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Trump Doubles Down On Threats: "Trade Wars Are Good"; Trading Partners Could Slap Tariffs On U.S. Goods; Canada Criticizes Trump's Tariff Proposals; Week Of Chaos Within President's Inner Circle; Trump's Trusted Confidant Hope Hicks Leaving White House; Israeli Investigators Question Prime Minister Netanyahu; Late Winter "Bomb Cyclone" Hits U.S.; Deadly Cold Snap Across Europe; Rare Snow Blankets London's Hyde Park; UK PM Outlines Brexit Goals in Speech; Global Markets Fall amid Trade War Fears; Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Invite Public to Wedding Day. Aired 3-4p ET

Aired March 2, 2018 - 15:00   ET




HANNAH VAUGHAN JONES, CNN HOST: Hello and welcome. I'm Hannah Vaughan Jones in for Hala Gorani.

Tonight, Donald Trump's chaos goes global. Markets worldwide are rattled. Fears of a global trade war are growing, but the U.S. president is far from

backing down. In fact, quite the opposite. Today, Donald Trump doubled down on his threat. He wants to slap tariffs on steel and aluminum imports

to the United States.

He fired off a series of tweets defending the move. In this one he says, that quote, "Trade wars are good and are easy to win." Investors around

the world took a very different opinion, though, sparking a selloff in Europe and Asia. We are less than an hour from the closing bell on Wall

Street. The Dow is recovering from what was a sharp fall at the open.

So, let's get out to New York now. CNN Money editor-at-large, Richard Quest is live there for us. Richard, Donald Trump saying that trade wars

can be good. Given the reaction we've already had, is that true or false?

RICHARD QUEST, CNN HOST Well, I think it's sort of a sophistry. What he is saying is if your trade situation is as bad as the United States and

you're losing left, right and center, then having a trade war can be to your benefit because in his view it will be one that's easy to win.

Unfortunately, using inflammatory language like "trade wars are good" at a time where there's just about universal agreement that it's a very bad idea

doesn't help matters. You've got the Dow which is down, but considerably off its low points of the day. We were 370 points down at the worst point.

The Nasdaq has now actually eking out a small gain and the S&P is pretty much bouncing around the zero level. This is a tremendous recovery from

the early gloom and doom of the open. The reason I think will be very simple. The market is basically questioning whether these tariffs will

ever actually arrive.

JONES: Richard, another statement or a tweet from Donald Trump earlier today was, if you don't have steel, you don't have a country. From a

purely economic perspective, is that true or is he just playing to his base with that sort of rhetoric?

QUEST: Well, he's right to a large extent. When you look at one of the countries the size of the United States, I would have put it more

(inaudible) -- I have said if you don't have a manufacturing base. But here's the reality, if your steel cannot compete with cheaper steel

elsewhere, then you have a choice.

You either tariff and therefore protect an uncompetitive industry or you make your industry more competitive. Now, what he would say is that it's

not a level playing field. But look at the top steel exporters to the U.S. Canada, part of NAFTA. South Korea, as a treaty. Mexico, part of NAFTA.

Brazil and China, it's one of the least of those compared to the other members. In fact, it's actually not even in the top five or ten of

exporters. So, the short answer is steel manufacturing is important. Steel consumption is far more important.

JONES: OK. So, President Trump, though, would claim that by imposing these sorts of tariffs, this is all about protecting American industry,

protecting American jobs and the like. Why is it though that some experts are saying that these sorts of tariffs would hit American families hardest?

QUEST: Very simple. So, you make steel more expensive. Therefore, every part of manufacturing that uses steel has to pay more for its raw

materials. Therefore, the price of value of goods goes up.

Now the commerce secretary today put this in terms of a can of soup when he said it would go up by something like 6/10 of 1 cent on the price of a can

of soup. That's not the issue. The issue is on a much larger scale if you create an industry whereby you're having to pay more for a crucial raw

material in an artificial environment because of tariffs, then you are going to stoke inflation.

One other point on this in the high worlds of economics, the tit for tat, look, we've already heard the European Union say they will retaliate on

Levis, Harley Davidsons and Bourbon.

Now if China retaliates on soybeans and Brazil retaliates on maize or whatever it might be, pretty soon, you do end up with this nasty trade war

where the U.S. is gone first. Others have fought back and a descending spiral into a trade dispute seems never ending.

[15:05:12] GORANI: Richard, always good to get your analysis on the situation. Thank you very much indeed. Richard will have more at the top

of the hour with "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS."

Meanwhile, the reaction from governments around the world to President Trump's tariff threats has been swift. CNN's Paula Newton is standing by

in Ottawa, Canada. But first let's bring in Erin McLaughlin for the response from the European Union and Erin joins me in the studio.

Now as you can see, we heard Richard alluding to it earlier about the E.U. leaders already saying that Harley Davidson, for example, whiskey, Levis,

these are the kind of responses that they're going to have. They're hitting back hard.

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. It's not just those companies that the E.U. is talking about. I was talking to one E.U. source

who told me that they have counter measures prepared against $3.5 billion worth of U.S. imports. I have a graphic to show you sort of breaking down

what sort of products they're looking at.

