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First Move with Julia Chatterley
U.S. Stocks Stabilize after Friday's Fumble, Asian Stocks Tumble; Amazon Sellers Say Bottlenecks could Mean Fewer Bargains; Spectators will be Allowed at the Olympic Games. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired June 21, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Live from New York, I'm Julia Chatterley, this is FIRST MOVE, and here is your need to know.
Bad fallout. U.S. stocks stabilize after Friday's fumble, Asian stocks tumble.
Prime pinch. Amazon sellers say bottlenecks could mean fewer bargains.
And Tokyo turnout. Spectators will be allowed at the Olympic Games.
It's Monday. Let's make a move.
A warm welcome once again to all our First Movers around the world. Great to be back with you this Monday. It is actually the first trading day of
the summer, and perfect weather to catch some rays with the CEO of First Solar, the U.S.-based alternative energy giant hoping to build the largest
solar panel manufacturing plant outside of China.
A ray of hope, too, for low and middle income nations coming up as well. We've got the vaccine update from the CEO of Novavax.
And here comes the sun on Wall Street as well. U.S. stocks heating up after Friday's selloff and the worst week in fact, for the Dow all year. That's
the global picture. We have, let's call it a teeny taper tantrum as investors process last week's shift in Federal Reserve policy, the U.S.
Central Bank acknowledging stronger growth and inflationary pressures, and pulling forward the discussion on reduced support and future rate rises. It
was never going to be a good time to have that conversation.
Europe now turning higher, a volatile session as I mentioned already in Asia with the Nikkei falling some four percent before recovering slightly,
as you can see down some 3.3 percent. We're at a policy inflection point and that takes time to process and often, means turbulence and that's what
We're going to have Federal Reserve members out in force this week, too, to help massage the message. Fed Chair Jay Powell will testify before Congress
tomorrow, so he'll be watched closely. Solar flares in the meantime in the deal making space, too. A SPAC or Special Purpose Acquisition Company
controlled by investor Bill Ackman sealed the deal to buy 10 percent of Universal Music from the Vivendi valuing the music supernova at some $40
billion. Music catalogues, of course, have been red hot investments so far this year.
So, here's hoping for a sun kissed trading day overall.
Let's get to the drivers. Paul La Monica joins me now. Paul, great to have you with us. Let's talk about the Fed. As I mentioned there -- oh -- oh,
fantastic. Look at that.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Pulling my David --
CHATTERLEY: I have mine ready, too. Good work, Paul. Sunglasses or not, there was never going to be a good time to have a conversation about
acknowledging stronger growth about potentially pulling back on some of the policy support, throwing shade on investors in the past week or so Paul,
talk us through it -- are we over?
LA MONICA: Julia, obviously the big issue, I think right now, the problem for the market is that the economy has roared back from the depths of the
COVID crisis last year. As a result, you are now going to have some Federal Reserve members, maybe not Jay Powell just yet, but James Bullard, the St.
Louis Fed President, he said in an interview on Friday on CNBC that he was the dot -- one of the dots in the last Fed dot plot that was voting for a
rate hike as early as next year, not 2023, but it's 2022 rate hike, and he is a voting member next year.
So, I think the market took his proclamation very seriously, and we had this massive selloff because all of a sudden, investors are worried that
maybe the Fed has to accelerate this return to normalcy. They taper more quickly. They raise rates more quickly, less talking and more action.
CHATTERLEY: It was quite fascinating, though, and I was watching from the sidelines briefly to see the pullback that we saw in the Dow and yet, we're
still what -- one and a half percent away from record highs in the NASDAQ. If you're concerned about the Fed pulling back some of this support, if it
means less strong growth going forward, then you have to buy growth and that favors the tech stocks, which I did note in the past week and
admittedly, it's early days.
But I think part of the problem here is that the Fed is out of practice in dealing with inflation because they've rarely hit their target in recent
years. We've had 10 years plus of excessive -- my word, perhaps not others, support for these markets. So, we don't know what the digestion issues are
going to be going forward as they start to look at pulling back policy, particularly in the face of such incredibly strong growth and confusing
LA MONICA: Yes, you are not the only one, Julia, that has some concerns about the level of stimulus that we have gotten from a monetary perspective
from the Federal Reserve and other global central banks over the past decade, and then more specifically, in response to COVID-19 last year.
There are questions about just exactly how the economy will respond once the Fed finally starts to taper and then raise interest rates, because I
think a lot of people, I'll say it, have gotten spoiled, like petulant little children by having interest rates near zero for this extended period
of time, and people don't want the party to stop.
