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Quest Means Business
White House Says U.S. Travel Restrictions To Remain In Place; Global Vaccination Levels Lag Behind U.K. And Europe; China's Regulatory Crackdown Hits Stocks In China And U.S.; Tunisian President Ousts P.M., Suspends Parliament; Japan Leads Medal Table On Day Four Of Olympic Games; Female Athletes Speak Up Against Revealing Uniforms. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired July 26, 2021 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
RICHARD QUEST, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: U.S. stocks are hoping to knock new all-time highs. We are an hour from the closing bell. This is the way
things are looking at the moment, over 65. You see the Dow at the beginning, and then it sort of drifted up, but it is a record even if it is
one point above, same for the others there on the triple stack. We will show you the numbers as we move through the program.
The markets as they are and the main events at the start of the new week.
The travel industry's hopes are scuppered as the United States says it will keep its border restrictions in place.
Chinese markets are selling off sharply after a new government crackdown. Mohamed El-Erian will be with us in this program.
And Tunisia's tumultuous economy is on the brink after a huge political upheaval.
A busy week, busy day. Live from New York on Monday. It is July the 26th. I'm Richard Quest, and I mean business.
Good evening. Tonight, hopes for a trans-Atlantic travel bubble before the end of the summer, they have been dashed. The White House has confirmed the
U.S. will remain shut to tourists from the E.U., U.K., and China for the foreseeable future.
It's a major blow to airlines that were hoping to salvage a dismal summer season for international tourism, and to U.S. allies in Europe who have
been pushing hard to revive trans-Atlantic travel.
So for the moment, only U.S. citizens, green card holders and other special related exemptions and spouses, for example, may travel into the United
States from Europe. Now, that is stricter than the return where many countries have already opened their borders, reopened to U.S. travelers who
are fully vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID. It is a one-way street at the moment.
Earlier, the White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki explained the decision not to reciprocate.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEN PSAKI, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We will maintain existing travel restrictions at this point for a few reasons. The more transmissible delta
variant is spreading both here and around the world. Driven by the delta variant, cases are rising here at home, particularly among those who are
unvaccinated and appear likely to continue in the weeks ahead.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Kylie Atwood is at the State Department in Washington. Now, both when the President -- when President Biden was in the U.K. and when Angela
Merkel visited, there had been this -- I suppose teasing that something was coming down the road. Something was being sorted out.
Well, now we know what it is. It's a great disappointment for the industry.
KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN U.S. SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. There were conversations, as you said, just as recently as last week when
Chancellor Merkel was here in Washington. She sat down with President Biden and one of the things that they discussed were these travel restrictions
that the White House was saying they were looking over.
They have consistently said that their decisions on this front will be based in science. And so now it's clear they have determined, based on the
science, based on this spreading of these cases due to the delta variant, they are going to maintain these travel restrictions in place, they said,
What that means is that European travelers from the E.U., from the U.K., also any travelers from China and a number of other countries on the C.D.C.
prohibited list cannot come to the United States unless they are U.S. citizen or unless they go to another country that is allowed to travel to
the U.S. for 14 days before coming here.
Now as you said, there are some frustrations in Europe over this because we have seen the COVID cases in the U.K. on the rise earlier this month. They
are starting to come down now. But in other countries, such as Germany, we have really seen those cases come down, and they are letting American
travelers into their country.
And so, they are frustrated that that is not being reciprocated, but it's clear from the Biden White House that they are making a determination that
is also based on what is happening domestically here in the United States, as we see this delta variant having a real impact on these COVID cases
QUEST: Kylie, thank you. Joining me now is Roger Dow, the President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. This is very disappointing for you, isn't
it? I mean, there had been the scintilla of a suggestion if you like, even the tantalizing tease that some change would be made, and now nothing.
ROGER DOW, PRESIDENT AND CEO, U.S. TRAVEL ASSOCIATION: It's very disappointing, Richard. We've been looking at the numbers. I mean, we've
got the delta variant here, it is around the world. We're managing it, and we've got to look at this, the health crisis, the economic crisis, the
mental health crisis, all of these together we've got to roll them all in and we've got to be more scientific based, and it's very disappointing.
QUEST: So, it's a one-way street in the sense that U.S. -- and I know because I was in Madrid last week, and the plane was full of Americans who
had gone over, taken advantage, and were on their way back as well. It's a one-way street.