A third of steel products, a third of agricultural products and a third of industrial products. Now, I ask the source why these products in

particular. He didn't want to go into that. He said that more will be divulged next week. This is part or would be part of a three-pronged


The other thing the E.U. is extremely concerned about is the possibility of steel and aluminum flooding the European market because it's not being sold

in the U.S. The E.U. has thought about that. They've prepared counter or safeguarding measures against that.

They have those ready to go if needed. The other part of the E.U.'s planned response will be at the WTO. They say they're going to consult

with their partners and take the dispute to the World Trade Organization because they are challenging this notion that this is about national

security for the United States.

They're saying that this is actually about protectionism. So, they are going to take it to the WTO. Should be noted that if President Trump goes

ahead with this, if this is enforced, the E.U. response, the source tells me will only take days. It will be a very, very quick response.

JONES: Interesting. You say if he actually goes ahead on all of this, but he is famously very unpredictable. So, with that in mind, were E.U.

leaders surprised by this?

MCLAUGHLIN: Well, you know, it's interesting because sources are telling me they actually weren't surprised. They were planning on this. That's

because back in April of 2017, the United States announced that it was investigating this possibility. They were investigating curbing steel

imports for national security reasons.

So, ever since that, the E.U. has been preparing its response, preparing what it would do should this actually become reality. At the same time,

though, we are hearing from E.U. leaders express just how baffled they are that this is where they're at considering we're talking about NATO allies,

we're talking about European allies, really critical to U.S. security.

JONES: Yes. And the political fray as well. Erin, thank you. Let's bring in Paula Newton who is standing for us in Ottawa, Canada with more on

this. Canada, of course, is a massive importer of steel to the United States. They've already said that they think it's all outrageous. What

are they going to do though?

PAULA NEWTON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes. It's an interesting question. Remember Canada is number one in terms of exports to the United States.

Canada number one not just in steel but also aluminum. You know, just echoing what Erin said, Canadian officials tell me they're not surprised by

anything that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth anymore.

Having said that, they were surprised because up until the very last minute, officials had assured them that, look, he's not going to do this,

not yet, don't worry, and yet, there he was blurting it out in the middle of a meeting.

Having said that they have also been preparing those counter measures. They are keeping their options much more close to the vest. They haven't

said exactly how they will respond. Let's give you some clues though.

I mean, keep in mind, Canada is the largest buyer of U.S. steel from the United States as well. A lot of that has to do with the auto industry.

It's not clear as to whether or not Canada can take that as retaliation.

What they might do instead is hit things like agricultural products and what's key here, Hannah, is that this will be a political response. When

we go back to American elections, you think about states like Minnesota or Ohio that are swing states, Wisconsin, swing states again politically.

They will try and hit those states very hard. Why? Those states, you know, they do a lot of trade. Their number one trading partner is Canada

and they want to hurt Donald Trump where they now he will notice and that will be going through midterms and possibly to his reelection campaign for


Once again, though, Canadian officials not wanting to say exactly what they will do, they promise that they too like the E.U. will respond very quickly

and are in the process of finalizing their retaliatory measures.

I have to say Justin Trudeau, the prime minister, spoke about this just a few moments ago and was really quite stern, the sternest I've ever heard

him speak in terms of President Trump.

[15:10:09] His quote is basically, look, the United States should know it's not just going to hurt them if they want to do this. It will hurt them as


JONES: All right. Paula Newton, Erin McLaughlin, thanks to you both.

Now we will have more reaction to President Trump's tariff plan from the U.S. and abroad later in the program. Do stay with us for that.

The looming threat, though, of trade wars caps off what has incredibly chaotic week at the White House. One stunning report followed by another

and another, and now another bombshell. The "New York Times" reports that President Trump may want his own daughter and son-in-law out of the White


The "Times" says he's asked his Chief of Staff John Kelly to help remove Ivanka and Jared Kushner. Earlier this week Kushner's security clearance

downgraded amid growing questions about his business dealings.

If it's weren't enough, trusted confidant, Hope Hicks is also leaving. Some call Mr. Trump's communications director, his last emotional crutch

and now she is going out as well.

Let's bring in White House reporter, Stephen Collinson, to help us recap the week's highlights or lowlights as it were as well. Stephen, we haven't

got time to go through all of the things that have happened just in the last 72 hours.

I think we have one got graphic, though, just gives our viewers some indication of how many things have hit this White House in the last few

days alone, but Donald Trump normally quite likes chaos. It's an ethos he lives by. He likes being in the spotlight, but if things have things hit a

little too close to home this week?

STEPHEN COLLINSON, CNN WHITE HOUSE REPORTER. Yes, I think so. There's this cliche, Hannah, that you know, Donald Trump thrives on chaos. It's

been the engine around which he's built his personality and political career and business. It seems as, though, perhaps this is the week the

chickens came home to roost in that sense.

Because chaos clearly isn't a very functional way to run a government or country, especially in a world where there are increasing challenges to

American power and influence and competing sort of powers rising up.