But you know, you choose your metaphor, you've got to take your medicine or what have you, eventually, and no one likes it. But we can't have this
sustained level of zero interest rates and extraordinary stimulus forever, particularly when the economy is improving because if the Fed doesn't fight
inflation, then we know how that turns out. It's called the 1970s and early 1980s.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, we couldn't be in a better position to start pulling back that support, and hopefully seeing wages rise a little bit and some greater
gains in terms of equality happening behind the scenes, too.
It should be a good and opportunistic time to be able to do this. We've just got to manage it well.
Paul La Monica, thank you so much for that.
All right, prime yourselves for discount dismay, potentially. Amazon's yearly Prime Day shopping extravaganza began at midnight, but those hoping
for steep post pandemic deals maybe disappointed.
Clare Sebastian has been investigating. We're dealing with a few things here, Clare, of course. Supply chain challenges in terms of backlog in
production due to the pandemic, shortages of containers in shipping. And of course, the obvious thing that we've just been discussing there, potential
labor shortages as well. Not the most prime position for Amazon and Jeff Bezos's last Prime Day, of course, too in the CEO role.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Julia. A couple of weeks until Jeff Bezos steps down as CEO, and this Prime Day, a sort of festival
of discounts is happening at a time when retailers are really not in the mood to be doing discount. It is hard to sort of overstate how
unprecedented these times are for these many, many retailers, small businesses who now sell on Amazon.
Sixty percent of Amazon sales come from third-party sellers, mostly small and medium sized businesses. I want to give you some stats. This is not
just a survey of Amazon sellers, but the National Retail Federation sent a letter to the Biden administration last week and they said, of their
members, 70 percent of respondents that they surveyed said they had to add two to three weeks to their supply chains, 85 percent of those surveyed say
they are experiencing inventory shortages as a result of supply chain disruptions.
I've spoken to companies who say that shipping containers are costing more than double than they did a year ago. So, it's a really unprecedented
times, and that's why I think this Prime Day is, it is in sort of an extraordinarily uncharted waters.
You know, we do expect, as Amazon says there are going to be two million different deals, but you might see less steep cuts to prices, and things
like electronics might be affected because of those major shortages of semiconductors that we'd be seeing.
Nevertheless, Adobe does expect that $11 million will be spent this year more than the last Prime Day, which is only about eight months ago. But
look for some sort of more muted deals out there this time.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it's quite fascinating, isn't it? And just for perspective, I think small and medium sized businesses, as a segment now
accounts for more than half of Amazon's e-commerce sales, just to give people perspective on what it means when you're saying 85 percent of these
people and respondents are saying they've got inventory issue and that is fascinating in terms of figures.
What are Amazon, themselves, saying about this? And I guess the question is, do they benefit if some of the businesses that sell on their platform
are struggling? Does Amazon's alternatives benefit as a result?
SEBASTIAN: I mean, I think Amazon is also being affected in some ways by these supply chain issues. No one is immune, everyone needs a shipping
container. But Amazon has said look, "We continue to innovate and grow Prime Day to ensure our Prime members and selling partners find incredible
A lot of the messaging though, that you're seeing around this Prime Day is around supporting these small businesses. They've launched a promotion
where Prime members can get sort of a $10.00 credit if they spend $10.00 on select small businesses during a two-week window, which includes Prime Day.
They are really sort of pushing the idea of small businesses on the platform.
And the cynic might say that this is good PR because they are facing an increasing amount of antitrust questions, there's just new legislation
introduced in the House that could reign in Big Tech. The Washington, D.C. Attorney General is investigating Amazon, the price fixing with its third
party sellers. So, this is something they are really pushing this time.
They did grow sales significantly in their third party sellers in the last Prime Day, last October. So presumably, they're hoping to do the same
again. But then again, a lot of that could be out of their control this time -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. But you make a great point about the importance of promoting and helping small and medium sized businesses, particularly given
the political climate here for Amazon.
Clare Sebastian, we shall see. Thank you for that report there.
Okay, the speculation is now over, perhaps. Olympic organizers in Japan finally announcing that spectators will be allowed at venues next month.
Selina Wang is live in Tokyo.
Selina, great to have you with us. At 50 percent capacity, I believe for these sporting events. How does that compare in terms of the numbers that
we're talking about here compared to previous Olympics? I guess, I'm thinking safety implications and financial implications, too.
SELINA WANG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Julia, normally millions of tickets are sold to spectators around the world before the pandemic, before Tokyo
decided to ban overseas spectators. They were expecting more than seven million tickets to be up for grabs.
