17/08/2017 BBC Business Live


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This is Business Live from BBC News,


with Ben Thompson and Jamie Robertson.


Another string of top bosses quit President Trump's business groups,


But can he stay friends with business after this?


it's our top story on Thursday 17th August.


He called it "business-friendly" but the White House is showing cracks,


with business leaders distancing themselves from the President.


So can Mr Trump win back support of the business world?


That's how Donald Trump has described the North American


Free Trade Agreement, a pact between the US,


And markets pretty non-plussed by the latest White House chaos,


which could be the most telling thing of all,


investors growing immune to the ups and downs of Washington.


on the batteries that could power the future.


We'll find out how batteries will not only power our cars,


And anything else you'd care to mention.


And as students in the UK get their exam results today,


we want to know, do qualifications still matter?


Did you flunk school or college but still do OK?


Let us know, use the hashtag, #BBCbizlive.


Failing migrate five piano exam is what has got me here today... (!) --


failing my grade five piano exam. We begin in the United States


where pressure from the business community has become too much


for President Trump, and he's been forced to disband his


Manufacturing Council. The announcement came via a tweet,


after several more business leaders quit the group,


distancing themselves from the President's


response to deadly protests Mr Trump had condemned the white


supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in a statement but then on Tuesday


he appeared to defend Samira Hussain reports


from New York. VOICEOVER: It was the tweet that


said it all, on Wednesday, Donald Trump disbanded two White House


business councils, created to bring jobs to America. But the move by the


president to scrap the two groups was more about saving face then


leavening the burden on business leaders. I especially want to thank


Kent Fraser... The first to quit the President's Manufacturing Council,


CEO of age pharmaceutical giant, in a statement he said he felt a


responsibility to take a stand against intolerance and extremism.


-- Ken Fraser. By Monday evening, the CEOs of under armour and Intel,


president of the Alliance for American manufacturing, and the IAF


CEO, all left the council. -- UnderArmor. They are not taking


their jobs seriously as it pertains to this country. After commenting on


the corporate resignations in a press conference on Tuesday, the


president blamed both sides on the deadly violence in Charlottesville.


A group on one side that was bad and a group on the other side that was


also very violent, nobody wants to say that, but I will say it right


now! After those comments, the exodus from the business councils


was Fast and Furious, it's rare for corporate America to publicly


distanced themselves from a President of the United States but


this is a different type of administration and many believe


Donald Trump crossed the line. These defections show that corporate


America is no longer waiting for Donald Trump to deliver on any of


his pro-business policies. STUDIO: With us is Marianne


Schneider-Petsinger. She is the Geoeconomics fellow


for the US and the Americas Programme at Chatham House,


a think tank in London. How important were the business


councils? Just set up in January, fairly new, Donald Trump set them


up, but they have a mostly symbolic so far, in the beginning, a lot of


press conference and readings, but in terms of policy, they have not


been able to make much progress because they have not been called


upon in the sense of providing advice, it is really about nice


photo opportunities. And those photo Ops are interesting, President Trump


has made such a big deal of having friends around him and a group of


friends that he can call on, it is impressively has his finger on the


buttons, but he does not seem to deliver it. For the business


community, they also wanted to be able to shape the administration


from inside, particularly with the president a very much business


mogul, they seem to be alignment on that front but as we have seen,


development have stalled, policy developments, we have not seen


anything in terms of tax reform, deregulation, infrastructure plan,


supposedly in the pipeline but concrete, we have not seen any


thing. What I would suggest... Very little reaction from a market point


of view, which suggests that if you think the markets were excited and


did very well over the first half of the year on the back of his


relationship with business and everything he promised business,


surely they should be going back down as soon as they hear that there


is no relationship there is a yellow there is still the potential that on


the policy front, there could be more progress further on down the


line, especially on tax reform, congressional leaders taking the


summer break, to nail that out, flesh it out. When they come back in


September they can push it forward, for the business community, now the


business Council has been dismantled, they are losing


opportunities to influence that. Where does it leave his relations


with the business community, canny rebuild bridges? It'll be very


difficult, if there is room to bring him on board policy developments


down the line, there would be opportunity, but because that has


stalled. Does it matter, how important is that, in terms of his


agenda, generally, renegotiating Nafta, we will talk about it more


later, how important is this relationship with business to his


administration. It is symbolic mother president says that he is a


business leader, to have good relationships, for all of the CEOs


to be distancing themselves. -- it is symbolic, for a president that


says he is a business leader. People in the Republican Party, from the


establishment, will they also start distancing themselves from him?


it's Day 2 of talks to renegotiate the 23-year-old


North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta,


between the United States, Canada and Mexico.


