Return to Transcripts main page
Quest Means Business
Biden To Sign $1.2 Trillion Infrastructure Bill; Call For Tax On Extreme Wealth Sets off Elon Musk; Standoff At Poland-Belarus Border Intensifying; Americans Brace For More Expensive Thanksgiving Feast; Butterball CEO: We're Experiencing Supply Chain Issues; Government Silences Activists By Blockading Them In Their Homes. Aired 3-4p ET
Aired November 15, 2021 - 15:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: U.S. stocks still in a holding pattern ahead of a big afternoon in Washington. See the board there, that's
as close to flat as you are going to get. Those other markets and these are the main events.
Infrastructure week is finally here in the United States. Joe Biden is about to sign the bill into law. We will take you live to the White House.
Take off the tariffs. Business leaders make a plea to President Biden before his talks with China's Xi Jinping.
And new sanctions are on the way for Belarus. The E.U. takes action over the migrant crisis.
Live from New York, it is Monday, November the 15th. I'm Paula Newton in for Richard Quest, and this is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS.
And good evening, Joe Biden is about to kick off a momentous afternoon at the White House. Any moment now, the U.S. President will sign a $1.2
trillion infrastructure bill that will be made into law. You see them getting ready for that live event right there. We are expecting him to
speak at the White House alongside not just Democrats, but Republicans, too, and of course, top business leaders.
Now, less than a year into his first term, it does in fact, mark a major victory for the President's domestic agenda. Straight after that his
attention, though will turn overseas. In just a few hours, Mr. Biden will hold a virtual Summit, although the White House calls this a meeting with
his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
After a few notorious false starts, though, meantime, under the Trump administration, it is finally infrastructure week in America. With this
bill, there will be big investments in water and power systems, more than $100 billion on roads and bridges, a similar amount for rail and of course,
public transport plus $65 billion for broadband access right across the country.
Now those are, of course, just some of the measures in the bill. We haven't even mentioned the separate social funding bill, which is still trying to
make its way through Congress. That Build Back Better plan could be even bigger than this one.
Phil Mattingly is CNN's senior White House correspondent. And for better or worse, he has been covering it all and trying to follow all of this. Phil,
this received -- if we talk about the Infrastructure Bill -- received bipartisan support, right?
What's in this bill that will materially affect American lives? So, why isn't the Biden administration really getting more forward momentum from
all of this right now?
PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: You know, I think it's because of the legislative morass you kind of hinted at that I've been
covering over the course of the last several months. There has been so much focus on the ups and the downs, the roller coaster, the back and forth,
much of which has been intra-party fighting, not fighting between Republicans and Democrats, but people have kind of lost the forest for the
trees to some degree.
And I think that's why when you talk to White House officials about the import of this moment, the import about the President's remarks that we're
going to hear in about 40 minutes or so, and perhaps more importantly, the fact that Senator Rob Portman, a Republican from Ohio is going to be
speaking before the President, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a moderate Democrat from Arizona will be speaking before the President to try and really hammer
home why this matters, why this $1.2 trillion proposal matters purely through the types of projects that will actually set into place, the jobs
it might be able to create, fixing dilapidated infrastructure that President after President has tried to fix for several years now, and
essentially became a punch line, as you know, in your opening.
And why not just moving on to that nearly $2 trillion second proposal that makes up his $3 trillion domestic agenda is good enough. Why they want to
focus on this, not just today with this bipartisan signing ceremony, but also with the President hitting the road tomorrow in New Hampshire; on
Wednesday, Michigan two key critical battleground states to really talk about what is in this proposal and why it matters, get away from Washington
and the kind of interesting fights that have been defining this administration for the last several months.
NEWTON: Yes, and perhaps quell, you know, people in his party who are already looking at his very low approval ratings and saying, look,
something has to be done ahead of next year's midterms.
Phil, on China. You know, he goes from this event, just a couple of hours later, he'll be taking on Xi Jinping. The White House went completely out
of its way to lower expectations. You and I are used to being played that way. And yet this time, why do I get the sense that they mean it,
especially when they are speaking to America's business community?
MATTINGLY: You know, I think there's a recognition of where the relationship sits right now. Obviously, it's at a very tenuous moment. It's
in probably as bad a place as it has been over the course of the last several decades, and I think they've also been very cognizant inside the
White House that it is not just necessarily on a principal -- the principal level -- but if you look up and down the top diplomatic ranks inside this
administration, they have run into brick walls when trying to deal with their Chinese counterparts over the better part of the last 10 months.
