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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Businesses in Alabama Under Pressure Over Alabama Abortion Bill; Usain Bolt Launches Electronic Scooter Service in Paris; U.S. Orders All Non-Emergency Staff to Leave Iraq. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired May 15, 2019 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: We are an hour away from the closing bell, it is the last hour of trade. An
interesting sort of day. Slow at the beginning. This is old trade worries, but then the market rallies and one of the best of the day, but
we're still up quite sharply by around half a percent.
The NASDAQ is gaining much more ground, it's over 1 percent. So the markets are at least steady and these are the reasons why. Tariffs are in
effect and tariffs are being deferred. Ian Bremmer will pull together the tariffs arguments in just a moment.
New questions about what Boeing knew regarding the 737 MAX as regulators face tough questions on Capitol Hill; and it is fake meat wit real returns.
Two companies driving the craze, different approaches. Paula La Monica is out for a free dinner. He joins me in the studio to taste them all.
We are live in the world's financial capital, New York City. It is Wednesday. It's May the 15th. I am Richard Quest. I mean business.
Good evening. We begin tonight with America's top aviation regulator, who is telling the U.S. Congress the Boeing 737 MAX jet will only fly again
when it's absolutely safe to do so.
The fleet has been grounded following the two deadly accidents, Lion Air and Ethiopian and the acting chief, the acting head of the Federal Aviation
Administration was grilled on Capitol Hill. They wanted to know -- lawmakers wanted to know how the 737 MAX airliner was certified safe to
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL ELWELL, ACTING FAA CHIEF: We're going on May 23rd to meet with -- we invited 57 countries that grounded the MAX and invited their Civil
Aviation Authority directors to come and talk to us and us to them more importantly explaining to them exactly the process our safety analysis.
We will not allow the 737 MAX to fly in the U.S. until it is absolutely safe to do so.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, arguably, that's locking the stable door after the horses bolted. Even more so when you listen to the newly released audio revealing
American Airlines pilots angrily confronted Boeing officials only weeks after Lion Air and just a short time before Ethiopian.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We flat out deserve to know what is on our airplanes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't disagree.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: These guys didn't even know the damn system was on the airplane - nor did anybody else.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know that understanding this system would've changed the outcome of this. In a million miles, you're going to be flying
this airplane, maybe once you're going to see this ever.
So we try not to overload the crews with information that's unnecessary so they actually know the information we believe is important.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
QUEST: Now the Airline Pilots Association says American Airline pilots have been pressing Boeing for answers. Our Tom Foreman joins me from
Washington. How would you describe the tone and tenor of today's hearings?
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, it was contentious to say the least and Boeing absolutely has a crisis of public confidence here, Richard, it's
like when you go to the gate, and they say the plane is taking off at 3:30, then they say four, then they say 4:30, you can really believe us. Five
That's what's been happening to Boeing. Every couple of weeks since the second crash in particular, we've had yet another development that
undermines the ability of those who want to trust Boeing to say, yes, they have it under control. Yes, they're being fully transparent.
Now that said, when I say it's contentious there was a substantial contingent at this hearing today, among the lawmakers and in the FAA
pushing a lot of the blame toward the pilots in both of these crashes saying they should have known how to deal with this, even in the Lion Air
crash when they didn't even know the system existed, they said normal protocols should have handled it, whereas others pushed back very hard
saying that is asking a tremendous amount of pilots to figure that out in those dire minutes.
QUEST: The thing I find interesting, Tom, Boeing has always made over Airbus in many ways, this idea that the pilots are in charge. We make the
plane, we do not take anything away from the pilots. They are ultimately in charge, which begs the question how they ever reverse their own
philosophy with MCAS?
FOREMAN: Well, as you know, they kept trying to argue that this wasn't a giant fundamental change. They're sort of, well, this is just an extra
thing. The pilot is still in charge.
Yes, the pilot is still flying the plane and as they're arguing now, if they followed the right procedures, they could have dealt with this.
[15:05:12] QUEST: In Ethiopian, they did follow the right procedures and in Ethiopian, having switched off the stop trim, they still couldn't get
control of the aircraft. Now, I know that the FAA says because they allowed the air speed go to too high. Well, you know, what do you say to
FOREMAN: Well, that's what was said in the in the hearing today. One of the Congress members was saying, well, they were flying so fast. Of
course, you couldn't adjust this. One person likened it to try to open the door of a car where you're going 100 miles an hour.
But again, the problem is, they were so close to ground, here's what we don't know. We don't know if they had not been trying to drive it forward
that way, if they had dropped the airspeed, if they would have dropped to the ground even sooner.
So it's a bit much to look at the deceased pilots and say, "You were the ones who made all the wrong decisions."
QUEST: Tom, is this an existential crisis for the 737 MAX. It's not for Boeing because there's the 78, there's the 777, the overarching military
contracts, but for the 737 MAX, will they have to rebrand or do something?