Do you have any hope that this might change before, say, the end of August? I mean, or is it a guess and a prayer?
DOW: It's a guess and a prayer, but there is some hope. I mean, we've had some very good engagement with the administration. Quite frankly, this was
a surprise announcement to us. We thought it was moving another direction. It's extremely disappointing.
And Richard, they've got to get a date specific. You've got to work towards something. I mean, we should be trying to say we're going to open up by
September 1st and then work like the Dickens. If we have to move it, fine. But to put planes back on for people to plan, you just can't play this game
of kick the can, kick the can down the road.
We've got to open up these economies. It's devastating to so many people in more ways than one, the mental health care, all these things I mentioned.
QUEST: The other thing of course is Canada -- Canada and Mexico.
Now, Canada particularly. They have opened up, but the U.S. hasn't even gone along with the Canadian date.
DOW: The Canadians said their date would be the 9th. U.S. says they are going to look at it on the 19th. I mean, again, the vaccines are going up.
The cases and hospitals have been mild. I don't want to make light of this, but the bottom line is we've got to manage this thing. We cannot hide in
our bunkers and hope it totally goes away forever.
QUEST: Okay, looking at this from the other side now, from the U.K. and how they regard it, one problem for the U.S., vis-a-vis say the U.K., is the
U.S. didn't go for a digital vaccine certificate. So, essentially there are 50-odd jurisdictions all printing out these little pieces of card that look
like C.D.C. that could be duplicated and forged.
So that's one problem. I know that's certainly a big problem in the U.K. They say, how can we know that -- I mean, by the way, that's not a problem
so much for the French or the Spanish or the Greeks, which perhaps shows the hypocrisy of the British, but that's another story for another day.
I mean, the U.S. didn't go for a digital vaccine certificate.
DOW: No, they have not, and I think the ability to put that together quickly is not there. We've been trying to get real ID for 12 years in the
United States and it's still not there. We've got to take a look at this thing -- at least in the U.S., if someone has got proof of vaccine, we
ought to let them come. We've got to start somewhere. We cannot keep these economies shut down. It's devastating.
QUEST: I tried VeriFLY on my way back from Europe last time and I haven't managed to try Common Pass which seems to be more difficult and the Travel
Pass from I.A.T.A. seems to be somewhat restricted.
Do these -- VeriFLY worked by the way, VeriFLY worked quite well. But is this the future? These app-based verifications of a vaccine status or a
DOW: Well, it's going to be the future at least for the short term. And again, we're looking -- there's many ways to open up a country with
testing, with vaccines, and all that, and we're against long-term having vaccine as the only way someone can get on a plane.
But in the short term, I think we've got to find a solution and if we don't, the devastation to our economy, to small businesses, to everything
on the low risk we have. I'm not trying to be Pollyanna here, but the bottom line is we can manage this thing, and it is being managed.
QUEST: Roger, I appreciate short notice. Thank you for coming and talking to us. It is good to see you always, sir.
DOW: Always a pleasure, Richard.
QUEST: Thank you.
DOW: Thank you.
QUEST: When we come back in just a moment, the questions of carrots and sticks for vaccine. There's a difference now. Apparently, the carrots are
gone and it's all about the stick, in a moment. QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
QUEST: No more carrots for the vaccine. Now, the sticks have come out. The French Parliament has passed a law that requires health passes to enter
bars and restaurants and for long-distance travel. The new measures are set to be begin next month.
There were protests in Paris over the vote and elsewhere in Europe, as other countries also turned towards so-called vaccine mandates. Greece has
some of the toughest requirements in Europe. And there, police and demonstrators clashed over the weekend as European governments struggle to
overcome vaccine resistance, the rest of the world is struggling from vaccine supply. There is one in five people outside of the U.K. and the
E.U. are fully vaccinated.
Desperately, there are needs for doses across the developing world. Dr. Nicole Lurie is the U.S. Director of CEPI, the Coalition for Epidemic
Preparedness and Innovation, and she joins us from Corsica.
Very interesting, the preparedness for, arguably for the next one. If we follow what the recent report -- the high level report said and we compare
with the reality of what we are dealing with this time, we are so -- never mind getting through this, let alone prepared if it was to happen again.
DR. NICOLE LURIE, U.S. DIRECTOR, COALITION FOR EPIDEMIC PREPAREDNESS AND INNOVATION: That's absolutely right, and we are doing everything we can,
pulling out all the stops to get more doses out there as soon as possible.
