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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS

Consumers Brace for Impact of Tariffs in China; Maersk Shares Down 26 Percent Over the Past 12 Months; Maersk Enters Joint Venture with IBM Using Blockchain Technology; U.K. Opposition Party Wills Second Brexit Referendum; Jean Claude Trichet: U.K. Government Naive Over Brexit; Trump to Sign Trade Agreement with South Korea; Trump and Rosenstein to Meet Thursday. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired September 24, 2018 - 15:00   ET

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


RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: The market is down in the last hour of trade, New York closes just 60 minutes from now. Opened lower,

headed down the worst was midday, but still all three major indices are either flat or down, and this is what's driving the day.

Political drama has investors nervous, whether it's the DOJ shakeups or new tariffs on China. There are merger deals wherever you look - merger Monday

- from gold miners to fashion houses, M&A back in style. And think of it this way, you win some, you lose some. Comcast shares sink after it wins

the race for Sky. It's September the 24th. I'm Richard Quest, live in London where of course I mean business.

Good evening. It was positively a head spinning day as the drama surrounding the Deputy Attorney General of the United States, Rod

Rosenstein makes waves in Washington, on Wall Street and in the geopolitical world. We don't yet know whether the man who oversees the

Russia investigation will stay or go. In other words, has Rod Rosenstein resigned or is he about to be fired? We do know that he is due to meet

President Trump on Thursday.

Today Rosenstein visited the White House with reports swirling that he had decided to go, to resign. Those reports pushed stock markets at the lows

of the day. You'll see it if you look at the market numbers, there you go, you can see the lows of the day just around 12:00, 1:00, that's when

everything was swirling around.

And at the same time during the course of the day. New tariffs on Chinese goods adding to the worries. The Dow still in the red with less than an

hour left to trade, we're holding around about 160, 170.

So let's get to the latest developments from Washington. CNN's crime and justice reporter is Shimon Prokupecz. He is joining me now. All right,

this was simply weird. There's no getting away from it. First, we were told that he was resigning, and then it just became, he's on his way to the

White House, and then finally, we were told, no, he's going to be back on Thursday. What happened?

SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER, CNN: Quite honestly. I don't think we know exactly everything that happened, right, the way you

described the events of this morning and how they unfolded is exactly right. It went from he's offered to resign. He's resigning to he's

expecting to be fired to nothing at all. After he left the meeting with the Chief of Staff over here at the White House, he went back to a meeting.

QUEST: Right. simple one-word question, Shimon. Why?

PROKUPECZ: It's a great question. We don't know exactly what happened. So this meeting takes place that he's in with the Chief of Staff over at

the White House, the President who's not in Washington, DC, obviously, he's over at the UN in New York. They have this meeting, he comes out of the

meeting. We're then told nothing has occurred. No action has been taken, that he was still on the job.

He then, Rod Rosenstein, goes to a principals' meeting at the White House with other senior officials. He leaves the White House and goes back to

his office and just like it's a regular day. So we don't know exactly what happened in that meeting. We have been told that Rosenstein had offered to

resign under certain conditions and perhaps those conditions were not met, something else happened, perhaps the President just somehow through the

course of the day, through the hour, during that meeting changed his mind and said, you know what, maybe I'll wait until Thursday.

It could be that Rod Rosenstein also made a plea to the Chief of Staff, saying, hey, I at least want to stay on. Because as he said, the key thing

here and with Rod Rosenstein and why everyone is so concerned and interested in this is, is because he's overseeing the Russia investigation

and it could be that Rod Rosenstein is asking to at least stay on through that instigation which could be over in several months, perhaps by the end

of the year.

QUEST: And the idea that Rosenstein was going to be gone anyway after the midterm elections, that he would - that his resignation - I mean, his

resignation or expected resignation is the worst kept secret in Washington.

PROKUPECZ: Certainly, his as well as the Attorney General, right? The Attorney General that everyone is expecting him to resign after the

midterms because the President has so much said so.

[15:05:13]

PROKUPECZ: And is not happy with the work that he is doing over at the Department of Justice. But Rod Rosenstein is in a very different position

and here is the other thing, I think, Richard, that's important to keep in mind that if the President goes ahead and fires him, just says, you know

what? I'm done with you, I want you out of here. Because he's overseeing the Russia investigation, it's not entirely clear how Robert Mueller would

see that.

Could Robert Mueller, the special counsel here look at this and say, you know what? This could be an act of obstruction. I now need to investigate

whether or not you're simply firing the person who's really overseeing this Russia investigation, because of that reason or is there something else

going on here?