So I think perhaps if there's something we could take away from this week, it's that a lot of the situations that the president has set up by having

for example, Jared Kushner come into the White House, his son-in-law, by presiding over a White House where there's this constant and bitter feuding

by having a very sort of lax view of ethics which have gone far beyond where any other president would have dared to go.

I think it's all sort of coming to a head at the moment and that's one of the reasons why we've seen these revelations hitting the White House, you

know, three or four a day, as you said. It's Friday. We got to the weekend at least, but there's not much reason to think it's going to be any

better next week or the week the comes after that.

JONES: One thing I'm struggling to understand, I guess, is that with his inner circle being decimated and getting smaller and smaller all the time,

why would he want to make that even smaller by getting rid of his own daughter, Ivanka, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, if indeed the "New

York Times" and their reporting is correct?

COLLINSON: I mean, I think there's a couple of things going on here. First of all, it's quite possible that various people are briefing against

each other in the White House. There's this report in the "Times" that Trump wants his daughter and Jared Kushner out of there.

You read some other reports and other sources are saying that those two are some of the only people he actually trusts in the White House and believe

they'll be ultimately loyal to him.

I think what we know about Donald Trump, it's possible for him to believe multiple things and feel multiple things instinctively at once. So, it

could be true -- both versions of this can be true.

But I think at least in the case of Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, just take a look at what's happened to Jared Kushner, this week. He's lost his

security clearance. So, it makes it very difficult for him to carry on being this foreign policy advisor to the president.

We've had a report that foreign governments are trying to manipulate his business interests and debt load to try and gain some advantage over him.

That makes it very difficult. There's these reports coming out now that his family got preferential financial treatment and loans after he had

meetings with various financial entities and the people that represent them.

The White House, there comes a point when the value of having him there, however loyal he is to the president and useful to the president, becomes

politically unsustainable. I think we're getting very, very close to that point.

JONES: Let's say if Ivanka Trump is then pushed out of the White House somehow, Hope Hicks has gone as well, his communications director. She's

going in the coming weeks we assume. How significant is this woman, who as communications director, no one in the public ever actually heard from, but

how significant is she to the president?

[15:15:10] COLLINSON: She was certainly very close to President Trump. She was one of the few originals that were around him all the way through

his campaign and into the White House. She was seen as someone that could sort of read the president's moods, could sort of talk him down off the

ledge in some cases and was only there because she was loyal to him.

That was very valuable for her because there's so many people around the president who seem to be on the (inaudible), if you like. On the one hand,

you can say that if all these people go, it could allow the president to have a reset, for John Kelly, the chief of staff, to really institute this

military discipline.

And perhaps the White House would actually work better without all these competing centers of power. But really the point about this all is, all of

these problems are rooted in the same issue and that's the president himself, his personality, his standard of governing and the way he's run

his life and his White House. So, I don't think if you take everyone away and start again, it's going to be very different.

JONES: We will wait and see. Stephen Collinson, always great to talk to you. Thank you.

Now still to come on the program tonight, Israel's prime minister questioned. What Benjamin Netanyahu had to say after the hours-long

interrogation in a corruption probe.

And Hyde Park looks pretty in the snow, but we'll show you how a late winter blast is causing chaos around Europe and now across the pond.


JONES: Israeli investigators are hearing directly from Benjamin Netanyahu today as he tries to clear his name as a suspect in a third corruption

probe. Authorities questioned the prime minister at his home in Jerusalem for five hours while his wife was simultaneously questioned at a different


Mr. Netanyahu later said he is more certain than ever that nothing will come of the allegations he faces. Let's get a live update now from

Jerusalem. I'm joined by Oren Liebermann. Oren, is the net now closing in on Mr. Netanyahu and his family? And why are today's developments more

serious than what we've over the past couple of weeks?

OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, let's start with the second part of that question first and that's because this case, the case for which he

was questioned known as case 4000, is a far bigger investigation than two cases in which he is already considered a suspect, and police say they have

enough evidence to indict.

So, what is this case? Case 4000 deals with a relationship between the Ministry of Communications then under Netanyahu and the large Israeli

telecommunications firm, Bezeq. Prosecutors say Netanyahu illegally advanced the interests of Bezeq to the tune of some $280 million in

exchange for favorable coverage in an online news site.

This is the first time Netanyahu was questioned in this case. His wife was questioned simultaneously in a different location. It is overall the

eighth time he's been questioned in this graft probes.

[15:20:09] Police or an Israeli official told CNN he was questioned under caution, which means he was questioned as a suspect. That makes him a

suspect in a third investigation out of the ones targeting him and his inner circle. That's why this is such a big development.

The investigations are growing. The number of people involve in them are growing and so is Netanyahu's involvement in these cases. That's why

pressure, both political and public, is growing against the prime minister in this point at this case -- Hannah.

JONES: And what does this mean for his career? What are his party and coalition saying about it?

LIEBERMANN: We haven't heard yet from his coalition partners. This questioning went right up until the Sabbath so everyone now has 24 hours to

think this over. What we are certainly going to look for or what comes out and the statements that come out Saturday night into Sunday about where his

coalition partners stand.