One of the shortcomings has been that the supplier community, those that supply raw materials to vaccine manufacturers were really caught off guard.
Every year the world makes about four billion or five billion doses of vaccines. This year, they are trying to make 11 billion to 14 billion, and
the input supplies, the raw materials, just haven't caught up with the demand.
QUEST: So, allowing for the practicalities, there's also been the question of intellectual property and whether or not vaccines could be made in
India. They are now going to be made in South Africa. How far has the nationalism of not wanting to give away the IP been a factor, do you think?
All that talk of waivers earlier last year never came to anything, but how far has that been relevant?
LURIE: Well, certainly the intellectual property concerns are there, but they're going to provide a long-term solution to this, not a short-term
solution to this. So, we need to look at short, medium, and long-term ones.
Intellectual property is going to take a long time to resolve. Even if you resolved it tomorrow, it would take probably a couple of years, certainly
over a year to get manufacturing going, and then you have to think about having it going to get the products you need with the quality and the
supply you need.
So, it is not a short-term solution to this.
QUEST: So we have possibly 100,000-plus vaccines about to expire in storage in the United States. We've got the AstraZeneca vaccine that they've bought
that they haven't used. We've got the U.K., which has, I forget, I'm sure you can give me the number -- the number of vaccines multiplied by times of
population several times. And yet we've got Africa less than five percent, and some countries even have stopped their vaccination process.
What do you want to happen now?
LURIE: Well, number one, I would like to see any country that has doses that it is not going to use to donate them to COVAX so that they can be
distributed around the world. Number two, I would like companies that are holding on to raw materials that are used to make vaccine that they've
stockpiled away for the next year or two to make those available to manufacturers who are making COVID vaccines right now or trying to get them
out to the world.
And number three, I'd like to see enough money to continue to buy the vaccines and to do the R&D so that we get that next generation of vaccines
ready to go in case we need it.
QUEST: Doctor, not one of those things that you would like to see is unreasonable or out of the ballpark. I question whether we can actually
ever get them done. I hope, though, you will come back and talk more so we can check on those goals. Thank you, ma'am.
LURIE: Thank you.
QUEST: China is bringing its regulatory hammer down on another major industry. This time the effects are reverberating across stock markets from
Shanghai to New York.
The latest industry in Beijing's crosshairs is China's $120 billion private education sector. Now, regulators have unveiled new rules barring companies
from turning a profit or raising funding on stock markets in New York, look at that. Tal Education down 24 percent. Perhaps not surprising, Alibaba
down seven percent. Baidu down six percent.
The selloff in China has dragged down the entire market. The Shanghai composite and the tech-heavy Hang Seng in Hong Kong deeply lower.
Mohamed El-Erian is Chief Economic Adviser at Allianz and President of Queen's College at Cambridge University. He is at Laguna Beach in
California and joins me via Skype. Good to see you, Mohamed, as always.
We'll deal with U.S. economics in just a moment. I want to grab this thorny nettle. What are the Chinese up to? If we assume they don't want to commit
economic suicide on their own stock markets, why are they doing it? Do they have valid reasons, in your view?
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, PRESIDENT, QUEENS' COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY: Thanks for having me, Richard. I think there's two things going on here. One is a
top-down assertion on different sectors in the economy reminding the private sector who is in control. It started with DiDi, but even
beforehand, if you look at Alibaba. So, that's just something that's been happening and continues.
But there's something else. Confidence. Confidence that they do not need external money, and one of the results of that, of course, people start
believing -- foreign investors start believing that China is less investable in some cases, un-investable and that's why it is impacting the
market as a whole.
QUEST: The temptation in the West is to have a knee-jerk reaction and say, it is the Chinese beating up to prove, that you know, don't go to the
markets, don't get the money from the West type of thing. But does -- to your knowledge -- does the Chinese government have legitimate concerns
about the way these companies have been trading in a Wild West environment with data that could be -- from the Chinese point of view -- security
EL-ERIAN: They have the same concerns the U.S. have, and we are seen that happening in the U.S. as well, which is that sensitive data, as you say,
may end up in places they don't want it. But it's beyond that.
I think if you look at it holistically, I think there is a much stronger top-down assertions happening. We've seen it in crypto. So it is -- yes,
there's some justification, but it's part of a bigger phenomenon.