Talks to overhaul Nafta, which President Trump had


once vowed to tear up, will be watched closely by America's


Currently trade between these three countries is worth


But the US buys more goods and services from its neighbours


than it sells to them, so has a big trade deficit,


more than $12 billion with Canada and more


Trump wants a deal that helps US firms sell more to these nations,


and his trade representative began the meeting by talking tough.


For countless Americans, this agreement has failed, we cannot


ignore the huge trade deficits, the lost manufacturing jobs, the


businesses that have closed or moved, because of incentives,


intended or not, in the current agreement. Canada does not view


trade surpluses deficits as a primary measure of whether it's own


relationship works, nonetheless, it is probable in worth pointing out


today that our trade with the US is balanced and mutually beneficial.


Let's take a look at some of the other stories making the news.


The economy of the Philippines grew by 6.5% in the second


quarter of the year, boosted by higher government


spending and a strong performance in the agriculture sector.


The performance is though, lower than the 7.1% growth


in the same period a year ago, when election-related spending


Japan has recorded a 17% fall in its trade surplus last month


to $3.8 billion, as the cost of energy imports rose because


But imports and exports are still rising sharply indicating


an economy that's both consuming more and exporting more.


Earlier this week, the country reported economic growth of 4.0.%


Expectations are high for Alibaba's quarterly


Chinese consumers' demand for shopping online has made Alibaba


the dominant player in that sector with companies like Alibaba,


Alibaba is also now building physical stores.


At the start of the programme we asked you to get in touch with exam


results, whether not getting the grades you needed have affected you


in the world of work, do qualification still matter, Shane


says, I left school with nothing, now I get a comfortable wage. Jason


says, they matter to a point but they are not the be all or end all,


keep your comments coming in. Chinese tech firm Tencent saw shares


rise as much as 5.5% after posting record profits


for the second quarter. The news comes ahead of results


from another chinese giant Tell us what are these companies


going to do. Look into your crystal ball. It has been a really exciting


week for Chinese tech companies, as you say, a record estimate leading


result, for Tencent and it is expected that Alibaba will beat


estimates. Revenues are $7.1 billion. A lot of that is because of


the core business of Chinese online sales, retail sales grew 40%, just


came from China, that is a big chunk of where Ali Baba makes its money.


Purchases growing even faster, and as was said, they are going into


other areas, cloud computing is another big growth area, digital


media, entertainment division, and the only great spot in this report


is questions are now being asked, our share prices of tech stocks like


Allen Barbre, Tencent, are they to Fat high for their real value full.


-- Alibaba. Given that there are some risks in the Chinese economy,


and certainly a lot of new business that has not proven their weight in


monetisation so far for these businesses. And give very much, we


will keep a close eye on what that does to shares over the course of


the session when we get the update from Alibaba. To the markets.


Tokyo stocks closed lower with big car makers seeing


and banks down after the US Federal Reserve minutes hinted


at a slower pace for future interest rate hikes.


We'll get results from clothing firm Gap and retail giant


In Europe, we get retail sales stats for the UK,


giving us the familiar update on whether consumer spending


But that also comes with the usual warnings about personal debt levels


that are climbing once again to record levels.