I mean, the assumption inside the administration is that was intentional and leading up to this moment, the hope is unless that there is major
breakthroughs or major deliverables to talk about, but instead, just actual communication, which has been a little bit lacking over the course of these
first 10 months.
Look, the administration is going into this with an agenda. There is no question about it. Issues that they have problems with, whether it's
related to Taiwan, whether it's China's military buildup, whether it is how they operate in the cyberspace, no shortage of areas there, human rights
also expected to be an issue that the President brings up, but also areas of potential cooperation, particularly on climate, as we saw the two
nations reaching at least top line agreement coming out of Glasgow last week.
So, there is a lot of things that they want to talk about, but expectations are low for a reason and that is mostly because there has been nothing
inside this relationship, either seen or unseen, based on what I've been told over the course of the last couple of months that would lead anybody
here to have expectations of any type of grand takeaway from this moment.
I think more than anything else, they want to have an understanding of kind of what the red lines are, where the rules of the road are. They come out
of this meeting with those, they'll feel like they accomplished something. One administration official, Paula, told me, we want to know how this lays
the groundwork for the next year, not necessarily be able to walk out of this touting major accomplishments.
And I think that's definitely low expectations, as you noted, but it's something more than they've had over the course of the last 10 months.
NEWTON: Got-cha, and that really sets out the parameters for us, Phil. Appreciate that, as we watch that live ceremony about to happen within the
hour in the White House.
Phil, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Now, just hours after that infrastructure signing is over, as Phil and I were just talking about, Mr. Biden will hold a virtual Summit with the
Chinese President. Now, White House officials say Mr. Biden has been preparing for this Summit for days. They say he wants the United States to
compete more with China, repeat that, compete more with China. But this is key -- without stoking a military conflict.
He will apparently lay out the rules of the road on issues like tensions with Taiwan, but he is prepared apparently to cooperate, too, on things
like climate change that we were just pointing out from COP 26. And, of course, nuclear weapons.
There are of course, those economic issues, a group of business leaders is urging the President to get rid of tariffs still leftover from the Trump
Rich Lesser is the Global Chair of Boston Consulting Group. He joins me now from Washington. I can't think of a better person as we see all of this on
the go in Washington.
Let's start though with China. The U.S.-China Business Council. It has given voice, right, to many saying look, it is time to get rid of those
China tariffs, because they're doing harm to Americans -- American businesses, farmers, workers, family, and yet to me, it seems that the
American business person, perhaps the American corporation has not really understood that the U.S. seems to have reached a reckoning with China.
We just heard from Phil, right? Everyone is coming to terms that these are strategic competitors. What does that mean for business right now?
RICH LESSER, GLOBAL CHAIR, BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP: So, I think business very much wants -- understands the strategic competitor's side, but wants
it to be done in a productive way that supports the growth and economies in both countries, enables each to protect its interests, of course, but to do
it in a way that sets up long term success, and these are the two largest economies in the world and they need to be able to get along in a
And I think most business leaders expect the governments need to sort of set priorities, but hope that it will be done in a way that promotes
growth, promotes effectiveness, keeps costs down for consumers. That's the focus.
NEWTON: Can it be done, though? I mean, this is not naive 2010, right? We've seen American businesses get burned in China. We've seen others that
still want to pile in aggressively. You make such a good point. This is a colossal trading relationship that has to be kept on the rails. And yet, do
you see that, you know, with some guardrails put in place, could you see the potential of that relationship? Or do you think American businesses
will still be gunshot?
LESSER: Look, I think the goal is to understand where there is disagreement and then look for common interests. I would say, you know, if
we look to last week in the climate announcement that was jointly done by the U.S. and China, I think it was really a very important moment for COP,
for the world overall. It was important for those two countries to realize that, that yes, they will compete on many levels, but there are common
interests, starting with protecting the climate.
And when they can show that they can work together, or at least have a constructive dialogue that hopefully will lead to working together in
protecting those interests, the world will respond in a favorable way, and it'll promote the interests of citizens in both countries. Now, that's the
starting point of it.
Climate is his job one, I think, in many ways, but hopefully that spirit can now extend in in other directions. Obviously, today's meeting is
another good step on that journey. I think expectations probably should be low. There's a long way to come back from the depths that the relationship
has gotten to, but hopefully this is a good step.