So there could be some concern from the White House that Robert Mueller and his team could view this as some kind of obstruction, and that could be

what maybe the President is thinking about and why he is choosing not to fire him.

QUEST: As the grandfather used to say, it's a funny way to run a railroad. All right, Shimon, thank you. The turmoil surrounding Rosenstein has made

raised fresh concerns about the Trump administration's influence over the judicial branch of the US government.

Now, just look at what's happened. Donald Trump fired Sally Yates. Of course, he fired Sally Yates when she refused to defend the travel ban in

court. Then you've got Preet Bahara who was the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, essentially, the office leading the

investigation to Michael Cohen and by far and away, the single most important of all the US Attorneys, some might disagree, but I mean, by and

large the Southern District is.

Jim Comey, he of course led to the special counsel probe. He was the Director of the FBI until he was fired and the Deputy Director Andrew

McCabe who said firing was an attempt to discredit Mueller. All very senior people in the US justice panoply of officials. Michael Zeldin is

here to pick through the legal developments. He is a former Federal prosecutor, now CNN legal analyst.

I think, Michael, you would have to agree, it's a very strange business with the politicization or the politicizing, whichever way you want to take

it of so many senior officials of the independent Justice Department.

MICHAEL ZELDIN, LEGAL ANALYST, CNN: Well, that's right. I think that especially in the case of the FBI. The FBI Director has a term of ten

years. Now, they're fireable at will. They work for the President at his pleasure, but they have a set term of ten years specifically to avoid the

appearance of politicalization of that office. So the firing of Comey sort of runs in the face of that.

With respect to Rosenstein, he surely serves at the President's pleasure and the President is within his constitutional prerogatives to fire him;

whether it's a good idea legally and politically is a whole separate question, Richard.

QUEST: All right, so where do we go from here? I mean what do you think is he going on with Rod Rosenstein? Is he going? Has he been fired? Is

he going to be fired on Thursday?

ZELDIN: I think the President is receiving counsel from different quarters who have different points of view. I think the lawyers who are defending

him and the people who are most close to the Mueller investigation are counseling him not to fire Rosenstein at this point.

One, because the investigation is at a critical juncture as to whether the President will testify voluntarily or be subpoenaed. And two, because it

creates an appearance that the President may be trying to interfere with this investigation, a narrative that doesn't help his position legally.

I think there are others who are counseling the President that this is a good excuse for you to get rid of somebody who apparently wanted to get rid

of for some time. Although, I'm told that Rosenstein and the President have had a better working relationship over the last several months. I

think he's getting conflicting advice, and he's just got to figure out what's in his best legal and then political interests, and that's why

there's confusion about what's going on here.

QUEST: Michael ...

ZELDIN: Markets don't like confusion.

QUEST: Absolutely. They don't like confusion. They don't like the lack of certainty, and they also seemingly would not be pleased if there is a

feeling that the Justice Department is being tinkered with and tampered with.

ZELDIN: That's right. I think that anyone who looks at this that has sort of a financial perspective and sees that the government which is supposed

to work in a specific way is not working in that way because of sort of politics, especially personal politics of the President trying to in theory

protect himself.

[15:10:06]

ZELDIN: I think that doesn't send a measure of confidence to our allies and to our financial markets, so again, I think that is part of the

equation that is being evaluated by the President as he makes this, you know, very fateful determination about what will be Rod Rosenstein's

future.

QUEST: Good to see you, sir, thank you. Thank you for taking the time tonight. We appreciate it.

ZELDIN: Thank you.

QUEST: Now, it was a busy weekend in the C-suites around the globe. Deals were being done. You have the deal in gold, fashion and radio, all seeing

mergers that could reshape entire industries. And one of the biggest mergers, Comcast and Sky - the end of a battle and the beginning of a new

era. In a moment.

So media companies are buying each other. Gold companies are buying each other, and radio companies are buying each other. Oh, in case you got

worried about it, fashion companies are buying each other as well. This is merger Monday. Barrick is merging with Randgold. It's like the world's

biggest gold miner. The American handbag label Michael Kors is close to buying the Italian fashion house Versace. We'll talk about that later, and

Sirius XM is buying Pandora. The company has claimed, it will be the largest audio entertainment company in the world. It's Pandora heft

against Spotify.

Shares in Comcast and Sky are one of the biggest day's movers. Sky's shares soared, and why would they not after the ending bid? And Comcast is

tumbling after it triumphed over 21st Century Fox to acquire the British broadcaster. Some analysts say Comcast's $40 billion bid is too much.

Hadas Gold is with me here in London, the final bid - I mean, look at Sky, $90.00. The final bid was?