QUEST: Are you a hawk or a dove on the current inflation numbers in the U.S.?
EL-ERIAN: I believe that inflation will prove less transitory than the Federal Reserve. I believe that we are in the midst of an inflationary
process. It is not the '70s and the '80s, but it is three percent to four percent inflation that will last for much longer than most people expect.
QUEST: That was a very good way of not admitting to being a hawk.
EL-ERIAN: It's not a question of being a hawk. It's a question of recognizing that the world has changed. For a long time, we were operating
where the main problem was not enough demand. Today, we have demand coming out of everywhere -- government demand, private sector demand, household
demand and corporate demand.
Today's problem is the supply side. We have bottlenecks all over the place. We have issues with the labor market. So, we have supply problems, not
demand problems. So, that's why it is something that has to be taken seriously. And I'm very worried that the Federal Reserve in particular is
convinced that it is simply transitory.
I keep on saying it's acting like a lawyer; not an economist, a lawyer. A lawyer can argue with a very high level of conviction and evade low-level
foundation. That's not what economists do.
QUEST: So, if that's the case, and something needs to be done, would you be starting to taper sooner and have already put on the table the prospect of
policy rate increases sometime next year?
EL-ERIAN: I would have certainly -- and I know certainly is a strong word, but I would have certainly started to taper now. I think that you want to
ease your foot off the accelerator slowly to avoid the risk of having to slam the brakes later on.
If you slam the brakes, you risk not only a major financial accident, but also you risk a recession. I don't understand, for example, Richard, why
the Fed needs to buy $40 billion of mortgages every month when the housing market is so hot that it has priced people out of it. I simply don't
understand why we are stuck to emergency measures when the emergency has passed when it comes to certain aspects of the financial markets.
QUEST: They are focusing, as you know, on the unemployment or the employment side of their mandate. If I listen to you -- you know, you are
being very direct, which is great in a sense that I am left in no doubt where you stand.
But I have such respect for your views that I am now starting to get worried about the future economic direction because if you're right, then
they are going to be facing a much harder touch to the brakes in another year, 18 months.
EL-ERIAN: Correct. So, the context we should think of this is the simple equation. Benefits, cost and risks. It is not clear what the benefits are
at this point. You can't fix the labor market by increasing demand. We have plenty of demand in the system. It's about labor force participation. It's
about skill mismatches. Even some people argue it's about the unemployment benefits. That's not things that demand handles.
And then look at the cost and risks. We are encouraging excessive risk taking. We are increasing wealth inequality. We are distorting market
pricing and, therefore, misallocating resources. And I'm not the only one who feels that way. There are more and more people who are scratching their
head and thinking, why is the Fed so insistent on keeping the pedal to the metal with all of this risk?
EL-ERIAN: I think we know what the answer is, it is because there's been two occasions when they tried to taper that the markets immediately made
them do a very embarrassing U-turn, and they don't want to go there. But the consequence of not going there may be worse down the road.
QUEST: Mohamed El-Erian, it is good to see you, sir. I hope you're having as good a summer as anybody can have in these situations, but I'm grateful
you've talked to us tonight. Good to see you, as always. Thank you.
EL-ERIAN: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: Now the political turmoil has returned to the birthplace of the Arab Spring. The protest in Tunisia, this time following what some people are
calling an attempted coup. It's QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." Start of a new week.
QUEST: The U.N. is urging protesters in Tunisia to refrain from violence. Now, the President sacked the Prime Minister and suspended its Parliament.
Now, some Tunisians, like those you are looking at now, cheered the decision. Others calling it a power grab, even an attempted coup.
Tunisia, of course, is the birthplace of the Arab Spring and has been facing severe financial problems. The economy shrank 8.8 percent last year
and that has continued this. Economists do expect a recovery later in the year supported by the impact of better weather on the agriculture sector.
Ben Wedeman is in Beirut. So, Ben, I realize it is way more complicated than the simplicity of which my question will be.
But is it because the Prime Minister had done something wrong and deserved to be sacked or the power grab attempted coup?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it is complicated, keeping in mind, Richard that the 2014 constitution shares
executive power between the President and the Prime Minister and Parliament. So that's an immediate recipe for a rather messy power equation
between the three. The President normally under this constitution deals with foreign policy and the military.