So far, they've indicated that they'll stand by him, at least in the first two cases in which he's considered a suspect and there, police say they

have enough evidence to indict him. They've basically said, we're going to wait for the attorney general to decide whether to indict or not.

That buys Netanyahu a few months. But if they decide that this case is too big or there's too much public pressure against the prime minister, then

they could pull that support. That effectively would mean early elections, but we're certainly not there yet.

Speaking of time, one of the interesting points is that in just a couple of days Netanyahu will head to Washington to meet President Donald Trump.

He's trying to portray a sense of normalcy before that visit, but these investigations will certainly hang over his time in the U.S.

GORANI: Very interesting indeed. Oren Liebermann live for us in Jerusalem with an update on Mr. Netanyahu. Thank you.

Now to some other news, 80 million people along the U.S. east coast are in the cross hairs of a storm. It's not just any storm. Meteorologists are

calling it a bomb cyclone. Residents of coastal areas have fled their homes. Winds are approaching hurricane strength and sea water has flooded

some streets in Boston.

Power has been knocked out to more than 1 million homes and more than 2,600 flights have already been cancelled. Those waves you're seeing right there

are pounding the Massachusetts coast at Scituate.

CNN's Brynn Gingras is there for us now. Brynn braving the weather. What's it like out there?

BRYNN GINGRAS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's pretty impressive. These winds are really picking up strength. You talked about

those Category 1 hurricane strength winds. That's sort of what we're feeling now. This storm really has gone in stages. We saw a lot o4rain,

now the heavy wind.

It's not even close to over. I want to give you a look at the harbor in Scituate. Look at those waves. I know that doesn't seem that impressive,

but this is low tide. Now we already went through a high tide where there was coastal flooding all along the area.

We were actually right along the coast during the high tide and we saw waves crashing over two-story homes. That's how impressive that was. Now

we have another high tide coming about midnight our time here on the east coast and another one after that into Saturday.

So, this storm is really bearing down on this area for quite a while, really not letting up. People are just being told to stay out of low lying

areas, stay in areas that are safe. Watch out for power lines and just really making sure you can brave through it until Sunday that's when it's

expected to let up -- Hannah.

JONES: Brynn, at the moment here in the U.K., it's very, very cold. It's snowing actually. Is it cold where you are? And is this also part of this

weather system known as the beast from the east that you're feeling there?

GINGRAS: You know, I have to say we were here about two months ago in the beginning of January for another storm like this. I think it was a little

less than this. However, there was still a lot of cold air and snow. It's not like that for this storm. It's not warm by any means because of this

wind coming off the ocean, but it's not as cold as it was in January. It certainly a beast. It's a good way to describe the storm -- Hannah.

JONES: All right. Brynn Gingras, get inside. Stay warm and dry as long as you can. Thank you.

Europe is in the grip of a deadly in some cases cold snap right now. The United Nations headquarters in Geneva is covered in snow. Emergency

shelters have been opened in Poland and train service has been disrupted in Italy.

The storm dubbed "Emma" (inaudible) Scotland and British troops are helping medical staff get to work so they can treat those in need. You can imagine

what the weather has done to air travel. All flights in and out of Dublin are cancelled until Saturday morning.

Some don't mind the extreme weather at all. They are actually reveling in it. CNN's Salma Abdelaziz has found a few of them in Hyde Park.

[15:25:04] SALMA ABDELAZIZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: So, these are supposed to be the first days of spring, but if you take a look around us here in Hyde

Park, it's far from it. Not that these kids mind. It seems like they're making the best of what is winter wonderland at the turn of springtime.

Let's kind of lean in and figure out if they're skipping school. What are you guys doing here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Snowball fighting.

ABDELAZIZ: So, is that what you decided to do after school today?


ABDELAZIZ: Why is that?


ABDELAZIZ: It's fun to be in the snow?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, I love snow.

ABDELAZIZ: Yes, there's not much left.


ABDELAZIZ: Are you worried about the ice?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No, not really.

ABDELAZIZ: Did you finish school today?


ABDELAZIZ: Do your moms know you're out here?



ABDELAZIZ: No? Why doesn't your mom know you're here?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually, my phone is charging in my bedroom. I didn't want to tell her. I was afraid she was going to say no.

ABDELAZIZ: So, you guys know that this snow has caused a lot of problems in the country. But what do you think about it snowing for the past four



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We didn't have school yesterday. That was nice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's really nice. It hasn't snowed in a long time, so it's really nice for it to come back finally. Yes.

ABDELAZIZ: Well, you guys carry on having fun. As you can see there, Hyde Park has absolutely turned white. This is a really rare occurrence here in

the U.K. These weather conditions are extreme according to meteorologists. The country hasn't seen anything like this in 30 years.

We have seen travel disruptions across the country. Airports have been closed in $e region as a whole, Geneva, Dublin, Glasgow all reporting

closures. Hundreds of motorists were stranded on the roadway yesterday as well.

