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EARLY START

White House Defends Steel And Aluminum Tariffs; Oscars Celebrate Diversity; South Korea Officials Travel To North Korea; Trump To Host Israeli Prime Minister. Aired 5:30-6a ET

Aired March 5, 2018 - 05:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


[05:30:28] (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PETER NAVARRO, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF TRADE AND MANUFACTURING POLICY: At this point in time, there would be no country exclusions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN ANCHOR: No country, friend or foe, will be spared from new trade tariffs expected this week. The White House insists it will not hurt the economy, but when will an actual plan be on the table and why are so many key aides against it?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANCES MCDORMAND, ACTRESS, OSCAR WINNER: So, I'm hyperventilating a little bit. If I fall over, pick me up because I've got some things to say.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: The Oscars with a major focus on diversity and the role of women in Hollywood. We have the winners and the answer to the question everyone's asking this morning. What is an inclusion rider?

And speaking of diversity, how about the fourth time in five years that a Mexican wins best --

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- director at the Oscars?

ROMANS: Really something.

BRIGGS: It was quite a night.

Welcome back to EARLY START. I'm Dave Briggs.

ROMANS: I'm Christine Romans. It is 31 minutes past the hour.

Let's begin with trade, though. Big week for trade here, folks.

White House officials are defending the president's new tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum. The president set to deliver on this campaign promise, tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. He gave no further details. We don't know exactly what it's going to look like.

It was a surprise announcement last week and it caused immediate outcry from U.S. businesses, trading partners, and fellow Republicans. The fear here, it risks jobs and industries that rely on steel and aluminum. If you drive a car, if you fly, if you drink beer, if you buy a washing machine, prices could go up.

But, White House officials were on a P.R. offensive this weekend promising tariffs will not hurt the broader economy, adding that no countries -- no countries will be exempt, even key allies.

Here's trade adviser Peter Navarro.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NAVARRO: There would be an exemption procedure for particular cases where we need to have exemptions so that business can move forward. But at this point in time, there would be no country exclusions.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Navarro was backed up by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. The president, he says, plans no exemptions.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WILBUR ROSS, SECRETARY, U.S. COMMERCE: But as of the moment, as far as I know, he is talking about a fairly broad brush.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: "As far as I know," key there because this announcement last week caught a lot of people by surprise and we haven't seen what exactly it is.

Now, over the weekend, the British Prime Minister Theresa May had deep concerns, she said, about tariffs and experts worry they could start a trade war. The E.U. already threatening to slap tariffs on some American exports like Harley Davidson motorcycles made in Wisconsin, Paul Ryan; bourbon made in Kentucky, Mitch McConnell; and Levi's Jeans.

So, in turn, President Trump threatened to tax European cars. If the E.U. wants to further increase their already massive tariffs he'll add a tax on their cars. The U.S. already taxes European cars. Europe taxes American cars 10 percent but European automakers also employ thousands -- tens of thousands of workers in the U.S.

Trump's announcement was made against the wishes of many top advisers, including economic director Gary Cohn, but the administration this morning downplaying reports he is planning to leave.

BRIGGS: It would be an interesting shift if you go from Cohn to Navarro in terms of the global -- ROMANS: The worldview of those men is --

BRIGGS: Right, exactly.

ROMANS: -- incredibly different.

BRIGGS: Let's talk about this with Philip Wegmann. He's a commentary writer for the "Washington Examiner." Good morning to you, Phil.

ROMANS: Good morning, Phil.

PHILIP WEGMANN, COMMENTARY WRITER, WASHINGTON EXAMINER: Good morning.

BRIGGS: This is a massively complex situation that most of us -- or mooks, like myself, not the brilliant Christine Romans --

ROMANS: Stop.

BRIGGS: So, when the commerce secretary says "as far as I know" I get concerned. Why does the commerce secretary not know everything about this policy?

WEGMANN: Well, the only thing that the commerce secretary needs to know is something that basic economics has told us for the last century. The fact of the matter is that tariffs don't work. And this isn't some sort of like esoteric argument. We know, as a matter of fact, that tariffs hurt the economy.

