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Quest Means Business
Biden Speaks on Fixing Supply Chain Turmoil; Several People Killed in Norway after Bow and Arrow Rampage; Russia Says Delivering Maximum Gas Possible Under Current Contracts; Shatner and Crew Lift Off in Historic Space Trip; Call to Earth: Huancavelica; Major U.S. Ports to Run 24/7 to Tackle Container Logjam. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired October 13, 2021 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And the President of the International Longshoremen's Union, Willie Adams.
Los Angeles and Long Beach are home to two of the largest ports in America. And, together, these ports are among the largest in the world. And the best
way to make that point is that 40 percent, 40 percent of shipping containers that we import into this country come through these two ports.
And, today, we have some good news. We're going to help speed up the delivery of goods all across America. After weeks of negotiation and
working with my team and with the major union, retailers and freight movers, the ports of Los Angeles -- the Port of Los Angeles announced today
that it's going to begin operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
This follows the Port of Long Beach's commitment to 24/7 that it announced just weeks ago, 24/7 system, what most of the leading countries in the
world already operate on now, except us, until now. This is the first key step toward moving our entire freight, transportation and logistical supply
chain nationwide to a 24/7 system.
And here's why it matters. Traditionally, our ports have only been open during the week, Monday through Friday, and they're generally closed down
at nights and on weekends. By staying open seven days a week, through the night and on the weekends, the Port of Los Angeles will open -- over 60
extra hours a week will be open.
In total, that will almost double the number of hours that the port is open for business from earlier this year. That means an increase in the hours
for workers to be moving cargo off ships on to trucks and rail cars to get to their destination. And more than that, the night hours are critical for
increasing the movement of goods, because highways, highways are less crowded in the evening, at night.
In fact, during off-peak hours in Los Angeles, cargo leaves the port at a 25 percent faster pace than during the day shift. So, by increasing the
number of late-night hours of operation and opening up for less crowded hours, when the goods can move faster, today's announcement has the
potential to be a game-changer.
I say potential, because all of these goods won't move by themselves. For the positive impact to be felt all across the country and by all of you at
home, we need major retailers who order the goods and the freight movers who take the goods from the ships, to factories and stores to step up as
These private sector companies are the ones that hire the trucks and rail cars and move the goods. On this score, we have some good news to report as
well. Today, Walmart, our nation's largest retailer, is committing to go all in on moving its products 24/7 from the ports to their stores
Specifically, Walmart is committing as much as a 50 percent increase in the use of off-peak hours over the next several weeks. Additionally, FedEx and
UPS, two of our nation's biggest freight movers, are committing today to significantly increase the amount of goods they're moving at night.
FedEx and UPS are the shippers for some of our nation's largest stores, but they also ship for tens of thousands of small businesses all across
America. Their commitment to go all in on 24/7 operations means that businesses of all sizes will get their goods on shelves faster and more
Accordingly, according to one estimate, together, FedEx and UPS alone move up to 40 percent of packages in America, up to 40 percent. And other
companies are stepping up as well. They include Target, Home Depot, and Samsung, that have all committed to ramp up their committees and utilize
off-peak hours at the ports.
So the commitments being made today are a sign of major progress in moving goods from manufacturers to a store or to your front door. I want to thank
my Supply Chain Disruption Task Force, which we set up in June, led by Secretaries Buttigieg, Raimondo and Vilsack and by my director of National
Economic Council, Brian Deese.
And I want to thank them for their leadership. And I especially want to thank Joe Porcari. And I think Joe has done a great job, my special envoy
specifically on ports, who has been working this issue with all the stakeholders the past several weeks.
I also want to thank the port directors. I want to Gene and Mario again, and the mayors of Los Angeles and Long Beach, Mayor Garcetti and Mayor
Garcia, for their leadership.
And I think the private companies that are stepping up, I want to thank them, thank them, but I particularly want to thank labor, Willie Adams of
the longshoremen's and warehouses union, who is here today, the Teamsters, the rail unions from the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, and the
Association of Machinists, to the American Train Dispatchers Association, to Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, known as SMART. I
want to be clear, this is across-the-board commitment to going to
Twenty-four seven -- that is big first step in speeding up the movement of materials and goods through our supply chain. But now we need the rest of
the private sector chain to step up as well.
