tv Charlie Rose PBS August 17, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin this evening with a look at the democratic presidential race. joining me colleen mccain nelson, jonathan martin and anne gearan. >> if you'rmu joe biden and you're seeing bernie sanders, an avowed socialist from vermont and who is 74 years old, he is drawing these crowds, has this real organic energy and he is proving hillary clinton has real vulnerabilities within the democratic primary process, you're joe biden, you see that, you have to think long and hard about running. >> rose: we conclude with a conversation about chinese currency, american manufacturing and many other things with the c.e.o. of dow chemical company, andrew liveris. >> massively important we stay agile, nimble and entrepreneurial in this sort of
volatility. this world we have, uncertainty and volatility is not going away. we're traveling at the speed of live, is the term i like to leave. the internet, interconnectedness, all the books that have been written, the heart beat away is an issue. everything sin stant. how do you deal with that? you have to have a culture that deck side in the moment what the right thing to do is. >> rose: the american political campaign and running a global company, >> rose: funding for "charlie rose" has been provided by: >> rose: additional funding provided by: >> and by bloomberg, a provider of multimedia news and information services worldwide.
captioning sponsored by rose communications from our studios in new york city, this is charlie rose. continue. youens>> rose: there has been so much talk here and elsewhere about the republican primary season and also the eemergence of donald trump that we thought we would take this evening and look at the democratic field of candidates for the 2016 race, some polls show bernie sanders leading hillary clinton in new hampshire. speculation continues to grow as to whether vice president joe biden will enter the race. clinton is plagued about her use of a private email account when secretary of state. she agreed to turn over her personal server and thumb drive to all work related e-mails to the justice department this week. joining me from washington, colleen mccain nelson of "the wall street journal," jonathan martin of the "new york times," and joining us later anne gearan of "the washington post." jonathan and colleen, let me
begin with this question, how much damage has hillary clinton taken from at the mail business? >> i think it's been most damaging just in terms of her perception in the campaign. perception is what drives so much of. this i think it has some of her donors uneasy. the democratic elites are uneasy. the clinton folks are upset about what they see as a partisan witch hunt. but i tell you what, charlie, you talk to democrats privately especially those close to president obama and they are scratching their heads about why the clinton folks did not move more quickly on this, knowing how aggressive the congressional g.o.p. was going to be. in terms of that server, why not just deal with it immediately, you know, turn it over, move on. instead, you know, here we are on the fourth month of this story. >> rose: and what's the answer? why didn't they do that?
>> i think there was resistance because they didn't think she had done anything wrong, so they weren't going to give in. you know, charlie, as you know, that's a decades-long tradition with the clinton. they feel they're under siege, unfairly targeted and they will be darned if they enable that. >> rose: is there any possibility they will be able to uncover the personal e-mails? >> i mean, colleen can answer that perhaps better than i can. i think it is unlikely at this point. you know, i'm not sure as to all the email technology, if those can be found, but as far as i know, she had destroyed those. >> rose: that's what i understand, too, but we all know places where people thought they had destroyed something and turns out they didn't. colleen, what is the technical opinion today about the possibility of recovering e-mails that were assumed to be deleted? >> i certainly think that's a possibility. technical experts will tell you
it's possible they're still able to be found. the question is, though, would we get to see those. certainly freedom of information act laws would allow us to see any official e-mails, but if they actually find the personal e-mails in which she says are about yoga and planning weddings, it's not clear we would get to see those because those wouldn't necessarily be considered official business or be covered by freedom of information act laws. >> rose: many people have talked about the trust factor here. does this contribute to the trust factor and make it even larger as an issue and, therefore, have people like joe biden and others saying maybe this race is not as we assumed it might be? >> well, i think jonathan's right. this contributes to an ongoing narrative, and there will already be questions about the clinton's secrecy and their honesty and this feeds into that existing narrative. when you talk to democrats,
they're not necessarily concerned about the e-mails per se, but they're concerned about the existing perception and they also ask the question of what else might be out there, is there another shoe to drop here. so that's a concern among democrats. they think probably she can weather the email storm, assuming that we don't learn anything hugely different from what she's told us. but they wonder what else might come out during the course of the next 18 months. >> rose: your newspaper has a piece on the front page today about biden is sounding out allies on a '16 bid. what kind of advice do you think joe biden is getting from allies and friends? >> he's certainly getting encouragement from his friends. there are a lot of people who have been saying to joe biden, you should run, hillary clinton is vulnerable, dwhrowrs chance to jump in the race. but it's interesting because the shift we've seen over the last few weeks is, up until recently, people had been urging him to run and he had kind of been listening to that, taking that