We saw this when President Bush imposed tariffs on steel. We saw this when --

ROMANS: Yes.

WEGMANN: -- President Obama imposed tariffs on tires. Both times it hurt Americans workers.

So to think somehow that we're going to do this again on a much broader scale and with no apparent plan in place, it's just -- it's fantasy thinking.

ROMANS: It is, though, a campaign promise and I would argue that so many of the -- of the stock market highs were because Wall Street saw a pro-business president who was not going to embark on his trade strategy that he had won the White House on. And now, we're seeing that he does intend to do some of this.

"The Wall Street Journal" this morning in one of its editorials saying that taxes on imports won't bring the jobs back -- jobs of yours back to Pittsburgh, and saying that look, you're talking about 140,000 jobs in the steel industry versus 6.5 million jobs in the United States that rely on steel to make stuff. This will mean higher prices for consumers.

[05:35:06] How can the White House promise that its pro-growth tax cuts won't be undone or at least dented by trade problems? WEGMANN: Oh, I mean, they can -- they can promise all they want until right before November when consumers and voters start seeing less money in their paychecks and start seeing higher goods at the grocery store, at the bar, at the car dealership. Literally, anywhere where steel or aluminum is used they're going to see that things are going to cost more.

And I think that there's going to be a significant political cost here if there are some of these retaliatory tariffs put in place against the United States ahead of November. And all of the -- all of the benefits of the tax cuts, those are good and fine -- that's a promise that President Trump kept -- but we don't know what's going to happen with tariff policy, which is around the corner.

And that has to be very troubling because job growth has been the thing that's propped up this presidency --

ROMANS: Right.

WEGMANN: -- during its first year. So for the president to gamble with this, that just doesn't seem like a smart move.

ROMANS: I think that stock market still isn't convinced. I know a lot of people are making the 500 points over two days that the Dow fell. I think that they think there will be exemptions, there will be carveouts.

That somehow, this will get watered down because the stock market, I think, would be down a lot more if they thought this -- you know, tariffs -- 25 percent, 10 percent would actually be in place across the board.

BRIGGS: And to China -- some people asking Canada is our top -- not even close -- Canada is easily our largest importer --

ROMANS: Yes.

BRIGGS: -- of steel, so punishing China is one thing --

ROMANS: And, South Korea is number two. We could put it up. South Korea is number two.

BRIGGS: Brazil, Mexico -- yes, these are --

ROMANS: These are --

BRIGGS: -- our --

ROMANS: These are countries with which we are doing other --

BRIGGS: Our allies.

ROMANS: -- trade deals and diplomacy in the case of South Korea.

Now, some would argue China is number 10 or 11 on this list, but many argue that China's actually dumping steel into these other countries and it's coming here. So, you know, they're kind of -- because of the Trump -- the Obama administration moves they're kind of hiding some of those exports but impossible to know.

WEGMANN: And if you -- if you look at that map, what you see is that a lot of our friends are actually going to be hurt as a result of this, not our enemies.

And I find it very disingenuous that this White House was willing to mock Nancy Pelosi for her comments about crumbs when you see that we are going to hurt our allies and then we are going to increase the cost of products for people who are at the lowest levels of the economic spectrum. It just is completely backwards and I think that the president should change pace on this one.

ROMANS: Philip, you're so cynical. All those companies are just going to eat the higher prices. They'll never pass those on to consumers.

BRIGGS: No.

ROMANS: They'll take it out of their profits, and I'm joking. That will never happen.

All right. Philip Wegmann, nice to see you -- commentary writer at the "Washington Examiner."

WEGMANN: Thank you very much.

BRIGGS: Appreciate it. Thanks, Phil.

ROMANS: All right. Last night, the Academy Awards not entirely free of politics. The MeToo show capped by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway getting a second shot at presenting "Best Picture." Last year, they read the wrong winner, remember, after getting the wrong envelope.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WARREN BEATTY, ACTOR, OSCAR PRESENTER: It's so nice seeing you again.

