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First Move with Julia Chatterley

Trump on Trial Opening Statements Begin Monday; Full Jury Selected in Trump's Hush Money Case; Man Set Himself on Fire Outside Courthouse; Israel Launches Strike on Iran; No Extensive Damage at Iranian Airbase; U.S. Not Involved in Any Offensive Operations. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired April 19, 2024 - 18:00   ET



WOLF BLITZER, CNN HOST: Jury selection in the case now officially complete. Let's check in with CNS Kara Scannell outside the courthouse in Manhattan.

Kara, you were there inside, inside the courtroom for today's dramatic proceedings. Give us the latest.

KARA SCANNELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Trump, Donald Trump's legal team tried to argue and try to convince the judge that the prosecution should

not be allowed to use any of his past legal run ins if he were to take the stand --

JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN HOST: It's 6:00 a.m. in Beijing, 11:00 p.m. in London, and 6:00 p.m. here in New York. I'm Julia Chatterley. And wherever

you are in the world, this is your FIRST MOVE.

A warm welcome to FIRST MOVE, as always. And here's today's need to know. Monday's move. The jury is set, the trial isn't moving, and opening

statements begin on Monday in Donald Trump's hush money trial.

Retaliation without escalation? Israel launches a strike on Iran, but Tehran plays down the attack.

And talking tariffs. U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai talks tough on China. And what levelling the playing field actually means. That conversation and

plenty more coming up.

But first, selection complete. A full jury panel is now in place for Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial. That means that a six-person jury and

six alternate jurors have now been finalized. And as I mentioned, opening statements are expected to begin on Monday.

Now, over the past few hours, the judge held what's known as a Sandoval hearing, that's to determine whether the prosecution can ask Former

President Trump about certain aspects of his legal past. The judge is reserving his decision for now, but says the lawyers will have it by


Trump, once again denying wrongdoing and has lashed out against the case against him.


DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This is really a concerted witch hunt, very simple, everything you heard in there, this is a witch hunt by

numerous judges, Democrat judges. You take a look at it, and Dorin (ph) is a whack job. What he did was a disgrace. It's being reviewed by the

Appellate Division. And I hope they do justice, because everybody's looking, and nobody, no business is coming into the city. None whatsoever.


CHATTERLEY: The former president speaking there. And also in a hugely disturbing development, a man set himself on fire outside the courthouse

earlier. Police say he's now in a critical condition at a nearby hospital. In a post online, he said he wanted to draw attention to a number of

conspiracy theories, though nothing appears to have been specifically aimed at targeting the former president.

Marshall Cohen is following all the developments now from Washington for us. Marshall, let's bring it back to the case. As I mentioned, the jury is

seated, they have the backup options. It's not moving. It's going to remain in New York and it does start on Monday. Just give us a sense now of what

this jury looks like. That's going to be hearing such a pivotal case over the coming weeks.

MARSHALL COHEN, CNN REPORTER: Hey, good evening, Julia. Yes. It was a pretty wild day, but when all the dust settles, we have our jury and we are

ready to go on Monday with the opening statements.

So, who's on this jury? There's 12 members, six alternates, but among the 12, there are seven men, five women. The foreman is a man. He is actually

from Ireland, interestingly enough, but he's now a New Yorker. He will be in charge of a group. His eleven colleagues on that panel include a few

attorneys, some software engineers, an English teacher, and a speech therapist.

Some folks have advanced degrees, Julia. Some of them only have their high school diploma. So, it is really a cross section of New York, which is the

entire purpose of our American history. jury system. So, they will be sitting in judgment of Former President Donald Trump. Opening statements

begin on Monday.

As you mentioned in your intro, the Sandoval hearing that just wrapped up a couple hours ago, that was a big question about what the prosecutors can

bring up way down the road later in the trial if, and only if, Former President Trump wins. He makes the remarkable decision to take the witness

stand in his own defense. He says he wants to, but he has said in previous investigations that he wants to and he's never followed through in those

cases. It would be pretty remarkable if he does.

The prosecutors said to the judge that they'd love to bring up the civil fraud trial that he was found liable in, the defamation case with E. Jean

Carroll. They'd love to bring up all this wrongdoing by President Trump. But they will only be able to do it if the judge gives them permission. So,

he will rule on that on Monday, and then we will be fully underway. Julia.


CHATTERLEY: Yes, it feels more like, perhaps, Pandora's box rather than the witness stand if, indeed, the former president does take the stand and the

judge doesn't limit that history to some degree. But that's all to play for next week. We'll see what happens on Monday. Marshall, for now, thank you.