in, not ruling anything out. but within the last couple of weeks, we've seen joe biden kind of shift into a more active role, began reaching out to people, asking them more detailed questions and trying to get a sense of the numbers and how steep a challenge it would be to jump into the race at this point. so he shifted from listening to actively investigating. >> rose: jonathan, do you have anything to add to that? >> yeah, there is no question that he is trying to figure out whether or not the space is there for him to run. he understands the political clock that we're looking at, september around the corner, the iowa caucus only a few months after that, so i think he understands the difficulty of this. but this is his last opportunity to run for president, and joe biden is a very proud man. i talked to a democrat yesterday who knows the vice president, who has worked on some campaigns that he's been involved in, and this democrat told me, he said
joe biden wants credit for what he has done with this administration. he wants to be viewed as a statesman and he wants to be seen as somebody who could potentially be the next president of the united states, and i think that might ultimately lead him to at least consider strongly the possibility of running. i'm not sure if he actually does it, but he is definitely checking it out in a way that i don't think he was, say, five months ago. >> rose: meanwhile, we have bernie sanders doing well. >> that's right. i was going to say, charlie, if you're joe biden and seeing bernie sanders, who is, you know, an avowed socialist from vermont and who is 74 years old, he is drawing these crowds, has real organic energy and proving hillary clinton does have real vulnerabilities within the democratic primary process, you're joe biden you see that, you've got to think long and hard about running.
>> rose: you think the clinton camp is worried about bernie sanders? >> i don't think they're worried about him in terms of being the nominee. i think they're worried about him in a sense that he underscores her vulnerabilities and makes it clear he has difficulties on her left that are going to make her pay more attention to the primary than perhaps they would ideally. it's the perception issue. the clinton folks don't think bernie could be the nominee but could pin them down in democratic primaryland for the next six months. he could potentially come close or win one of the more liberal-oriented primary states. so, in that sense, he is at the very least a nuisance for the clinton folks who would ideally be able to focus entirely on contrasting themselves with the g.o.p. >> rose: how is hillary doing in terms of the position papers she is making? are they resonating within the
party whether about wreat wall t or economics or other issues when she tends to want to stake out her place in the debate. >> that's one of her strengths. she is so fluent on policy. she really is passionate about issues. she has one phrase from democrats for a fairly rough best series of policy rollouts. i think some folks on the left wing of her party, some more pro bernie sanders think she hasn't gone far enough, particularly when it comes to wreath reform. but that has been a strength of her, delving deep into policy. she was in new hampshire this week hard hit by the drug crisis, whether heroin or prescription drug abuse, and she had a round table there talking about these issues in a really sort of expansive way that impressed some folks out there that i talked to. the problem, charlie, is that we're in this donald trump
summer and, so, once you get beyond some folks in these early primary states and, you know, democratic insiders, i'm not sure who exactly, if we're seeing hillary's policy roll out because, frankly, the media saturation of trump is so intense. >> rose: donald trump, go ahead. >> if nothing else, donald trump is unequivocal. there are no grey areas with donald trump. he casts everything in black and white, casts people as good and bad and our leaders as stupid and, so, he absolutely is tapping into a frustrated electorate, and people who are saying, i don't like the direction we're heading, he is resonating with them. >> rose: is he different than ross perot, different than other people who will come on as he has as someone outside the political realm to dominate for months? >> i think perot is not a bad comparison because the appeal of both of them were often found in
people who were really upset at the sort of party system as it was. the difference, i think, is that perot was somebody who put together an actual campaign. recall he had people like ed rawlings, others who worked on national campaigns before. for trump, right now, he's more of a media lark. he goes from one tv interview to the next, calls into shows, putting out twitter assaults on his various opponents. it's sort of much more of a sort of lark, at least at the moment, charlie. so i think there are differences. frankly, we're in more of a celebrity culture than we were in '92, and i think people tune in to see what trump is going to say. it's less, well, i want to hear what he has to say about the bored around our trade challenges. it's more of what is this guy
going to do next? >> rose: anne gearan from the "new york times" joins us. thank you for doing is this. >> hi, nice to be with you, charlie. >> rose: "after months of remaining largely above the partisan fray and appearing caution to the fault, hillary clinton has taken risks. clinton suffered erosion in her public image with more potential voters saying they view her unfavorable than at any point in the 2016 race and fewer people say they find her trustworthy ." my question to you, is this something you think she can overcome? >> i think we're seeing if not a derailment, certainly a stall. the clinton campaign did not expect at this point in the process to be facing the high negatives that she has in polling. certainly, they knew from the get-go that her skying-high approval ratings following her term as secretary of state