NEWTON: And let's try and, you know, dig a little deeper on the issue of climate. I mean, we had that statement from the United States and China
together. I've been interested to hear your comments, though, in the last few months really talking about business needing government to put a price
on carbon. There are many businesses that are still resisting that, though.
In terms of what you've seen happen in Glasgow over the last couple of weeks, do you think that we are much closer to that now -- actually fixing
a price on carbon?
LESSER: So let me just step back a second, and I will get to that. There were a lot of important areas of progress over the last two weeks. The
number of businesses that have stepped up on climate, the role of the business community encompass like none other in history, and I think the
role the private sector can play in the real economy, in the financial sectors is very encouraging.
I think the governments of the world have shown that they can start to make progress and acknowledge important elements, whether it's a phase down of
coal, whether it's methane, whether it is what we need to do to support countries going through this journey.
Businesses -- the main business associations have talked quite extensively about a price on carbon. We heard from the Business Roundtable, the
European Roundtable. We've heard it from the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders and I'm a part of it, the World Economic Forum, and I do think
governments in different parts of the world, Europe and Canada are good examples are recognizing that. It'll be a challenge in the U.S., it'll be a
challenge in other parts of the world.
But the truth is, we need to transform the economy. Carbon is an externality that is not priced in today. Finding a way to price, which is
not necessarily a carbon tax, it could be an emissions trading system, it could be other ways, is the way to make progress faster on many parts of
the real industrial economy.
NEWTON: So -- and I'm just going to try and put a button on that from COP 26, a success you'd say qualified one.
LESSER: I think one of my colleagues who was there the entire time and described it as two points. One, over delivering on relative to the
incoming politics and all the skepticism, still under delivering on the science. The sciences, we're not there yet, and we have a lot more work to
And second, a success in bringing the whole -- all of society into the room. Certainly, the business and private sector, but the activist
community, civil society was represented, and I think on that dimension, in addition to the government negotiators was a big step forward that lays the
foundation for future COPs.
We're on at least a 30-year journey here. This is not about declaring victory after one meeting. We will never quite be there, but this was a
meeting of good progress, and then the opportunity to do more looking ahead.
NEWTON: Yes, unfortunately, as you said, a 30-year trajectory, and yet, the climate itself might intrude quite rudely in the ensuing years.
Rich, always good to talk to you and I know we threw everything, including the kitchen sink, and we'll get to that later as well. Rich, good to see
you. Appreciate it.
LESSER: Pleasure, Paula.
NEWTON: Now, Wall Street, as we were saying is in that wait and see posture. I mean, look at that. We're down about 30 points, but pretty much
the Dow was up about a hundred, you have to keep in mind before going back down as you can see, down 30 points now. All the major averages are down
and have been pretty close to flat for most of the afternoon.
Now, we will continue to keep you on top of those markets. Elon Musk is in a Twitter beef with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Quote -- yes, this is a
quote -- "I keep forgetting you're still alive." Ouch.
The world's richest man tweeted at the progressive lawmaker who had called on the extremely wealthy to pay more in taxes. He went on "Bernie is a
taker, not a maker," said the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. Those companies, however, have benefited from taking government subsidies, of course.
Tesla made $2 billion from selling environmental regulatory credits between 2008 and 2019, and that helped stave off bankruptcy. We cannot underscore
this enough. Tesla also got nearly half billion dollar low interest loan from, yes, you guessed it, the U.S. Energy Department.
Tesla's customers benefit, too. They have collected a total $3.4 billion in Federal tax credits for buying electric vehicles. Musk's SpaceX, meantime
has also signed contracts worth nearly $10 billion with the U.S. government.
Paul La Monica is here. This list isn't even exhaustive, and yet, still, we see the debate on Twitter. I mean, look, if you're a fan of Elon Musk, you
know you like this. And yet, Paul, help us understand at another level what's going on here in terms of the real debate over where you take taxes
and where you take the billionaire's tax specifically.