Have a great weekend.

Now, a muted response from Iran after a limited attack from Israel. Iranian state media reporting explosions in the sky near an air base in the central

part of the nation. An Iranian official says three drones were intercepted. The country seems to be downplaying the attack with state media showing

calm scenes in the area on Friday.

This satellite image obtained by CNN doesn't show any extensive damage at the air base either. But protests are erupting in the capital. Crowds took

to the streets of Tehran, criticizing Israel and the United States.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke just hours ago from the G7 summit in Italy.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: The United States has not been involved in any offensive operations. What we're focused on, what the G7 is

focused on, and again, it's reflected in our statement and in our conversation, is our work to de-escalate tensions, to de-escalate from any

potential conflict.


CHATTERLEY: And Nic Robertson joins us now. Nic, is it possible to draw a line under this episode now? I mean, risks have been taken on both sides,

but it does appear that both Iran and Israel have taken pains here not to further escalate the situation. Can we get back to focusing on the

humanitarian crisis in Gaza and for the Israelis, of course, getting the hostages back?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMATIC EDITOR: Yes and no. I mean, no, because this conflict and the Iran being an existential threat to Israel

has been going on for decades and upon decades upon decades. So, this is just the latest vestige and version of it, and it's never quite going to be

the same again.

I think in the short-term, yes, this gets over a very significant speed bump in the road. But the road, it's a different road. The road is more

bumpy going forward in this relationship, because everyone knows this could happen again.

And I think from what we saw last night when -- the early hours, when you saw and when we heard that the airspace over Iran had been closed, that

aircraft had been diverted, major airports had been closed, that the Iranians were saying they were switching on their air defense systems, it

really seemed as if everyone was bracing for something that was much worse than what was to come, which was not so much.


ROBERTSON (voice-over): Ambiguity, not escalation. Iran's response to explosions in the sky near an Isfahan military base, several hundred miles

south of Tehran. Events under investigation read, nothing to see here.

KIOUMARS HEYDARI, IRANIAN ARMY GROUND FORCES COMMANDER (through translator): The objects were suspicious and our defense system acted

swiftly. Thank God there were no major issues.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Satellite images exclusively obtained by CNN appear to support damage on the ground was minimal. U.S. officials informed of an

unspecified Israeli strike just hours before Iran's air defenses went on alert in the early hours of Friday. The secretary of state drawing a line

trying to move forward.

BLINKEN: The United States has not been involved in any offensive operations. What we're focused on, what the G7 is focused on, and again,

it's reflected in our statement and in our conversation, is our work to de- escalate tensions.

ROBERTSON (voice-over): Iran's response, an anti-Israel rally manifesting on the streets of Tehran, where large crowds can only gather when

sanctioned by the government. Another indication. For now, it is anger contained to shouting, not sending missile salvoes as it did last weekend.

Approximately 350 drones, cruise, and ballistic missiles fired at Israel following a deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus almost three

weeks ago, mostly intercepted without major damage.

The prime minister shunning allies' calls to take the win, vowed to strike back. Now, ambiguity, deafening silence from Israeli officials, except for

an illuminating online spat.

Hard-right cabinet member, Itamar Ben-Gvir, posting on X, lame. Quickly lambasted by centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid. Never before has a

minister in the defense cabinet done such heavy damage to the country's security. It's unforgivable.

The stakes had appeared extremely high. Iran's foreign minister in the moments before the attack promising instant devastating retaliation.



ROBERTSON (on camera): But I think we've got a pretty clear picture within a couple of hours of the attack that perhaps there wasn't going to be this

escalation. I talked with a regional intelligence source, well informed, to have a good view about what was happening and everything he was hearing at

that stage indicated that Iran wasn't going to escalate and respond. And really that's what we've seen throughout the day.

So, it does appear as if both sides are sort of taking the opportunity here for a strategic off ramp, but the war's not over. The stakes are still

high. The potential for regional bloodshed and the idea of red lines that Israel misread the red lines that would trigger Iran to go ahead and do

this and vice versa, they've really become blurred now.

So, while everyone got close to what that big potentially deadly escalation could look like and perhaps, we've just backed away from that a little bit,

everyone's got a much clearer sight of what it looks like and it hasn't gone away. Every -- all of that is still at stake.