couldn't hold up, there would be erosion in that. they did expect at least nominal primary opposition, but the strength of that primary opposition in bernie sanders, where it's coming from, its staying power, certainly the size of the crowds he's drawing, the degree of the protest vote that you hear, it's just obvious in the sanders phenomenon, and the lingering and continuing problems that she's had with the whole email server and, to an extent, the questions about the clinton foundation that have dogged her have dragged down her numbers and increased the numbers of people who say that, while they find her qualified to be president, that they don't necessarily trust her. that is not a position they expected to be in at this point. if it continues, she will have much bigger problems than she has now. >> rose: is it the candidate or the staff that's advising her. >> well, i don't know that i'm
qualified to say that specifically. i can say what i see in her when she is campaigning, which is that she's a much better candidate. she's much more sort of focused and engaged. she seems very relatable to crowds versus the kind of candidate she often was in 2008. i covered her as secretary of state, too, and i think she's more on the stump now, she's more like she was as secretary of state. she's very accomplished, and she looks it and sounds it. what she's not doing is connecting to people on a sort of energy level, and that's what sanders is doing. sanders is getting people fired up. they want to see what he's going to say and do next. that's similar to trump. people want to find out what she's going to say and do next, and she just doesn't have that
level of excitement or engagement. >> rose: jonathan? i think the sanders energy is more ideologically driven. it is found in democrats and liberals who, a, are disappointed at the limitations of the obama era. they're angry at the supreme court for overturninger key phi mans laws. they're upset president obama has been stymied by a republican congress, that he hasn't been able to go further on progressive goals, and they see hillary clinton as somebody who is much more of a center left, establishment oriented, consensus driven democrat who's not really going to challenge a system that it find to be inherently corrupt, and they see in sanders somebody who is a sort of platonic ideal of liberal purity, somebody who is, in fact, going to give voice in really unambiguous terms to what they think needs to be done in
this country, and i think that's why you see the size of the crowds. you see the bumper stickers. you see people wearing bernie sanders t-shirts. he's a 74-year-old guy in vermont who has sort of become something of a top icon, charlie, in certain liberal circles. i was in new hampshire this week and just driving around, you see more of a presence for bernie sanders than i think anybody would have guessed six months ago, and it speaks as to where a lot of liberals are right now in terms of their dissatisfaction with the state of the country. >> rose: you think this is a pent-up emotion that was looking for a vessel to pour itself into? >> i think that's right and, obviously, we had the excitement around elizabeth warren and the question of whether she might enter the race. eventually, she said she was not going to run, so we had this group of people from the left wing of the democratic party who were looking for a candidate and bernie sanders absolutely fit
the bill. and there are people in the democratic party who are frustrated by hillary clinton's ties to wall street by her unwillingness to go further to the left on some issues, and bernie sanders has no qualms about staking out the very left wing of the party. these folks were primed and ready. they were ready for war, at one point. when that didn't happen, bernie sanders stepped in and has really tapped into some enthusiasm on the left side of the party. >> rose: colleen thank you so much. jonathan, thank you. >> thank you. enjoyed it. >> rose: andrew liveris is here. he has spent his entire career at dow chemical company. he joined the company in 1976 and became c.e.o. in 2004. under his leadership, dow has become the largest u.s. chemical maker by sales. he also reinvented the company in response to domestic and global challenges. as a global executive, he has had extensive dealings with the
chinese government which is getting a lot of attention due to currency devaluation. pleased to have andrew liveris at this table for the first time. welcome. >> great to be here. >> rose: your daughter went to work at this program. >> alexandria loved it here. thank you. >> rose: she's well? she is. making films. >> rose: which is what she always wanted to do. >> exactly. >> rose: so send her our best. thank you, charlie. >> rose: let me begin by china. >> yes. >> rose: the story everybody is talking about, the devaluation. tell me the impact, why they did it, what they hope to accomplish and what impact it will have on other economies. >> well, the chinese economy, the last few years, and we saw the pivot in 2012 time frame, ping's arrival, his cabinet, the ten-year run. this is an economy now in transition and we should expect the pivots. these pivots will be like
devaluations. china is slowing down, employment needs acute. income disparity under administration. ping only had so much to run as an export economy. this administration, the well being of chinese, the social needs of chinese, giving everyone the same quality of life, this is where, this is more pivotable in china. >china. domestic demand means more