This is not called a supply chain for nothing. This means that terminal operators, railways, trucking companies, shippers, and other retailers as
Strengthening our supply chain will continue to be my team's focus. If federal support is needed, I will direct all appropriate action. And if the
private sector doesn't step up, we're going to call them out and ask them to act, because our goal is not only to get through this immediate
bottleneck, but to address the longstanding weaknesses in our transportation supply chain that this pandemic has exposed, I might add
parenthetically one of the reasons why I think it's very important that we get the infrastructure plan passed, my infrastructure plan.
And that supply chain system is almost entirely in the hands of private business. The world has changed. Prior to the crisis, we cheered the focus
on lean, efficient supply chains, leaving no buffer or margin for error when it comes to certain parts arriving just in time as needed to make a
RICHARD QUEST, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: President Biden there on the supply chain remedies that he is introducing.
CNN's Josh Campbell is at the Port of Los Angeles where the ships are lining up outside.
Josh Campbell, this idea that the port is going 24 hours. When I heard this originally, I raised an eyebrow that it wasn't already 24 hours. I had
always assume that a port like this would be going seven days a week.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. That's been one of the big questions here is the business model that exists today, and we
actually spoke with the CEO of the Port of Long Beach, which is one of the ports behind me here who said that this crisis has been long in the making,
especially in this new era. He calls it the Amazon economy where people are constantly buying things 24-7.
The fact that America's ports have not caught up with that certainly concerning, but this news from the Biden administration that both of these
ports behind me, which by the way, supply 40 percent of all incoming shipping to the United States, they will now move in these round-the-clock
What that also means is good news for America's trucking industry. They face a shortage of workers, but behind me, what you can't see behind some
of these ships, lines and lines of truckers who are just sitting idle.
Now truckers get paid by the mile, they have to be in motion in order to earn a living. But so many of these have been sitting here idle, just
waiting for their truck to receive one of these containers so they can move these goods throughout the United States.
Moving into this 24-7 operation means we will see more trucks moving out of here, not just from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. the way it's been, but
overnight, churning out these goods, trying to clear off this backlog -- Richard.
QUEST: Josh, what is the fundamental reason why this whole thing has broken down? From the Los Angeles and the Long Beach point of view, what do they
say is the reason why?
CAMPBELL: Well, White House officials say there are two reasons First, Americans are simply buying more goods. If you look at the first quarter of
2021, there was a 39 percent increase in the number of goods purchased compared to the same time last year, so the demand is very, very high here.
But also what we're told is that a lot of the factories in Asia that supply Americans with so many goods are just now coming back online after they
themselves saw these significant disruptions because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So both the demand and now with the supply that's why we're seeing all of these goods continue to line up here in the Pacific with these ships out on
anchor, of course, that raises the larger question, how could no one have seen this coming especially with people coming out of a pandemic, we knew
that American consumers would start buying more, but it appears though is that authorities were not ready for it.
QUEST: Thank you, Josh Campbell in the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
Moody says the supply chain disruptions are going to get worse before they get better. There's a perfect storm at play here.
First of all, pent up demand that Josh was talking about, more orders are being placed since we had -- during lockdown, and since lockdown. COVID
restrictions are a reality for many workers in ports, where the factories have been temporary closed due to COVID outbreaks.
According to Moody's, the weakest link of all is the trucker shortage. Haulage companies struggling to hire drivers and then getting the
containers off the ships takes even longer.
Marco Tronchetti Provera is the Chief Executive of Pirelli. He joins me from Milan tonight. Sir, glad to have you. I can imagine that you are both
-- you are both sides of this supply chain issue, aren't you? Because on the one hand, you have raw materials and things coming into you, and then
you have the problem of getting your finished tires and products out the other side to your customers. How bad is it getting?