Joining us is Trevor Greetham, head of multi-asset


The markets at the moment, in London, a little bit weak and


feeble. Yes, looking at the big picture over the summer, it has been


pretty steady rise in stock prices. A lot of stuff in headlines, now the


world economy is expanding. That from perfect, pushing in the


opposite direction? It is and it isn't, if everyone was convinced


stock markets were the best thing ever, but they do get rattled by


things like the stand-off last week with North Korea, and if you do find


Trump withdrawing from the mystic policy because he is finding it too


difficult, you may see him leaning into the international arena and we


may get more shocks like that. Big bait geopolitical effects like North


Korea will affect the markets but looking at the latest chaos in the


White House, the disbanding of the business councils we have talked


about, markets seem not to care, but Trump wants them to care. We never


know what the stock market and the currencies would be if it was not


Trump, we never know the counterfactual, the dollar does


care, it has been weakening substantially during the latest


fiasco. America's Central bank is raising rates ahead of the others,


the dollar ought to be a bit stronger. Sterling, seems to be


continuing its long slow decline ever since the referendum, declining


before the referendum, it fell off a cliff, and then continued... What is


the main impetus behind that, Brexit? Yes, the world economy is


doing well, Europe in particular is growing strongly, we will talk about


that later, because of Brexit, we are less likely to raise interest


rates, economy slowing down, that is why the pound is down, 25% against


the euro since the referendum was called two years ago. Will talk


about the euro economy later on in the programme, interesting


information on that. Still to come we speak


to the man whose batteries could be powering your cars,


and houses in the future. You're with Business


Live from BBC News. Trade confidence fell more


than 2% last quarter - but it's still at its third highest


ever level according to new figures from the British Chambers of


Commerce. The figures show that the volume


of exports was steady but companies Anastassia Beliakova is Head


of Trade Policy at the BCC. A very warm welcome to Business


Live. You might say no surprise that business is worried about the


future, because, frankly, there's a lot for them to be contending with


right now? Yes, there are many factors that businesses need to take


into account. One of them is skill shortages in the UK, another is


inflation, and of course Stirling. Despite all of this, businesses are


still putting in a strong performance. We have seen a slight


rise in their over the last quarter, but there are many factors that


could put some pressure in coming quarters. Tell me, Anastassia, what


do businesses need in order to be a bit to get over the problems of


uncertainty, or is it just certainty that they need? Businesses always


want certainty, but the UK Government must commit to giving


more direct face-to-face support to businesses. They need to ensure that


future immigration system is response of the economic needs, and


also take into consideration the fact that we are now party the trade


agreements with a number of countries, South Korea, South


Africa, Mexico. We currently import from them at preferential rates.


Now, the survey shows that particularly from manufacturers the


price of raw materials is a considerable concern and they are


considering increasing their prices over the next few quarters. If you


think about import costs increasing due to us not being able to


potentially make use of these preferential rates in future, it


will put a lot of pressure on business margins and Osemele be


passed down to consumers. Thank you. If you have been doing any DIY over


the past few weeks, it has not helped sales at B I think I have


spent all that money there. I need a new drill. Revenues down by nearly


2% of the three months. Sales in France doing particularly well, of


course it owns a business there. They own the Screwfix, don't they?


They do. They have two branches in my town.


You're watching Business Live - our top story - Another string


of top bosses quit Donald Trump's business groups -


But can he stay friends with businesses who are distancing


We have also been asking you about qualifications in the UK, exam


results June. We have been asking whether you got where you got --


example results are ten one. Annabel says the hard work does pay off in


the long run, must be stressful. Ollie says I got three A is from


college. Projected from jobs. Available is been nothing.


A quick look at how markets are faring...