inclusiveness of the social fabric and reforms necessary in china. china knelt's healthcare, pensions, insurance, services sector and domestic consumption sector and this is in a communist society, a top-down socialist society at best, with capitalism as its core way to create j how do those two forces come together with so much inefficiency, some state-owned enterprises, so many people not meaningfully, productively employed. >> rose: corruption. and the corruption driving is the indicator they're serious on a multi-year decade-long transformation. i told our people inside dow, and dow's representatives are 18% in china, very local, the growth will not be as strong tas numbers report, will be different products, growth will be choppy and corrections like the ones we've seen in the last few days. >> rose: if growth is projected at 7, you think it's
closer to what? >> manufacturing indices tell me a lot. it's been a 4%, 5% economy now for a couple of years in terms of real growth. moving money around creates extra growth. infrastructure, stimuli, a few shots at those create small growth, but 6%, 7%, the best in this pivot i'll mention. >> rose: how long will it take them to make this pivot? >> it's a defining pivot not just for them but the world. the effect of china on the world as the world's second-largest economy we now know and the time when it surpasses the u.s. has an economy driven by domestic demand is good for all of us if we can participate in it. >> rose: so you can sell products to china. >> and that's what we're doing. if you look at the results from last quarter, i grew volumes in china because i had the right products -- packaging from food safety as they move from wet to dry markets like we're used to here. the supply chain around
infrastructure and energy efficiency, clean energy, environmental protection, they need these products. whatever purification. if they keep throwing pigs down the river and keep giving people poison to eat, that's a problem. so these are issues. five to ten years in terms of a transition, i think. >> rose: where do we stand in terms with the slowdown in growth, a slowdown in their demand for products? like europe? >> certainly, certainly. well, europe created the problem for them, if you like. three years ago the situation in europe that unfoldedos on us with grease stopped the need for chinese products and that created the cascade effect. of course, the u.s. and selling it to the u.s., that's everyone's market of choice, clearly china's export engine
started it three years ago, that demand created a major problem. they had to reengineer their economy based on their own social needs but that exacerbated the needs and created the pivot. >> rose: the markets have been also under a lot of pressure and also under a lot of focus. >> yes. >> rose: and it's separate, some say, from the economy. it's a market phenomenon. >> yes. >> rose: and how many people went in to the market without the means to -- >> i spent 15 years in hong kong, growing up around a lot of chinese, friends in northern australia where i grew up. i know the chinese culture very well. they like to gamble. they are, by definition, people who like to spend. that's maybe too generic, but in general very true. >> rose: huge growth for resort companies in macau. >> i think the whole chinese
phenom, people are going to put money in these markets and when they aren't as open and free as ours are and forces can play a role like the government, people worry about losing everything they have and would lose everything they have. so the market reaction versus the real market, there is a disconnect now. >> rose: china has not seen for now a strong leader lining exxi jinping. >> he solidified his forces around him. the princes, the five that will see the transition through. there will be change at the halfway mark. i think he has that very well planned. there is noise around the anti-corruption drive and this equity market is creating noise. i have been in the man's presence quite a few times, well before the leader of the country. this is a strong, very driven guy. >> rose: what does he want in
a relationship with the united states? >> look, the two leaders of the world economically need to lead politically. the chinese do not understand their place on the world stage vis-a-vis the u.s. >> rose: go ahead. in essence, they tried the i'm going to take over africa thing. in africa you see chinese workforce, companies. they recognize economic colonization doesn't work if you don't share the same values. the american model works. why am i leading an american company in what is this australian greek doing in this chair talking to charlie rose? the american model of exporting values based on freedom works. people willingly want to be part of that wherever the culture is. it galvanized 162 countries. we have a workforce outside the united states. we know what the american model is. it's based on values and freedom and all the things that go with that, the regulatory environments, the order of law. the chinese don't have that and the opaqueness of china in terms
of its values, its politics -- communism, socialism, call it what you like, the issues around corruption -- they can't go -- y can go elsewhere to start powers like the u.s. but they're trying to find a relationship with united states that works. what we need on this side of the ocean is patience. i believe the strategic and economic dialogue created a basis to work together strategically and economically, and the best thing that can happen to these two countries in the next step is a trade treaty. >> rose: do the chinese fear that the u.s. is trying to contain them? >> there is a lot of that. >> rose: mainly military? definitely military, but the u.s. is the military power of the world, and they know that. i think they feel they have a region and every time the u.s.