But there's a very big economic equation. Tunisia is currently engaged in talks with the IMF for a $4 billion loan. The economy has been in bad shape
going back many years really to the beginning of the Arab Spring in January 2011. To his supporters.
WEDEMAN: To his supporters, Tunisian President Kais Saied is a hero. Out in the streets of the capital Tunis, shortly after announcing he was sacking
the Prime Minister, and suspending Parliament for 30 days. Locked out of Parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi said the President's decisions are in
essence a coup. Ghannouchi also leads the country's largest political party. Tunisia is now deep in turmoil.
Ten years ago, it was the first Arab country to topple its aging dictator, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in what became known as the Arab Spring, which
brought down autocrats also in Egypt, Yemen and Libya and drew Libya and Syria, each into a decade of war. In Tunisia, hopes were high that an era
of democracy was finally dominant. And Democracy did dawn, messy, chaotic and divisive. What didn't come with democracy was prosperity.
Saddled with debt left behind by the dictatorship, the economy stagnated. Made worse by one of Africa's severest COVID outbreaks. Kais Saied, a law
professor and political independent came to power in a landslide election two years ago. But since then, he clashed with the Prime Minister now
sacked and with Parliament. The Arab Spring began in Tunisia, in perhaps there, it will end. Liberty and freedom are wonderful, but you can't beat
WEDEMAN: And this evening, the President went on television again in Tunisia. He insisted that this is not a coup, that he's acting, according
to the constitution. But increasingly, there are concerns that Tunisia, which was presented as at least politically, the only success story from
the -- from the Arab Spring may not be such a success, after all.
QUEST: But it's very difficult to see the way out of this one. Bearing in mind the, you know, the support that the P.M. had, or has still, the
principle upon which the President is standing by sacking the Prime Minister. It's very difficult for the President to go back.
WEDEMAN: Yes, indeed. In fact, if you just look at the basic facts of what he's done in the last 24 hours, it smells like a coup. It looks like a
coup, despite his denials, but not unlike the situation in Egypt in the summer of 2013 when there was a very popular military coup d'etat on the
basis of economic dissatisfaction from the population. This is sort of what's playing out in Tunisia. People are fed up with a stagnant economy
that's gotten much worse as a result of the restrictions that came about from the COVID pandemic.
And they are looking for somebody to sort of take them out of this dark tunnel of economic hopelessness. And therefore, it may end up being a
repeat of what happened in Egypt, perhaps without the overt military aspect of it. Richard?
QUEST: Ben Wedeman, thank you, sir. A day four of the Tokyo games. Japan is celebrating its youngest ever gold medal winner, 13-year-old Momiji Nishiya
and she won her medal skateboarding. Makes one of the youngest Olympic champions in history. The U.S. team won the men's four by 100-meter
freestyle relay, swimming. There they are, and how about this worth the bell. After 100 years of trying the Philippines has won its first gold
QUEST: Hidilyn Diaz won for the women's weightlifting. On the medal table, the hosts are certainly Japan, topping the he table with eight gold medals
overall. Female athletes are standing against the revealing uniforms that they're frequently required to wear when they compete. And that includes
the Olympic Games. The German women's gymnastics team didn't wear bikini costumes instead chose these full body suits. Perfectly legal and
They're calling it a statement against the sports sexualization. And it follows Norway's beach handball team that was fined almost $1800 for
improper clothing at the European championship games. Now they wore this fetching shorts, very similar. And I imagine they meet the same
requirements as the men's. No more than four centimeters and below the knee -- instead of bikini bottoms.
The singer Pink is offering to pay their fines. I'm very proud of the Norwegian female humble team for testing what she called the sexual rules
about the uniform. Adding the European Handball Federation should be fine for sexism. Kare Geir Lio joins me from Tokyo. The president of the
Norwegian Handball Federation. I can see -- I mean, you know, this is really set everybody alight, hasn't it?
When you sent or when the team went out to play in those shorts, you knew fines were going to be coming? What did you think they were going to do?
KARE GEIR LIO, PRESIDENT, NORWEGIAN HANDBALL FEDERATION: I didn't exactly know. But we knew that the fines would come and we were ready to take it.
That was the situation. Now the various Federation say that you have alerted them that you're going to come to them with proposals for a change in uniform. But so far, and I
quote, we've heard nothing from you. They've heard nothing from you.