And because those red lines are blurred, I think to your question, can we really move on with all the other issues like, like Gaza? Yes, those can be

dealt with. But this legacy of this direct confrontation, that's happened. It is always going to have happened now. So, it can always happen again.

And the two sides, they misunderstand each other more now than they did several weeks ago.

CHATTERLEY: And both nations have proved that their risk tolerance is perhaps higher than it's ever been. Nic Robertson, great to get your

context, as always.

Let's talk some more about this. Aaron David Miller joins us now. He's a former Middle East negotiator for the U.S. State Department and is now a

senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Fantastic to have you, sir, with us.

I'm sure you were just listening to what Nic and I were discussing there. It does feel like this episode, as he called it, and I'll use the term

proves that both Israel and Iran have a higher level of risk tolerance than they did before, but also, that it seemed that neither of them want to

escalate the situation further at this moment. Where does that leave us?

AARON DAVID MILLER, FORMER U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT MIDDLE EAST NEGOTIATOR: It's a fascinating demonstration, frankly, of an effort to create

deterrence. And yet, by trying to deter, raising the risk profile.

And I think what we don't know, and what's impossible to predict, is whether or not the fact that Israel has struck Iranian territory, even

though they haven't commented or claimed responsibility for it. And on April 13 and 14, the Iranians attacked Israel with 350 high trajectory

weapons. That they now have -- in many respects, have a sense that because neither of these strikes climbed up the escalatory ladder, the question is,

if they get into a period of tension again, will they be risk averse in thinking and be more cautious or will they be risk ready?

And I think it's very hard to know, and it's impossible to put the genie in the back in the bottle. That's the real problem here. There are new

realities, new thresholds, and the Israeli-Iranian strategic rivalry is as intense and as hot as ever.

CHATTERLEY: Does it also mean that Israel won't risk targeting more high- level Revolutionary Guard officials, be it in somewhere like Damascus or somewhere else in the region, or actually does the whole episode prove that

that was ultimately worthwhile?

MILLER: Well, if that's the case, then the Iranian effort to create deterrence has fundamentally succeeded. If that's the conclusion the

Israelis draw from this episode, even though 350 missiles, 99 percent of them didn't even enter Israeli territory, that would be a significant

deterioration of Israel's determination to maintain its maneuverability and it's right to respond.

And in the wake of October 7th, where the entire Israeli conception of deterrence with respect to the Palestinians in a mosque basically

collapsed, the reality is that I think the Israelis will, in fact, if there's a target of opportunity, if it's a senior IRGC member or attacking

Hezbollah wherever they think they can.

So, I guess this is what we're saying, because the Israeli-Iranian strategic relationship is so intense and the prospects of containing it and

solving it so rare, the reality is we're going to be living with this sort of Damocles hanging over our heads for quite some time.


CHATTERLEY: Yes. And that's the unfortunate fact. The point of the matter is as well that none of this is solving the shorter-term issues again, as I

was discussing with Nic, whether that's Israel's efforts to end Hamas, the humanitarian assistance for Gaza, or some kind of longer-term solution.

My colleague, Jim Sciutto spoke earlier today with the foreign minister of Jordan, and they were talking about the future and what perhaps the options

are. And the foreign minister said, look, the Arab world is ready for a two-state solution. We've made that clear. And then he sort of questioned

what Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants. I just want you to listen to what he said.


AYMAN SAFADI, JORDANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER: What kind of future -- what do they want? If they don't want the two-state solution, just tell us, what is

the solution that they believe will bring about peace and security to the region? The way we see it, the only alternative to the two-state solution

is apartheid and one-state reality. And that will not be a solution. That will be an ugly reality because apartheid will then be institutional and

that will just lead to more conflict.


CHATTERLEY: The inference in what he said was, and he didn't say this, I'm inferring was that in effect, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stands in

the way. Is it bigger than that? Is there a way perhaps to convince Israel?

MILLER: Let's be clear. I spent the better part of 20 plus years through Republican Democratic administrations working on the prospects of an

Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation and a two-state solution. I would say this to you and to the Jordanian foreign minister. Nobody is ready for


Clearly, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu cannot make the decisions on the core issues, doesn't want to. The Palestinian national movement is

divided without a monopoly over the forces of violence within its own society. They need one gun, one authority, one negotiating position. They

don't have it. And I'm not sure the Biden administration, frankly, is ready for the incredibly difficult lift of what it would require to bring

Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table to deal with issues like Jerusalem, border security, refugees. Right now, nobody's ready.