MARCO TRONCHETTI PROVERA, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, PIRELLI: Oh, I think this is a problem for everyone. So, we are coping with this, thanks to the fact that
we have placed our plants in every region of the world and we play local for local. So, we have a supply chain that is local, and we deliver locally
in Asia, in Europe, in Latin America, and U.S., this is reducing the effect on our supply chain, on our sales.
We are really conditioned to offer to our customers the service. Now, we are held by a problem, because the shortage of semiconductor is, let's say
reducing the demand from the car makers. So the availability for the replacement tires is there. The demand will come back from the car makers,
I think, the whole sector will be under stress.
QUEST: The one thing that is now very clear, is the complexity of this issue. And I think you beautifully raised that, you know, to your advantage
is the fact that semiconductors are having an even bigger problem, and therefore car makers are slowing down. And I wonder what is it that you
need from regulators and government and policy to ease the pressures?
PROVERA: I think that one of the main issue is logistics in all this stuff, and something you cannot solve short term. This is investment in
infrastructures. I mean, there is no answer. The answer is on the price side for energy where regulators have to help people and companies not to
be affected too much by the energy issue which is in Europe. The important issue, it is also in Asia. That is one point.
But for what concerns the supply chain, I think we have just to, let's say, cope with the wave of demand and the lack of supply I think in few months,
we'll be back on track.
QUEST: Turning to climate issues, the G20 and the G7, we've now got COP 26 about to start in Glasgow by the end of the month. You've obviously put
forward your own plans and you have your own ECG policies. I want to know from you, what do you hope the policymakers decide in Glasgow? What for you
is a good outcome?
PROVERA: A good outcome is to be realistic, to put pressure on CO2 emission, to continue to put pressure on it, but to have this transition
handled properly without excesses, because if we want to accelerate too much, we make a mess.
What we need is to make a deep analysis on the existing situation where for instance in Europe, much have been done and the speed of transition has to
be made accordingly with resources. Otherwise, there will be a mismatching and everybody will suffer from it.
So I think, be realistic and continue by the high speed towards the transition not exceeding in any direction.
QUEST: Marco Tronchetti Provera, I'm grateful for your time. Thank you, sir.
It's CNN Breaking News now, from Norway. Police there say several people have been killed by a man with a bow and arrow. It's in the town of
Kongsberg, that's about an hour's drive from the Capitol in Oslo.
The police say the attacker has been caught and several other people have been injured. Police were unable to give specific numbers or say whether
this was a terrorist incident. As we get more details, we'll bring them to you. This is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Glad you're with us.
QUEST: Russia's President Vladimir Putin is blaming Europe's energy crisis on its markets, its consumers, even U.S. natural gas suppliers, indeed
anybody, but Russia. President Putin said Russia is meeting all its contractual obligations. He was speaking at a Moscow energy conference, and
he rejected the idea that Russia was using energy supplies as a weapon. He said his country was willing to talk about increasing production.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): Russia flawlessly fulfills its contractual obligations to our partners, including
our partners in Europe. We ensure guaranteed uninterrupted gas deliveries to Europe. We have all the reasons to believe that by the end of this year,
we will reach record levels of gas deliveries to the global market.
Moreover, we always strive to meet our partners halfway. We are prepared to discuss any additional steps.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: And also on the electricity market, prices are up to 200 percent in Europe compared to 2019, largely because of reliance on LNG natural gas.
The E.U. Commissioner for Energy is Kadri Simson and he says, soaring energy prices are a wake-up call to shift away from fossil fuels.
Dr. Fatih Birol is the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, told Julia Chatterley accelerating the transition would help solve
the world's energy and climate challenges.
DR. FATIH BIROL, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY: Looking at the challenges we have in front of us, both energy challenges and
climate challenges, we need to accelerate our efforts in terms of the solar, wind, electric cars and other clean energy technologies.
Otherwise, we may well see A, more turbulence in the energy markets as we are experiencing now. And B, we may well be short of reaching our climate
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: You're talking about a tripling of green energy investment by 2030, and the key statistic for me
in this report is that 70 percent of that investment has to be done by emerging markets, and many of those countries have already faced huge
challenges in COVID. There needs to be support from elsewhere in the world, surely to allow them to ramp up investment.
