhaps there might be a few Democrat who voted for Kavanaugh. That's not going to happen now. And now, eyes are on the two female Republican senators, Lisa Murkowski in Alaska and Susan Collins in Maine. And whether or not there's conclusive evidence whether or not as something that might have stood up in a -- in a jury trial doesn't really matter.
What matters whether or not this puts enough political pressure on them to consider their support for Kavanaugh --
CHURCH: Right. The aim here is to make sure that the person who is going to be confirmed for the highest court in the land has the integrity that is required of a justice of a court of that standing. Just very quickly before this second allegation went public, we also learned that the mock questioning with Kavanaugh in preparation for his own testimony Thursday was not going well because he was refusing to answer some questions that he found too personal.
How problematic could that prove to be on Thursday when he will have to answer some of those questions? JOHNSON: Well, it may or may not actually change the minds of the
United States Senate, but it certainly has repercussions in the court of public opinion more broadly. Again, I think in 1991, some of those Democratic senators were very uncomfortable with the way that they questioned Anita Hill and in the end, you had -- in the following spring, Anna Dixon, an incumbent Democratic senator from Illinois who actually lost his primary to (INAUDIBLE) a black woman who became the first African-American woman elected to the United States Senate.
So even if Kavanaugh doesn't, you know, maybe votes don't change in the way that Kavanaugh answers the questions this week but it could change minds when people go to the ballot box in November. And the Democrats might be -- they might lose the vote but they might claim the electoral victory in a few weeks' time.
[02:45:13] CHURCH: Right. Of course, the aim of all of this is to get to the truth of the matter isn't it? To determine what we're dealing with here and who's telling the truth. We will see.
Richard Johnson, thank you so much for joining us. Appreciate it.
JOHNSON: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, the U.S. and China are raising the stakes of global trade and millions of consumers could soon feel the pinch. The U.S. officially slammed China with new tariffs on Monday. They cover $200 billion of Chinese exports like electronics and furniture, and China is already retaliating.
Just after the U.S. imposed their tariffs, Beijing responded with as -- a tax on $60 billion of U.S. goods to the tune of five to 10 percent. So, let's talk about how this will affect U.S. consumers. Robert Koepp joins me now from Hong Kong. He is the director for the Economist Corporate Network. Thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you for having me.
CHURCH: Now, so -- for most of our viewers watching here in the United States, their main concern, of course, is how these tariffs will impact them directly when they go to purchase goods. And they want to know how soon they will feel that impact on their pocketbook. So, what would you tell them?
ROBERT KOEPP, DIRECTOR, ECONOMIST CORPORATE NETWORK: Well, actually, as you phrased the question, there isn't a lot for the average consumer to worry about right now. For example, a Christmas season purchasing by companies and retailers was done well in advance.
In fact, we noticed an uptick in trade with the U.S. and China before these tariffs were announced it with suppliers anticipating that. So, the average consumer isn't going to feel that for that reason also because the sorts of goods that are being targeted in this round of tariffs are intermediate goods.
So, it's really manufacturers or companies that source from China as opposed to consumers directly that will be the most impacted. CHURCH: So, they don't have to go out and buy all the gadgets that they want in advance.
KOEPP: Why? I can't give advice of that regard, but probably not. In fact, to your point on that, there was a lot of concern that Apple would be severely hit by this. In that, Apple, although, U.S. brand manufacturers almost exclusively in China. But the latest round of tariffs exempted are things like Apple watches and Bluetooth devices.
Circuit boards and some other products, again, intermediate goods are being targeted. But not so much the consumer electronics.
CHURCH: Right. OK. And how long would you expect this trade war between China and the U.S. to go on for? And how damaging could have potentially been for the two countries and for any future relationship they might have?
KOEPP: Well, I'm smiling but only because that's a question that's one of those great imponderables. And unfortunately, I mean, to be very serious. It doesn't look like there is an end in sight under current dynamics.
You have two leaders of the U.S. and China who have a lot of political face in the game. And neither wants to look weak in the face of this sort of what they perceived as a threat or opposition. So, I don't see any immediate resolution.
However, I would say to the credit of the United States if one looks at this as a kind of game tactic, it is known for cutting deals under the Trump administration. So, perhaps there's a deal in the making here but that's going to be what it takes that someone's got to kind of back down or offer something new.
CHURCH: Right, and what impact might this trade will have on other nations? Or do you think it will be just confined to the U.S. and China?
KOEPP: Oh, it's hardly confined to those two countries. Yes, those are the two countries imposing tariffs on each other's goods. But we've already seen here in East Asia a spillover effect. And it's actually kind of good for the other countries.
So, the U.S. and China are hurting each other and themselves with this trade war. But Southeast Asian nations are gaining. It's already been reported that a lot of Chinese supply chains are moving out of for example outside of Hong Kong here. A Guangdong province to other parts of Southeast Asia like Vietnam, and Cambodia, and Indonesia, and so forth.
So, those countries are gaining, and the banks, and the accountants, and the financiers that fund those activities or support them are also gaining as well. So, there are some winners.