FOREMAN: Well, you know as what President Trump was suggesting they do some time back, I think they almost certainly will do something like that.
Now, whether it's as broad as renaming the plane, they're going to have to do something because as you know, Richard, the real problem here is they
just lost so much confidence.
FOREMAN: Amongst so many people about this. And again, even among those who want to defend them, they're playing defense, they're not saying it
casually, they're very bristly about saying, "Oh, no, this is all fine." But you're not that way if you don't know that there are real doubts about
what's happening here. And as you know, the airline communities around the world are not ordering these things right now. They're sitting back and
saying, "Let's see what happens as to whether or not we even want the ones that we have ordered."
QUEST: Tom, thank you, sir, as always. Keep watching. I appreciate. Now news just while we were talking aviation. A helicopter has crashed into
the Hudson River in New York City.
There you have some pictures, live pictures. It occurred near the 34th Street in Midtown Manhattan. One person was recovered from the water, the
pilot is actually the person. He was the only person on board the helicopter and by all accounts that God, everybody says it will be all
right, and all is well.
And so to our business agenda, a busy day of geopolitics, shaping the market. Wall Street opened in the red and turned positive. A host of
factors are on the mind of investors.
Chinese President Xi has been making his first comments on the new tariffs. Reuters reporting that President Trump is expected to sign an executive
order banning U.S. companies from Huawei's infrastructure, and reports President Trump will hold off slapping tariffs on European cars, that's an
optimistic bit and that's why Europe was up.
The heated situation in the Middle East putting pressure on oil. The U.S. State Department ordered non-emergency government stuff to leave Iraq with
the increased tensions in Iran.
We have just the man to help us to understand if there is one man who is the man for all seasons, it is Ian Bremmer, the President of the Eurasia
Group. Good to see you.
IAN BREMMER, PRESIDENT, EURASIA GROUP: Good to see you, sir.
QUEST: Of all of these that I've mentioned, which is the most serious at the moment?
BREMMER: China is the most serious because it has the greatest impact -- the world's two largest economies. But the one that's most likely to go
pear shaped is the Iran situation because the Iranian government is under the most pressure, and that's the one that military confrontation is
QUEST: Let's just talk about that -- let's go to Iran first of all in terms of an issue to discuss.
BREMMER: It sounds like John Bolton.
QUEST: Well, quite. What is the -- for those of us who do not follow the minutia, what is the fundamental problem and issue here?
BREMMER: The Iranian economy is in serious recession. The currency is imploding. Inflation is way up. They're going to have a contraction of at
least 6 percent in the GDP this year, probably worse. And that means that their previous strategy of sticking with the Iranian nuclear deal, even
though the Americans pulled out to see if someone else wins, takes Trump out in 2020 and then they come back to the deal is not working.
That means they need more pressure on the Europeans and others to see if they can get some relief, or they need to pull out of the deal to help
QUEST: But even if they pull out of the deal they've said -- I mean, they're still in trouble there because the U.S. has still got the sanctions
and others are terrified to do any forward ventures with Iran.
BREMMER: That's right.
QUEST: So they have to come to some sort of real push more with the U.S.
BREMMER: Well, it's hard to see them doing that, right, because of the amount of internal pushback they'll have from hardliners in the government,
who were themselves skeptical when President Rouhani got the deal done to begin with.
So the potential that this leads to the Iranians taking the kind of steps that would force some kind of reaction from the Americans and allies,
QUEST: Let's get down to trade. There are winners and losers in the business of trade. Bear with me. The two countries -- the central -- the
biggest losers according to the UN's trade body since they recently started exchanging tariffs. The U.S. has lost about $100 billion worth while China
China even more. Someone's loss is usually another's gain.
[15:10:12] QUEST: The EU has been a beneficiary. We look at the green on there with boosted exports. Other winners include Mexico, Canada, and
BREMMER: Everyone in other words, but the U.S. and China.
QUEST: Everyone, yes.
BREMMER: Yes. Unless the economy starts turning downward globally on the back of the U.S. and China hitting each other, at which point everyone
becomes a loser. But for now, you're right. There are clear winners and the Chinese are a bigger loser than the United States.
QUEST: But China lose about 1 percent versus half percent of GDP in some of the numbers that I've seen, but nobody -- I mean, the U.S. -- President
Trump seems to be adopting tariffs as a long-term economic policy to restore the U.S. competitiveness.
BREMMER: I don't know how long term you want to look at it. I think, he clearly believes that the nature of the deal that Xi Jinping was prepared
to sign and walked a little back was inadequate for him to show a political win in the United States.
So as a consequence, with the U.S. economy doing well, he decided to lean into greater tariffs.
QUEST: But, you know, China also has its problems with these tariffs, doesn't it?
BREMMER: Of course they do.
QUEST: The economic -- the Chinese economy is not in good fettle, and this will make it worse.