BIROL: It is true. I mean, the -- first of all, when we will look at the world, we don't have lack of capital. There is enough money, and I believe
money capital will meet the clean energy projects sooner or later in North America and in Europe. But the issue is, bulk of the growth of emissions
will come from the emerging countries in the future.
And today, only a tiny bit, 20 percent of these clean energy investments are going to emerging countries. So therefore, my hope, my expectation is,
for example, in the upcoming Climate Summit in Glasgow, there will be some international architecture mechanism so that the rich countries provide
some catalyst money for the clean energy investments in emerging countries.
And it is even in the benefits of the -- in the interests of the rich countries, because emissions going into the atmosphere from Jakarta, or
from Detroit, or from Stockholm, or from Johannesburg, it has the same effect on everybody.
QUEST: Clare Sebastian is with me. Clare, on this question, and there is systemic and there is cyclical, we've talked about before. One of the
systemic issues is that as we move away from coal, as you move away from coal, we move to LNG that pushes up the price of liquid natural gas.
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Richard, as you say, systemic and cyclical. I think the problem at the moment is that there are
a collision of competing interests, right?
So we have all these climate targets. We have COP 26 in November, but we also have huge surge in prices, and a shortage of energy in some quarters.
That's why you see the likes of the IEA telling Russia to pump more gas, the U.S. telling OPEC to produce more oil, China, firing up coal plants,
after having told them to stop producing coal or reduce producing coal to meet its climate targets.
We have things slightly in reverse at the moment, because people are very worried about what they're going to do in the short term with the lack of
energy and that is symptomatic of what we could see going forward.
There was a call to arms today from the IEA, not just about meeting those climate targets, but about managing this transition so we don't get these
very volatile spikes in price energy, of course, it is cyclical, but made even worse by a transition. They are calling on people to really look at
how they manage in the short term, investing in clean energy so there isn't a shortfall, as they reduce fossil fuels.
QUEST: We, meaning, everybody, we've got this wrong. I mean, the fact -- the problem surely is that the pandemic isn't a once in a lifetime event,
and that in itself has almost like World War II effects. Nothing is the same after, as before -- supply chain, the way we buy online, the amount
that we need, the amount of fuel, the ramp up, the office space, all of these things won't be the same.
SEBASTIAN: Right, and I think there are two things about the pandemic, Richard. One, that it showed us really what happens at the extremes of the
energy market. The huge ramp down that we saw when energy demand cratered, and economies shut down. And what happened now that things are surging
back. This is volatility to the extreme.
And as one E.U. official put it today, it's a wake-up call as to what can happen as we go into this transition. But secondly, I think, you know,
there are those who are saying this is an opportunity to do it better going forward now that we see that there's a sort of Zeitgeist around investing
in emerging markets, for example, that there's a push to try to accelerate that when it comes to clean energy and a sustainable energy future for
these economies. This is something that the I.M.F. has also called for this week.
So, I think on the one hand, the pandemic exacerbates the challenges that we're seeing, but on the other hand, I think it sort of creates momentum
when it comes to the investments that are needed here.
QUEST: Clare Sebastian, thank you.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has invested tens of billions of euros in more than 2,000 projects as part of its green
I'm joined now by Odile Renaud-Basso. She is the President of the EBRD. Good to have you, Madam President. I don't need a list of the big and great
projects. I do need to understand how difficult it is for the EBRD and for your clients in the post pandemic world with the energy crisis we are
ODILE RENAUD-BASSO, PRESIDENT, EBRD: I think, indeed, the post pandemic world is not an easy world, but we see a very strong rebound, and I think
that's the positive element of it. After a big shock, and the closure of all economies, we see now a very dynamic rebound, which is, in a way at the
origin of the big spike in energy prices.