HADAS GOLD, CORRESPONDENT, CNN: The final bid from Comcast was 17 pounds 28 pence, which is about $22.00, which was far above the Fox bid, which was

closer to 15 pounds. And some people think as we were discussing that maybe Comcast somehow overpaid for this, but ultimately they just wanted to

get this prized possession, and that's why they put in that bid as high as it was just to make sure that they would get it.

QUEST: I mean, that's basically the strategy. Look, I really want this, let's not mess around. There's the bid. It will blow you out the water.

[15:15:05]

GOLD: Right, exactly. And Sky shares responded in kind and they were up 8.6%, ended around 17.21, so it shows that investors agree and seem to be

happy with it.

QUEST: And so I just want to point out, I think the stock shot - the price that you're seeing on the screen would show that it's the ADR, which is

conglomerate of four or five shares which is why it shows at 90.1.

GOLD: Yes.

QUEST: Well, but there's four or five of them in each US ADR for that particular stock, so that explains why it seems like the numbers that we're

talking about don't match up with the ones on the screen. And back to Brian Roberts, he's got a huge debt now because he may also still have to

pay or buy out Rupert Murdoch's 39% if they sell.

GOLD: Well, that would seem to make sense to want to come to take complete ownership of Sky. There are still questions whether Disney and Fox would

be up for it, that would be about $15 billion worth of a sale if they did so, which would obviously help Disney and Fox out a little bit as they're

dealing with - still finishing that whole transaction of Disney and Fox.

But the question is whether of course Disney will sell and also, was this worth it for Comcast. There are some ...

QUEST: You answered your own question.

GOLD: There are some analysts who think that they bought an albatross. Why are you buying a company that is dealing in a lot of things like

satellite video that nobody is going to care about in a few years? But Sky is high performing, they do a very good job and they do have a lot of ...

QUEST: Very strong revenue stream, and it's almost counter cyclical, that revenue stream.

GOLD: Yes, and they have a lot of this direct to consumer technology and think about it, Comcast and Sky will now reach 44 million people in the US

and in Europe. There's a lot of value there, and think about all the different synergies they can do between NBC and Sky.

QUEST: Who's next? What's next? I mean, because these deals often presage an entire consolidation or further movement. Is it your likely

understanding that anything moves as a result of this?

GOLD: Hulu is probably the most likely thing to move that a lot of people are paying attention to because Comcast owns a 30% stake in Hulu, and so

there's some rumblings that maybe, there could be a swap that somehow Disney and Fox would swap their 30% of Sky.

QUEST: Because Disney is also ...

GOLD: Yes, Disney also has ...

QUEST: Has a stake in Hulu.

GOLD: Right and if Comcast could get this all together, they could have a 90% stake in Hulu, but there is also a sense that Disney-Fox don't want to

give up that amount of Hulu because they enjoy that relationship, but that is - that is probably the next where we're heading.

QUEST: What was the final amount?

GOLD: The bid?

QUEST: $80 billion ...

GOLD: $80 billion for ...

QUEST: No, for the final total amount now ...

GOLD: $40 billion.

QUEST: $40 billion. You were just about right, by the way with what you were saying earlier when we were talking earlier in the month. Good to see

you. Thank you.

GOLD: Good to see you.

QUEST: Right now on Wall Street, the new China tariffs have kicked in and you've got the Rosenstein reports, and as a result, you see the market off

156. Teddy is with me, founder of Seaport Securities from the New York Stock Exchange. Good evening, Teddy from London.

The market, I mean, look it's hardly surprising. Basically it's selling into some pretty hefty winds.

TED WEISBERG, FOUNDR, SEAPORT SECURITIES: Well, yes. I think at the moment, I think it's mostly tariffs. Again, Richard, I mean there is all

this political turmoil. But this has been going on for two years and the market has pretty much ignored it. I think the trade issue is clearly the

big issue today, but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves because on Friday you had all the popular averages closing at or near record highs

including the Dow.

So, you know, we've got one day when we give a little back. I don't think we want to throw the baby out with the bathwater just yet.

QUEST: All right, in which case what should we look for next? What is it that we need? I mean, you know, because I guess as you come out of the

summer, you look for direction for the next three months such as long- term. And there's a lot of M&A activity, that we're talking about and the street loves M&A, but it's doing so in the face of such stiff opposition of

trade tariffs.

WEISBERG: Well, yes, that's true. But it's also a product of interest rates and there is clearly - we have an upward bias from interest rates.

So if there are deals to be done out there, the people are going to want to do those deals now, you know, before we see interest rates tick up again,

which probably will be on Wednesday, we're going to see another bump in interest rates.