BREMMER: That's right. And Xi Jinping really wants to come to an agreement with the Americans, but he also doesn't want to look like a
loser, he doesn't want to look weak, in the eyes of his own people. There is an analogy here with the way the Iranians are engaging with the U.S.
But the U.S. is the strongest economy in the world. So if we hit another country hard, they have incentives to back down, but they also have
incentives not to look like they're imploding.
QUEST: Right, but listen to what Steve Mnuchin says talking about Canada and Mexico, where apparently they'll close to steel and aluminum agreement
on those tariffs.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
STEVE MNUCHIN, U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: I didn't say we were lifting tariffs. What I said was we were trying to resolve the tariff issues as
part of an agreement with USMCA and that's something that we're, we're focused on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: I mean, he said they're focused on it and one would hope they are. But did you ever expect a day where the U.S. would be tariffing left, right
and center in such a way? You've got -- order tariffs that may be put off for six months, you've got China's tariffs which are just about to
escalate. You've got steel and aluminum, which is just a mess all over?
BREMMER: We've done it before. Right? I mean, before the Great Depression, right? I mean, yes, of course -- well, also the time when U.S.
inequality was at its highest levels. And so as a consequence, there were a lot of disenfranchised people that wanted an answer of we're going to hit
all those bad other countries. It did not go well.
QUEST: You are a font of knowledge. The U.S. President says the U.S. economy is the greatest economy in the greatest shape that it's ever been
in probably in all its history, agree or disagree?
BREMMER: Yes, I guess I do agree with that in terms of we are the largest energy producer now in the world, we are the largest food producer. We are
a -- one of two technology superpowers in the world and our geopolitical position is vastly better than that of other countries who have significant
So if you want to talk -- and we have the global reserve currency, so I mean, if you're talking about safe havens, where you would want to store
your cash in case the world goes badly, the United States is the leading such place, but a lot of Americans are not benefiting from that. And
that's a pretty serious problem.
QUEST: I would say, thank you, sir.
BREMMER: Good to see you.
QUEST: As always, thank you. Well to the stocks, they drove the European shares higher and that was on the back of the prospect of aluminum --
sorry, auto tariffs being delayed.
The DAX was the best of the day, not surprisingly with BMW and Daimler in it. The German GDP also had a very good number today. No likely whatever
recession it would seem in the near future.
Europe's biggest economy did return to growth in the last quarter, four tenths of a percent. It's re-eased the fear of the imminent recession.
Our correspondent in Berlin is Atika Shubert and sent this dispatch.
ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, you might remember last year, Richard that Germany ended on a down note with the GDP
actually shrinking in the third quarter and stagnating in the fourth that was blamed on plunging car sales. But this year, things do seem to be
There's finally been some GDP growth thanks to increased household spending and a booming construction so that has fended off a recession, which is
good news, but Germany's Economy Minister Peter Altmaier was only cautiously optimistic today.
He told reporters that while this is a ray of hope, he still had serious concerns about international trade disputes. Now, of course, he is
referring to that ongoing tit-for-tat between China and the U.S., both of which are key markets for Germany, but also the looming threat by President
Trump to impose tariffs on European car imports and that would have a very big hit on Germany's already ailing car industry, Richard.
QUEST: Atika Shubert in Berlin. Well, Wall Street can't get enough of fake beef. We will put Beyond Meat, the Impossible Burger and good old-
fashioned beef to the financial test and the taste test when QUEST MEANS BUSINESS returns.
QUEST: Ever since the mid-80s and the political campaign, Americans have been asking, where's the beef? On Wall Street, the beef is no longer beef
at all. Beyond Meat, the vegan burger company has been up as much as 14 percent today and 250 percent since its IPO earlier this month.
The latest converter is Tim Hortons. The Canadian fast food chain will add Beyond Meat sausages to its menu. Clare Sebastian has been to a burger
shop in Manhattan to see how the fake meat craze is going down with consumers.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The unmistakable sizzle of meat on the grill, the real meat and the Beyond Meat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NICK BUCCIERO, DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER, BAREBURGER: We have our Beyond burger over here and we have our beef burger over here. Once you dress
them up, it's impossible tell the difference.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN (voice over): At this Bareburger restaurant in Manhattan, burgers made from plant protein makeup a meaty portion of its sales.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BUCCIERO: The response has been great. It's been so great in fact that our menu is now 50 percent vegan.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN (voice over): For first timers, it takes a little getting used to.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A little smoky.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's like crispy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And very crispy, yes, but it doesn't taste like a real --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It doesn't taste like a burger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Investors though had no trouble taking their first bite. Beyond Meat's beefy IPOs sold 160 percent on its first day of
trading on May 2nd. The best IPO jump of a major U.S. company since the financial crisis.