As you can see the snow is still coming down. Meteorologists have said we are not out of the woods yet. But at least here in London, people are

trying to make good out of some bad weather. Salma Abdelaziz, CNN, London.

JONES: Salma, thanks so much. I love that excuse there, but my dog ate my phone that's why I'm allowed out in the snow.

Anyway, still to come on the program, tonight, a trade war will be good, according to President Trump anyway. But how have they worked for the U.S.

in the past? We'll look into that.

And a big moment for Theresa May as she lays out her Brexit vision, but did it keep anyone happy?


[15:30:03] JONES: Welcome back. If you are Donald Trump, a trade war is, "good and uneasy -- and easy to win, rather." But a raft of other

countries and Mr. Trump's own party and the market, well they disagree. Here is a look at what the Dow is doing. There's just 30 minutes left of

trading this week. Turn it down around 180 points.

It is not the first time though that a U.S. president has slapped on trade tariffs. But successful can they be? And how successful have they been in

the past?

Let's get some context on all of this with Julian Zelizer. Julian is a CNN political analyst and a historian and professor at Princeton University.

He joins us now from New York. Julian, great to see you.

This policy of aggressive protectionism, if you like, how has that been used in the past? And how have previous presidents fared when using that


JULIAN ZELIZER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it hasn't done very well. The most famous case was really between 1922 and 1930 in the United States

where he passed a series of bills that increase tariffs and got us into a trade war which was part of the cause of the great depression and didn't

help farmers, for example who are promised to be helped. And we reverse course, we went into an era of free trade, that's last generally until now.

I'd only add occasionally presidents have raised tariffs. President Bush did it and President Obama did it. And neither time was it very

successful. This is not a policy with many fans.

JONES: What other counter tariffs that we could see imposed by the U.S.'S major trading partners, the kind of tariffs that could affect Trump

personally, the Republican party more widely and then of course in the midterms it could see it really hitting home.

ZELIZER: Well, obviously steel and aluminum are the two items that are now on the table. And that's a case where Americans can see their prices start

going up with products that are made from that.

The question and this is what happened in the early 30s. Other items might start to fall under the tariff if congress sees that this is an open

playing field and the president will support them. You know, you can have a ratcheting up effect. And that's what a trade war is. And it could

affect all sorts of products in the United States and abroad, so that's the fear. We don't know if that will happen. It didn't happen. When

President Bush and Obama did it, but it could easily lose any form of containment.

JONES: We're talking earlier in the program about the fact that it's been something of a chaotic week for President Trump and the White House, more

generally as well. One wonders, I suppose whether this policy of trade, of tariffs -- trade tariffs and a trade war, whether that is something that he

just announced on a whim or whether if it's a deliberate policy to announce because it helps in terms of a diversionary tactic.

ZELIZER: It's either a diversionary tactic or it's something more. I mean, he's talked about imposing tariffs since the campaign. He's gone

against the free trade orthodoxy of his party and he's argued that he would increase tariffs to protect the workers in Wisconsin and Michigan who voted

for him. So part of this might be very strategic amidst the chaos, an effort to do something but also to do something which will symbolically

show his constituent his base that he's still fighting for them. It won't work, most economists agree, but you could understand the political logic

that way.

JONES: Donald Trump has famously always said that he's all about American jobs and bringing jobs back to the U.S. But even Paul Ryan, the house

speaker, he's been saying today like urging President Trump to reconsider his position, because it would hurt American companies, hurt American jobs.

Is it inevitable that this is going to backfire if indeed he does go ahead with it?

ZELIZER: Not necessarily. We've said this so many times before about different parts of his agenda. And look where we are, he's still here,

he's still standing. And he's still moving forward.

Again, if there isn't a trade war, if this doesn't trigger a trade war and the effects are not good but they don't overwhelm everything else the

administration is doing, I could imagine in 2018, in 2020, this president going either campaigning for Republicans or himself saying, look, I'm

trying to do something about the economy and the fact that the facts don't always match up to what he's saying might not matter. It might be more

about the symbolism of his trying.

JONES: We've been talking about the markets a lot over the last couple of days. I think the Dow at last check was down about 180 points or so.

Something like that. It opened really low indeed and then is seems to have like leveled out a little bit. Does that mean the world has kind of woken

up to the fact that things that Donald Trump says, you shouldn't necessarily take him at his word, you have to wait to see if this actually

comes to fruition.

ZELIZER: I think there's an element of that both with the stock market and with leaders overseas. I think we're at the point where many people,

whether you're talking about an investor or a prime minister are watching. They're waiting and watching. They understand that the tweets, the

statements don't always add up to action. So I think you often have immediate response, but then things level off to see what actually unfolds.

And the disconnect is often great and people have learned that in year one.

[15:35:23] JONES: Julian, always good to talk to you. Thank so much for coming on the program.

ZELIZER: Thanks for having me.

JONES: So tariffs talk and the idea of a trade war, well, it did indeed spook the markets. But one city's response was reasonably measured,

Beijing. China is not short of options if the government there does indeed want to retaliate. Matt Rivers explains.


DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We'll be imposing tariffs on steel imports and tariffs on aluminum imports and you're going to see a lot

of good things happen.

MATT RIVERS, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good things happen, that's not what many U.S. industries operating here in China are expecting after

the president's tariff announcement Thursday.

In fact, U.S. exporters that rely on the Chinese market are down right nervous. Starting with the simple soybean. The U.S. is the top soybean

exporter and China is its biggest buyer by far. Billions and billions of dollars' worth was unloaded at ports like this one last year.

The Chinese soybean processing industry is already the largest in the world then it's going to keep getting bigger. And American farmers are well

positioned to take advantage of that growth. The U.S. soybean export counsel expects U.S. exports of soybeans to keep rising for at least the

next 20 years.

And it's not just farmers reaping the benefits.

PAUL BURKE, NORTH ASIA REGIONAL DIRECTOR, U.S. SOYBEAN EXPORT COUNCIL: Your diner, and your doctors and other companies.

RIVERS: Which is why all this talk of a looming U.S./China trade war is Burke's biggest concern.

The newly announced steel and aluminum tariffs, not to mention recent tariffs on Chinese solar products and a looming investigation into Chinese

intellectual property theft, could signal what many have long awaited, hard line rhetoric on the campaign trail turning into harder line policy. But

China will not take that lying down. The soybean export council was told as much by Chinese officials during a September meeting.

BURKE: If there was an increased trade tensions, that soybeans could likely be a potential target in any type of Chinese retaliations.

RIVERS: Restrictions on market access could devastate U.S. industry. And it's not just soy. Other industries and companies could be government

targets too. Think Apple or Boeing or Cisco. Pawns in a potential trade war with lots of influence back home.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They understand very clearly the political pressure points in the U.S., whether it's in congress or in local state houses and

certainly to the White House.

RIVERS: A recent survey shows the majority of U.S. and China think trade between both countries isn't fair. They want things to change, but nobody

wants a trade war.

To achieve both, any new U.S. policies will have to walk a fine line as thin as a flake of soybean.

Matt Rivers, CNN, Qinhuangdao, China


JOENS: Billed as a big Brexit moment. But did it live up to the hype? I'm talking, of course, about the U.K. prime minister's long-awaited speech

where she was supposed to lay out exactly what Britain wants in these tricky ongoing negotiations. And to with the eyes of Westminster in

Brussels on her, Theresa May said it was time to face some hard facts, saying neither side can have exactly what it wants.


THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: We both need to face the fact that this is a negotiation and neither of us can have exactly what we want. But

I am confident that we can reach agreement. We both want good access to each other's markets. We want competition between us to be fair and open.

And we want reliable transparent means of verifying we are meeting our commitments and resolving disputes.


JONES: So, how was it all received then? Bianca Nobilo joins me here in the studio. So she said that no one can get everything that they want, but

did she do as billed and actually outline exactly what Britain wants?

BIANCA NOBILO, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR AND PRODUCER: She went further to outline what Britain wants than she's ever gone before. And of course she

had to, because at this point in the negotiations everybody's losing patience, time is running out. And she did provide a lot of detail here.

And that's an area where she's comfortable. Theresa May is not known as a visionary or an orator. But she's good when it comes to pragmatism and

detail and she also had quite a lot about.

She talked about how services might continue between the U.K. and the EU in the future. How you would get around this issue of leaving the customs

union. She did bring ideas to the table and the EU have been pushing for that for months and months. So she certainly made a step forward in that

regard. And also the fact that she did give that reality check by saying, it's a negotiation and, yes, it's not going to be entirely painless. It's

something that's obvious to you and I and our viewers. But that's not something that Theresa May had admitted until now in the process.

[15:40:13] JONES: So, was this speech then well received on both sides by Brexiteers and here in the U.K. and also by the EU?

NOBILO: It had an overwhelmingly good reception for a speech like this. It was very carefully calibrated. It was received well by the democratic

unionist party, which a very pro-union and pro-Brexit. Also by the Brexiteers, also by remainders in the cabinet generally in the UK by -- it

had a warmer reaction from business unions than other speeches have had, giving them a little bit more certainty, some would say not enough. And

the EU have welcomed it, saying, thank you for the clarity, finally. Of course, the opposition leader has criticized it, but then we're in a

combative democracy in this country, so that's what you'd expect to happen.

JONES: Well, it sounds like she did what she was hoping to though in trying to please everyone, as it were. You mentioned the cabinets and the

fact that that is still quite divided, very divided as you could say in the UK. Are there still rumblings of discontents and questions over Theresa

May's future?

NOBILO: There always are. I think that's inevitable. It's always been a question since that election went rung last year of just how long she'll

stay. She's not considered to be a prime minister that has a large amount of longevity. The fact is that what's really holding her in post are the

fact that she is the steward of these negotiations and she's the one steering the ship on Brexit. And also, a lack of viable alternative. Yes,

there are plenty of people in the party that would love to be prime minister. But just none of them have enough support externally and

internally in order to do that. The moment that happens, it's really going to shift that balance and she'll be in more trouble.