But you know, it always has something to do, Richard, today, the energy sector is very strong, the techs don't act all that bad in light of the

overall market being off, you know, 150 points. And I think what's next is third quarter earnings because we're just about at the end of September,

which is the end of the third quarter. We'll be into the fourth quarter of the year. In two or three weeks, it's all going to be about earnings and

the expectation ...

[15:20:16]

WEISBERG: ... is that the earnings are going to continue to be quite positive and that usually is a pretty good backdrop for the market doing

better.

QUEST: Teddy, over the last couple of weeks on this program, we've talked to numerous great thinkers like Ray Dalio and others, all of whom - and

yourself, of course, all of whom have said - all of whom have said that next year will be - the earnings and the nature of the market, we'll be

lucky to see 7% to 8% on the S&P 500. If that's the case, is the market preparing itself for glum year?

WEISBERG: Well, I mean, listen, Richard, I guess that's possible because let's look at where the averages are. You know, we're at 266 on the Dow.

In March of '09, we were at 6,500. In the fall of '07, we were at 14,000. Clearly at the end of day, it's all about corporate earnings that are going

to drive the stock market and to a large degree the Fed.

I don't think I'm quite as sanguine about what next year's earnings are going to look like because I think the tax cut, at least as far as

corporate America is concerned has been a huge positive, and I think that's going to continue going well into '19.

QUEST: Good to see you, Teddy. See you in New York when I am back next week. Thank you.

WEISBERG: Bye-bye.

QUEST: Michael Kors built a business by selling affordable luxury to Americans, now, it looks set to enter the highest echelons of Italian

fashion - Versace.

Rumors are that a deal is swirling at the Milan fashion show. It could be worth more than $2 billion. Michael Kors' shares though are down 7.5%.

Jane McFarland is the Fashion Director at "The Sunday Times." Good to see you.

JANE MCFARLAND, FASHION DIRECTOR, THE SUNDAY TIMES: Hi. Thank you for having me.

QUEST: Is it going to happen? What's your information?

MCFARLAND: I don't know what's going to happen. I am just off the plane back from Milan Fashion Week and so it's very timely and Versace have just

had an incredible show once again. They're kind of the highlight of Milan Fashion Week. They get a lot of attention, a lot of press attention,

celebrities. I think for a brand like Michael Kors, it could be a very interesting move.

QUEST: Michael Kors only a few years ago, last year in fact, took on Jimmy Choo.

MCFARLAND: Exactly.

QUEST: I won't say the label struggles, but I would say lacks the size and heft of say an LV or (inaudible) or any of the other big conglomerates.

But to take on something like Versace is interesting. Tell me why.

MCFARLAND: Yes, I think Versace like I said is one of the most iconic fashion brands in the world. It has sex appeal. It's very glamorous.

Donatella Versace herself is worldwide renowned. And Versace is very expensive. It's the highest end of the luxury spectrum. It's triple -

four times of the price of a Michael Kors handbag for a Versace handbag and I feel like for someone like Michael Kors, Versace really gives them a

foothold in luxury fashion.

QUEST: Let me be distasteful ...

MCFARLAND: Yes.

QUEST: If I may, and suggest if Kors - I mean, let's face it, no one is quite going to sneer, but if Kors buys Versace, is Versace going down

market? Don't - you thought of this as well. Does it mean that in an effort to amortize, suddenly Versace becomes Burberry?

MCFARLAND: I don't think so. I think for Versace, it gives them an opportunity to have an infrastructure put in place where they can take

their brand from being an Italian family run business to something that has much more of a global reach. Maybe they can increase their offering,

presumably, they would have many more accessories because Michael Kors is ...

QUEST: Yes, but you've got to squeeze the assets, haven't you? You've got to squeeze - if you're going to pay $3 billion, you better make it work.

What was Milan like?

MCFARLAND: Exactly. It was fabulous just like it always is. It was hot. It was sunny. There was great, great clothes. Lots of fans. Paris Arts

today where I'm heading there tomorrow.

QUEST: Isn't it exhausting?

MCFARLAND: It's exhausting, yes. I may have - I mean, the rumors may be at least more consolidated at this time Paris has ever.

QUEST: Hopefully pinstripes are still in.

MCFARLAND: Of course, they're a classic. They never go out of fashion.

QUEST: Thank you. More than - thank you. Right, as we continue tonight, the two world biggest economies step up their bitter trade dispute, and

that means the world's biggest shipping company, the Maersk Vice CEO will join me as we continue tonight. It's "Quest Means Business" live from

London.