Analysts believe it is part of a veggie revolution that is just getting started.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ALEXIA HOWARD, EQUITY ANALYST, BERNSTEIN & CO.: If it follows the same path that the plant-based beverage market followed, you'd see it growing
from roughly $13 billion -- $14 billion today up to potentially over $40 billion over the next decade.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN (voice over): While Beyond Meat is not yet profitable, its revenues are up more than 130 percent in each of the past three years, and
it's expanding into new product categories like meatless sausage.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ETHAN BROWN, CEO, BEYOND MEAT: It's not just vegans or vegetarians that are interested in this. In fact, 93 percent of the people that are putting
the Beyond Burger in their cart at the nation's largest grocer are also putting animal protein in their cart. It's a tremendous sign that we're
able to grow the business.
[15:20:10] SEBASTIAN (on camera): Thank you very much. Now the Beyond Burger, it does have some competition mainly from this one, which is the
Impossible Burger from Impossible Foods.
SEBASTIAN (voice over): That's already on the menu at Burger King, which is rolling out the Impossible Whopper. McDonald's is also selling a
meatless burger in Germany made by Nestle and Tyson Foods, one of the world's biggest meat producers is also set to launch a fake meat.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN: Both of them smell like meat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN (voice over): As for my first bite, well, it felt like eating a burger just a little less beefy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN: But I quite like them. They're not exactly like meat, but they are something interesting and I do think this might be a taste of things to
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SEBASTIAN (voice over): Clare Sebastian, CNN, New York.
QUEST: Now, the success of Beyond Meat on Wall Street is giving a shot in the arm to its biggest competitor, which is called Impossible Foods, a
couple of Impossible burgers cooked while they were on the grill in our studio, the Chief Financial Officer, David Lee told me they've just
completed a new round of funding, and they don't plan to go public. No IPO anytime soon.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the Impossible burger. So we'll throw a couple on, a couple of minutes aside, cooks exactly the same as any other
conventional beef product, but just made from plants.
QUEST: Made from plants. Now we've talked about the Impossible burger before, David, but now you're raising more money.
DAVID LEE, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, IMPOSSIBLE FOODS: We are we are announcing that we've actually raised 300 million more led by some great
insiders like Temasek from Singapore and Horizons Ventures out of Hong Kong for a total of 750 million in the last eight years that we've been around.
QUEST: What does it value, the latest round? What does it value Impossible at?
LEE: One of the great things about being private ...
QUEST: Oh come on.
LEE: ... is that I don't have to disclose specifics around valuation. I will tell you though, with so much wonderful momentum from those who are
disclosing valuation from Beyond Meat who recently went public, it's very clear that investors -- public and private -- are extremely interested in
the change we can make.
QUEST: Why are they interested? I mean, Beyond Meat, which is your competitor or sort of your competitor, we can discuss that in a second,
opened higher -- terrible valuation in the pricing the way it roared up, but it's held its gains pretty much.
LEE: Well, investors look at $1.5 trillion meat and dairy market globally and they're recognizing the meat eaters and we see this every day,
consumers of the Impossible Whopper are saying you know what, we want something better. And that's a huge opportunity for the business as well
as the mission to make the world a better place.
QUEST: Okay, but the -- you must have been greatly fortified when you saw the way Beyond Meat did? Rocket on the market.
LEE: We were extremely pleased for them and for anyone who seeks to serve the mission we have.
QUEST: But you don't intend to stay private forever, do you? Shouldn't you be turning those yet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just a couple more seconds and we'll get into that. You'll see that you'll sear, it's just like beef.
QUEST: Oh, it is. It is.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The visual cues are exactly the same. It responds the same and you can use it for much more than a burger.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, meatballs, meatloaf, lasagna, tacos -- you name it. Anything that you can do with the ground meat.
LEE: Dumplings in Hong Kong. It's in Korean food in Macau. It performs like beef, it transforms though it is plant based.
QUEST: Right. So back to your financials.
QUEST: Mr. Lee, you're a private company. You don't have to reveal, but you are going to have to reveal at some point. When -- let's just go
straight -- a simple question. When do you hope to IPO? If only because your investors will wish to realize and have an avenue out?
LEE: We have to give our investors great return. There is no question. But that does not presuppose that we have to IPO.
QUEST: You are in -- and are you in competition with Beyond Meat? You sort of have an amalgam of overlap in the restaurant business, but they are
meat to consumer, you are meat to the industry.
LEE: I think that our competition for Impossible Foods is not Beyond Meat. We don't compete really for capital. We don't compete for share of
stomach. Our consumer is the meat eater. Our true competition for the meat eater is what they're choosing to eat today from an animal.
QUEST: Right, get out the way. I've had enough of you. Enough of the financials. Let's go to -- is this thing ready?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Pretty close. How do you like it?
QUEST: Medium rare.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Okay, so medium rare.
QUEST: How do you make the difference though? I mean, if it is not --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It does.
QUEST: It is not beef. I mean, does it make a difference in terms of raw meat, you know when you're eating raw meat, but raw plants? Well, I'm
about to eat them anyway. So what difference does it taste?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The taste.