But for now, she's in a fairly stable position. Apparently the speech itself when it was presented to cabinet yesterday in a special long session

was readily accepted with very few tweaks, so that does indicate a surprising level of unity at the moment at least.

JONES: Yes. So shored up her position, at least for one day, let's say.

NOBILO: For one day, certainly.

JONES: Bianca, thanks very much, indeed.

Now German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a savvy political survivor, but now she has a very determined, very effective and relatively young nemesis.

As our Atika Shubert reports, this new political figure could pull the rug right out from under the chancellor.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Kevin Kuehnert is a t-shirt wearing 28-year-old who's managed to turn the normally staid world

of German politics upside down with just three syllables, no-GroKo, short for New Grand Coalition.

He tells CNN, "We cannot continue like this. The cozy politics represented by Angela Merkel which does not decide anything. This is now slowly

ending," he said.

Kuehnert, who was elected as the social democrats youth leader just three months ago is on a mission to get his party to reject Angela Merkel's

proposed coalition government. And that is why he's campaigning at this youth center, offering coffee and cake to the mostly elderly audience

members. Many are here simply curious to see him.

Peter Vitzelen (ph) SPD member for 52 years stood up to ask a question. He said, "I'm skeptical but I'm impressed with you, Kevin. My worry is what

happens if we really say no? Will this mean new elections? Or does it mean for our country and Europe?" He asked.

Angela Merkel has led Germany to prosperity for the last 12 years, eight of them in a so-called grand coalition between her conservatives, the CDU

Christian democrats and the central left SPD, social democrats.

The September 2017 election was supposed to be an easy victory, cruising marcel into a fourth term in office. But voters revolted against the

status quo. Both the CDU and the SPD barely maintained their leads as top parties, suffering record losses to the far right nationalist party

alternative for Germany or AFD which took nearly 13 percent of the vote.

That's purred Kuehnert to demand that any coalition government with Merkel must be approved by the rank and file of the party. And now, more than

400,000 are casting ballots in a postal vote. Results will be announced on Sunday.

Yes, would mean marcel can get back to running the country with her coalition government in place. No, would mean marcel must take her chances

with a minority government or face new elections.

"The differences between the political parties has systemically become blurred," he told CNN. "That will only end up strengthen political parties

like the right wing populist. I think a new grand coalition is playing right into that and this is more dangerous for democracy than possible new

elections," he said.

[15:45:57] Twenty-five thousand new members have joined the SPD since Kuehnert started his campaign, including Hasam Jozivayat (ph) who's worried

about the rise of the far right. He came to see Kuehnert in person.

"He's quite impressive and authentic, although he's young, he's very talented," he said. "I've voted against the GroKo. I think this will just

cost more problems for us in the end."

Kuehnert does all this in his spare time, as he holds down his day job as a lawmaker's assistant.

Do you have any ambition to be a chancellor one day?

"No, not the chancellery, please," he answers. "I like my free time too much," he jokes.

But considering what he's accomplished in his free time, so far, Germany's political elders maybe wondering what he will do next.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Hamburg, Germany.


JONES: Still to come on the program tonight, the fashion, the scandal, the political statements and yet there are a few awards to hand out as well.

It is almost Oscar night. And we will have a preview coming up.


JONES: Welcome back to the program.

It looks like the Weinstein Company won't be filing for bankruptcy after all. The board and a group of investors have struck a $500 million deal to

sell off most of the film studio's assets. The investors will launch a new company with a new board, hopefully, of course, leaving behind any stains

from the Harvey Weinstein sex abuse scandal. But the Weinstein Company will still exist in some form, possibly for legal reasons. The new form

will include a compensation fund for Weinstein's many accusers.

Now, there's no telling if were indeed how the scandal will come out at the Oscar Awards ceremony on Sunday evening, but the organizers of the Time's

Up anti-harassments initiatives say they will stand down on the red carpet for Hollywood's biggest night. Host Jimmy Kimmel has given mixed signals

about whether he will address the movement when he takes to the stage about his monologues on his own show recently have been highly political indeed.

So, what else should we be looking for on the red carpet come Sunday for this year's ceremony?

Stephanie Elam from CNN is joining us live from Los Angeles with a preview of what's to come. Stephanie, talk us through, first off, the films. What

is indeed leading the nominations this year?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN BUSINESS NEWS CORRESPONDENT: You know, it's not one of those years where it's like a very clear front runner. Now, you hear a lot

of people talk about "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri." So far we've seen Frances McDormand just run away through award season winning

for that. So that one is a favorite. But you know what may be the sleeper is "Get Out." There's a lot of people who have come to really rally behind

that movie which is noteworthy because, A, it's a horror flick or a thriller, depending on how you look at it. And it is also a movie that

came out in February last year. That's a long ago, but there's been this groundswell of support for the movie. You also have Daniel Kaluuya who has

been nominated as best actor for his performance in that movie. So you never know. There could be a surprise. Jordan Peele, who's known for his

comedy. He may come out and --

[15:50:15] The fact that they're nominated here, a lot of people think that's a big deal, but there's some people think they may come out and win.