Now domestically in Japan, they've sold about four and a half million tickets, more than 800,000 have now been refunded, but because of the
spectator caps, which as you say is about 50 percent spectator cap or maximum of 10,000, they now are trying to whittle that down through a
lottery, to about 2.7 million tickets.
Now, we've talked about this before, these Games are not going to get the same economic boost spending that Japan was hoping for, and in terms of
revenue from ticket sales, they say they expect it to be less than half of what they had originally projected of about $820 million -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Fantastic. And what about potential adjustments as we head towards it, Selina? Because I said the speculation is over, but there's
always going to be speculation until the Olympic Games begin. The adjustments will have to be made, depending on the situation at the time.
WANG: Exactly. And they say that they reserve the right to potentially cancel all spectators, so it could still be a Games with no spectators if
the COVID situation turns worse or that spectator cap could be further reduced. So, speculation not entirely over.'
And the vaccination rate in Japan right now still, just at about seven percent, still lagging behind many developed countries. While they are
trying to speed up that vaccination rate with the Prime Minister pledging to get to about one million vaccinations a day, even at that rate, you
would still have less than 20 percent of the Japanese population fully vaccinated by the time these Games begin.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, there's going to be a lot of unvaccinated people wandering around the spectators here, even if the Olympic Village itself
has herd immunity.
Selina Wang, thank you so much for that.
Okay, let me bring you up to speed now with some of the other stories making headlines around the world. In his first news conference today as
Iran's President-elect, hardliner, Ebrahim Raisi called on the U.S. to return to the 2015 Nuclear Agreement and to lift all sanctions first
imposed by former President Donald Trump.
President Trump pulled out of the agreement in 2018. Iran and the U.S. are indirectly negotiating over how to re-implement the deal.
Ethiopians are casting their votes for Parliament this hour in the first real electoral test for Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed. His party is considered
the frontrunner in a crowded field. The ballot is being held amid a boycott by the main opposition party, as well as ethnic violence and allegations of
a political crackdown.
CNN's Larry Madowo is in the capital for us. Larry, great to have you on. I believe this is the first multiparty election in some 16 years. Just
explain for many reasons why this is so pivotal?
LARRY MADOWO, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Julia, that's correct. This is the first attempt at a truly free and fair, multiparty election in Ethiopia and there
is a big asterisk here, because there's a flawed process here. Twenty percent of constituents are not taking part because of insecurity and
logistical challenges. They will have a chance to vote in September.
But in the north in Tigray, where there's already a Civil War and claims of a genocide there, they cannot take part in this process as well. And some
major opposition parties are boycotting the elections. Some are in prison. And so Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, it means the legitimacy of an election is
going to go through this process a little tainted, because of all those other issues related to this election.
However, there are many perfect, but necessary steps to true democracy in Ethiopia. One of them is the Chair of Ethiopia's Human Rights Commission,
Daniel Bekele and I've been speaking to him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DANIEL BEKELE, CHAIRMAN, ETHIOPIA'S HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION: It was with the necessary step to have an elected government in a credible process and
we have a credible Elections Commission to lead the process and there is a credible political space for competitive elections.
So, this was a necessary step towards this dialogue and toward this longer term solutions for Ethiopia.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADOWO: The turnout has so far been decent, but then it's now started to rain and there's a long queue going around the block. Some people have been
here for hours, and some of them have dispersed and this is something the Election Board of Ethiopia are worried about, that if it began to rain,
some people just give up and go home and that appears to have happened. Some are shuttering back there and some appears to just decided, you know
what, it's not worth it. Maybe next election -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I was going to ask you exactly that. And we were having a few reception issues there as a result of the weather as well. Fingers
crossed, people come out and vote despite the weather.
Larry, great to have you with us. Thank you, Larry Madowo there.
All right, Hong Kong just announcing it is cutting its COVID-19 quarantine time by half for some incoming travelers. From the end of this month,
people who are fully vaccinated and show positive antibodies against COVID- 19 may only have to quarantine for seven days.
Hong Kong has largely controlled the virus throughout the pandemic.
Still to come here on FIRST MOVE, the Novavax COVID-19 shots sail through trials, its CEO on why the world needs vaccine variety.
And grounded despite sky high demand, American Airlines cancel scores of flights as it struggles to find workers. That's next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. The arsenal of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines could soon get another shot. The U.S. biotech firm,
Novavax is preparing to submit the results of its Phase 3 trials in the U.S. and Mexico for peer review.