What we need is an alternative pathway, and that's going to require a new Israeli government. It's going to require a different kind of Palestinian

leadership, and it's going to require an American mediation that's prepared to be reassuring for sure, but tough when it needs to be. And frankly,

right now, none of these things are in place.

CHATTERLEY: Is a President Biden or a President Trump more capable of achieving that?

MILLER: Oh, I think should President Biden get a second term, I think that an alternative pathway is conceivable. If the presumptive nominee of the

Republican Party becomes president, I think you can hang a close for the season sign on any kind of Israeli-Palestinian deal. He might push for an

Israeli-Saudi reconciliation, but that's going to require some movement from the Israelis on the issue of the much too promised land of what to do

about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

So, I think I don't want to lose hope. But we have to be sober and realistic about the challenges that we face.

CHATTERLEY: Yes. I was afraid that would be your answer. Sir, thank you for joining us. And for your wisdom, as always. Aaron David Miller, former U.S.

State Department Middle East negotiator. Sir, thank you.

All right. Coming up here on FIRST MOVE, tech tensions, why Apple is removing WhatsApp and Threads from its app store in China.

Plus, trade tango between the two world's largest economies. My talk with U.S. Trade Rep. Katherine Tai. All coming up. Stay with me.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. A Friday fiasco for U.S. tech stocks tops today's "Money Move." Take a look at this, the Nasdaq falling

more than 2 percent for its sixth straight session in the red. Tech darling NVIDIA tumbling, oh, 10 percent. And some other big A.I. pulling back too.

Netflix as well, down more than 9 percent.

If you take a look at what we saw across the Asia markets too, we also saw a retaliatory strike on Iran. So, there was a deep sense of unease. The

Nikkei fell more than 2.5 percent. To Oil, as you can imagine, extremely volatile. But as you also might expect, it ended Friday's session with

modest gains. So, calm prevailed towards the end of the session.

Also watching Apple, they've now removed social media platforms, WhatsApp and Threads from the App Store in China. The platforms were already blocked

there, but could still be accessed using encrypted networks or VPNs, which disguise a user's location.

Let's bring in Clare Duffy. Clare, let's be clear, there was already a splinternet, Facebook, Instagram, already blocked in China. So, you had to

use sort of secret squirrel rays to get in anyway. But this does send, I think, an important message to both Apple and Meta.

CLARE DUFFY, CNN BUSINESS WRITER: Yes, Julia. And look, I mean, it is interesting because WhatsApp especially is not just an app. This is a

platform, a messaging platform that's used by millions of people around the world. And this move could now make it even harder for Chinese users to use

the app to talk to friends and family outside of the country. And, so we're just seeing this further divide, tech divide, between the U.S. and China.

And this does send a strong message to Apple in particular, the company signaled that it disagrees with this move but said we have to follow the

local laws in the areas where we operate. And so, you know, sort of more bad news for Apple in this region where it's already struggling with iPhone

sales declines and greater competition. This is not what Apple wanted to hear, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: No, I was scrambling around trying to work out how many people actually use it. And I think app figures says 50 million downloads since

2017 of WhatsApp in China and about 470,000 downloads of Threads, which is obviously much newer, but still the point is noted.

The other thing, of course, that's coming this weekend is the House of Representatives perhaps going to inject some TikTok messaging and a full

split or divestment of TikTok by ByteDance in what we see voted on this weekend in terms of foreign aid packages. Clare, that's going to send

another message because this is far more sensitive.

Yes, Julia, it's interesting to hear sort of the similarities between how the U.S. talks about national security concerns when it comes to TikTok and

how Chinese officials referred to national security concerns in those worries about WhatsApp and Threads.

This weekend, the House will potentially be voting on this foreign aid package, which now includes that bill that could potentially TikTok in the

U.S., if it is not divested from its Chinese parent company, ByteDance, this potentially could force the Senate, which has kind of had mixed

feelings about this idea of banning TikTok could force the Senate to vote on that measure much more quickly.

I will say this TikTok ban bill now includes some updates that could make it more palatable to senators. They've extended the timeframe that TikTok

could have to find a new American owner from six months to nine months.

But look, we could again be very soon back in a place where we're seeing this idea that TikTok could face a ban in the U.S. because the Chinese

officials have signaled that they're none too willing to let TikTok find a new American owner, Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Yes, both America and China raining on each other's tech parades. Clare Duffy, thank you very much. Have a great rest of Friday.


And speaking of raining on parades, heavy rain expected for Southern China in the next couple of days too. And Chad Myers has all the details for us.