u.s. -- i remember the missiles fired in taiwan in the '80s, no question the u.s. military presence comforts every other nation out there which is of course in the face of the chinese. that is definitely an aggravation. >> rose: we'll talk about politics. how do they feel, chinese leadership, about the party? because many people believe there is a kind of fear that the party will lose some of its control and that is a primary consideration for them as they think about reform. >> yes. so the one-party system, i remember as a young man walking the streets of hong kong, and i was told communism and one party is good for china because the chinese 1.3 billion people, whatever it was back then, there is no way we can put a democracy in place and avoid chaos. fast forward 40 years, they've created economic miracle, they have wealth in the country and having participation at different levels of the economy -- not all the way, the
previous conversation. >> rose: let me skip to the united states. you are a strong advocate and have been on government committees having to do with manufacturing in america. where does that stand? >> better than five years ago, and probably not way back to the golden age where it was the industrial revolution, industrial policy. what happened to us in america is technology is the basis of our economy, has always been a strength of ours, manifests itself into communicating better with each other like the internet -- it's been marvelous, we all live in the internet age -- manifested it toward labor, capital or raw material. we lost our way with heavy industry, heavy manufacturing, basic assembly and inventing the new. so innovation on top of manufacturing, 70% of all government r and d is done by
manufacturing. so job expansion, ply chains. every job in a manufacturing plant creates five jobs around it. >> rose: contractors and -- supply chains all the way to the hair dresser in the local community, okay. >> rose: right. so the ability to get manufacturing back was very important. >> rose: you wrote a book. make it in america. >> rose: "make it in america" is the title. >> yeah. and i was very frustrated when i was going to washington seven or eight years ago that no one brought all those policies together on trade, tax, energy, education, all the things that constitute a review of the manufacturing sector of the country. >> rose: has it happened now. yes. >> rose: so you give the president some credit for bringing those policies together? >> i give him credit for forming the manufacturing partnership that addressed three issues -- skills and workforce development and ex expand. the creation of silicon valley
hubs, rev launched six hubs across the country that are focusing in on technologies that a whole group of people analyzed to say we can win in these and really scale these technologies and export things to the world. >> rose: where are they? one in texas? >> actually, one in chicago that does 3-d printing. there is one in youngstown, ohio that does manufacturing. there is one in detroit for light-weight materials for automobiles, et cetera. there is one in knoxville, tennessee that does composites. that's the ones off the top of my head i can remember now. these are all meant to bring private capital with public funds being spent and create startups in these technologies. >> rose: you like startups. i call dow a 118-year-old startup. >> rose: you believe startups succeed. >> important we stay agile in
this volatility. we're traveling at the speed of live, is the term i like to use. the internet, interconnectedness, flatness, all the books that have been written, the reality is that a heart beat away is an issue. the problems that can happen in the world of business and the world of government and the world of society are instant you know that. so how do you deal with that? you need a culture that can decide in the moment what the right thing to do is. that agility and ability to pivot is necessary. >> rose: but it's also part of what has happened with respect to data. we have more data to make decisions earlier and quicker and more pervasive than we've ever had. >> clearly. >> rose: and manufacturing and sensors and all those things that have given people like you who have to make decisions -- >> it's a tsunami. and going from data to information, the s curve, going from information to knowledge, to ultimately wisdom, we're in the model t ford era of data
going to wisdom. companies like i.b.m. and others who are putting in place cognitive computing. >> rose: right. you sit on the board of i.b.m. >> and it's a great science-based technology company trying to solve the intersection you talked about, how to take data and make decisions and make them smart enough to have the the consequence i want and the domino effect of decision-making is from these jobs is huge. i don't sit in an office any more. the previous generations of c.e.o. would sit in an office and let it come to them. i gather data from the front lines and enable my troops to affect decision-making in the moment, in the country. the ajillty and accountability has to be done and measuring that and running the company so you have this drum beat of measurement, you know, you are what you inspect, not expect.