As we touched on earlier, the pound weakening, the FTSE 100 barely


changed. It is still August. Earlier this week, you might


remember we spoke to the man behind the UK's largest provider


of charging points How long do they take to charge,


can you really rely Well, our next guest has


some of the answers. Hyperdrive Innovation


is a manufacturer of lithium-ion battery technology, used


in electric vehicles. The UK company is working


in collaboration with Nissan and other third parties to design


and develop innovative Hyperdrive has developed links


with firms in Europe and Japan But the batteries aren't


only used in cars - they can be used at home, too -


to store power from solar Tesla's founder, Elon Musk,


has already hailed home storage So let's speak to Stephen Irish,


the co-founder and MD of Hyperdrive Innovation -


and a self-confessed car nut. welcome to the programme. We had


this chat earlier in the week about plugging in cars. The batteries are


the things they are charging, first question, how reliable are they,


because anecdotally I know the thing that is holding a lot of people back


from electric cars, partly the cost, but also the fact you can't do a


really long trip because you will have to stop somewhere to charge? I


think it is true that electric cars are not necessarily the answer to


everything right away. Battery technology is improving all the time


and you will be a wood to drive further and further in time with


electric cars. How fast of a improving, what kind of games can


you see? Year-on-year, they are small gains but cumulatively quite


quick step changes, and year it is surprising how quickly it is


happening. Talking about storing it at home as well, but when it comes


to the car, there is also a lot of debate about the environmental


impact, just swapping diesel and carbon emissions for actually a lead


of chemicals in a battery. But those batteries last quite a long time,


maybe longer than many people would expect. They will last many, many


years, maybe even outlast the car, and in which case those batteries


can be used in other applications, like the stationary applications you


just mentioned, you could use them to store solar energy in your home.


So it is possible to extend the life of those batteries. You are a


battery company, Elon Musk is, with being vertically integrated, why


aren't you in that sort of area? Hyperdrive's key role is to work


with our partners all over the world to help take their products to


market. Whether or not that is storing solar energy in a home or in


a business, or it could be electrifying and airport tractor, an


autonomous vehicle. Our role is to work with those partners to help


take their products to market faster. The UK Government has


launched a fund, and a fund used to launch battery technology. Critics


say it is just not enough if we are to compete with the likes of America


and Japan. What is holding back battery technology? Is it weight,


cost, where are the sticking points? You need to invest in all those


things, you need to develop technology, the battery management


system, the electronics that said around the battery. What are you


most frustrated about? I think the price point means we would get far


higher take-up if we could get the price of the battery cell down. So


investment in manufacturing is important. That as you role only


some incentives around that, and we think they will grow. The UK


Government has put that right at the front of the industrial strategy,


and we think that is very welcome. Is it enough? I think, for avoided


it is part of a bigger range of mechanisms for supporting, it is a


huge opportunity globally. Thank you so much for joining us. In a minute


we will take a look through the business pages but first a quick


reminder of how to get in touch with the programme. The Business Live


pages where you can stay ahead of all the Dave Coss backbreaking


business news. We will keep you up-to-date with all the latest


details, insight and analysis from the BBC's team of editors right


around the world. And we want to hear from you too. Get involved on


the BBC Business Live web page/ business. On Twitter we are at BBC


business, and you can find this on Facebook, BBC business news.


What story says the media been taking an interest in? Trevor is


back with us. What are we going to start on? Not B Trump. What is


your feeling about the Trump affect? I think you are seeing uncertainty


in the short-term when there is some kind of stand-off but generally it


is the economy that matters more for markets. It is interesting, one


particular story about the Eurozone economy growing at twice the pace of


Britain. When you look at that economy, which is free of Brexit,


free of Trump, it seems to have all things going for it. And Macron as a


centrist leader in France, a lot of positive things going on in Europe,


potential reform. They have loose policy, low energy prices to benefit


from, not really affected by Brexit stress. German manufacturing


confidence is at a record high. There is this great story, Hunt on


for billion kroner, not often we talk about Sweden's economy but they


are replacing some coins, and a lot are down the back of the sofa. About


150 million quid stuff down the back of sofas in Sweden. A charity is


saying give it to us. Not down the back of one sofa, is it? The Bank of


England will take your old banknotes but not your coins. It is very


heavy. There is a bit on the website that says speak to the Royal Mint


about that. You have to go to the bank itself, the Bank of England,


you can't actually, because that is the person who has the signature on


it. They won't take your coins. Or your kroner. Thank you very much,


Trevor. That is it from us today. The team will be back tomorrow, full


coverage of all of this throughout the day and on the Business Live


pages. Thank you for joining us on World Business Report. We will see


you again tomorrow. Many of us had some pretty heavy


rain overnight. A rumble of thunder as well. The good news is that it's


all pretty much clearing away sofa today many of us enjoying a dry day


with some sunshine and just a few showers developing


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