Rain on. Chad, what can we expect?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: You know, I mean, some places have already picked up more than 200 millimeters, nine inches of rainfall just in the

past 24 hours, even some showers moved through Shanghai. I was just watching the Formula 1 replay there. 236 millimeters though already, and

this isn't even started.

There could be -- by the time this is done, Julia, I think there could be places with 500, a half of a meter, more than 19 inches of rain over the

next 72 hours. The rain was not only rain, it was rain and wind, and wind brought down trees, brought down power lines, not only trees, but also hail

came down with some of this.

This was a violent series of storms here for South Central China. And there is the rainfall still coming in just north of Hong Kong. But now, Hong

Kong, you're getting more and more involved with it, especially on the northern side there of the city.

And yes, possibly even a few scattered showers still for the Formula 1 Grand Prix here as we see those showers to the south. Much, much heavier

and much more significant, but there's going to be an awful lot of people that are just sitting out there hoping that it's not raining up there in

Shanghai. It'll be raining in Seoul today. High of 16.

Temperatures remain fairly cool in some spots here, to the northward, 5 or 10 degrees below normal, where it says cool up there, but everywhere else

is warm, warmer than normal. Look at Beijing, all the way to 31 next week. Nowhere near that when you talk about London or Paris or Berlin.

Berlin, you're going to be eight. Your eye is going to be eight degrees with a windy, cold north breeze and even snow in the Alps. Yes, we will get

snow. I know it's not supposed to do this this time of year, but it is certainly coming.

Temperatures are going to be what, eight Berlin, 13 in Dublin, 12 in London. And you don't warm up at all, Berlin. This is a cold pattern for

all of Europe for the next few days. Julia.

CHATTERLEY: Wow. I'm just setting my alarm for the Formula 1. Wet weather tires to the ready.

MYERS: I love it.

CHATTERLEY: In Shanghai, me too. Yay. You know what we're doing this weekend. Chad Myers, thank you, sir. Have a great weekend.

MYERS: You too.

CHATTERLEY: Stay with CNN. We'll be right back.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE with a look at more of the international headlines this hour. Iran playing down an apparent Israeli

airstrike near one of its air bases. Satellite images obtained by CNN show no major damage at the base in central Iran. So far, no comment from

Israel. And the U.S. Secretary of State says Washington has not been involved in any offensive operations.

A full jury panel is now in place for Donald Trump's criminal hush money trial. That means that a 12-person jury and six alternate jurors have now

been finalized. Opening statements are expected to begin on Monday. Trump is calling the case a witch hunt and denies any wrongdoing.

The U.S. House of Representatives is one step closer to approving foreign aid for Ukraine and Israel, but the Republican speaker, Mike Johnson, has

had to rely on Democrats to push it through, angering some of his colleagues who wanted any foreign aid to be tied to a deal on border

security. Some are threatening to oust the speaker. The vote on the bills is scheduled for Saturday.

And the world's biggest election now underway. Nearly a billion people in India, about 12 percent in fact of the world's population, are eligible to

vote. The massive undertaking will be spread over the next six weeks.

The first phase took place on Friday and voter turnout was estimated at 60 percent. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoping to secure a third term.

Opinion polls give his party a comfortable lead over its rivals. Will Ripley has more.


WILL RIPLEY, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's election day here in India. Well, it's not just one day. It's going to be spread out over the

next six weeks because of the massive size of the electorate here in India.

We're in Uttar Pradesh, which is the largest state in India with around 200 or so million people, about two-thirds the population of the entire United

States. But over the next six weeks, from now until the 1st of June, throughout seven phases of voting, you have 968 million eligible voters

here in India, nearly a billion people, more than three times the population of the United States who are eligible to vote.

And the way that the process works here is that over the next six weeks at polling stations like this, people will come, they'll give their voting

cards, they'll vote in electronic voting machines inside. And it's a pretty efficient process.

And what's miraculous is that in this, the world's largest election, the largest Democratic exercise in the history of mankind, they're going to

make sure that electronic voting machines are available for every single eligible voter within a two-kilometer radius of their homes.

So, even if they live in one of the most remote corners of India's 28 states and eight union districts, they will have an opportunity to exercise

their civic duty and vote in these elections, and there's certainly a lot at stake here, whether it's which political candidate will lead India into

the future, whether it's the economy, whether it's foreign investment, whether it's rights for farmers or social services for everyday people,

there are a lot of issues that are being debated.