PAUL LA MONICA, CNN BUSINESS REPORTER: Yes, I mean, let's be honest here. I mean, Elon Musk, to his credit, when you talked about that $465 million
loan during the depths of the Great Recession, they wound up paying that back to the Department of Energy in 2013, several years early. So, Musk did
take government money, but he also paid it back much earlier than many other traditional auto rivals did. So you've got to tip your cap to Musk
But still, it's just a shame that Twitter often devolves into this sophomoric juvenile place for name calling because Bernie Sanders --
Senator Sanders did not call out Musk by name. He was clearly thinking of Musk, but I assume also many other wealthy individuals like Jeff Bezos,
Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates that he wants them all to pay more taxes because they are mega billionaires.
Now, put aside whether or not it is fair to demonize the wealthy, that's another question entirely, Paula. But Elon Musk, then going back at Bernie
Sanders and saying, you know, I didn't even realize you were still alive, and just making all of these comments, making fun of Sanders and
politicians in general, it just defeats the purpose.
You can have an intelligent debate and conversation about whether or not the wealthy should pay more taxes and big corporations should pay more
taxes, especially corporations getting government subsidies and loans, but that's not what Musk did on Twitter.
NEWTON: No, absolutely not. And I know that it is entertaining for some, but as you said, there is a policy issue at the heart of this and some
people are looking towards the Biden bill, especially the Build Back Better, if it does get passed. There is this discussion as to whether or
not it's fully financed, right, whether or not the I.R.S. will actually get money, not just from billionaires, but millionaires as well.
You know, the Budget Office is coming out on Friday, apparently, with an estimate of what that is going to look like. Do we think this will hit the
sweet spot here and maybe call a truce of sorts?
LA MONICA: I mean, I think it's possible. I mean, I would like to think that what Elon Musk and other super wealthy business people of America want
to see from government is an intelligent infrastructure plan that builds both physical roads and highways back to the type of levels you would
expect in a first world nation, as well as digital infrastructure, which includes energy infrastructure, I think as well, and that would obviously
help Elon Musk's electric car company, Tesla.
So hopefully there is still room for civil discourse in Washington, on Twitter, but I would not hold my breath.
NEWTON: That's a good lesson to learn about Twitter.
Paul La Monica, thanks so much. Appreciate it.
Now, the E.U. has agreed on a new fifth round of sanctions against Belarus. It says they'll target everyone involved in sending a tide of migrants
toward its borders. CNN is there. We will bring you the story.
And Cuba cracks down on dissent by using government supporters to keep protesters from leaving their home.
NEWTON: The E.U. is following through with new sanctions against Belarus for a migrant crisis in Eastern Europe, while NATO is cautioning Russia
about its troop buildup near Ukraine.
Now, the E.U. has talked a lot and said the Belarus sanctions will target people, airlines, travel agencies, and everyone involved in the illegal
push of migrants against our borders. The Russian President Alexander Lukashenko said today, his country was trying to stop the migrants from
gathering just outside the E.U.
Matthew Chance watched the standoff between migrants and Polish troops at the Kuznica-Bruzhi checkpoints. He has this for us now.
MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Very dramatic scenes that have been playing out. I'm here right on the border
crossing between Belarus and Poland.
Take a look here just to the left of your screen, you can see the Polish Police, the Border Guards have come here to prevent what could have been,
what could be still a mass exodus of these refugees here behind me, out of Belarus, into Poland, because that camp that we reported from a couple of
days ago, where there were 2,000 people that had gathered on that border in very bleak conditions.
Well, within the last couple of hours, that camp was completely emptied. Almost every one of those people gathered their things, packed up their
tents, their sleeping bags, what little belongings they had, put them on their backs and they've come en masse all the way down here through the
forest, right the way to this official border crossing.
There has been a rumor circulating for the past 24 hours inside the camp that the Polish side was prepared to open up their borders, and open up a
humanitarian corridor through to Germany, which is what the vast majority of his people who are from Iraqi Kurdistan, for the most -- for the most
part, say they wanted.
But the Pols have been absolutely clear that that's not happening. They've sent text message to everybody on telephones, including to my phone, which
says, look, you know, don't listen to what you've been told. Don't be fooled is what they say in the text message. We are going to defend our
borders. We are not going to let you through.
And that message has been underlined by the fact they've deployed these police in force. This water cannon has just arrived in the past few minutes
as well, bringing to two the number of water cannons that are out there, sort of barrels pointed in a general direction -- in the general direction
of these refugees.
This is a challenge, a challenge directly to the Polish authorities to the European Union, to let these people through and look at them. You know,
many of them are children, babes in arms, many families who have come here from various countries, mainly Iraqi Kurdistan, in the hope of getting
across into the European Union for a better life. Poland and Germany, wherever it is they want to go.
