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This is Business Live from the BBC with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
The clock is ticking, but can the massive transatlantic
trade deal be saved before the end of the year?
Live from London, that's our top story, today - Monday 25th April.
Despite fierce protests on both sides of the Atlantic,
talks resume on the controversial Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership - but is there even a future
for the trade deal once Obama leaves office in November?
Also in the programme - on the brink of collapse -
high street giant BHS is to enter administration,
We'll be live at its flagship store in London.
And a new week, but the same old problems.
We'll have all you need to know for the trading week ahead.
We throw away over a billion tonnes of food every year -
so we'll meet the man who says he can encourage us to waste less -
And, as a new report warns that 2016 could be the year of the shareholder
revolt over top boardroom pay, we want to know -
Has the gap between those at the top and the rest of us, got too big?
Hello, a warm welcome to the programme.
Today we are focused on the Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership - or TTIP.
The 13th round of talks get under way today in New York
and President Obama is racing against the clock to complete
Whilst meeting Angela Merkel in Germany on Sunday,
he called on all European leaders to support the deal and not "let
Diplomats from both the US and the EU will meet later
to discuss the deal which has already been three years
TTIP aims to slash almost all tariffs on trade between the US
and the EU and reduce regulation to make business cheaper and easier.
One study estimated that the potential gain for the EU
and US economies could top $240 billion dollars.
However, the deal has faced fierce criticism.
This includes claims that harmonising regulation
between the EU and US will lead to lower standards of consumer
and environmental protection and safety at work.
There is also widespread opposition to rules
for investor-state dispute settlement.
This would allow companies to sue foreign governments over claims
Critics say it will undermine the power of governments to act
Stephanie Hare, an independent political risk analyst
Thank you for coming in. We saw images of thousands of people on the
streets of Hanover in Germany yesterday where President Obama was.
What is the likelihood of him achieving his goal before he leaves
office? He could maybe get the negotiations sorted but there is
zero chance of congressional approval while he is president. That
does not mean it can be approved. What are the key hurdles still? They
have got to talk about all sorts of things. We're looking at data
protection still, standards for the environment, health, public
procurement is a big thing, trying to make it so that European
countries can have access to public procurement tenders in the US and
vice versa, those will be some of the big hurdles still and there is a
to do. I think it is very ambitious to have it done by November, and
remember we have an election going on in the United States. The voices
of the critics on both sides of the Atlantic are getting louder and a
lot of criticism that most of this has been done in secret. Is that
fair or not? I find that criticism to be the oddest because the
negotiations are, by their very nature, done in secret. The
democratic process will happen afterwards. Congress could still
approve. All of the Parliaments will have to ratify this deal. If people
are unhappy with the deal once it is finalised, they will still have a
chance to express their will by meeting MPs. Here in Europe, it is
such a long road ahead, the European Union has to see it through and not
to mention national governments, and we could be in a situation where the
UK is not involved at all? That is right, we have a potential Brexit on
June 23 which would not stop this deal, it would just mean that the UK
was not part of it. President Obama said if the UK chose to leave the EU
it would go to the back of the queue when it comes to neb go shading a
deal. They're also presidential elections in France and Germany in
2017. These trading geisha nations take a long time. -- these trade
negotiations take a long time. The real question is, is it a good deal?
We cannot answer that right now. Thank you for coming in.
Let's bring you date with some other news. -- up-to-date.
In other news, figures produced by the Sunday Times suggest
the Indian Mittal family has seen its wealth shrink
by nearly $30 billion over the past eight years.
It's thought the change reflects the heavy losses seen in the steel
industry since they own Europe's biggest steel-maker, Arcelor Mittal.
The Indian government has revoked the passport of the flamboyant
businessman and lawmaker, Vijay Mallya.
He fled abroad last month following pressure from Indian banks
to repay $1.3 billion in debts owed by his failed company,
Some reports have traced him to the UK.
India is now seeking legal advice on whether he can be extradited
to face charges of money laundering and financial irregularities.