However, we can't really talk about them on the air just yet because of pretty intensive reporting restrictions that are placed on all news

organizations, including CNN, while the polls are open. So, all we can say right now is that judging by these lines, not just here, but across the

world's largest, most populous country, 1.4 billion people living in India, nearly a billion of them eligible to vote, and it all kicks off right here,

starting today.

Will Ripley, CNN, Uttar Pradesh, India.


CHATTERLEY: Our thanks to Will Ripley there. Stay with FIRST MOVE, plenty more to come.



CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. The often-contentious relationship between the United States and China over issues like trade and tech added

to the White House's push to re-shore (ph) manufacturing are already key issues in the U.S. presidential race with both President Biden and Former

President Trump threatening higher tariffs on Chinese goods.

It's the job of trade representative Katherine Tai to steel the U.S. through these turbulent trade waters. We sat down earlier to discuss all

the challenges and the opportunities. Our conversation began with China's excess production and just how to level the playing field for American

workers. Take a listen.


KATHERINE TAI, U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE: China's economy and its growth are really significant in terms of the changes that we have seen in the

world these last couple decades, and it's been incredible, truly.

The challenge though is that along with China's economic growth and development, there have been impacts on the rest of the world. And what we

see with respect to Beijing's economic policies and practices is that they're not really market-based.

In many sectors, what we'll see and their sectors that we continue to talk about, steel, aluminum, solar panels, cars, EVs, batteries now also --

well, for a long time, critical minerals as well, what you see is significant amounts of state support that when our companies compete with

Chinese companies, we're not just competing against the Chinese companies, we're competing also against the Chinese state.

But then beyond that, what we see is production goals, production capacity being built out without real reference to demand. And I think that that's

one of the most significant distortions and playing field tilters that we see on a global scale, which is when you have one economy able to corner

the market on producing in entire sectors and you see the production not based on demand, you get overproduction.

CHATTERLEY: I get your overcapacity point, and I think it's a vital point to be making at this moment. Again, the president's honed in on steel as a

great example and suggested that perhaps tariffs that are currently, what, 7.5 percent should be tripled. Let's call it 25 percent. It's just 2

percent of the steel that's imported to the United States comes from China.

Is this a political statement or is this an economic statement? Because there's a lot of people scratching their heads and saying, how are you

ultimately protecting steel manufacturers in the United States if China's just such a huge fraction? Are tariffs the right way to go?

TAI: Well, tariffs are a tool, and it's all about how you use the tariff, why you're using it, and what goal you're trying to pursue.


TAI: You have to take that in the context of our overall posture with respect to steel trade. And again, when you have one major economy, and

China's not the only one here, by the way, that is pursuing non-market- based policies and overproduction, but it is the largest one. The one that is able to impact global economic dynamics the most. What you have is a

global distortion.


CHATTERLEY: So, tariffs an option on EVs, on batteries, on solar, once you've completed your investigation as part of that broader look at

products, because it's happening everywhere. All of the things that you just described, I can point to different sectors of the Chinese economy and

say, it's happening here, it's happening here, it's happening here. Is that what's coming?

TAI: Well, let me put it this way. There's another example of this overall dynamics of international market dominance and trying to defend and level

the playing field, and that's with respect to the investigation that we've just started.

On Wednesday, I announced that we had accepted the petition filed by five of our national labor unions to investigate the non-market policies and

practices that are being alleged to be unfair from Beijing that go to the maritime logistics and shipbuilding sectors. So, that's the new

investigation and action -- or investigation that we are undertaking. I'm going to pick my words carefully because they have legal implications. And

I am hopeful that the results of that review will be concluded and made public very soon.

CHATTERLEY: We'll watch for that. It is a political football, I think, heading into a presidential election and in a presidential election year,

the former president has suggested a blanket 60 percent tariffs on Chinese goods.

I mean, there's a whole host of analysts who are saying that would basically cut trade to somewhere near zero. Is that an option?

TAI: Well, I can't speak for the former president. I think when it comes to the tariff conversation, again, as the U.S. trade representative, where

tariffs are one of our oldest and most important tools, still, the question should be, what are you trying to accomplish?


TAI: A tariff on its own is just -- it's just a tool at the border, right? What is it you're trying to accomplish with the tariff? The Europeans, for

instance, have put forward a carbon border adjustment mechanism. Now, they'll be the first ones to tell you that it's not a tariff, it's a border

adjustment, but it's an adjustment.

CHATTERLEY: It's a tariff.