It says its vaccine has an overall efficacy of more than 90 percent and 100 percent efficacy against moderate to severe COVID-19. It's also shown
promise against different variants. Novavax has struck a deal with the Serum Institute of India to produce its vaccine.
We're joined by the President and CEO of Novavax, Stanley Erck.
Stan, fantastic to have you on the show once again. The news gets better and better. These efficacy rates are incredibly exciting, but I think what
our viewers need to understand and we can start there is when you were trialing these in the United States in particular, the alpha variant was
highly prevalent. This is the first identified variant in the U.K. Talk us through efficacy against variants in particular.
STANLEY ERCK, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NOVAVAX: Yes, so this was -- thank you very much for having me on -- but, this was really important. We had done
previously two efficacy trials, one in South Africa and one in the U.K., and we got very good results and very interesting results because the
timing of those two trials were when variants started circulating in those two countries.
ERCK: So, when we got to U.S., nobody knew quite what the circulating variant would be. So, we went into that trial with optimism that we could
be effective against whatever we saw, and we were. So, we saw over 80 percent of the infections were due to variants and as you pointed out, the
alpha variant was the most prominent, and against the variances, 80 plus percent group, we got 93 percent efficacy, which is it's -- we're the only
company that has the ability to show efficacy against variants, and so that's really important as we go forward.
And as you point out, we are at a hundred percent efficacy against moderate and severe disease. We had no moderate or severe disease in the trial. And
in addition against those who had the original Wuhan type strain, we got 100 percent efficacy, so we're happy with the results.
CHATTERLEY: I mean, I'm asking for the moon here, but I will ask for it. Obviously, a lot of the focus currently is on the delta variant first
identified in India. And of course, that's come much later than when you began your trials. Do you have any sense just from the data that you're
seeing about its efficacy against that particular variant? Can you give us any information?
ERCK: Not much, I should point out the delta variant was not prominent in the in the U.S. in our trial, so we don't know. Our expectation is that we
will work against the Delta variant and we'll just have to find out.
As you -- I think, as you know, we have a very strong collaboration with the Serum Institute of India, which is the largest vaccine company in the
world by volume. They make roughly a billion and a half doses of vaccine every year and two thirds of the world's kids get their vaccines.
And so with that partnership, we will be running trials in India, and so we would be able to get some determination if our vaccine works there.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, I've heard them say in recent days that they're hoping to have this vaccine supply by September of this year, which will be
incredible news. And I've also seen you say that you're hoping that this vaccine will be able to be used in lower and middle income nations at a
critical moment in time. Stan, this would be phenomenal.
ERCK: Thank you. It is a critical time. And we've been working with the Serum Institute so that we can get volumes in excess of two billion doses
per year on a full manufacturing rate next year. And we did a partnership with COVAX, where we promised that we supply 1.1 billion doses and
virtually all of those doses will go to low and middle income countries.
So, when -- on our approval and we've got we've got regulatory filings that will go in next quarter, in I think seven or eight different jurisdictions
around the world and with approval, I think that most of the doses will go into low and middle income countries. That's I think, really needed these
CHATTERLEY: And then some. What can you tell me as well about booster shots? Because I know you're doing trials on what a third vaccine dose
represents in terms of the body's production of antibodies? Can you give us a sense of -- early days once again -- but what you're seeing there?
ERCK: Yes, I can. So early days, so a year ago when we started this program, we vaccinated nonhuman primates -- baboons -- with our vaccine and
showed really high levels of antibodies and neutralizing antibodies with two doses of our vaccine.
So, now we go forward -- march forward a year later, and we got those same animals and tested their antibody levels, which had declined as they do
with all vaccines after six or 12 months, and so we saw with a third dose very high antibody titers and very quick responses, less than seven days we
got great responses.
So as you point out, we're doing a trial in the U.K. and it's a couple of trials actually, basically looking at our vaccines head to head, our
vaccine head to head against the other vaccines that are approved, and we'll see how our vaccine does comparatively, both in terms of safety and
So, those data should be out in the next month or two.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. We will excitedly waiting for that as well. Talk to me about supply constraints, because I know as a manufacturer of these
vaccines, and traditionally in the past pre-pandemic, you'd hope to have a runway of several months of supplies. What are you facing in terms of
supply constraints and do you see that easing?
ERCK: I see it easing. As we've reported before, we've had supply constraints and in relatively straightforward areas like getting media to
grow the cells, grow our cells in, getting 2,000 liter bags to put the media in and filters and things like that. And so it's been an imbalance
globally. And I think that the suppliers are well known companies, they have been trying to catch up and build capacity.