FAYE DUNAWAY, ACTRESS, OSCAR PRESENTER: As they say, presenting is lovelier the second time around.

BEATTY: And the Oscar goes to "THE SHAPE OF WATER."

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: Guillermo del Toro, who also won "Best Director," even double-checked the envelope to make sure his film had taken the top prize. It had, indeed.

Host Jimmy Kimmel did have a few political cracks, some aimed at President Trump, but more of the focus was on the MeToo and Time's Up movements.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JIMMY KIMMEL, HOST, ACADEMY AWARDS: Oscar is 90 years old tonight, which means he's probably at home right now watching "FOX NEWS."

Oscar is still number one, no question about it. Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood and there's a very good reason why.

Just look at him. He keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word. And most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations.

If we are successful here -- if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace -- if we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time at every other place they go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: No, say it ain't so.

Three of Harvey Weinstein's accusers, Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek shared an emotional moment on stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTRESS: The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying time's up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Frances McDormand won Best Lead Actress for her role in "THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI." She delivered a message -- a remarkable message of female empowerment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCDORMAND: If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight -- the actors. Meryl, if you do it everybody else will -- come on.

[05:40:00] The filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers -- come on.

OK, look around, everybody. Look around, ladies and gentlemen because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed. Don't talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into your office in a couple of days or you can come to ours -- whichever suits you best -- and we'll tell you all about them.

I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentlemen -- inclusion rider.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BRIGGS: As for those two words, inclusion rider, it's a clause in an actor's contract that requires diversity among the cast and the crew. Other top winners, though, included Gary Oldman for his portrayal of Winston Churchill in "DARKEST HOUR." Allison Janney took Best Supporting Actress for her turn as skater Tonya Harding's mom in the dark comedy "I, TONYA." Sam Rockwell won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a racist police officer in "THREE BILLBOARDS."

ROMANS: One other female focus note from the show, we learned who is in charge when "HOUSE OF CARDS" returns in the fall.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ROBIN WRIGHT, ACTRESS, HOUSE OF CARDS: We're just getting started.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ROMANS: Wow. The first promo for the sixth and final season of the Netflix show aired during the Oscars. Robin Wright will star now that Kevin Spacey is gone after sexual misconduct scandals.

BRIGGS: Interesting. Have you seen the best picture?

ROMANS: No, I've not. Have you?

BRIGGS: Most Americans are still trying to figure out --

ROMANS: Jimmy did.

BRIGGS: -- what it's about.

ROMANS: Jimmy was --

BRIGGS: No top 10 box office films won since 2004.

Right now, the highest-level talks between North and South Korea in a decade. Will those talks help get Pyongyang and the U.S. back to the table? We're live in Beijing, next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:46:10] BRIGGS: Five forty-six eastern time.

A delegation of officials from South Korea has arrived in Pyongyang and right now, we believe they are meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. They plan to raise the possibility of talks with the United States but the latest heated exchange between the U.S. and North Korea raises serious doubts about getting both parties to the table.

Will Ripley live for us in Beijing.

Will, just step back for a moment. Have we seen even the slightest hint a denuclearization from the North Koreans at any step of this process?

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Not in any possible way, shape or form have the North Koreans indicated they're willing to give up their nuclear weapons.

Even today in their state media, they said that the United States would be more than ridiculous, in their words, to assume that they'd give up their nukes even though President Trump, over the weekend, said that North Korea called up, said they wanted to talk, and he said the U.S. does too but they have to denuke -- they have to denuke. So, North Korea is saying they're not going to denuke.

And that's the big challenge for this high-level South Korean delegation -- the highest level South Korean delegation to visit Pyongyang in more than 10 years. They have their spy chief, their top security adviser. We believe they're meeting and then going to be having dinner with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

And then, shortly after their trip, they fly to Washington to brief U.S. lawmakers and perhaps pass along a message in trying to set the stage for future talks -- direct talks between the United States and North Korea. But it's hard to see how much progress they're going to make given how far apart they are on this nuclear issue.

And don't forget, the United States has said that if diplomacy isn't working they would be willing to move to phase two, a military option to stop North Korea from finalizing its nuclear program and developing a weapon that could hit the U.S.