One thing that hopefully will not happen though, Hannah, is rain which it is pouring rain here on the red carpet right now. If it looks like I'm

cold, it's because I am. Right now, you can see there's a lot of preparations here to control keeping the whole red carpet here protected.

You see that you've got the carpet covered in plastic. All of that will hopefully be taken down -- well, that will definitely be taken down come

Sunday. But there's all these efforts in how they get ready to protect the red carpet so that all of the celebrities can make their way down this

carpet and look fine and don't look washed out.

JONES: Yes, absolutely. The rain for you guys beforehand. On a more serious note, Stephanie, I mentioned though in the introduction about

Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole, has been, of course, rocked by the Harvey Weinstein scandal. What are the Me Too campaigners,

the Time's Up campaigners planning to do when it comes to Sunday night?

ELAM: What I will say about this so far is that this does feel different than other things that have tossed up within the entertainment industry.

This one doesn't feel like something that's changing or going away.

Now, you may not see a concerted efforts like we saw at the BAFTAs or that we saw at the Golden Globe Awards where you saw people wearing all black.

Where you saw Time's Up coming along at the SAG Awards or the all-female presenters or even have Grammy Awards where they have the white rose.

You'll probably not going to see anything concerted like that. However, I think it would be surprising if we got through the entire broadcast and

there was no mention of this massive upheaval that we have seen in the entertainment industry over the last year. There are some major players

that are no longer at the forefront of this industry. So to think it's not going to come up would be huge.

Obviously, there's billboards up, there are -- there's a casting couch, actually not far from where I'm standing here of Harvey Weinstein that has

also shown up right before the Oscars. There are people who are taking advantage to make a statement. How it will play out in the telecast we'll

have to wait to see, but I would be shocked if it doesn't come up in some way, somehow. It's a big deal for this industry and it does feel like

things are changing.

ELAM: And we often see political statements made as well by winners or people handing out awards at these kind of ceremonies. Might it be

especially political this year?

ELAM: This is funny because normally, yes. I would say there's always some sort of political reference. I would imagine that there still is.

But right now, there's a lot of interior family business inside the entertainment industry that also need a lot of attention. So I would

imagine that's going to come up first.

But again, we have seen how Jimmy Kimmel has talked about politics on his show. He has remained political. And this platform, I would be also

surprised if it doesn't come up. It's something that people like to criticize, so people will watch to criticize that as well.

JONES: All right. Stephanie, get inside. Stay warm. We won't leave you there on the red carpet for any longer. But thank you for previewing

Sunday night. Thank you.

And be sure to join John Vause and Isha Sesay for a special live coverage of the 90th Academy Awards. They'll have the latest stuff and reaction to

Hollywood's biggest night. That is on Monday immediately following the Oscar's telecast. Friday in here in London, 1:00 p.m. in Hong Kong right

here on CNN.

More to come tonight, including if you're a Brit, you might want to check your mailbox over the next few weeks. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are

inviting members of the public to their big day. It might be your chance. That story is up next.


JONES: Now, if you're in the U.K., you may want to block out the date of May 19th. Why? Well, Prince Harry and his fiancee are inviting hundreds

of members of the public to their wedding. Our Max Foster has all the details.


MAX FOSTER, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: So we're starting to get a greater sense of what this particular royal wedding will look like that

it's going to take place in May. It's happening out of town, unlike Prince William and Kate's wedding, it's happening at a castle as well and the

chapel is a lot smaller. So they'll have about half the number of guests. But what Meghan and Harry were keen to do was bring in members of the

public. And the palace's words Ms. Markle and Prince Harry want members of the public to be a part of the celebrations. They also want this day to

reflect the character and values of the bride and groom.

So what they're going to do is invite more than a thousand members of the public into the castle itself, not the chapel, but just outside the chapel

so they'll be able to see the couple go in and out. They're also going to invite more than a thousand members of the royal household staff and people

linked with the charities and organizations that Prince Harry's been working on and perhaps Meghan will be working with as well.

So you can picture a scene now where you're going to have a castle and there's going to be thousands of people very excited to see how it's all

going to play out. And hopefully, it'll be a sunny day as well to reflect what this is, a fairytale for many people.

Max Foster, CNN London.

JONES: Max, I better check the mailboxes then.

And finally then on the program, a look at the fun side to this winter blast dubbed Emma and the Beast from the East. It left icicles on the

whiskers of these seals in Poland. But fear not, seals love the cold weather so they're happy. Not even the Venice Lagoon has been spared

though. Gondolas are emptied, covered completely with snow. No floating but just for now. But if you have ever wanted to go cross country skiing

through London, why else wouldn't you? Now is your chance. Wonderful stuff.

And this pooch in Scotland, well, he or she doesn't mind the snow at all. It is a winter wonderland for sure across the U.K. right now for four-

legged friend. Thanks so much for watching tonight. Stay warm if you're in the U.K. Stay with us here also on CNN. "GUEST MEANS BUSINESS" is

coming up next.