I think that starting to ease. For instance, we've had one of our largest plants -- we had put on hold for three or four weeks, which is a long time
in a pandemic, because we didn't have media, but now we do. And our expectation is that the suppliers will catch up and get us to the point
where we can have the luxury of having months' worth of inventory to go into production.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, funny when we're talking about this as a luxury. Stan, I vividly remember speaking to you the last time when we were talking about
what an incredible moment this was for you, for your team, for years and years of research and preparation and work, and to get to this point where
you're on the cusp of having a vaccine that you can see out there and doing the work that it was meant to do is such a phenomenal moment.
Financially, what does it mean for the company, Stan, in terms of breakeven, particularly if you're going to be providing these vaccines as
we discussed it to lower and middle income nations, primarily, at least perhaps to begin with? Do you think about it in those terms, or now that
you've come to a point where you're almost at the point of saying, look, we've got a vaccine, and we've got the technology, and we've done it,
that's enough for investors.
ERCK: I think that it's a balance of we will have the majority of our vaccines in the early in the early stages, post approval, we will be in the
low and middle income countries at low and middle income prices, which will be pretty significantly different than in high incomes, but we'll have a
We have advanced purchase orders from countries like Canada and Australia, and we expect to have it in the E.U., so we'll have a mix of those. But we
won't -- it won't be a profit maximization in the first couple quarters or maybe first year, but it'll be sufficient to keep us going. We need to we
need to get to the breakeven and plus stage and we will, but we are going to build a company based upon being able to deliver our vaccine globally.
And, it's going to be transitioned to a booster vaccine in high income countries, and we need to finish the primary vaccine regimen in low and
middle income countries. So, we'll be okay.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Let's do that first. Stan, fantastic to have you on the show. Once again, congratulations to you and the team and we will let you
get back to work.
ERCK: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: That's Stan Erck there, President and CEO of Novavax. Thank you.
All right, the market opens next. Stay with us.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stocks are trading on the first trading day of the summer, the longest day of the year, too, for many
of us and it is nice day for investors who are long also. U.S. stocks bouncing back after Friday's steep selloff. Financials and energy stocks,
so-called reflation trades are back in the green today and helping momentum moving as along. Growth oriented names held up the best on Friday, too.
The NASDAQ, not too far away from fresh record highs around one and a half percent, I think premarket trade.
Bitcoin is suffering in early summer shellacking. It is falling more than eight percent to a fresh two-week low on new moves by China to regulate and
curb the use of cryptocurrencies. China is urging domestic banks and Fintech giant, Alipay to stop offering crypto services to combat what it
calls crypto, quote, "speculation." All of this amid reports that Bitcoin mines in southwest China were shut down over the weekend. Crypto watchers
say they were taken aback by the severity of China's actions.
All of this weighing on shares of MicroStrategy today. The company that has sunk more than $2.7 billion of its balance sheet cash into Bitcoin,
MicroStrategy announcing today that it bought an additional 13,000 Bitcoins recently.
Let's move on. First Solar is creating the biggest plant for making solar panels outside of China. It is investing nearly $700 million to build the
factory in Ohio. Unlike many other manufacturers, First Solar says it's not relying on the Chinese supply chain to do so.
Joining us now is Mark Widmar. He's the CEO of First Solar. Mark, fantastic to have you on the show. Look, we can explain and talk about what this
means for U.S. energy independence and security, but it is the technology for me that you provide that is so vitally important, ramping up investment
for you guys doesn't mean ramping up reliance on Chinese technology at the same time. Please explain why.
MARK WIDMAR, CEO, FIRST SOLAR: Yes, sure. We started the company about 20 years ago and we did it with the premise that we wanted to create the next
generation technology, something that would be disruptive, something that would enable the journey that we were going to get ready to embark upon
that was going to be many decades to come in order to achieve our long-term goals and overall climate goals that a lot of the countries have
established at that point in time.
So, we created what's referred to as a thin film semiconductor, which is different than the crystalline silicon semiconductor that the Chinese use.
We focused on innovation and we've been able to create a disruptive thin film technology that really is two sheets of glass and a semiconductor
that's based on a couple of different compounds, which are not at all dependent upon Chinese supply chain dependency.
CHATTERLEY: And much of it is recyclable, too. It's not just about the lack of reliance on Chinese crystalline silicon semiconductors, it's
recyclable. Just explain this part of the puzzle, too.