So there is, I mean, that's a strong -- the strength of the rebound and the fact that economies -- most economies are likely recovering from the big
slowdown, this is a very positive news. Of course, there are some vulnerabilities ahead of us. One is, I mean, the impact of energy prices
and risk on inflation. The other one is the fact that all economies are not rebounding at the same pace. Some countries have more people more
vaccinated than others that just creates some vulnerabilities and some have also more margin of maneuver to continue to support in case of need in
So I think there are some disparities and inequalities across countries. But overall, still we see some positive news concerning the magnitude of
QUEST: One sort of issue is the very purpose of the EBRD, and I mean, I'm looking back sort of -- it opens in 1991, what -- 30 years ago with Jacques
Attali who we remember. What purpose does the EBRD serve today that in the multilateral financing environment, why are you still around?
Surely, there are other ways of private finance that doesn't require sort of an institution like the EBRD, the ABD, the Asia Development Bank, and
all these development banks?
RENAUD-BASSO: No, I think we are in countries where you need multilateral development banks and our kind of financing in order to attract other
private sector investors, in order to accompany the countries in transforming and reforming the economies, opening capital of public banks,
for example, or public companies, ensuring that the legal framework is conducive for private sector investment and so forth.
So for example, we are intervening a lot in Central Asia, in countries like Ukraine, Caucasus, Western Balkans, Maghreb countries, North Africa --
these are countries where --
QUEST: Hang on. Ma'am, it's the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development. I mean, where is your border for where you stop?
RENAUD-BASSO: I mean, we are working in the European neighborhood in 38 countries. It has been, as you mentioned, progressively expanding, because
it was considered that having an MDB - Mutual Development Bank like the EBRD focusing on the private sector was very relevant and need to support
the development of the countries.
And we are European also because we have a group in our name and also related to the fact that we have a majority of European shareholders, while
we are a mutual institution, your pension holders represent more than half of the capital.
So -- and I see that the climate challenge we are facing, working between the public sector and the private sector in order to develop private sector
project. I mean, bankable project for private sector investments will be very important in the coming years, this is what we are doing in the
countries in which we intervene in.
QUEST: Good. We'll talk more as we go through COP 26, and I'm looking forward to being able to meet and talk to you face to face once, of course,
COVID allows these things to happen.
Thank you for joining me, I appreciate it.
RENAUD-BASSO: Thank you very much.
QUEST: QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. He finally managed to go where no "Star Trek" actor had gone before. William Shatner gets his wings, a historic trip into
QUEST: Hello, I'm Richard Quest. Together we have a lot more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. You'll hear new comments from William Shatner, who just returned
from his first trip to space, and the chief exec of Columbia Sportswear will talk with me and we'll talk about supply chain issues affecting the
As we continue, this is CNN and, on this network, the facts always come first.
QUEST (voice-over): Police in Norway say several people have been killed by a man with a bow and an arrow. It happened in Kongsberg, an hour's drive
or so from the capital, Oslo. They say the attacker has been caught. Several people are injured. The police were unable to give specific numbers
or say whether this is a terrorist incident.
China is defending its military drills near Taiwan, calling them necessary to protect national sovereignty. They released this video, showing recent
assault drills in a province directly across the sea from Taiwan.
China has made repeated incursions into Taiwan Air Defense Identification Zone. And Taiwan said it won't bow to China's threats.
Same with China, it is getting ready to test thousands of blood bank samples taken in late 2019 in the city of Wuhan to learn about the origins
of COVID-19. International health experts say the blood could contain vital clues about how the virus passed to humans and urging China to keep the
process transparent and to allow outside observers.
U.S. is set to release some COVID travel restrictions with Canada and Mexico that had been in place for more than 18 months. From next month,
fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to cross U.S. land borders. By January, vaccinations will be required for all visitors, even for essential
The E.U. is inviting the U.K. government to earnestly engage as it proposes large scale changes into how goods are moved from Great Britain to Northern
Ireland in response to difficulties that people in the north of Ireland are experiencing following Brexit. The E.U. says the move is essential for
maintaining peace and stability.
QUEST: William Shatner, Captain Kirk, was never a space traveler. He said he'd gone there many times and he played it on TV. Well, today he followed
famous Captain Kirk's footsteps. There is no script, no special effects, a real trip to the final frontier.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST (voice-over): William Shatner was blasted away with three others on the New Shepard spacecraft. It took them to the edge of space 100
kilometers up and propelled 90-year-old Shatner into history. He's the oldest person to go to space.