LEE: Everyone wants their burger a different way. Some like it rare. This is the only plant based burger where you can choose. You can char it,
you can have a rare, it can be tartare, it can be anything that meat can be.
QUEST: Oh, I do like an onion, I'll have another onion.
[15:25:10] QUEST: Oh, this is going to be.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Lean in because it's going to drip.
QUEST: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's going to get you.
LEE: Listen to that sizzle.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that dripping.
QUEST: No. The fire alarms. Very good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's how you like it?
QUEST: It is actually. My mother told me not to eat -- not to speak with my mouthful. Thank you. Thank you.
LEE: Thank you. Very good.
QUEST: Yes, it is time for dinner. Paula La Monica joins me. Hello Paul.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: How's it going? Be careful here. Do not knock down these candles.
QUEST: Yes, yes. Well, never mind, now we're going to try the various different meats and not meats. So there's never a waiter.
LA MONICA: Are we getting drinks?
QUEST: No. There never a waiter when you want one. So allow me to do it. Impossible Foods, take a bit of Impossible. Take an Impossible and take a
LA MONICA: All righty.
QUEST: And take --
LA MONICA: So this one is a lot heftier though.
QUEST: And Beyond.
LA MONICA: All righty.
QUEST: Now, start with one -- so let's start with Beyond.
LA MONICA: Is that Beyond right there?
QUEST: Yes. It is 15 percent up.
LA MONICA: At last check, I think it's come back a little bit, probably because they knew this hit was coming.
QUEST: Do you think this is the future? I will wait until you finish. What did it taste like first?
LA MONICA: There's a lot of ketchup on here so I taste the ketchup. No, I've never had the Beyond Meat burger before. I will admit I like the
Impossible better. I've had the Impossible burger several times, including at the now defunct corporate cafe in this building.
But as a person who does not feel any reason to stop eating meat, I will enjoy a meatless, plant-based burger every now and then I don't feel like
I'm missing all that much.
QUEST: All right, try the -- that was the Beyond. Try the Impossible.
LA MONICA: Try the Impossible.
QUEST: which sort of looks a little more meaty.
LA MONICA: I like the fact that it has that texture and the red meat sort of feel to it.
QUEST: But they are not IPO-ing yet, are they? At some point they will, no doubt?
LA MONICA: I would have to think they will especially as I talk with my mouth full, I hope my mother is not watching or my wife for that matter. I
think that Impossible will eventually need to go public in order to stay competitive with Beyond and also, Richard, the key thing is Beyond Meat --
Impossible does not have a retail presence yet. That's something they're working on.
I'm looking forward to the day where I can buy one of these and make it at home. You can't do that yet. I think an IPO will help them in that
QUEST: Now, this is the meat one. The real meat. Can you tell the difference? Can you tell the difference?
LA MONICA: I can actually. There's something about the texture. It's juicier. I think that Beyond Meat and Impossible have done an admirable
job of mimicking the mouth-feel for lack of a better word -- has that ever been used on CNNI before -- of real beef, but there is no substitute for a
real meat burger in my --
QUEST: But if I'm playing with my food that's what --
LA MONICA: You shouldn't do that, Richard.
QUEST: I know, but --
LA MONICA: The dad in me says you should not.
QUEST: That's what the three of them look like. Now can you tell which is which just from that? Can you tell because it gets to the point where you
really can't, but does it really matter? Who is going to be the winner in this?
LA MONICA: Beef versus plant based or Impossible versus Beyond Meat?
LA MONICA: I mean, I think that clearly, clearly, I think that both of these companies have done a good job of catering to people like us who want
to eat a real beef burger, but occasionally have the plant-based, healthier non-meat solution as well.
But I mean, at the end of the day, I'm not going to to Shake Shack anytime soon and try and ask for a meatless burger if they have one.
QUEST: Right. Well, it was very kind of you to join me for dinner. I have to dash, and you'll take care of the check. Thank you.
LA MONICA: Most certainly. I haven't been this nervous since my first date with my wife.
QUEST: We will back with more in just a moment. More food?
[15:30:00] RICHARD QUEST, HOST, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Hello, I'm Richard Quest, there's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. Companies in
Alabama are facing pressure to respond to a new very highly restrictive anti-abortion law. Usain Bolt is hopping on the e-scooter race, he tells
us how he plans to out-run the competition.
As we continue tonight, this is CNN and here the facts always come first. The United States has ordered all non-essential government employees to
leave Iraq as tensions escalate between Washington and Iran. A U.S. official tells CNN there's an eminent threat involving Iranian-backed
Britain is standing by one of its generals on the ground in Iraq, who says there's no increased threat there from Iran. CNN has learned that the U.S.
agency responsible for airport safety, the TSA is sending hundreds of its workers to the Mexican border. And e-mail we've obtained says they will
help with immigration duties.