that line and putting that in place is a cultural phenomenon. we've hired 22,000 new people in the last five years. we have an employee base of 53,000. 22,000 in the last five years, half under age of 30. the the average age of the company is in its early 40s from the '50s before. we have 35% of the company under the age of 35. age is not everything. i would like to think for both of us. but ajillty comes with the younger mind. >> rose: but also this idea of how do you appeal to them and the educational level that you expect. >> so the pivot we did was sustainability and environmental health and safety goals. we published our 2025 goals recently. i have a story of a young engineer in texas who we had to put a waste water treatment plant in to clean up some waste water we were normally putting into the rivers and that would be a $45 million investment. this young engineer took our sustainability goals and said i'm going to use natural wetlands to filter this waste
and create a new wetlands out of that, cost $1.5 million. >> rose: how did he do that? he basically engineered geology and created natural osmotic processes in the wetland to without any harm to the environment treat the waste, and that created life and aquatic area for fishing. the mindset of doing that for a young employee in our company is to put values in place to value nature. humanity has done a poor job in pricing that value. at dow we've created the mathematical models to allow our people to spend money, to obviously create money -- >> rose: do well and do good. do well and do good. this mindset appeals to the young people to the earlier point. >> rose: at the same time, are you dependent on a workforce that's highly educated? >> across the value train of
education -- >> rose: does it have to have that kind of element? >> yes, the manufacturing partnership, the workforce development point i made earlier, technicians, apprenticeships and wheel who understand robotics andmondern day manufacturing is the gap in this country. i pay $150,000 a year for welders in the united states now. i can't find welders. >> rose: you're saying there ought to be a place producing welders. >> yeah, it's a great job and great skill. >> rose: there is no skill teaching people how to weld. >> there are schools out there. how can companies like ours create the supply chains? it's not just ph.d.s, technicians and the modern-day workers for the modern-day manufacturing economy, there are half a million jobs in the united states. so the manufacturing project, president obama and the team that worked on that, we are converting community colleges to put curriculum in place for
apprenticeship schools. >> rose: is it government or privately sponsored. >> the infrastructure is there because its exists from long ago. the private companies create curriculum for their supply chains and they train them and scale up and we employ them. >> rose: how do you stay on top? >> a workaholic. i'll fully connected at all times. i have two things on my wrist here. >> rose: one is -- fitness. i have to stay healthy. passion and excitement and energy are the things we bring to our jobs, and i love what i do and have for the 40 years i have been working at this company, and it's a company i have been privileged to serve a third of its history. i felt, when i got the job, to transform it to its modern era, the era we're talking about, i brought an international
perspective but a love for the united states for what t united states has done not just for me but for everyone, people like me, immigrants and people who can do well here by growing up by how good you are. so that commitment to stay on top of your game, i can't do it forever, obviously, although some of us do go on a long time -- the shareholders, the board, myself, we all look at that and say let's keep driving the company in this direction and along the way, all the good things that happen to you will happen to you. >> rose: what do you say to stockholder activists that come after you? >> this is a new reality i have embraced as american capitalism keeps bringing forward new ways to make money, and new ways to make money under different time frames. the long-term debate, that's not the discussion we should be having. >> rose: the short versus long-term emphasis, in other words, secretary clinton is making speeches, as you know, saying we've got too much of an
emphasis from wall street on quarterly returns. >> yeah, so her point there that i agree with is i don't set r&d budgets every 90 days. i'm doing $20 billion in saudi arabia, that's a nine-year decision about to start sniewp what are you building there? >> the world's largest technology-based integrated factory that will produce 26 different product families on chemistry and plastics that will supply middle east, india, asia and africa. you can see it from satellites. 80,000 workers on the site finishing the plant as we speak. >> rose: where are the workers from? >> third-country nationals. that's the way the saudis do it. they don't have a lot of their own contract laborers. that decision is not a 90-day decision, it's a multi-year decision. but people like me have to listen to shareholders of all sorts and make a decision on
what to do in the long bucket and how to do in the short bucket. it's not an either-or. it's an and. if you're newt shareholder, you shouldn't be in this job. >> rose: do you meet with dna and talk about his ideas with respect to the company? >> i do. we met them last year, this year, very recently. we made a third point. >> rose: is it clear what your own goals and vision is for the company? >> here's ours, here's yours, where's the gap. let's understand. if we disagree, we agree to disagree. that's engagement. you should be doing that all the time. >> rose: can't afford not to do that. >> you've got to. your audience is your audience but your owner matters. >> rose: talk about product mix. dow chemical, 118 years. >> yeah. >> rose: 1887. '97. >> rose: talk about the