[15:25:14]

QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. There's more "Quest Means Business" in just a moment. When the former ECB President, Jean-Claude Trichet tells me

common sense will prevail in the Brexit talks. And I'll speak to the Vice CEO of Maersk as new China tariffs are hitting the global shipping

industry.

As you and I continue tonight, this is CNN and on this network, the facts always come first.

The White House says Donald Trump will meet with Rod Rosenstein on Thursday. Apparently putting the Deputy Attorney General's fate on hold.

Earlier, conflicting reports suggested he may be fired today or that he had resigned. Rosenstein oversees the investigation into possible collusion

between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Protesters are rallying against the nomination for Mr. Trump's Supreme Court nominee after a second woman came forward alleging sexual misconduct

by Brett Kavanaugh some decades ago. The first accuser will testify in public before a Senate panel on Thursday. Kavanaugh says in his words,

"Character assassination will not succeed."

Iran's supreme leader is accusing the Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of financing Saturday's deadly attack on a military parade.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is vowing to harshly punish the masterminds. Twenty nine people were killed and dozens were wounded when gunmen targeted both

marchers and spectators.

The Dutch Foreign Minister says he will press for more human trafficking sanctions following CNN's report on the slave trade in Libya. He told our

correspondent, Nima Elbagir, he will urge the UN Security Council to widen the list of people and countries subject to international sanctions.

A Dominican pastor being held in Turkey could be released this month according the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Andrew Brunson is due to

appear before a Turkish court on October the 12th. His detention has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the United States that sent

the Turkish currency, the lira plunging. That just about says it all, the two sides bashing each other, the United States and China. And with the

drama playing out loud to the United Nations, the U.S. Supreme Court and the Justice Department, we must not overlook that the U.S. imposed a 10

percent tax on a further $200 billion goods worth of Chinese goods today.

And that could grow up to 25 percent by the end of the year. China of course in a quid pro quo. Matt Rivers found out how ordinary Chinese

consumers are handling this escalating trade war.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): If you want to talk to lots of people quickly in Beijing, take a scooter, seriously, the

traffic here is horrible. So it might not look great, but does work.

(on camera): Our mission today to find out how the average person in Beijing feels about the U.S.-China trade war. We start in one of Beijing's

many outdoor workout areas when we spot 77-year-old Sushi Jen(ph) going strong on the leg press. She says China is strong too.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We are powerful now and we aren't weak like in the past. Chinese people aren't easily bullied. The

U.S. can't handicap Chinese development.

RIVERS (voice-over): Chinese state media says that a lot too. On August 10th, the "People's Daily" newspaper wrote, quote, "the U.S. is unwilling

to see China develop and prosper and then surpass it. No hardship has ever stopped China from standing up, growing rich and becoming strong.

The anti-American drum beat in state media is loud and consistent, no, Sil(ph) doesn't entirely agree.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): We can't generalize them. People in the U.S. aren't all bad. They were nice American people, it's

just that leaders are bad.

RIVERS: Post-workout is over to a cafe on the other side of town where the coffee is strong, but support for the trade war is weak.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We know, when you think of the trade war --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I think it's a lot, it's only about politics.

RIVERS: Movie director Lee Quanqua(ph) says China's policies could hurt ordinary people by hurting the economy overall. In Beijing's narrow-

winding alley ways, the trade wars can feel pretty far away, but think about it differently. Do tariffs make those playing cards more expensive?

Does the delivery guy's petrol bill go up? Or veggies harder to store their export? Maybe, maybe not, it's too early to tell. But it is a lot to think

about, enough to make you hungry.

(on camera): All right, can I have one American pulled pork sandwich? Lunch break. The sandwich is more expensive now because American pork is

on China's tariff list. I'm still going to eat it though because it's good -- but still.

(voice-over): It's still lunch time when we were back on the bike and over to the central business district, the natural habitat of white-collar

workers. Trade war panic, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I didn't feel I'm affected so far.

RIVERS: Actually, it's a common sentiment around here. Most haven't felt the crunch yet, several people we spoke to said that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think our country hasn't been affected that much so far. China doesn't really rely on the U.S. like it

did in the 2000s.

RIVERS: But China's economy is already slowing down and the stock markets aren't doing great either. The trade war certainly won't help with that.

And for that reason, some around here are worried about the long term.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It definitely have naturally impact on Chinese economy.

RIVERS: So in the end, if your question is, how do Chinese people feel about the trade war, there's no one way to answer that question. How

people feel depends on what job they have, their political views. You're talking shorter, long-term impact and a million other reasons.