It says airport screeners will not be amongst those redeployed. Staying in the United States, the state of Alabama has voted to effectively ban
abortion at every stage of pregnancy. It will be the strictest abortion law in the country. The ban means that even women or girls who are raped
or the victims of incest will not be able to seek an abortion. There are almost no exceptions. Doctors who perform abortions could be imprisoned
We return to Alabama. There are growing calls online not to do business with the state. The hashtag boycott Alabama is now trending on Twitter,
and the reason of course is the abortion story that we've just been telling you about. The state now has or will have if the governor signs the
strictest anti-abortion law in the United States.
[15:35:00] It will be just about impossible to get a termination. Alabama is home to some of the biggest names in aerospace, automobile and chemical
sectors. Now, look at them. Boeing, Daimler, Toyota, Airbus, Wal-Mart, ArcelorMittal, we've reached out to these companies for comments on the
They did not respond by air time or indeed they had no comment or they simply wanted to run in the opposite direction. Maurice Schweitzer joins
me now; the professor of Management at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Good to see you, professor. Firstly, is
this situation similar to the other transgender bathrooms, gay rights, is this a similar situation where companies may or should take a position?
MAURICE SCHWEITZER, PROFESSOR OF MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA: Yes, it's -- I think that's a great analogy. I think what Alabama has done
is actually more extreme than what North Carolina did. And as you'll remember, following the North Carolina Transgender bill, we saw several
companies like PayPal, Deutsche Bank pull out or do less business. Even the NBA, the basketball association do less business in North Carolina and
the economy paid a price for that.
QUEST: Right, but abortion was legalized back in '73 as you well know with the Supreme Court's case of Roe v. Wade. Now, most Americans support that
decision. But if you look at the recent polling, and this is why I wrote it, 20 -- 57 percent of registered think that voters should stay in place,
21 percent say it shouldn't.
But the interesting part is, there's nearly 30 percent to 40 percent who are in favor of restrictions on abortion, and that is a sizable minority
for companies to offend by attacking against.
SCHWEITZER: Yes, so absolutely. So we see two sides of this issue. We think about companies -- only think about two key stakeholders, one
stakeholder are their potential customers and a second key stakeholder are their employees. And you mentioned high-tech companies earlier, those
high-tech workers, the -- those very highly educated workers, they have many different options for employment, and they tend to be relatively
liberal in their thinking.
And employees today want to work for companies that not only pay them a fair wage, but also whose values really align with --
QUEST: But --
QUEST: Right --
SCHWEITZER: So I think we would expect to see this.
QUEST: But my point is, is abortion -- because it crosses party lines, because it crosses religious lines, is abortion the sort of issue that
companies will find -- will want to run in the opposite direction or will find they have to take a position on?
SCHWEITZER: Oh, I -- so I think what Alabama did is really quite extreme. I think Americans united in the belief that abortion should be rare, nobody
wants a lot more abortions. I think the issue is, how accessible should it be, how -- what sort of guidelines should we have and as you noted,
Alabama's bill really puts them really at the sort of -- the far end of what most Americans find to be reasonable.
And so, I think even though abortion is a topic most companies would rather avoid, we're seeing a rise in CEO activism, we're expecting our business
leaders to be not only good business leaders, but also moral leaders as well. We've seen this shift and I think we can expect that to happen here
QUEST: CEOs are the new barometer, they're the only ones left.
SCHWEITZER: Well, they're not the only ones left, but I think increasingly, we're expecting them to fill this space and we're looking to
them -- I think CEOs like Tim Cook or --
QUEST: Right --
SCHWEITZER: Schultz from Starbucks, I mean, have really led the way where we're looking to CEOs as both the --
QUEST: All right --
SCHWEITZER: Business leaders and moral leaders too.
QUEST: Professors, as companies do react, we'll come back to you for more. I much appreciate your time, sir, thank you very much indeed.
SCHWEITZER: Thank you.
QUEST: Now, and it is interesting to note that the number of companies we approached, none of them wanted to touch this with a 10-foot pole. They
may have no choice as the situation worsens. World leaders have launched an initiative to combat online extremism.
Google and Amazon say yes, the White House says no.
[15:40:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: The White House says it won't endorse an international pledge to combat online extremism. That's even though the corridors received the
backing of America's big tech companies, Facebook, Google and Twitter for instance. This agreement called the Christchurch Call to Action was
unveiled at a summit of world leaders in Paris.
Now, of course, it follows the shooting of two mosques in New Zealand earlier this year. CNN's Nina dos Santos is live for us tonight in Paris.
Why won't the White House, why won't the U.S. sign onto this even though -- I mean, it seems something like a no-brainer?
NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, and it irked the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern in the press conference that followed this
big announcement here saying, I'll allow them to speak for themselves, but she made it very clear that she was very disappointed that the United
States didn't decide to sign on to this pledge.
Ostensibly for their part in their statement because they believed that they wanted to support it, but on the other hand they couldn't back it
because they wanted to ring fence free speech if you like. That's always been the difficulty with these types of arguments.