In the UK, High Street retailer BHS is to enter administration today,
The struggling retailer was sold by the retail entrepreneur
Sir Philip Green last year, for just ?1.
He had bought the chain for ?200 million in 2000.
Our correspondent Catriona Renton is outside the chain's flagship
We are expecting details later today about the feature of stores like the
one behind you. I know also about the 11,000 jobs. What are you
hearing now? As you say, this is the flagship store. BHS was once a
household name, one of the biggest names on the UK high street, and
this morning we have learned that it will go into administration later
today. An appointment has already been made with the administrators.
Once they get into the office, effectively, they will be able to
start the process. We have been talking to members of staff on their
way into work this morning. Many of them were far too upset to speak to
us, because all they knew was what they had seen and heard in the
media. Over the weekend, there had been two sets of talks, one with a
private investor looking at a possible financial deal, another
with sports direct will stop clearly those talks have failed. We are
looking at the business going into administration. If the administrator
cannot find a buyer, that would spell the end of an 88 year history
of British home stores, and that would be the biggest collapse since
Woolworths in 2008, which had a loss of 30,000 jobs. For now, thank you.
She and the rest of our business team will be keeping us up to date
on that story as it progresses. There is more detail on our website.
Shares in Mitsubishi Motors continue to fall -
after the revelations it falsified fuel economy data on its vehicles.
Tim McDonald is in our Asia Business Hub following this for us.
Tell us more. I understand they are coming out with their results on
Wednesday? That is right. Shares today in Mitsubishi motors continue
ground by the end of the session. ground by the end of the session.
This comes on the back of a bad few days for Mitsubishi. The stock
plummeted by 40%, its worst decline since it first listed in 1988. The
company admitted it cheated on its fuel efficiency tests. The company
has since stopped sales and production of those models. It
remains to be seen what the long-term effect of the scandal will
be but it appears that the company is very concerned. Mitsubishi will
announce results on Wednesday. There are media reports it may skip its
earnings forecast which is usually on the same day and was scheduled
for Wednesday. That is something we will watch closely. Thank you, Tim.
Investors are probably trying to lock in some games after the highs
we saw on Friday. Japan's Central bank is considering more stimulus.
So - a new week - but the same old problems.
Last week was largely positive for European markets
It was also another really strong week for oil prices,
That implies that investors are betting that the problems
We'll discuss that more in a moment, but what about Wall Street?
Michelle Fleury has the details from New York.
The week gets off to a quiet start. A report on new sales for March is
due out on Monday. It should give a sense of the strength of the
upcoming spring selling season. For Wall Street, the big event this week
is a meeting of federal policymakers. Investors expect
interest rates to be kept on hold. We are also in the middle of the
first quarter earnings season and it is fair to say there is not much
optimism surrounding Halliburton which reports this Monday. Given
plummeting oil prices, results for oil companies has been challenging.
A number of new technology companies will publish results including
Apple, Twitter and Amazon. Lots going on. That was Michelle in the
US for us. Stick with us as our cameras decide to whizz around the
studio, sometimes they do their own thing!
Joining us is Lawrence Gosling, editor-in-chief of Investment Week.
BHS? Gets, exactly. In a sense, it is not as a surprise it has
happened. We had the discussion a few weeks ago when they were
negotiating with the landlord. It is a business which has been teetering
on the edge for some time. It is always a surprise when it comes.
Retailers are downright Next? There is absolutely no Harold L between
the wake Next trades and the way BHS has been trading -- no parallel.
These stores are the main stays of the high street for so long and we
talked about Woolworths, the way we shop has changed and what we are
looking for is about more nimble faster fashion which BHS has not
been able to do? And very focused shots. You want to go somewhere
knowing exactly what you are after. You go to BHS and you can get
everything from children's pyjamas and lampshades. You do not expect
that these days in shops like our parents might have done. It is the
unfocused nature of these stores. I got a knit your own staff kit from
BHS for Christmas. Swiftly moving on, the rest of the market malaise,
or oil prices headed down again stopped and the share markets. I
think we have seen traders take a few profits on oil. The currencies
are always the talking point now, particularly we have had a balm in
London last week. This will carry on until the Brexit debate on the 23rd
of June for us here in London. The currency is where the story is at
the moment. -- we had Obama in London last week.