(on camera): But what is clear is that people are increasingly aware that a trade war is on and that the trade tensions could last a long time. Matt

Rivers, Cnn, Beijing.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

QUEST: And the world's biggest shopping company is feeling pressure from the U.S.-China trade war. Shares of Maersk are down 24 percent over the

past 12 months. Claus Hemmingsen is the Vice Chief Executive of Maersk, he joins me now from New York. Good to see you, sir, thank you for taking the

time and talking to us.

The reality is this trade war is underway and just about everybody I speak to says it's going to get worse before it gets better. Is that your

feeling too?

CLAUS HEMMINGSEN, VICE CHIEF EXECUTIVE, MAERSK: Well, there's certainly a reason to be concerned, but maybe not to panic as one just did in the past

year. So yes, we are concerned about the trade war, but mostly because we believe as a shipping line and global business that free trade is also

promoting the sustainable development goals of the UN, particularly goal number eight with the economic development.

So therefore, we are concerned. But from a business standpoint, experts have anticipated that the global trade will suffer between 0.1 and 0.3

percent from this. Well, as trade between the U.S. and China may suffer more downturns. So yes, we are concerned, but not panicking.

[15:35:00] QUEST: Right, are you seeing any evidence yet?

HEMMINGSEN: It is too early to say, I think the trade balance(ph) takes time to change, so we expect the result of the tariffs to set in here in

the -- in the fourth quarter. But again with the limited volume impact as I just imagine.

QUEST: You see, trade barely recovered, I mean, it did recover from the great recession, and that was one of the few times post-second world war

that we've actually seen gross volume of trade fall. I'm guessing, you know, if you add in Brexit and the uncertainty over Brexit, and you add in

say for example the Trump trade tariffs, the outlook --- I mean, wouldn't say necessarily pessimistic, but certainly calls for concern.

HEMMINGSEN: Yes, but we have to remember that global trade is still increasing, maybe not as much as we would have hoped for or like to. But

global trade is the link reason between 3 percent to 4 percent. But there are particular trade links that will -- that will suffer from the tariffs

that we see between the U.S. administration and China and also from a potential Brexit.

But global trade we believe will still be healthy.

QUEST: Let's talk about your blockchain development with IBM and the potential. I am inherently and intrinsically suspicious when I hear the

word blockchain. But as I think, you know, many are. How does blockchain help you?

HEMMINGSEN: Really, what we want to do or achieve with the blockchain initiative which is called Trade Lens; the joint venture between Maersk and

IBM, to which more than 100 companies now have signed up. That is simply put simplification of trade.

So we want to make sure that we can offer secure and transparent information flow much more simplistic than it is today. And we want to

reach also the small and medium size businesses, and not the only the very big businesses.

With that, we believe we can actually assist global trade with a certain degree of growth.

QUEST: You talk about the degree of growth and you're at the United Nations at the start of the UN General Assembly. Now, the development

goals, the sustainable goals, achieving them is not going to be easy. And the role of companies like yours would be what?

HEMMINGSEN: Well, we are particularly focusing on three things. One is the facilitation of trade and the trade growth and promotion of free trade.

The other one is the climate impact, so limiting CO2 emissions, limiting sulfur acidification of the seas, and the third is to generally to preserve

oceans and make sure that the oceans are healthy.

So that's the three things that we are pursuing. In terms of global trade, the Trade Lens initiative is one particular initiative where we would hope

trade should grow. And in terms of the CO2 emissions, we have already proven the last 10 years, that we have been able to reduce CO2 emissions by

43 percent for container transport which is quite an achievement.

And the -- and to the general health of the oceans, we are now contributing to cleaning off the plastic pollutions in the oceans.

QUEST: And yet, at the same time as so much good is being done, you do have an environment or a situation where the U.S. has pulled out of TPP,

the U.S. has now got trade tariffs and has withdrawn from the Paris climate accords. Which sort of begs the question, whether policy in the U.S. is

flying in the face of the improvements of trade and environment at the UN.

HEMMINGSEN: Well, I have to say that it's certainly not helping, that we have all the time being a promoter of global regulation and global

initiatives. And that's why if you look at the International Maritime Organization, the IMO, we welcome very much that initiative within for

instance the CO2 emission reductions that is independent of single states signing off to the Paris Accord.

Then we as a shipping industry has come together and --

QUEST: Right --

HEMMINGSEN: Set very ambitious targets for CO2 emission deductions.

QUEST: Good to see you, sir, thank you, I appreciate it.

HEMMINGSEN: Thank you.

QUEST: As we -- you and I continue tonight, the country house of the British Prime Minister is called Chequers, the government's latest Brexit

plan has the same name, but there are no simple moves in this game, it's driven negotiations with Brussels into deadlock.