CHURCH: All right, always good to hear. There were some winners there. Robert Koepp, we'll keep an eye on all of this incredible back and forth between China and the United States. Thank you so much. KOEPP: Thank you.
CHURCH: Well, it has been years in the making but Tiger is finally roaring back. All-time golfing great, Tiger Woods has won a PGA Tour event for the first time in more than five years. He got the big win Sunday at the Tour Championship here in Atlanta. He finished 11-under par for the weekend.
The victory comes after years of injuries and personal setbacks for Woods. He now has 80 PGA Tour wins.
Joining me now to talk about Tiger Woods big win is Christine Brennan. Christine is a CNN commentator and USA Today, columnist. Good to have you with us.
[02:50:06] CHRISTINE BRENNAN, CNN SPORTS ANALYST: Rosemary, great to be with you on a citrus fascinating story, a fascinating sports day.
CHURCH: It is, isn't it Tiger Woods first PGA title in five years. How bigger comeback is this for him, given his past public scandal, and of course, his knee and back problems?
BRENNAN: Absolutely, four surgeries on his back, four surgeries on his knee. He has his back fused together, part of the -- his spine and one of the more recent surgeries. He couldn't walk, he wondered if he would -- to get around, he had to crawl for a while.
He wondered if he'd ever -- not only not play golf again, Rosemary, but also just be able to walk normally. That was last year, just a year ago, and of course, the DUI picture I think many people remember that Tiger is thinking to perhaps his lowest low with the DUI, the dashboard camera which was Memorial Day Weekend of 2017. So, late May of 2017, just what, 16 months ago.
And to think of where he was then, and people were just talking about could he get his life back together? And here he is, winning the Tour Championship after having a terrific summer where he contended in the British Open. And then, he contended in the PGA Championship.
And was a real factor both of those and maybe could have won either one. Didn't win, but he then wins the Tour Championship. And he does it in such a resounding fashion with all the galleries around him. The pictures, the visuals, amazing. Just a stunning turn of events for Tiger as he's only a few months away from his 43rd birthday.
CHURCH: Right. It has been a long journey for him, hasn't it? Does it matter that this worrisome to major?
BRENNAN: I think it does, personally. He's won 14 major tournaments but it has been since the U.S. Open in June of 2008. So, now more than 10 years since he's won a major title.
And to me, the comeback we'll really be complete when and if he does that. His next chance, Rosemary, to do that will be next April. So, it's several months away that would be The Masters. In April of 2019 then that will be the U.S. Open. The British Open and then, the PGA Championship. But the reality is here that he has -- he's done an amazing thing, not to by any means diminish what he did.
But I think, one of those majors -- especially, The Masters is always his best shot. When he leaves Augusta and hasn't won The Masters, it's this always gone through what would be his best shot to win a major -- the Masters at Augusta, Georgia.
So, I think I cannot even imagine the interest level, the excitement, and the odds of Tiger. For Tiger, going into The Masters next day probably, I think it's going to be huge. But I do think, to cement that legacy and to say this is the greatest comeback we've ever seen in sports history or whatever, which I don't even know if we want to go there. But, I think it's going to be a major for Tiger to do that.
CHURCH: Right, yes, it might be a little premature for that. So, I mean, looking at what has happened, has Tiger Woods earned his right for a new start after all the fallout from his public and personal scandals, and of course, all his surgeries?
BRENNAN: You know, it's, it's a great question. The one that most people remember was the run-in with the fire hydrant and the subsequent dismantling of his personal life and his family life with all the stories of affairs and other things. And then, divorced with his wife, the mother of his two children.
And that was actually all the way back in 2009 -- in November of 2009. So it's -- that's been a long time. And I think you can actually think both things. I think you can still probably remember that or remember the DUI and the fact that he was parked in the middle of partially on the road, partially on the shoulder just a year and a few months ago.
And the concern they are, of course, about how he was living his life and the problems and the issues that he had. I think, you can still have those feelings and be concerned about them but also just recognize Tiger as the great golfer that he is.
One of a kind -- not only once in a generation, maybe once in a lifetime. And for new generations of golfers, who only heard their parents tell them about Tiger. She'd be able to watch this and see what he did at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
And then -- and then also the promise and the possibility, not only the Ryder Cup coming up just this week in France, but then moving forward into next year. I think -- I think, you can have those -- you can be excited for Tiger but you can also remember some of the issues in his life. But I also think he's done come a long way to move on from those issues and to remind people why everyone cheered for him originally which was, of course, all about the golf.
CHURCH: Yes, and the crowds were showing there's still a lot of people cheering him on. We shall see what Tiger Woods achieves at The Masters. That is his next challenge. Thank you so much, Christine Brennan, for joining us. We appreciate it.
BRENNAN: My pleasure, Rosemary, thank you.
[02:55:03] CHURCH: Lovely way to end this hour. Thanks for joining us. I'm Rosemary Church. I'll be back with another hour of news in just a moment. Don't go anywhere. You're watching CNN.