Now, obviously, there's a blame game. The West, the United States, blames Belarus for making this happen, weaponizing these migrants in the words of
U.S. officials in order to put pressure on the European Union and perhaps to distract from the buildup of Russian forces in the east of Ukraine.
That's what Secretary of State Blinken has been saying.
But what the Belarusians say and the Moscow authorities who are backing them is that the Pols are not living up to their obligations under
international law. There have been reports of refugees getting across these razor wire fences, and then being pushed back by the Pols which would be
illegal under international law.
And certainly the appeal now directly from these refugees is to let them pass, let them go through, but as you can see, from these determined police
officers on the Polish side, they're not prepared at this stage to let that happen.
NEWTON: Our thanks to Matthew Chance there, who of course was showing us that desperate situation on the ground, but you know, the diplomatic crisis
that it's creating is just as urgent.
Fred Pleitgen reports from Kuznica. He is on the other side, he is on that Polish side of the border. Take a listen.
FREDERIK PLEITGEN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice over): The standoff at Poland's border with Belarus is intensifying. Poland's
government saying it has thwarted hundreds of attempts by migrants to force their way into the E.U. Poland says the migrants moves are controlled by
Belarusian Security Forces.
Text and voice messages obtained by CNN from a migrant inside the camp provided more evidence to bolster those accusations. "The Belarusian forces
are forcing us to try and break the barrier and are directly threatening the youth. We are afraid to tell them anything that pressures us," the text
says, and goes on, "The checkpoint must be stormed. We are looking for a way not to listen to them."
Later, we also received this video from the same person. "We, young people are sitting here. We don't know what they're going to do to us. They are
forcing us to cross the border or something else, we don't know," he says.
The government of Belarusian strongman, Alexander Lukashenko, has consistently denied instigating and fanning the border crisis. But Polish
authorities have released videos that they claim shows Belarusian Forces breaking down parts of the border fence and using strobe lights and laser
pointers to impede the work of Polish troops trying to prevent breaches.
The spokeswoman for Poland's Border Force tells me their forces are on constant high alert.
KATARZYNA ZDANOWICZ, SPOKESWOMAN, POLISH BORDER GUARD (through translator): We have observed that it is mainly groups of young men that are trying to
forcibly cross the border, and the Belarusian Services are assisting them by giving them equipment to cut through the fence and giving them teargas
which is used against our border guards.
PLEITGEN (voice over): The E.U. and NATO accuse Belarus of weaponizing the plight of migrants to destabilize the region. Poland has put up a barbed
wire fence, deployed around 15,000 Border guards, police officers, and soldiers to fortify the border.
PLEITGEN (on camera): Poland has created several large military bases here in the border region with Belarus. The Polish government says it is not
going to back down in this situation. They also say they could deploy even more forces to this region, if the crisis continues.
PLEITGEN (voice over): Very few migrants make it across into the E.U. Some end up in this shelter in the town of Bialystok. Hareth (ph) from Iraq who
asked us to hide his face and only use his first name says he was beaten by Russian Security Forces on the trek to the border.
"It was a daily disturbance," he says. "If you said you couldn't get up or that you were sick, they would grab us and beat us with sticks until we
fell and couldn't get up again." The Belarusian government insists it has handled this crisis in line with international law and instead accuses
Poland of a heavy handed approach, as both sides dig in with hundreds of migrants caught in the middle.
Fred Pleitgen, CNN, Kuznica, Poland.
NEWTON: So along with other groceries, turkey prices are up in the United States, and some birds could be harder to find for this year's Thanksgiving
I'll talk about that with the Chief Executive of Butterball.
NEWTON: And welcome back. We are keeping an eye on Washington for you this hour. Any moment now we will take you live to the White House where Joe
Biden will sign his new bipartisan infrastructure bill into law. There are other speakers up now that is under Kyrsten Sinema. And when President
Biden comes to the podium, we will take you there.
Now meantime, the Biden administration is pushing Congress to pass a social spending bill to combat soaring prices. The pandemic of course and supply
chain disruptions have helped drive up annual U.S. inflation to more than six percent. It is in fact the sharpest spike in 31 years and pretty much
everything costs more, right? Iincluding essential items like gas and food. Now America's Thanksgiving dinner this year promises to be of course more
I mean, have a look at that chart government data shows poultry prices are up more than seven percent from a year ago. Of course the ingredients for
all the trimmings, sugar, spices, butter, baking products, all costing more. Jay Jandrain is the CEO of Butterball, perhaps the best -- the
world's best known Turkey brand. And he joins me now from Gardner, North Carolina. Good to see you here today. I had a very busy season.