[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Brexit negotiations are as fickle and unruly as ever. You need this. Now, if you head to cnn.com-slash-join, you're seeing it at the

bottom of the screen there, cnn.com-slash-join, we want to know your opinions on the talks at the moment. The Brexit talks.

We'll get to the question that we're looking at and the discussion. This is the scenario we are -- first, you and I have the opposition Labor Party

holding its annual conference where it wants a general election hoping to oust Theresa May as Prime Minister.

If this is not met, it is the -- it says specifically, all options are open, and that means a second referendum on the government's final deal.

So that is one particular option. Second, the U.K. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab says the government is trying to hold its nerve to fight and

fight everybody around it and said Chequers won't work.

The Prime Minister is under enormous pressure to abandon the Chequers plan after it's been rejected by her own party and many of them, and by the EU.

The blueprint opposes a common rule book for goods and services for checks as they're needed.

Now, earlier, the government reiterated fears that failure to reach a goal, failure to reach a deal could ground flights between the U.K. and the EU.

You've got the referendum, you've got the Chequers and then you've got the Brexiteers.

They've always been a thorn in Theresa May's side on the get-go, such as the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson. Now, they all believe to be

backing a deal based on Canada's free trade agreement where a very small portion of goods face tariffs.

The U.S. skeptics Jacob Rees-Mogg says the U.K. should aim for just such a -- what he says a fantastic deal.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JACOB REES-MOGG, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, UNITED KINGDOM: Trademark should be what we have about these negotiations. It's been about managing declines.

Has been about how do you have the least bad Brexit?

This is about how you have a fantastic Brexit that sets us up for the next generation and ensures our prosperity. So it's a really exciting and good

paper, looking at Britain's position, not just in the European context, but globally.

And the key to it to my mind is that it is deliverable.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Now, there are many competing plans, now there are some of you already voting, we haven't even really put the question to you. So

tonight, we're asking you, whose Brexit plan is best? On your phones, on your laptops, on cnn.com-slash-join and give us a view.

[15:45:00] It's an important view that we hear. Is it the British government's view, is it the hardliners view of Brexiteers or is it the

Europeans? Now, remember, you're talking about the Chequers plan, you're talking about the hard-line Brexiteers who want some Canada or Canada-plus.

And then you've got the European plan which seems to be a halfway house that puts the British border somewhere down the middle of the channel.

Voting is live and you'll see the results updates on your screens as they come in. Eighty percent of you like the Europeans versus the hard-line --

cnn.com-slash-join.

The former president of the European Central Bank Jean Claude Trichet says Brexit cannot be based on the U.K. plan devised at Chequers. I asked Mr.

Trichet, how the EU can find a compromise especially over the cracks issue of the Irish border.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JEAN CLAUDE TRICHET, FORMER PRESIDENT, EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK: Well, as you know, the free and open border between the two islands was part of the

peace probes and part of the peace agreement. So I think that one has to reflect on that in the U.K. too.

I don't know exactly how it will be solved, I don't see any solution if there's not an appropriate solution for that problem, but to think that if

it will be necessary what the U.K. wants seems to be naive.

QUEST: Is it -- you say, it seems to be naive, but in the negotiation, if the European side, the EU is so key on keeping the open border as they have

promised to (INAUDIBLE), then maybe Europe does have to allow a ching in its integrity of single markets and say that border stays open and the U.K.

can have its deal.

It seems to me that in rejecting Chequers, the EU wants its cake to eat it.

TRICHET: No, I mean, I'm sorry, mind you, that all of us, that the problem is created by the U.K. The 27 wanted the U.K. to stay in, if there's a

problem, any kind of problem, it comes unilaterally from the decision of the U.K., from the very beginning. This has to be in our own mind.

I mean, if we think that it is as simple as one partner decides and the other have to accept or not, it's not acceptable at all --

QUEST: But the other side --

TRICHET: I think, but I think it is --

QUEST: The other side -- well, just a second. I mean, the argument you've advanced then I understand, but it is virtually with respect to the

argument that says you started it which you know, it takes us into that sort of -- no, you started it, no, you started it, well, you started it,

and backwards and forwards.

The EU does not appear to have budged in its position at all.

TRICHET: It's absolutely untrue, absolutely untrue. A lot of progress were made in the negotiation in absolutely all the dimensions. And again,

we are at the -- close to the end of the negotiation, and the most difficult problem absolutely there. But of course, I expect that common

sense will prevail in the U.K., and that the 27 as was suggested by several leaders, we demonstrate also a capacity to find a solution.