Also here in China, a big political story unfolding. Xi Jinping, in just days, is expected to fully solidify his grip on power of this country, abolishing presidential term limits, meaning he could potentially be president for life. That decision being approved at the National People's Congress.

And this basically goes to show that China is moving towards a more authoritarian, strongman-type system of rule, not the peaceful transfer of power that many people had hoped -- Dave.

BRIGGS: And the president joking about it over the weekend.

Will Ripley live for us in Beijing. Thank you.

ROMANS: All right.

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey shut down because -- today because of a security threat. Only emergency services are available in Ankara. No further details about that threat are being released.

Embassy officials urging all U.S. citizens in Turkey to avoid large crowds and be aware of their own security at tourist sites.

All right, how many passengers does it take to kill a $40 million tax break for Delta? Thirteen. Details on "CNN Money," next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

[05:53:05] BRIGGS: Today, President Trump set to host Israel's prime minister at the White House but at this point, no reporters will be allowed to ask a single question. The meeting comes with Benjamin Netanyahu under increasing scrutiny in Israel. Police there say there is enough evidence to indict him on charges that include bribery.

Joining us now with the latest, Ian Lee in Jerusalem. Good morning, Ian.

IAN LEE, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Dave.

Yes, this trip to the White House is likely a nice break for the prime minister. He was questioned just last Friday in one of the many investigations. There's three where he's a suspect.

But in Washington, it's all going to be about three major issues.

The first one for the prime minister, Iran. He's been against the Iranian nuclear deal and against Iranian influence in the Middle East. When it comes to the nuclear deal he's said time after time fix it or nix it, albeit this nuclear deal has a lot of support from the international community.

But we're also hearing that a French envoy is going to be in Iran to talk about the nuclear deal, to talk about Iran's ballistic missile program, as well as their involvement in the region.

Now, the Prime Minister Netanyahu has said that Iran's involvement in neighboring Syria and Lebanon is very worrying for Israel.

Another topic they'll touch on is going to be the peace deal. President Trump's ultimate deal wick (ph). Here, there's a plan although none of us have seen the details of that plan. A lot of officials haven't seen the details of that plan, a plan that's going to be difficult to push forward especially when the Palestinians say they want nothing to do with the United States.

There's also the embassy move which is going to take place in May. We're expecting possibly an invitation for President Trump to come and cut the ribbon -- Dave.

BRIGGS: All right, Ian Lee. Thank you.

Kobe Bryant, meanwhile, adding to his already impressive trophy case winning an Oscar for his animated short "DEAR BASKETBALL."

Andy Scholes has more in this morning's "Bleacher Report" Monday edition. Hey, Andy.

[05:55:00] ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Hey, good morning, guys.

BRIGGS: Hey, Andy.

SCHOLES: Yes, Kobe telling reporters that winning this Oscar feels better than winning a championship. That's how much this means to him.

Now, Kobe's animated short "DEAR BASKETBALL" was based off a poem he wrote in 2015 announcing his impending retirement from the NBA. And when accepting his Oscar, Kobe taking a shot a "FOX NEWS" host who said NBA players should just quote "shut up and dribble."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

KOBE BRYANT, NBA CHAMPION, OSCAR WINNER: I mean, as basketball players, we're really supposed to shut up and dribble but I'm glad -- I'm glad we do a little bit more than that. Thank you, Academy for this amazing honor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHOLES: Now, Kobe's win was met with congratulations from many but also a fair amount of criticism. Kobe was charged with sexual assault in 2003 before the case was ultimately dropped.

All right, the first set of teams punching their tickets to the NCAA tournament over the weekend, the most exciting coming in the Big South championship game. Carlik Jones hits the three at the buzzer to send Radford to the big dance for the first time since 2009.

Lipscomb, Chicago Loyola, Murray State, and Michigan also punching their ticket this weekend. Conference tournaments are going to continue later on today.