Tackling soaring levels of food waste.
We'll examine what's been done to tackle the trillion dollar
problem and meet the man behind one company that says it has
the answer and there's money to be made in doing it.
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
The government is to force all companies that make cold calls
to reveal their phone numbers when they make contact
The new rule is part of a crackdown on unwanted calls -
but campaigners say the changes don't go far enough.
Christopher Graham is the UK Information Commissioner.
Good morning to you. Just talk us through what the changes are. This
is a very welcome change. It is a small step but it is significant. It
means when a call comes through, instead of saying number withheld,
it will give the number. That will give you a chance about whether you
want to answer the call. You have the information and you can retrieve
the information and report to the Information Commissioner's website.
It helps us in our job of investigating and stopping these
unwanted calls. Do you think it will stop them which, if we are all
honest, they drive us round the twist? We are making progress bit by
bit. Last year, we persuaded the government to change the rules to
make it easier to impose fines. We are imposing our 90th find dealing
with this problem. We will have fined over ?2 million. It is making
the direct marketers think again. Respectable direct marketers are
sticking to the rules. The chances are finding it is becoming
increasingly difficult. I think the directors of these companies should
be made personally liable so they cannot just close down the operation
and start again the next day when they are hit with a fine. There are
still a lot to be done but this is a little step forward.
What's the geographical implication of this? We have a network of data
protection companies around Europe and the world, so where we have
operators in Russia, or whatever, we can talk to operators to get them
closed down. It's a never ending issue, but we are on the case and
making progress. Christopher Graham from UK information Commissioner,
thank you for your time. Interesting development in the UK. It could
certainly make a big difference. Talks continue over the
transatlantic trade partnership, whether they will get the go-ahead
and get the deal done between the EU and the United States before the end
of President Obama's time in office. "One man's trash is
another man's treasure" - Well, our next guest is taking
that quite literally. Roughly one third of the food
produced for humans every year That's 1.3 billion tonnes of food
that ends up in the bin at a cost of around a trillion
dollars each year. So tackling that problem is proving
to be a lucrative business. One of them - Winnow - wants to cut
down on the amount of food waste They do that by installing
electronic scales into kitchens and the software processes a report
highlighting areas where food Customers pay an annual subscription
fee for the service. And the company claims
that the technology can help improve Marc Zornes is the founder
of the company and he joins us now. Good morning. Let's pick up on the
6% figure. It's very specific. How did you come up with it, and it's a
big difference for business. It's a bold claim. Absolutely. We believe
that food shouldn't be wasted and technology can fundamentally change
the way we work with food. We work with businesses like Compass Group
and core hotels, large businesses who produce food in advance, and we
put into is to monitor and reduce the waste. We find anywhere between
ten and 20% of food going into the kitchen is often thrown away. If you
monitor that and equip chefs with the right data we can cut back on
that. Where would the scales go, what do they way and what report
does it produce? They go to the same place the food is thrown away, and
as it is thrown away, there is a change in the weight that makes the
scales wake up, so if they throw away aches, it can block that. It
goes back to staff, so it shows what they are throwing away. It raises
the awareness of the waste in kitchens. The chefs can then
identify where they need to make improvements in production. Are the
staff quite surprised by results? We often find kitchens underestimate
how much food is being wasted. When we put in place the tools to monitor
it and equip the chefs with the data, we can cut food waste by half
or more in just a few months. I understand nobody else is really
doing this. You started the company around two and a half years ago in
the UK and are now operating in five other countries, notably China and
Singapore. What gave you the idea? I used to work for McKenzie and
company where I was leading research on resource productivity and found
the enormity of the problem of food waste, $1 trillion of food waste,
that's more than 1% of global GDP. We can't have that in today's's
economic climate. We focused on the is that our tea industry where if we
save the clients food waste they save money. We talked about one
man's trash being another man's treasure. We have seen this happened
in recycling. A real gold rush for the firms that get in first and get
their systems in place, they could cash in. Is this the next gold rush
as far as waste and rubbish is concerned? We absolutely think so.