WIDMAR: Yes, so we've founded the company as well on a premise of a circular economy. So, the two primary materials that we use for our
semiconductor; one is a byproduct of the mining of copper and the other is a byproduct of the mining of zinc. And then we have an approach of
recovering the vast majority of our semiconductors.
So, we started our recycling capabilities over a decade ago. When a product does reach its end of life, we recover over 90 percent of the materials
that went into the product and we recover essentially a hundred percent of the semiconductor, and then we use it for new production.
CHATTERLEY: So, what does this mean in terms of cost to the consumer -- relative cost in terms of the production of solar panels, but also relative
to other forms of technology, less clean forms of technology because that's what it comes down to?
WIDMAR: Yes. So, if you think about it, early on, really people were procuring solar power from pure economics, right. It was largely policy
WIDMAR: And where we've gone to now over a decade of disruption of not only improving the performance of the technology, but also reducing the
cost of the product significantly. We are now the cheapest and lowest cost form of new generation in many markets, especially with a good solar
So, you have an opportunity now that if you think about what we started with a vision of this industry was around liberation, they would say that
any -- pretty much everywhere in the world, you have a good wind resource or a solar resource. So, the moment of liberation occurred when the
technology became viable. And now you've gotten to an inflection point that is the cheapest cost form of new generation in many markets which we
CHATTERLEY: You know, it is fascinating because we've gone through years of underinvestment relative to nations like China, for example, who heavily
subsidized their industry. If I look at what happened during the Trump administration, we obviously saw the tariffs applied on solar product
imports. We also saw corporate tax cuts, potentially both now could be altered and removed.
Mark, what would that mean for the investment? Would you still make the investment that you're making for all the reasons you just described? Or
would that make life more difficult?
WIDMAR: It clearly can create some challenges. If we talk about tariffs, let's just talk about tariffs just for a moment. To me tariffs serve a
purpose in the extent of, look, we all believe in free trade, right? That's not the issue we're talking about, but we also want to ensure a fair trade.
And to the extent there's not fair trade, and as you mentioned, where the Chinese have heavily subsidized strategic industries such as solar, I do
believe tariffs do play a role, and hopefully, the new administration can see that as well
As it relates to the corporate tax. When we made a decision a little over two plus years ago to expand our facility, Base 2 expansion in Harrisburg,
part of it was because of the corporate tax rate, which obviously moved down meaningfully from 35 percent down to 21 percent. To the extent the
corporate tax rate would increase, go back to 25, maybe 28 percent, it would have some inflection points and some headwinds towards the investment
decision that we've made.
But where we are right now, is we are focused on how do we create the next gen technology for us? So, the factory that we're going to be putting in in
Toledo, Ohio area, it will be more than doubling the capacity that we have there now, and it will also be the next gen product. So, it will be higher
efficiency, higher performing. It'll be lower cost, and it will drive down not only the cost of making the technology of the module, but also the
power plant or the balance of system costs.
So, we believe that we're in a position that we can sustain headwinds such as renewable tariffs, as well as an increase in corporate tax rate. But I
do think it will impact our decision whether we want to expand beyond where we are right now. We've got six gigawatts of production here in the U.S.,
and we've also made an announcement that we're looking to continue to expand beyond that with the right policy reforms, and support so corporate
tax rates, as well as tariffs, industrial policy supports will all be part of the factors that we use to make an informed decision whether we continue
to add capacity or not.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, U.S. government, I hope you're listening. Very quickly, Mark. Have you been approached by any Bitcoin miners?
WIDMAR: No, but you know, there is an opportunity there just because of the standpoint of -- it is no different than data centers and the like.
CHATTERLEY: Of course.
WIDMAR: We provide a lot of solar power to datacenters and it relates to energy intensive processes such as Bitcoin mining, there's an opportunity
there to enable that technology with a cleaner form of renewable energy, such as solar power.
CHATTERLEY: So the conversation is certainly an open one. Mark Widmar, great to have you with us and congratulations on the investment, the CEO of
First Solar. Thank you.
All right, up next. The pandemic has hardened attitudes towards refugees. Can the world fix the COVID crisis without abandoning the most vulnerable
among us? That's next.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE.
In 2020, most of the world was told to stay at home. But for 82 million refugees, that was simply not an option. The U.N. says there was a four
percent rise in the number of people displaced last year, and yet the COVID crisis has hardened attitudes at the same time.
Fifty percent of people in a recent poll said their country should close the borders to refugees entirely, and almost 40 percent wanted their
government to cut aid to refugees.