Despite that though, many U.S. tech firms did sign on. Here's a snapshot of how the day went in terms of trying to get world leaders and business
leaders together to tackle one of the biggest problems of our age, Richard.
DOS SANTOS (voice-over): Big tech and big government putting on a united front against extremism online. In a summit dubbed the Christchurch Call,
French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed heads of state and Silicon Valley to Paris and clinched a
commitment from 26 parties to try and curb the vile spread of violent content.
JACINDA ARDERN, PRIME MINISTER, NEW ZEALAND: The Christchurch Call to action, an action plan for change, is a global response to a tragedy that
occurred on the shores of my country, but were ultimately felt around the world. It ultimately commits us all to build a more humane internet.
DOS SANTOS: Part of the effort will come from countries reinforcing existing laws with Canada, the U.K., Ireland and others signing up to the
EMMANUEL MACRON, PRESIDENT, FRANCE (through translator): For the first time, countries from all over the world were present and secondly, it is an
appeal which brings together not just governments and social and tech companies, but also the civil society and we expect tangible results.
[15:45:00] DOS SANTOS: The White House declined to join the call. But U.S. tech titans did throw their weight behind it, from Facebook to Google
and Amazon to YouTube, committing to identifying offensive material sooner and making sure it isn't amplified by algorithms. The summit was organized
in the wake of the mass shooting of 51 people in Christchurch which was live-streamed and shared millions of times thereafter.
Facebook, whose checks and balances struggled to cope with the spread of the video issued a separate statement, announcing a new one strike policy
for those who misuse the live-streaming tool. Though Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg who met Macron alone last week was absent.
NICK CLEGG, VICE PRESIDENT FOR GLOBAL AFFAIRS, FACEBOOK: So I think we all recognize in this -- in this meeting that this is not something that any
company can do on its own. In fact, it's not something that the industry as a whole can do on its own.
DOS SANTOS (on camera): This was a high profile gathering, but many will question what was actually achieved. The recommendations are broader and
non-binding, and some have been heard before.
(voice-over): It will take more than a day in the Elysees to clean up the dark corners of the internet. But starting to work together is at least a
first step towards fixing its flaws.
DOS SANTOS: Well, Richard, this was largely a symbolic summit as you saw there. But there was some serious face-time among really big leaders --
QUEST: Right --
DOS SANTOS: And business leaders. And the idea here behind this project is that it won't stop here. This is exactly two months since Christchurch,
they want to get the ball rolling and to bring on other countries and companies on board, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you, Nina dos Santos in Paris for us tonight. A question for you, would you rent a scooter from a lightning bolt? We'll catch up with
the sprinting icon Usain Bolt as he tries to change the way we move around town. In a moment.
QUEST: I can't beat Usain Bolt in a foot race, but this makes it a fair race. It is the QUEST MEANS BUSINESS e-scooter. Now, Bolt is also hopping
on the craze for electric scooters. He's the co-founder of Bolt Mobility which is making its international launch in Paris today. But the 8 times
Olympic champion has some fierce competition if he is going to out-run those who are already into the market.
For instance, Lime has a hundred-plus different cities, from San Diego to Sidney. University Hubs from Georgetown in D.C. to the University of
Nevada and Spain.
[15:50:00] Let's take Bird. Bird also is in a hundred-plus cities, mainly in North America, Europe and of course in Tel Aviv also targeting
university towns. So the battle is clearly on in the e-scooter race. Which is why Anna Stewart has been finding out a little bit more about all
of this and has been speaking to Usain Bolt in Paris.
What have you learned from this investigation?
ANNA STEWART, CNN REPORTER: Well, I have yet to actually challenge him to a race, Richard, but it is a really crowded space, particularly in the U.S.
as you said, but also here in Paris, Lime's made headways in here. We've also got key -- but if you go onto one of those apps like city map where
they integrate your whole transport from A to B, some of those scooter apps are already a part of that.
So launching here is a pretty big risk. But I asked Usain Bolt, I asked him, what makes your e-scooter any different to the others? Take a listen?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
USAIN BOLT, OLYMPIC CHAMPION: When I go shopping, we have a storage area for your bags, especially for the ladies. And I mean, if you're having a
bag, you have a scooter, you don't want to have a gun in your shoulder, you can place it in the area.
And then we have a place for your phone, you know, I mean, for just the GPS because most people have their phones in their hands and they're listening
to the GPS and struggling. So -- and then people who drink coffee, I'm not a coffee person, so I'd a water, so we have a storage area. So we try to
think of things that wouldn't -- people consumers would really like and much easier.
STEWART: Paris is now talking about banning e-scooters from pavements, sidewalks in September. In London, you're actually not allowed to ride
them on the pavement or on the road. So, how is this business going to flourish if no one can ride them?
SARAH HAYNES, CO-CEO & CHAIRWOMAN, BOLT MOBILITY: We're investors in Uber and Piperloop(ph), Virgin Hyperloop One, so we have a lot of experience and
we've learned best practices of how to be able to work with city officials who works with us, and we have been really good citizens in the markets
that we were -- we have launched in, for example, Fort Lauderdale.