When he got back to Earth, he thanked the man, Jeff Bezos, who made his 10- minute trip of a lifetime possible.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WILLIAM SHATNER, ACTOR AND ASTRONAUT: What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I'm so filled with emotion about what
just happened. I just -- it's extraordinary, extraordinary.
I hope I never recover from this. I hope that I can maintain what I feel now. I don't want to lose it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now this was a lovely, touching and emotional moment amid a recent flurry of negative headlines about Blue Origin.
It lost several senior executives and employees after Elon Musk's SpaceX won a key NASA contract and nearly 2 dozen current and former employees are
accusing Blue Origin of having a dehumanizing and sexist workplace environment.
"The Washington Post," which Bezos owns, has done much of the reporting on all of this. The negative headlines have Bezos feeling somewhat defensive.
He recently tweeted out an old "Barron's" cover that proclaimed Amazon to be a bomb.
And said, "Don't let anybody tell you who you are."
Musk responded with a snarky tweet and a silver medal emoji.
CNN's Kristin Fisher is near Blue Origin's launch site, one in Van Horn, Texas, joins me now.
So let's deal first of all with Captain Kirk and that and then we could talk a little bit more about Jeff Bezos. I mean, you couldn't write it. You
could -- if you were scripting it, it couldn't be better.
KRISTIN FISHER, CNN SPACE & DEFENSE CORRESPONDENT: It was the most compelling case for space tourism that I've ever heard, right. There has
been so much backlash against these billionaire space barons over the last few weeks, folks accusing them of just going on joyrides and spending
things, to build up their egos and not solve problems here on Earth.
But there is a case to be made to better humankind for space tourism. And William Shatner today made it better than anyone else I've ever heard. And
one of the things he said, was he said, "Everybody in the world needs to see it."
And so when I had a chance to talk to him just a few minutes ago, I asked him, what is it exactly, what is it that everyone needs to see?
Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SHATNER: Everybody in the world needs to have the philosophical understanding of what we're doing to Earth. And you hear this so often, the
necessity of cleaning our Earth and stopping right now the apocalypse that's coming our way.
But until you're up there and you see the blackness, the starkness, the ugliness from our point of view -- of course, space is filled with mystery
and all that and cosmos, people who have studied the universe will shudder at what I'm saying -- but in that moment is blackness and death.
And this moment down here, as we look down, was life and nurturing. That's what everybody needs to know.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
FISHER: So William Shatner really contemplating the most profound questions to humanity during those precious four minutes of weightlessness
that he just received and got to experience.
And really talking about just how he saw the blueness of Earth, all that life has to offer right there and contrasted it with just the blackness,
the death of outer space, as he described it. It was powerful stuff, a powerful monologue from the desert floor -- Richard.
QUEST: Now to Jeff Bezos. I mean, I fully get why you want Captain Kirk to go to space. And the argument he has advanced and the eloquence with which
he has done it, he has acquitted that purpose par excellence.
But Jeff Bezos is under criticism at the moment, isn't he?
FISHER: No question about it. Look, this was a brilliant PR move. This was a private company, Blue Origin, this was a brilliant PR move.
But make no mistake, I mean, Blue Origin is facing a lot of good press right now but also a lot of bad press. Just two weeks ago, you had 21
current and former Blue Origin employees sign on to this essay, describing what they say is a toxic workplace environment.
They described a place that is not friendly to female employees; the aerospace engineering field not known to be all that inclusive to women,
though it is getting better. But they also raised concerns about safety.
FISHER: And these are the issues that Blue Origin really pushed back against. They say that they have a stellar safety record.
But, Richard, the FAA is reviewing these safety concerns. They believe that any kind of allegation like this needs to be taken seriously. And so, no
question, Blue Origin really hoping that William Shatner's shine might, you know, overshine some of the negative press that they've been getting.
QUEST: Good to have you there. Thank you.
QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: as we continue, Peruvian farmers on a mission to protect potatoes in the Andes and protect the Earth, that wonderful blue
Earth that William Shatner was waxing lyrical about. Before we destroy it, Call to Earth will hope to make things better.