product. here you are, the world's largest chemical company, high up there. >> yes. >> rose: what does that mean to the products you're delivering today for changing times. >> commercialization from the chinese and any other place in the world that you want to pick nearly killed us. we almost went, you know, belly up a decade ago because we were no longer innovating. today, this last year, we launched 5,000 new products, ten times -- >> rose: you almost went belly up? >> well, because we were losing money for two straight years, in the '01, 02 crisis. we were finishing acquisition called unio union carbide. the asbestos issue became an issue for us, we couldn't afford the dividend. if i haven't for coming out of the '03-'04 rescission, we would have come close to not being able to surprise. >> rose: the new product mix. einvent r&d. we sold $15 billion worth of
business. we acquired $18 billion. we developed $22 billion of new business. the mats adds up. the $22 billion of new business is all driven by technology value add needs. i have a shoe here for you. this is a shoe that has a sole. it has a light shoe. this product developed normally would take two years, this is to make it light, stiff, flexible, weatherproof. this shoe, we developed a system called infuse. instead of taking two years, it took two weeks. they launched the shoe within six to nine months. >> rose: let me understand the project. they came to you and said we need to make a shoe that has these properties -- it's light, durable, cushion -- >> yes, and we want to -- >> rose: two weeks? we developed the product in two weeks. sampled it with them. why? because we put high-techology robotics into our
experimentation. i can do as a company 2 million experiments a year, more than ten times what i used to be able to do manually. >> rose: robots? obots wore road from the pharmaceutical industry. we tested the catalyst systems, developed product, camped them, they liked some, and scaled up issue. so that shortening innovation cycle, we have to do that to survive. the new products we're launching are cannibalizing our old products and staying ahead of the commoditization. we have record amounts of margins from those patents. >> rose: what strikes me is the idea that whatever the company you have is, it can be a chemical company, but it's, in the end, a technology company. >> yeah, so i've heard others say that and, you know -- >> rose: don't agree with that? >> i do agree with it. science technology is chemistry, engineering, math, physical
science -- i have all those. how to express them in a product in the market is a choice on value creation. what we used to do is sell chemicals, the old fashioned chemicals. they were bolt chemicals. when the lady did my makeup, i said what chemical with you using? she said, i'm using this or nirchg one and this one and this one. the pure water we have is from chemistry. chemistry enables everything we do. bottom to top of the pyramid. the new products are to meet sustainable needs of top and bottom of society. i launched a purification membrane for people to get pure water in africa. 40% more efficient, 30% less energy, makes it available for villages in africa. >> rose: explain because i'm interested in how corporations do well and good at the same time. so a whatever purification
project for a country in africa. >> countries in africa. >> rose: did they come to you? no. >> rose: you looked and knew there was an issue about the worldwide demand for water and pure water. >> yes, from rivers, taking the viruses and bacteria and metals from contaminated water streams, we knew the need was out there. the r&d worked on the product to get it at a lower cost, because we have the product in advanced societies like the u.s. and europe that you you can afford it and pay for it. but there they don't have the funds to pay for it. >> rose: nor the infrastructure. >> they don't have the ability to even understand their needs to provide water, as you know. africa, india, all the parts of the pyramid that are low and can't afford it, we provided the technologies at very affordable prices. that for me is what science does. >> rose: is that a moneymaking business for you. >> yes, it is. >> rose: or a wiz where you're betting the cow.
>> we're not betting the cow, we're making money. we don't do losses well in our company. we don't believe in putting a product out there that's new and losing money. we adapt to the need and affordability model. we price according to what they can afford and develop according that. >> rose: is creating a corporate environment, it has to come from a management that wills it to be true. >> yes. >> rose: and you have to understand what it is that you're demanding. >> yes. >> rose: of people. yes. >> rose: and be able to communicate it to them in a way nat they can see -- in a way that they can see how it affects their life. >> yeah, so i'm on my fourth -- >> rose: but what would you define the reinvention of yourself as a c.e.o.? >> well, firstly, the traits you bring to the job are your traits, but you better learn from what's around you, that better be a trait.
being adaptive to the world around you. the confucius saying, you're born with two years and have one mouth for a reason, you should be listening twice as much than when you're talking. the lows are never as low as they seem to be, the high are never as high as they feel at the time. emotional control is a band wide, so you can be adaptive and a learner is something i have been a very big fan of and i surround myself with people i can learn from all the time. if they're not around me, i can go to them. i operate at the intersections. business, government, civil society, sciences. i go to universities to learn what all the new sciences are. i'm on the board of cal tech so i can learn about advanced technologies. >> rose: a good place to be. you have to go out and be adaptive to the new realities. you embrace the reality, you make the choices, you personally lead the change and build the
team around you. used to be you could do that over decades or ten years or five years. today, it's every decision you take. embrace it, make the choice, lead the change, build the team. >> rose: explain why it benefits every individual. >> well, because, personal growth. and mentoring and tutoring young people. what i will know i've done ten years from now is i've helped young people fulfill their dreams and ambitions. >> rose: your company is near detroit. >> yeah. >> rose: how is detroit doing? not as well as reported, but it's begun its journey. it found it's bottom. the wastelands are to be converted to parks and dna's das project is enormously powerful in the city. >> rose: he bought a lot of land and changed it himself.