We are able to geo for instance certain areas for Spring break when there's big crowds coming or there's a festival, we can --
STEWART: And governments there in Europe, are you speaking directly to them, to the French government, to the British government.
HAYNES: Absolutely, we are actually meeting with city officials today to sign an agreement to be good citizens and good actors in France, and that's
really important for us as a company.
STEWART: A lot of people I've spoken to, and I've said that I'm meeting you, I'm going to be talking about your e-scooter, say scooters are for
kids, they're not cool --
BOLT: No, these are grown-up, these are solid. We're talking about trying to get from place to place. You know what I mean, who's thinking about
looking cool? We're trying to be efficient. I'm not saying it's not cool. But you're not thinking about that at the moment, I'm trying to get to the
doctors right now, I'm trying to get out of this traffic jam, I'm not worried about that, this is what I'm focused on.
How I'm going to be safe, how I'm going to get there on time. Come on, if I'm doing something, it's going to be cool.
Let's just get that out of the way. So --
STEWART: This is not just a solution in terms of transport getting from A to B, this is also environmentally friendly. And is that something, Usain,
you think cities should be taking into account more?
BOLT: For sure, for sure. If you show the years -- even in London, you guys have so much taxes or congestion, taxes because of these problems.
Because they're trying to get less cars in the cities. So for me, this is a big solution. This is what I'm talking about that we need to make a
different -- to make changes.
I'm a part of many charities. I try to do a lot of work with different charities just to help the environment in many ways. And for me to be a
part of this company, to be a co-founder of this company and to help the environment is a big deal for me.
STEWART: Usain, how fast can it go?
BOLT: Not faster than me, so that's a good sign.
STEWART: That can still be pretty fast --
BOLT: That's a good -- that's a good -- that's a good sign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: All right, Anna Stewart, Anna Stewart, I'm not -- I'm a sort of safe user of these things. I don't go very fast around the studio here,
how good are you on them?
STEWART: Well, Richard, it's not particularly fair because I'm wearing high heels. But I think considering that, and guess we have to, a bit of a
kick-start with this one in particular, I think I'm pretty good, but I've got a slightly terrifying ordeal tomorrow, I'm actually going on stage with
Usain Bolt at the Viva Tech Conference in Paris.
And we're coming on stage with a scooter. And I'm slightly worried I'll fall flat on my face. By also secretly, the competitive edge of me, I
want to beat him.
QUEST: You're barking mad. I assume you're practicing on this. Have you ever actually ridden one?
STEWART: I literally just had a go, Richard, and I'm editing something together for you, you're going to love it. You know what? Elon Musk said
that the e-scooter or the scooter generally lacks dignity. And I haven't yet made up my mind.
[15:55:00] I'd love to know what you think. Can you -- can you make the e-scooter look cool? Usain Bolt says it is.
QUEST: One of our colleagues rides it to work every day. Look, the real problem is that it's illegal in many countries -- in many cities. The
places where you most need it, you can't use it.
Yet, that -- but people still do. I don't see much enforcement.
STEWART: I mean, this is the big issue, and frankly, they're launching here in Paris out of all of the cities --
QUEST: Right --
STEWART: In Europe. But Paris is going to ban e-scooters from the pavement. You can't ride it anywhere in London --
QUEST: Right --
STEWART: And you don't -- they're talking to cities, they're talking to governments, but there isn't a solution yet, Richard --
QUEST: Right, Anna Stewart, thank you, we look forward to seeing your pictures tomorrow. Give it a good kick before you start. This is really a
lot of fun.
STEWART: I will --
QUEST: Watch out. Here we go. A last look at the markets before we leave you today. Up 143 on the Dow, only 3 down, JPMorgan, Wal-Mart and another
one which I couldn't see as I passed by. We'll have our profitable moment, watch out for the Jeep after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's profitable moment, I am on to vacation from tomorrow, so I won't leave you for the rest of the week. So this is my last day
broadcasting in this amazing studio that has been our home for the last five years. In just over a week's time or so, we will be at our new place
in Hudson Yards.
A time of change, change is good, political change is good, social change is good, environmental change is good. We all look forward to doing
something differently. No matter how old we are, the ability to think of something new and look forward to it. But you know something? You still
look back and you think of the great moments over when the wall over there or the demo area or the guests that we've had in the C-suites.
Well, let me promise you this, we may have a brand new studio, and we may have lots of new whiz-bang(ph) toys and gimmicks, but it will be the same
people, it will be the same friendly faces and it will be the same reliable business and economic news you've come to rely on.
It wouldn't be the same each evening if we didn't get together and have this conversation. And I hope to look forward to it in our new place when
I'm back from my vacation looking to merry when I'm back. And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight, I am Richard Quest in New York.
Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it is profitable. I'll see you in a week. Good night.