One company that has taken a big step forward is core hotels, the
largest hotel chain in Europe who have made a commitment to reduce
food waste by a third by 2020. We have challenged other companies to
make those reductions. Fascinating conversation. Thank you for coming
in today. Let's see what other
stories are being talked When will driverless cars
finally hit our streets? Well, the race is on between
developers to come up with a mass market, affordable
and reliable autonomous vehicle. And they could be on our roads
sooner than you think. The boss of Ford has told the BBC
he expects to see them Our Economics Editor Kamal Ahmed
spoke to Mark Fields and asked him where the the biggest threat
to his company would come from - traditional rivals, or newer
competitors like Google. There's a lot of traditional
competitors we have in our business, There's a lot of new nontraditional
competitors who are looking at the automotive space and that
addressable market, and saying, So from our standpoint
we are looking at a number of the technological changes
in the industries and we are viewing that is an opportunity,
not as a threat. There will be some things we do
on our own to be able to satisfy those customer needs
that technology enables. And other times we will
partner with others. That's the reason we set up a big
research and innovation centre in Palo Alto,
because we want to collaborate with and participate
in that environment. Do you think Apple want to build
their own car? I read what everyone
else reads in the paper. Our working assumption
is that they are, and that again provides us the right motivation
to make sure we stay very focused, not only on the product,
but overall on the experienced not only on the product,
but overall on the experience the customer has interacting
with the product and services Could you imagine building
a car with Google? Contract manufacturing is not
something that appeals Other aspects, as we work
with others, who knows? But that aspect of being a contract
manufacturer is not something that Does that appeal to you? A
driverless car? It's that whole debate about their always being in
element of risk driving a car. What if you are late and want to go a
different way? I contact with another driver is so important,
because you can assess whether they will let you pull out. You can't do
that with driverless cars. You are already stressed about it! Lawrence
is back with us to talk us through the papers now. Normally we would
look at the tablet but we have not charged the battery. It's not
working, and it's not my fault today! We can talk about the
stories. We will start with the story on the pay ratio between
bosses and employees. It will be the hot topic of the year. We saw it
kicked off in a big way with the BP AGM. It's fascinating. We are in
this period where big insurance companies and pension funds in the
UK are beginning to protest against the level of executive pay. We had
BP last week. We are expecting to see Shires, the pharmaceutical
company, this week. This story from the Guardian is talking about the
suggestion from legal and general that there should be a direct link
between the pay of the average worker, which in the UK is ?27,500,
and the Chief Executive 's various companies. We have talked about
shareholder activism before, and Barclays was subject to it before
last year. We talked about the power shareholders could wield, but in the
past when it has got to the crunch moment, they have not followed
through. Is it any different this year? I think your cynicism is
correct. Even legal and general talk about inverting in 93 cases. But
even when you do vote, as we saw with the BP case, it can be
overturned, even when the vote went one way. It remains to be seen. A
lot of the executives of big Footsie companies are very well paid. One
viewer says executives are paid too much, but they also decide their own
wages. It's like wardens having the keys to the prison. It's not
strictly true. There are remuneration facilities. Tackling
climate change is a good news for the economy. Mark Carney talked
about this last week, and he talked about the stimulus it could give to
the global economy by increasing productivity. We heard about the
effects of pollution. The governor of the Bank of England. We always
think of Beijing when we see images like that. They have seen people
choosing to leave or not post their international staff there because of
the problem. It is one of the major cities in China, and it's having a
huge effect on the population and the health in China and other
countries. Thank you, Lawrence. We will rely on the trusty papers from