>> yes. midland, michigan, i invite you to come to my hometown, two hours north of detroit, what dow has done in that community is recommit to the community to help it be the very best place in america to live. it got voted as one of the best small towns in america not long ago. we work with the schools. we work with the community leaders. we work with the sports facility. we do what it takes to attract the best and brightest. >> rose: a couple more things. one about dow and its place in the world. one had to do with an appearance by the c.e.o. of general electric. he was an wished by the lack of funding for the export-inport bank. do you share his feelings? >> i share them completely. it's a travesty we've not been able to explain to the american people that vote for politicians who do not understand what a job creator this is for america. there's 84 export credit
agencies out there and they attract companies like mine to source funds from them to create jobs in their home country. the saudi project we talked about, i have gotten a u.s. exit loan for that saudi project. my saudi partner wanted to go to korea, japan, germany. i convinced them to work with the u.s. that created jobs in the u.s., 136 small enterprises in 33 states which would not have occurred if that loan didn't go through bank. it's a competitors agenda and we are shooting ourselves in the foot by eliminating that as a weapon to allow american companies to compete for projects around the world for jobs. >> rose: for a while the president didn't look like he had gotten what he wanted in trade but he pulled it out. if he had not, it would have been a disaster? >> it would have been a disaster. we're not through. i explained on the factory floor one in five johns for this
country and me and dow are independent. i export 20% i make in the united states around the world. i put $6 billion in texas and louisiana on the ground. 50% goes offshore. that comes because of our export competitiveness. trade is our lifeblood. the president was right to focus in. if you like the fabric of a p.t.a. approval, we got that, but we need a t.p.p. and it's very vital. why? when this country exports, it exports standards. >> rose: do critics have a point if they raise questions about job conditions and environmental impact? >> definitely. so i'm a young manager in thailand, i go to invest for dow. do i invest in thai or american standards. at dow we invest athin american standards. wouldn't it be great if the thai government insisd the standards be the same thing? it would be easier for beth of us to co-exist. >> rose: but you meet american
standards. >> and compete against people who meet their standards. we at dow do that no matter what because we believe in the long-term. having said that, many companies and countries and, by the way, countries compete like companies today, that was also in the book. remember, countries have agendas, very different than the united states open market philosophy. so when i compete against other countries, i'm competing against their companies who, therefore, go to their governments probably for their standards. so free trade is not free trade. it's fair trade, which means the same standards. >> rose: so what do we need to be doing that we're not doing to make growth higher? >> tax reform, education reform, workplace reform that i told you about, an energy policy that makes sense, a whole discussion around the cost of doing business, regulatory reform. >> rose: doesn't it drive you crazy those things are not happening in america, those discussions are not happening in
washington? because of gridlock and other reasons. >> the word policy and politics came from the some root but are unfortunately divided. there is no policy, there is lots of politics. >> rose: if you're a c.e.o. you're in the full glare of publicity. >> yes. >> rose: there was -- it came from reuters -- about how you spent company funds on personal vacations and those kinds of things. where was that? >> an old issue that surfaced and was put to bed in 2010. it hasn't been an issue for over five years and just resurfaced. this is journalism that tries to sensationalize. what happened at the time, i as a c.e.o., i take this very, very, very seriously, any action, mistake, wrongdoing immediately has to be recommenderemedied.a routine ore
allocation error. the process fixed, money reimbursed immediately and all the system fixed have been institutionalized including training and actually this whole thing showed our system actually worked. >> rose: what's the toughest thing about being a c.e.o.? >> maybe this last conversation, your fully accountable for everything that the company has to do to create value for its shareholders but also for the other three stakeholders that matter, the communities, the employees, the supply chains including obviously the customers. you the image of the company, you are the chief reputation officer. doing that, in this job, we get paid principal sums for that, so i understand that responsibility. i come from humble beginnings, a blue-collar family, great immigrants in australia.
i get to represent this company but i understand what comes with it which is you have to fulfill the ethics and integrity of what the company was founded on. 118 years young means it's a lot of values that are engrained in the fabric of this company you represent. not easy in this journalism media world we live in today, but you know what? get over it, live with it, make it work and do the very best you can. >> rose: and be as transparent as you possibly can and engage. >> always. >> rose: thank you for coming. thank you, charlie. >> rose: thank you for joining us. see you next time. for more about this program and earlier episodes, visit us online at pbs.org and charlierose.com. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> announcer: the following kqed production was produced in high definition. ♪ >> must have soup. >> the pancake is to die for! [ laughter ] >> it was a gut bomb, but i liked it. in private moments about the food i had. >> i didn't like it. >> you didn't like it? oh, okay. >> dining here makes me feel rich. >> and what about dessert? pecan pie? sweet-potato pie?