We've been talking a lot on this show about inflation and those supply chain issues. They've been absolutely relentless. Tell us more about what
JAY JANDRAIN, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, BUTTERBALL: Well, we're experiencing a lot of the same challenges that other companies are. Fortunately though,
our -- with our planning, we had no problem getting all of our turkeys to our retailers in time for Thanksgiving. So we feel like we're in pretty
good shape right now. We know that sales have been very brisk at the retail level. But there is product there available for people to get their turkey
NEWTON: I want to go deeper into that word brisk, though. I mean, sometimes what can happen during these situations is that consumers tend to hoard,
right? So they'll buy a couple turkeys, maybe one for Thanksgiving, and another one for Christmas too. And is that posing a problem, especially
when you start to think about the kind of Turkey they may want or the size?
JANDRAIN: Well, from a size standpoint, there are going to be a little -- they're going to be fewer small turkeys. And for the largest turkeys out
there, which is great. So people are going to have the opportunity to get that. We're not expecting any hoarding-type situation. We have seen that
the consumers have been buying earlier than they have in the past. Last year was similar to that as well.
People are getting prepared for Thanksgiving a little bit earlier than they had in years past. So right now we're just thinking that people are buying
them a little earlier. They're not necessarily buying more of them. So we expect it to kind of smooth out and be comfortable numbers to what we saw
NEWTON: This is peak season, though for you. And given that the supply constraints show no signs really of easing that much. What's your main
concern coming up in the next few weeks?
JANDRAIN: Well, for the holidays, you know, we're really fine right now. Everything is really done from our end, all of our frozen turkeys have
shipped into the retailers. All the fresh turkeys are shipping now. And that is going as planned. We haven't seen any significant disruptions in
the supply chain with regard to that. And that's really because we've done a little bit of extra mile and preparing for that and getting things ready.
So, from our standpoint, we don't say anything, any issues there. The supply chain in general is a challenge, no question. But that's something
we're also doing a number of things to make sure that going on into next year for the holidays and also for regular business throughout the year
that we're in good shape for that.
NEWTON: So you do see those an ongoing problem.
JANDRAIN: Yes. Right now we don't -- we don't see it lighting up. And certainly the costs are higher transportation costs, warehousing, housing
costs are higher. And that's just something that we all have to contend with at this point.
NEWTON: I want to talk to you as well about American farmers in general. They seem to constantly being the firing line. I mean, it doesn't matter
whether we're talking about tariffs or climate.
NEWTON: And now the supply chain and inflation issues, what do you think could help? I mean when you're looking towards government for instance or
whether it's local state or federal, what could it be helpful right now?
JANDRAIN: Well, the most important part for us right now is to make sure that we've got the labor force in place to move the product through the
supply chain. Our farmers have been there all along. And they really been the recipient of the challenge that we've seen from a national standpoint
with regard to labor and other sectors. So we're looking for more and more opportunities, to help get more of the labor force into our -- in our
Help pull that product through. And then the other side of it isn't with the distribution channels to make sure that those industries are best
prepared, so that we can get product moved across the country.
NEWTON: Interesting. Jay, can't let you go unless we talk about that turkey talk line, right? I know the principle golden rule when doing the turkey is
don't panic. For heaven's sakes, don't panic. What are some of the strangest questions you get this time of year that you kind of, you know,
clear things up?
JANDRAIN: Well, I say our talk like people the ones you would really have to talk to there. They're the ones who take the calls and get the most
information. But they've heard all kinds of stories from how to fall turkey or in a bathtub and how soon they need to get it prepared and get ready.
How they can cook it from frozen because I forgot to take it out. But the good news is (INAUDIBLE) walk them through it no matter what the challenge
NEWTON: Yes. And there are a few depending on the side of the bird, my special tip, cook it the first 40 minutes breast side down and then flip it
but that's just me, just the QUEST MEANS BUSINESS overall tip there. Jay, good to see you and we'll continue to check in with you throughout the
year, especially as you've made it very clear, you don't see the supply issues going anywhere. Appreciate your time.