QUEST: More than 75 percent of the crop varieties grown a century ago are now believed to be extinct because of some of the (INAUDIBLE) monoculture
(ph) farming. So on this week's "Call to Earth," we need to look at how traditional foods could protect the planet as well as human food security.
Our story that we're proud and privileged to bring you is from the Peruvian Andes, where more than 4,000 varieties of potatoes are grown.
ESPERANZA GABRIEL, POTATO CUSTODIAN (through translator): I can't let them be forgotten because all the flavors, I know now how to grow them. And in
that way, I can keep the varieties alive.
RAFAEL ROMO, CNN SR. LATIN AFFAIRS EDITOR (voice-over): At the foothills of the central Peruvian Andes lives Esperanza Gabriel. She's a potato
custodian helping to conserve a personal collection of over 300 ancestral potato varieties.
GABRIEL (through translator): This one is from a (INAUDIBLE). Inside it has (INAUDIBLE).
ROMO (voice-over): Stef de Haan from the International Potato Center in Lima, works with hundreds of custodians like Esperanza.
STEF DE HAAN, SENIOR SCIENTIST, INTERNATIONAL POTATO CENTER (voice-over): So you can almost compare them like to coin collectors or to stamp
collectors. They are really important because potato custodians are basically the guardians of the traditional knowledge. And they're also the
guardians of the diversity itself.
GABRIEL (through translator): Between the two of us, we have been growing these seeds for 20 years, preserving since the day of our wedding, those
from my husband's side and those I inherited.
ROMO (PH) (voice-over): There are about 4,000 varieties of native potato in the world and most of them are grown in the Andes, while only a handful
are available in supermarkets around the world.
DE HAAN (voice-over): If we don't preserve the whole genetic base of these potatoes, it would basically mean that we have no options in the future to
diversify our food system. So we would be highly dependent on very few varieties and it would make us extremely vulnerable.
ROMO (PH) (voice-over): Climate change is threatening global agriculture systems, making this kind of diversity an insurance policy for our future
DE HAAN (voice-over): The Andean farmers, why they grow potatoes is very risky because there is a lot of disease pressure. There is a lot of hail.
There is a lot of frost and basically growing these potatoes together in mixtures is a risk avoidance strategy.
ROMO (PH) (voice-over): For Esperanza, the motivation is not only protecting diversity but the simple desire to feed her family.
GABRIEL (through translator): We grow potatoes to eat and also for selling as well. And we keep them in storage for us to use throughout the year.
ROMO (PH) (voice-over): A traditional local dish is pachamanca. The potatoes are steamed underground with hot stones.
DE HAAN (voice-over): You could say that the Andean farmers are really the connoisseurs, are the sommeliers of the potatoes.
GABRIEL (through translator): My mother taught me. Now I want to teach my daughters so that they can continue cultivating the varieties.
ROMO (PH) (voice-over): Potato custodians have been protecting seeds for centuries. For Stef de Haan, valuing traditional agriculture is the only
way to ensure biodiversity will evolve and remain available to future generations.
DE HAAN (voice-over): As soon as you put a potato in a gene bank, it becomes something static. To the farmers, it is really something that is
continuously adapting so some things are getting lost; some things are getting added. It is a laboratory that's not managed by scientists.
But it's a laboratory that is basically more than 10,000 years of evolution in the hands of farmers.
QUEST: Wonderful. Some of those potatoes, would love to try. And we'll continue to showcase that sort of exactly inspirational and environmental
stories that we adore to bring to you as part of this initiative at CNN. You're doing your own part. Tell me, with the #CallToEarth.
QUEST: Our top story, President Biden says two West Coast ports will stay open around the clock in a move to clear supply chain bottlenecks. A senior
White House official already warned Reuters there will be things people can't get for the holidays because of the issues. The CEO of Columbia
Sportswear, Tim Boyle, is with me.
Tim, is that what you need to help you, the ports being open 24 hours a day?
Will that make a difference?