TAI: That you take at the border. They're very particular about this. But it's something that's adjusted at the border, right? But you have to

understand, from their perspective, that is something to address the climate crisis.

CHATTERLEY: And we come back to the protections of American workers. Just very quickly, is a 60 percent tariff on Chinese goods good or bad for the

American worker? You're the expert.

TAI: I really don't know, because it's not our proposal. And so, I think that the burden lies on the folks making those proposals to articulate.

What's the vision? What's the vision for the U.S.-China trade relationship? We are the two largest economies in the world.


TAI: How we treat each other, how we address our challenges with each other has implications for everyone in the world. What we want to do in driving

this conversation on the next version of globalization is, how can each of us grow, how can each of us provide economic opportunities to our people

and our workers, build our middle-classes with each other? How do we stop pitting our workers and middle-classes against each other?

CHATTERLEY: The tariffs that were enacted by the previous administration under Section 301 have cost, according to the data, around $200 billion.

This is the American taxpayer. The emphasis was put on protecting intellectual property, technologies.

Are they working? This administration kept them, those tariffs. Are they working in your mind?

TAI: So, when you say they've cost $200 some billion, I just want to make clear, I think it is possible that that's the amount of revenue that has

been raised.

CHATTERLEY: The tariff at the border.

TAI: OK. The -- it's a separate question in terms of who has borne the burden of that. Whether it is the importers and the retailers themselves

who have absorbed it, or whether it's been passed on to the consumers. That's not entirely clear. This question has actually been proposed and

addressed by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

And what the USITC found in its analysis, and they were asked to do this by the U.S. Congress, was that you saw increases in production in certain of

these targeted areas in the United States, you also saw a driving of diversification in terms of where inputs were coming from around the world,

and you saw diversification away from China. So, in that respect, you do see the tariffs having a larger more macro set of effects.

CHATTERLEY: I have recently spoken to the prime minister of Vietnam, of Thailand, they're increasing their traded with China. And the message that

I got was, particularly given the politics of the situation and the region with China, they'd love to do more trade with the United States.


And they were sort of disappointed at the back end of last year when the, sort of, trade portion of the Indo-Pacific talks were -- well, nothing came

really of it. What is feasible, whether it's this year or if, you know, Biden wins again, and we have another administration? It's about selling

the good components of trade deals to the American public at a time when the they're pretty contentious. I think you'd agree.

TAI: The way trades have been operating, our supply chains have been so entangled and they've -- they have created so much concentration in the

Chinese economy that we all feel extremely vulnerable because the supply chains are fragile.

So, that goes for our friends in the Asia Pacific. That also goes for us. The question before us, again, in terms of how we trade with the rest of

Asia is how can we do trade in a way, not just to enable us to grow our middle-classes together, but to create more resilience?

CHATTERLEY: Can I ask about something else that the president has talked about this weekend? That's the U.S. Steel, Nippon Steel potential deal. The

U.S. Steel board have approved it and said, look, this is going to be good for American workers, and actually, it's going to help counter overcapacity

from China. The president seems very against it.

Just on a trade perspective, because I don't want to tread on the Commerce Department on this -- in this respect, is this good or bad for American


TAI: So, you'll have to work -- you'll have to ask the American workers themselves, right? They know their interests best. But from our

perspectives, if the focus is on resilience and the focus is on our ability to be able to produce and trade and adapt and rebound, then we know that we

need a diversity of producers.

I think that there is a legitimate question to be presented, which is when there is a foreign acquisition, set aside who's country that company is

from, we need to look at what our domestic production footprint looks like and whether or not our producers are still acting like U.S.-based domestic

producers, whether they all have still the incentives and the interests that are aligned as U.S.-based producers.


CHATTERLEY: My overarching takeaway from this interview is certainly that tariffs, more tariffs, seem to be coming from the U.S. administration

before the presidential election. We'll see.

OK, coming up next on FIRST MOVE, the Poets Department may be tortured, but did they consider getting unionized? Even the acting U.S. labor secretary

has a few questions about Taylor Swift's new album. We'll get the verdict, next.



CHATTERLEY: The poets may be tortured, but the fans can't get enough. After worldwide anticipation, Taylor Swift's new album finally here.




CHATTERLEY: A clip there of "Fortnight," the album's lead single, featuring Post Malone. Critics are praising the deeply personal nature of the record.

It was actually released in two parts overnight here in the United States with 31 tracks. Take a look at how some of the fans responded.