All right. Phil Mickelson turning back the clock to get his first tournament win since 2013 yesterday at the Mexico Championship, but it wasn't easy. Justin Thomas here holing out on 18 from 118 yards out for eagle. He and Phil would go to a playoff with Phil eventually winning it.

Phil had played 101 tournaments since winning the 2013 British Open. This one extra special. His younger brother Tim was his caddy for the tournament.

All right. Finally, Shaquem Griffin putting on a show at the combine over the weekend. The linebacker out of Central Florida running a blazing 4.38 according to our dash, the fastest time for a linebacker at the combine since 2003.

He also benched 225 pounds 20 times while wearing his prosthetic left arm. Griffin had his left hand amputated when he was just four years old due to a birth defect. The guy is, you know -- at the game showing everyone you really can do anything if you put your mind to it.

BRIGGS: Yes.

SCHOLES: And also really cool, Shaquem's twin brother ran the exact same time in the 40-yard dash that his brother -- last year -- 4.38 seconds. His twin brother's the exact same time a year apart.

ROMANS: Wow.

SCHOLES: Also pretty cool.

BRIGGS: That is awesome. Getting the attention of J.J. Watt and Von Miller and he was a late add to the combine. What a great story. ROMANS: All right, thanks.

BRIGGS: Thanks, Andy.

SCHOLES: All right.

ROMANS: Let's get a check on "CNN Money" this morning.

President Trump's tariffs are shaking markets. U.S. stocks closed mixed but ended lower for the week. The Dow losing almost 500 points in just two days. The sell-off could continue today.

Right now, U.S. futures are lower. Global markets are mixed.

So why is the market freaked out by trade? The president's protectionism threatens to undo his pro-business work until now, like tax cuts and deregulation. And a trade war -- well, that could lead to more inflation and more interest rates hikes. Fears of higher rates are behind the market's recent wild swings.

How many passengers does it take to kill a $40 million tax break for Delta? Thirteen.

Remember previously, Delta offered those discounted flights to the NRA's annual meeting. It ended the program due to consumer pressure.

That decision angered Georgia Republicans who then stripped a jet fuel tax break from a bill that was signed into law Friday. It turns out only 13 people ever used that discount.

Delta says it remains neutral in the gun debate. It's one of a dozen companies cutting ties with the NRA in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

What's better than winning an Academy Award? Winning an Oscar and a jet ski, I guess. That was the incentive host Jimmy Kimmel offered for the shortest acceptance speech.

The winner, "PHANTOM THREAD" costume designer Mark Bridges. His speech clocked in at about 30 seconds. The jet ski, Kimmel explained, with help from Helen Mirren, worth almost $18,000.

I love that. Thirty seconds, 18 grand. I think he has to pay taxes on it though so call your accountant.

BRIGGS: Right, but I just like that he got Helen Mirren to play a Barker's beauty in one of the great moments of the Oscars last night.

ROMANS: All right, thanks for joining us. I'm Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: I'm Dave Briggs. "NEW DAY" starts right now. We'll see you tomorrow.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BAKARI SELLERS, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: This is not what this country needs to reestablish any global stature.

NAVARRO: (INAUDIBLE) trade.

SEN. ANGUS KING (I), MAINE: You want to do these kinds of things with a scalpel, not a chainsaw.

ROSS: If he says something different it will be something different.

JEN PSAKI, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: They're all talking about internal staff struggles, not talking about their agenda.

CHRIS CHRISTIE (R), FORMER GOVERNOR, NEW JERSEY: He only creates half the drama. The other half is caused by staff killing each other.

MCDORMAND: If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees stand with me.

MIRA SORVINO, ACTRESS: It's this possibility of the status quo not having to be the status quo any longer.

JUDD: The changes are being driven by the powerful sounds of new voices finally saying time's up.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER: This is NEW DAY with Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is your new day. It's Monday, March fifth, 6:00 here in New York.

Alisyn is off; Erica Hill joins me. Thank you, as always.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR: My pleasure.

CUOMO: Good, I need you this morning. There's a lot of news. Here's our "Starting Line."

President Trump defending his proposed tariffs on imported steel and aluminum but he has yet to say how.