JANDRAIN: Very much.
NEWTON: Now Cuba reopened today to international travelers after being closed during the pandemic. At the same time protesters have been planning
to march and of course demand the release of political prisoners. That's assuming the protesters can get to the demonstrations in the first place.
Cuban officials have threatened to shut down any protests and they've rallied government supporters to their side.
Today more activists posted on social media that they've been prevented from leaving their homes. Now those posts are coming a day after Cuban
government supporters basically trapped an activist in his Havana home. CNNs Patrick Oppmann reports.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PATRICK OPPMANN, CNN HAVANA-BASED CORRESPONDENT: A bus blocks the street where a Cuban opposition activist lives. Cuban plainclothes police and
government supporters prevent him from leaving his apartment and journalists from going to talk with him. The activist, a playwright named
Yunior Garcia Aguilera posted this video before supporters tell me his internet was cut off by the government.
I woke up under siege, he says the whole block is surrounded by state security. Rest as civilians trying to pass themselves off as the people.
After widespread anti-government protests in July, the largest since Fidel Castro's revolution to power, a group of activists led by Garcia Aguilera
called for a peaceful march to take place on Monday. The activists say they are calling on the communist run governments to allow more liberties and
release hundreds of people still in jail from the July protests.
Cuban officials denied permission for the March, claiming it is a pretext invented by Cuban exiles and the U.S. government who want to use rising
tensions inside Cuba as an excuse to invade the island.
The Cuban government is taking buses like this one to close off the streets. There are police everywhere. And they're in the distance you can
see a group of men, government supporters perhaps police themselves hanging flags over university's window.
Apparently unable to leave his apartment or get online. Garcia Aguilera holds up his fist in defiance through his window into that final form of
communication is also cut off.
A government supporter tells me he lives in the same neighborhood and that he is proud to have confined Garcia Aguilera to his home.
I was there when he opened the door he says. I was close to him. He believes this is fascism to not let him out. And I said it's not fascism.
It's the people the people in revolution. After blocking the activist from leaving, a group of government supporters even holds a party outside to
When when we interviewed him at his apartment in October, Garcia Aguilera predicted the Cuban government would try to silence him, unintentionally
proving his point about what happens to those who call for greater openness.
They've shown there's no rule of law he says. There's no possibility for citizens to legally peacefully and orderly show their dissent to those
empower. Other activists and government critics on Sunday said they were also being blocked from leaving their homes but vowed that whatever the
costs they would make their voices heard.
OPPMANN: Patrick Oppman CNN Havana.
NEWTON: And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. I will be back though at the top of the hour as we make that final dash to the closingbell. And of course we
are waiting those remarks from President Joe Biden. In the meantime right now, it's Quest World of Wonder.
NEWTON: Hi and I'm Paula Newton in New York. We are going to go live to the White House now. Speaking is Heather Kurtenbach. She is the union organizer
and political director for the Ironworkers Union. Remember, this is about the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. A bill that promises to bring back
in the words of the President, good union jobs. Let's take a listen.
HEATHER KURTENBACH, POLITICAL DIRECTOR, IRONWORKERS UNION: I searched for a job for six months with no offers. Finally, as a last ditch effort, I asked
my brother-in-law, a union iron worker, excuse me, how he made a living. He told me go to the Union and apply you can totally do this work. And I'm so
glad that I did. I was accepted into -- thank you. Yes. I was accepted into the apprenticeship and went right out to a rebar job.
I loved working rods and I fit right into the trade. I graduated from my apprenticeship at an uncertain time. The great recession 12 years ago was
more of a depression for the construction industry. Many of my fellow journey -- journeyman workers, my co-workers, excuse me, couldn't find
work. Luckily, the Obama-Biden administration passed the Recovery Act that created a vital lifeline of jobs as the economy recovered. Yes.
Just like this infrastructure law will do for workers today, enabling them to rebuild America and take care of their families over the coming years.
Roads and bridges, rail, transit, airports, water, a whole generation of our nation's infrastructure and of our nation's infrastructure will be
built creating good union jobs for people just like me. It invests in historically disadvantaged communities, creating jobs and opportunities for
people of every race, gender and background.
I'm proud to stand here today and represent the most diverse labor movement in history. Nearly half of my locals apprentices are women or people of
color. And this law empowers unions to keep building the middle class leaving no one behind.