LIO: That's not correct. That first letter from our organization, the Norwegian Handball Federation that came in 2005. We send a new letter in
2009. But now we have together with the EHF, we had -- we had a motion on the Congress there and they supported us to make a change. And on the IHF
Congress in November, there will be a motion.
QUEST: Do you think -- bearing in mind what we see with the Germans quite legitimately and legally doing in the full leotards and what your team
does, there's more to it, isn't it? I mean, essentially, essentially, when they are on the court, that is their equivalent of my studio, it is the
equivalent of everybody else's office. It is their place of work, and they should not be sexualized in what they were in their place of work.
LIO: No, that's right. We want -- we want flexibility. And we want the women to have the right to choose a clothing that is comfortable and allow
them to perform at the highest level. That's the most important thing for us. There should be several alternatives. I think that would be nice also
for the sport.
QUEST: Do you think the Federation looks out of touch? I said, not you, out of touch and stupid to a find them. Even though we know they probably have
no choice because that's what the rules say. But they didn't seem to work very hard to find a way around it. And they are the ones who are now have a
tremendous P.R. problem against them.
LIO: I don't think it was a very wise to finance. But I think the IHF will find solutions now. So this problem will be solved next year.
QUEST: How's Tokyo? Finally give me a feel. Is there a feeling of Olympic Games? Now bearing in mind, we've all been, you know, talking about the
down into this, into that and the problems. Is there a feeling for you, sir, that these are the Olympics?
LIO: Are we sure -- we sure miss the audience. I think -- but the sport is going well. The systems are functioning very well. Everything's OK with us.
But we will surely miss the audience. The people, the crowd, the noise. The -- yes. But the Japanese are doing very, very well to fix this in a good
way. And hopefully on television. It's OK for the -- for the people all around the world.
QUEST: Brilliant to watch. People doing their best. Sir, I'm grateful you've given us time. Thank you. I'm going to show you the markets.
QUEST: -- how we've just -- we've got -- there we are. So we're records across the board again because they're -- we were records on Friday.
Therefore, we are records now even though by the smallest amount. Look a quick, look at the Dow 30 and how the actual -- the makeup of that result
and how it's trading. Good sets of green. The green is much healthier and bigger numbers than the red. Hence the reason the Dow is up.
QUEST: I'll be back at the top of the hour. Together we will make a dash for the closing bell with records all round. Coming up next, Living Golf
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. Together, we're going to have a dash to the closing bell. And that is two and a half minutes from now. China's
regulatory crackdown on education companies has caught investors by surprise. Stock markets in Asia were mostly lower. The Nikkei managed to
eke up a gain. But as you can see one percent. The Dow dipped early in the trading day. There has been a recovery and we are near the session highs.
Now for the Dow, I need you for all three of the major indices. Anything positive does set a new closing record. The triple stack shows now that we
won't have it on the NASDAQ. Well, we might do. We're still got a minute and a half to go. A flat day on Wall Street. None of the averages are that
much. And well, now the NASDAQ is really -- let's not forecast that. The White House says the U.S. will remain shut to tourists from the E.U., U.K.
and China for the foreseeable future.
The news dashes, hopes of a transatlantic travel bubble before the end of the summer. I spoke to Roger Dow, the President and CEO of the U.S. Travel
Association, who says he's been working with the Biden administration and was caught off guard by today's announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ROGER DAO, PRESIDENT AND CEO, U.S. TRAVEL ASSOCIATION: Quite frankly, this was a surprise announcement to us. We thought it was moving in another
direction. It's extremely disappointing. And Richard, they've got to get a date specific. You got to work towards something. I mean, we should try and
be saying we're going to open up by September 1st and then work like the dickens.
We have to move at fine. But to put planes back on, for people playing, you just can't play this game of kick the can, kick the can down the road.
We've got to open up these economies. It's devastating to so many people and in more ways than one.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Two insurance giants have scrapped their plans for a $30 billion merger a month after the Justice Department in the U.S. sued to block the
deal on the grounds of antitrust. The deal would have been Aon and Willis Towers Watson.
Their shares moving in opposite directions. You can see that shows you how the market viewed it as a benefit and a loss. And a final look at the Dow
30 and the Dow overall to show you that we will have a record on the major markets.
There's more green than red obviously. And the gains on the green are much larger. Dow is at the top, Amgen is at the bottom. That's the dash to the
bell. I'm Richard Quest. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead. I hope it's profitable. The closing bell is ringing. Jake Tapper and "THE LEAD" is