QUEST: Donald Tusk of course called a special summit or says that could be a special summit in the middle of November. Now, if it goes as late as

that, as it seems likely it will. Now, time is very short to do a deal and get it sorted by the 29th. So we're looking at either a fairly robust

implementation period or the 28 -- 27,28 agreeing to extend the article 50 deadline. What do you think?

TRICHET: I don't -- I don't negotiate. So I don't want to embark in a -- you know, some kind of projections in this domain. I want to go back to

the U.K. because when I look at the debate inside the conservative party, and the debate inside the Labor, I really think that most of the problems

are still in the U.K. camp.

You do not have such debates in the 27 democracies. I mean, we -- not only the U.K. created if I made a problem, but the U.K. has not finished to

reflect and be divided in all political sensitivities on the problem.

[15:50:00] So again, a maturing process is there too. We don't know whether the solution is found, we don't know whether it would be approved

or not by the parliament. And we don't know whether or not there would be possibly new referendum.

This is discussed in all political sensitivities. Again, let's hope that common sense would prevail, of course finger for that, and we would see.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

QUEST: Jean Claude Trichet talking to me earlier. The results are in, and as you can see there, 78 percent. The vast majority if you think, the

European Union's approach has the best chance of success which of course is no division within the -- of the freedoms, the full freedoms and no

breaking of the integrity of the single market.

The drama around President Trump's Supreme Court nominee and the Deputy Attorney General grips Washington. The president's America first trade

agenda moves ahead. New tariffs on China and KORUS, the major trade agreement signing at the moment in the U.S. and Korea -- OK.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: Any moment now, President Trump is to sign a new trade deal with South Korea, KORUS as it's called, was one of the agreements that President

Trump promised to renegotiate. He's managed to so do it, it's part of the only agreement so far that's come to fruition and it was pretty much done

over the cash.

Stephen Collinson is following all the developments in the Trump administration. And I don't think we need to waste too much time with the

South Korean trade deal, many would say that was somewhat one of its own. More importantly, the shenanigans of the day, whether Rod Rosenstein is

going, is it being fired and why wait till Thursday?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Right, Richard, a few hours ago, we all woke up and there was -- seem to be a real danger that

Rod Rosenstein could either be resigned or be fired today. And that Brett Kavanaugh, the President's Supreme Court pick could be seeing his

nomination slowly destroyed, sort of eight hours on that, both still there, but a day of chaos in Washington.

As we understand it, Rosenstein went to the White House this morning in the expectation that he would be possibly fired over the "New York Times"

report last week that he suggested that people wear a wire during the early days --

[15:55:00] QUEST: Right --

COLLINSON: Of the Trump administration to sort of bring across the chaos in the administration. That didn't happen, but he's going to meet the

president on Thursday when he gets back from the UN and everybody is sort of waiting to see what his fate will be then.

QUEST: Right, the president just said that the UN will be meeting at the White House and will be determining what's going on. We want to have

transparency, we want to have openness and I look forward to meeting with Rod. What do you think it's going to happen on Thursday?

COLLINSON: To tell the truth, nobody knows, nobody really knows what has been going on in the White House over the weekend. And today, this is

hugely significant though, Richard. Rosenstein is the man who is overseeing the Mueller probe. If the president gets rid of him, that goes

to a lower-ranking official in the Justice Department, but then the president can appoint someone to come into the Justice Department who would

have that oversight role.

Many people are very worried that if that happens, Robert Mueller's job could be in jeopardy or that the new person could somehow interfere with

the probe. Democrats are already warning --

QUEST: Right --

COLLINSON: Rosenstein not to resign, because they say that he should try and get fired if he's going to leave because that could be obstruction of

justice and you know, as viewed by Mueller.

QUEST: What a mess, all right, thank you sir.

COLLINSON: Yes --

QUEST: We'll take -- I know that you don't disagree with me. And we will take a profitable moment after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

QUEST: In tonight's profitable moment, time and again, we've always said that the market seem to be able to withstand the pressure of the

shenanigans in Washington or the trade tariffs of what's going on with Brexit. Just look at the FTSE, look at the Dax, look at the S&P 500.

But the reality is these things do have an effect on the markets, and we saw that today quite clearly. You saw the markets falling off quite

sharply. When you realize the trade tariffs are real, that Rod Rosenstein might get fired, and you put it all together, suddenly, there's a real

concern that what could happen in the markets, they could take a tumble.

At the moment, we're not really seeing too much of that, but the warning is clearly there. Markets are fragile, they want to grow, but the market

absolutely requires more direction. And that's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in London.

(BELL RINGING)

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable, the day is done.

END