TIM BOYLE, CEO, COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR: Well, I hope so. Most ports around the world are open 24/7 and it is a bit of a surprise that the one in Los
Angeles and Long Beach is not.
But anything that can move goods, I think would be an important step in the right direction. And there will be another bottleneck somewhere. But we
have to keep knocking these things down as we find them to get the streaming of our products and the products of others to consumers.
QUEST: So to the extent that you import from ASEAN, Southeast Asia, Vietnam in particular, and then you distribute globally and particularly
through the United States, do you feel helpless to be able to deal with these issues that are much greater than one company can deal with?
BOYLE: Yes, you know, it is -- it's the environment that we're in. You know, the last 20 or 30 years in business, the preaching has always been
about just in time, make sure you don't have too much inventory and you have the proper inventory at the proper time exactly when you need it.
And businesses have adopted that to their benefit. But when you get something like the pandemic, which it erupts even slightly, you ends up
with the ripple effects throughout. And one company like ourselves really can't do anything. We have to rely on others, you know, suppliers to us, of
And then, frankly, the government needs to step in, as the president did, to break these log jams.
QUEST: On this question of sustainable, we had the CEO of Perrelli on the program earlier. He talked about how, out of COP26 in Glasgow, there needs
to be realistic expectations of what is possible rather than silly promises being made.
The difference is though, people don't necessarily fall in love -- the consumer doesn't fall in love with one tire or the other, most cases. But
they do with footwear. They do with things like your product.
So how aware are you that you need to be sympathetic or empathetic with your demands of your consumers?
BOYLE: Well, you know, very much so. Frankly, I'm criticized significantly by employees here at the company for not talking about our emphasis and our
activities on sustainability.
And that is because, as an outdoor company, it is really table stakes for us to be able to be empathetic and be doing significant actions as it
relates to climate change and protecting the environment.
So we spend a lot of time internally on activities around people, places and processes to get ourselves so we could contribute to the reduction of
greenhouse gases. But talking about it through marketing efforts -- and I agree with you, it falls on deaf ears, it is just expected. We have to do
the right thing.
QUEST: What is the right thing?
And at what point in the short term, I accept, long-term, it will improve the bottom line. But short-term, it hits it.
BOYLE: Well, there is a lot of things we can do, even on the margins.
BOYLE: And I would suggest several things that we've worked on as it relates to processes is to help our factories in Asia use less water. And
as it relates to water, make the water cleaner for the families of the employees who work in these factories.
Working together with shipping companies to increase the capacity of containers, meaning we fill them more full so we don't have to have
multiple containers and -- in additional costs.
So there are many, many things we've done and continue to do on the margins to help. And these things will all, over time, help us get to our goals of
an improved climate.
QUEST: Tim, I'm grateful you've taken to time to talk to us from Oregon. Thank you, sir.
Tim Boyle of Columbia.
BOYLE: Thank you.
QUEST: The markets, show you very quickly where we stand just a few moment before we go to -- they are just about even Stevens. I guess that is fine.
But look at the volatility. It is small but it is there. And we'll have a "Profitable Moment" right after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment": if you're like me you raised an eyebrow when you discovered today that the ports of Long Beach and Los
Angeles don't operate 24 hours a day.
Indeed Tim Boyle of Columbia Sportswear raised the same eyebrow. And fact that the U.S. president has to thank everybody for now going to a level of
service that many ports -- I mean can you imagine ports in the Gulf not being 24 hours a day?
Or those in China shutting off in the afternoon, not even going seven days a week?
Maybe that is a bigger problem for the U.S. commerce and industry. When it comes to supply chains, what I think we're learning is the complexities and
the difficulties that this involves.
We are seeing systemic reasons why supply chains are now under pressure, bought on top of cyclical post pandemic reasons that have made things
worse. It is not going to end quickly because there is a fundamental difference and change taking place in the economy.
That's what is happening globally. And every now and again, it is going to bubble up, burst out, contract and make life very difficult, which is why
it is rather strange to hear these major ports are not, so far, doing all they can.
And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight. I'm Richard Quest in New York. Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I hope it's profitable. The
bell is ringing. The market is done.