Ger Duany was a refugee. He came to America as one of hundreds of so-called Lost Boys of Sudan. Now, he is an actor and a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador for
East Africa and the Horn of Africa. He is working with Doug Heske, CEO of sustainable investing, Newday Impact to turn the spotlight on the refugee
crisis. And they both join us now.
Gentlemen, fantastic to have you on the show. And welcome. Ger, I want to start with you because your experience is not just one day, which was
yesterday where we have World Refugee Day. Yours was years of suffering and struggle. You're a miracle story to be where you are today. But can you
just explain to our audience so they understand what being a refugee is like?
GER DUANY, ACTOR AND U.N. GOODWILL AMBASSADOR FOR EAST AFRICA AND THE HORN OF AFRICA: Well, first, I'd like to thank you for taking time to come and
speak with us about the refugees and internally displaced persons.
CHATTERLEY: Thank you.
DUANY: My life journey is always set on the backdrop of extended Civil War between the North and the South of Sudan. And this was an in the 80s. So,
when I was first introduced to being a refugee, it happened in 1986-1987, when I was a small boy.
Life in a refugee camp is always rough, because you get to get up in the morning and you know that you're not going to be doing anything as a child,
there's no facilities for you to learn. And that in itself, it made people to be -- it made people really struggle even to understand who they are and
what they wanted to do, because there's no hope.
When I was living in a refugee camps, we didn't have -- there is so much poverty all around you, and then the food that people eat is not even
enough. Leave alone that you can thrive in that kind of situation. And these are my experiences and I always just wanted to share them with people
because when you become a refugee, there's a strength that you have, and then I think, that strength can be something that really helps other people
to understand how we can learn to stand and be strong.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, your story is incredible. You were recruited as a child soldier. You eventually escaped as a teenager to Ethiopia. You were
in a refugee camp in Kenya when you finally came to the United States. And I know you've got a college degree in the United States.
I can only imagine the kind of strength that requires. You are incredible.
Doug, this is a growing problem. It's not reducing and as I mentioned in the introduction, actually people's attitudes towards refugees are
hardening. Just explain what you do at New Day Impact to try and tackle these things and how you're working with Ger.
DOUG HESKE, CEO, NEWDAY IMPACT: Yes, I think Julia that's incredibly well said that this is a problem of epic proportion today. Eighty million
people, roughly the size of Germany that have been displaced, and I think it is also important that when we talk about the refugee crisis, not to
just characterize people as displaced people, because it almost removes the human element from all of this.
These are people that are suffering, that are being forced out of their homelands with their families, because they are victims of violence, they
don't have access to clean water, and adequate food. And when we think about the future of humanity, we can't have a healthy planet unless we talk
about having a healthy humanity.
And so there are potentially a billion young people, a billion infants that could be born into a malnourished environment, because of global warming.
Seven hundred and fifty million people, it's estimated by 2100 that may have to migrate to other areas. So, integration is a really big piece of
And we as an organization, at Newday Impact, we define ourselves as a collective action program. So what we're trying to do is to get people to
think differently, about how to solve all of these world issues, whether it be climate change, whether it be clean water, and ocean health, and most
importantly, refugees right now, especially as we give additional consideration to this around World Refugee Day.
This is something that everybody needs to engage in right now. There are some amazing work that's being done by corporate organizations today that
are coming in behind to support refugees all around the world, whether it be organizations like Ben & Jerry's at Unilever, or whether it be
organizations like Microsoft.
CHATTERLEY: Ger, come in here, too, because I mentioned some of the challenges that you've been through, with also great success and that
culminated in 2015, becoming a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador, and I know the U.N. has been pivotal to the path that you've taken as well.
Just talk about some of the programs and the impact that they're having on the ground, because it ties to the sort of investment opportunities and the
change that corporations and governments trying to make here, Ger. Talk about the U.N. programs.
DUANY: Oh, well, you know, success to me means, you know, when you start to solve problems, so in 2014, when my country really was planted to Civil
War, I didn't know what to do. And because we were a new nation now, we just tried to figure out how to become a nation on our own. And that in
itself, living in the United States, it was haunting me down to see my people being displaced, all the ways in Africa, it just kind of took me
back with time, like 1980 and 1990s is when a lot of Civil War was really happening here in the East and Horn of Africa, where I'm from, and that's
the reason that I really decided to partner up with the UNHCR so that we can -- because we have the same view, so we can actually try to -- I can
share my life story so that some of the refugees can really get help for them.