CROWD: Three, two, one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm actually going to vomit right now. So, here are just brief thoughts. What are the titles? What are the titles? What are the

titles? Are there features?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This is so good. This is so good.


CHATTERLEY: Wow. They are definite Swifties. Now, Bryan West is arguably one of the world's leading authorities on Taylor Swift. He's the official

Taylor Swift reporter for USA Today and the Tennessean, and he joins us now from Nashville.

Bryan, we almost crashed through the break because we were gossiping for a couple of minutes and you have been awake, I believe, for more than 36

hours reporting on this. Have you heard any of the songs and what do you think?

BRYAN WEST, TAYLOR SWIFT REPORTER, USA TODAY AND THE TENNESSEAN: It has been a long stretch of a marathon, but definitely something you don't see

every day. Taylor Swift announcing not just one, but two albums.

I have heard the songs several times. As you mentioned, 31 different tracks over two different projects. Her second one dropped at 2:00 a.m. Eastern

time, and that surprised a lot of fans who didn't clue in on all the Easter eggs that we're pointing to the number two that she's been using.

And so, I have listened to the entire project. I have to say it's some of her strongest work. It definitely puts her poetry prowess on display. There

are very advanced themes that go along with this album, or these albums, like the false hope of marriage, death of breakups. You also are seeing

like drugs used as escapism in this.

You also see that Swift is very self-aware. The last time I saw a song that kind of showcased that was "Blank Space," when she knew a lot of the

scrutiny and the criticism. But on this album, she has "Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?" She's very in tune with like the public scrutiny and

understanding her power and the weight that she carries in the world.

CHATTERLEY: Who is she singing about? I mean, she's quoted as saying, once we've spoken our saddest story, we can be free of it. Who's she singing

about? Whether it's rivals, enemies, or boyfriends, ex-boyfriends?

WEST: So, she's been working on this project for the past two years since 2021. At that time, she was dating Joe Alwyn. He's an English actor. They

dated for six years. So, some songs like "So Long London," which could have been her home, she's kind of saying a heartbreak letter to London and

talking about that relationship.

After that, she did date Matty Healy. He's the 1975 band leader and singer. And so, there are some presumable songs that are about him. And then, of

course, everyone knows, unless you're living under a rock, that she's dating Travis Kelce. And there's a song "So High School," that feeling that

you just get really giddy in high school. It says, like, you like playing football or playing with balls, and she is Aristotle. And so, it shows kind

of the dynamic between them.

But I have to tell you, one song that everybody is talking about is "thanK you alMee." And so, that has all lowercase letters, except for K-I-M. and

it's definitely bringing back to the conversation Kim Kardashian. There's a couple of really blatant lines in that, like, everyone knows that my mother

is a saintly woman, but she used to say she wished that you were dead.

And also, she kind of points the fact that, thank you, Amie, to the night sky. That's what she was screaming. And the stars are stunning because I

can't forget the way you made me heal. So, it's kind of this idea that maybe some of her biggest downfalls have showcased her resiliency and

ability to bounce back even stronger.

CHATTERLEY: It's quite fascinating. You're a self-declared Swiftie, Bryan, just asking.

WEST: So, I followed her career for two decades, which I would say definitely makes me a Swiftie expert. And I know how to speak the language.

I will say this album, I haven't gotten a chance to sit as much with it and all the poetry that's with it, but I do look forward to that.

And I'm also very curious about The Eras Tour. As you know, this is a massively successful record-breaking tour. It's going to Europe in a couple

of weeks in Paris, May 9th. So, I'm interested to see if that three plus hour show gets extended or changed in any way to accommodate the 31 songs.

And just to show you something interesting, 31 is the inverse of 13, her favorite number.

CHATTERLEY: Oh, my goodness. I was going to ask about your journalistic integrity given that you're a declared Swiftie reporting on Taylor Swift,

but you --

WEST: I would definitely say --


CHATTERLEY: -- you're definitely a super fan, my friend. OK. Bryan, great to chat to you. I have to go and listen to some of the songs now. I have to

admit, I've not even listened to one. Great to have you on.

WEST: OK. Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Get some sleep. Thank you.

WEST: Thank you.

CHATTERLEY: Bryan West, great to chat to you.

All right. Let's move on. This just in, a huge blast in Iraq. It happened at a military base used by Iranian-backed forces south of Baghdad, that

according to an Iraqi security source. We will bring you any further details the moment we get them.

And that's just about wrapping up the show. Thank you for joining us. I'll see you next week.