And then the some of the program that we did, something that I was focused on is always education opportunity for young people. Because my entire
journey is always attached to learning, and that's my motto. So, we -- some of the schools that really exists in refugee camps in Kakuma and, and also
even another one in Nairobi, Kenya. So, what I did is I released a movie called "The Good Life" with Reese Witherspoon. And then I went to Japan,
and then we raised money for those students, for the ceiling of the classroom to be raised a little bit because it is only like primary
schools. And then some of those guy they can't learn anymore, so they need those school to be up to 12th grade.
This is a thing that I have participated with, with the help to the UNHCR for the past four or five years, and is a role that I always like to play
because my entire life is always attached to being a former refugee.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, you've moved on, but you will never forget your past and how they continue to need help, and we need to do more. Doug, very
quickly. I have about a minute.
For people who invest, for people who have pension funds, for example, they need to be asking questions about to what extent they are getting a return,
but also that return is giving back to society in some way. And you've mentioned it. Very quickly, what do investors need to be aware of? What
should they be looking for in terms of sustainability?
HESKE: So, investors should be looking at organizational behavior supporting refugees. What are they actually doing not just in terms of
writing policy, but demonstrating that they are supporting displaced individuals?
HESKE: And so we actually run a diversity, equity, and inclusion program and investment portfolio that supports organizations like this. But most
importantly, people need to get informed on the issue.
There are lots of great resources out there online, whether it be through the Tent Partnership, whether it be through the UNHCR or you can go to
Newday's own website for more information. They need to get involved. So, use your voice to activate, encourage organizations to become more
And then finally, invest behind these organizations that are making these really powerful changes in suborning the crisis.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, and understand that for most people, this isn't a choice. Guys, thank you so much.
Doug Heske, the CEO Newday Impact and Ger, come back and talk to us soon, please. Your story is inspirational and we didn't get enough time to talk
about it. But for everyone watching, well done.
DUANY: Thank you so much.
HESKE: Thank you.
CHATTERLEY: You have sheer strength, my friend. Ger, Duany, U.N. Goodwill Ambassador there and Doug Heske. Guys, thanks once again.
Okay, we're back after this.
CHATTERLEY: American Airlines is cutting hundreds of flights. The company says it has had to adjust what it calls a quote, "fraction" of its schedule
as it struggles to keep up with soaring demand.
Our aviation correspondent, Pete Muntean joins us now. Pete, this is the opposite of what should be happening as people get vaccinated, travel ramps
up, holiday season starts. What's going on?
PETE MUNTEAN, CNN AVIATION CORRESPONDENT: It's so true, Julia, and passengers are really going to become surprised by this because airlines
have been caught by surprise by just the crush of people coming back to travel in a big way.
Let me just put this into context for you. The T.S.A. screened 2.1 million people at airports across the country on Sunday. That is the biggest number
we have seen since March 7th, of 2020. The fifth time, we've seen a number higher than two million in this month alone. And that's so significant
because that number is about three quarters of what we saw back in 2019, pre-pandemic.
And now, American Airlines says it is struggling to keep up. It has had maintenance issues, staffing issues. The weather has been bad in June. So,
it had to cancel about six percent of its flights on Sunday, 181 flights in total.
Now, it says it's going to take a targeted approach to these cancellations, canceling about one percent of all flights through mid-July. That's about
50 to 80 flights each day. It says it has to do this just to keep up with getting people back on the job. Remember that airlines got a lot smaller
because of the pandemic and now they're facing a bit of growing pains here.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I mean, they warned about this. All the industry bodies warned about this. What are they doing for passengers as these flight gets
MUNTEAN: Well, passengers are either getting booked on earlier flights or later flights and American Airlines says the biggest impact will be in
those major hubs like DFW because there are more options for passengers there.
But remember, if the airline books you on a flight either four hours before or after your scheduled flight, four hours difference, then you are
entitled to a full refund here.
CHATTERLEY: Wow. Okay, well, that's something. Pete Muntean, great to have you with us. Thank you so much for that.
Now, a race case of China's fiery national liquor has sold for nearly $1.4 million in London. Auction house, Sotheby's says that's the highest price
ever paid for a single lot of Moutai outside China, and more than five times what it was expected or what was expected.
It included 24 bottles sold under the Sunflower brand from 1974. Fiery is one word for it. I'd would call it explosive. But I do actually like it.
Now, that's it for the show -- it wasn't me though that bought it by the way.
That's it for the show. If you have missed any of our interviews today, they will be on my Twitter and Instagram pages. Search for @jchatterleyCNN.
It's great to be back. Stay safe. "Connect the World" with Becky Anderson is next. And I'll see you tomorrow.