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and aluminium tariffs.
Live from London, that's our top
story on Monday 5th March.
Steely resolve from
President Trump on trade -
and a new threat to tax imports
of EU cars - we go live
to Brussels to hear the view
of the European Commissioner
for Trade - Cecilia Malmstrom.
What's next for Europe's fourth
largest economy after elections
in Italy lead to a hung parliament?
And what effect of all these
developments had on the financial
markets? We will take a look at the
open in Europe.
And whisky galore -
we get the inside track on how
Scotch whisky has become record
breaking export for the UK.
But if whisky has become
a successful export -
then how much of that
is down to its name?
Lobbyists in the US want
American firms to be able
to sell their own versions
of Cornish pasties
and Scotch Whiskey.
Should regional foods
keep their protected status?
Let us know...
Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
The war of words over trade has
continued over the weekend,
with US President Donald Trump
threatening to "apply
a tax" on imports of cars
from the European Union.
EU trade chiefs have reportedly been
considering slapping 25% tariffs
on imports from the US -
including Levi jeans,
Harley Davidson motorbikes
and Bourbon whisky.
This all follows Mr Trump's decision
last week to slap duties of 25%
on foreign steel imports and 10%
on foreign aluminium.
Critics say if he goes ahead it
will force up costs for other US
firms like carmakers.
Meanwhile, China has warned
that it will not sit idly
by if its economy is hurt.
Cecilia Malmstrom is the EU
Joining us live from Brussels. You
were listening to that. Can you tell
us what your plans are for tariffs
on US imports?
Good morning. First
of all, we need to say the final
decision is due to come at the end
of this week. But we are preparing
because this has been in the air for
quite some time. We think this will
be taxes on aluminium and steel, we
think they would be erroneous. It is
motivated by internal security. We
cannot see how the European Union
can be a threat to internal security
in the US. So we will of course,
possibly with others, take this
decision to the WTO. We are also
looking at different safeguard
measures on our own steel and
aluminium. And we're looking at ways
of retaliating, meaning we will
taxes or tariffs on US imports to
the European Union. But we wait for
the final decision.
Can you be more
specific about the process? You are
saying you will go through the World
Trade Organisation and that could
take something like 18 months. Will
you put tariffs on goods prior to
that anyway? Will you react more
immediately than that?
I think we
will do three things at the same
time. It is true that decisions at
the WTO take a long time, but we are
convinced this is an erroneous
decision, it is against the WTO, and
that is why we are talking to
different partners across the world
who are also upset about this and we
will take the WTO. But the
retaliation measures, we will not
wait for the WTO to make a decision.
Can you be more specific about the
retaliation and safeguard measures?
It has been reported we are looking
at 25% tariffs on US goods, things
like Levi jeans, bourbon whiskey
will stop is that what you are
Those are things that
are figuring on the draft list. We
will discuss it inside the College
of Commissioners on Wednesday
morning. But they have to to be
completely legal, in compliance with
the WTO. We are looking at the
correspondent of the economic loss
that the steel and aluminium tariffs
from the US will do to the EU
economy. That's why we need to
calibrate that safely in order to
respond, to retaliate, but not
escalate this unnecessarily.
will this go, do you think, from the
point of view of the United States,
the talk is very tough from the
likes of President Trump and Wilbur
Ross, the commerce secretary. The
trade Secretary as well, they sound
like they will not back down. How
far will the EU go?
We still hope
they will back down and exclude the
EU. Lots of contacts are being taken
at the highest level in the US. We
have spoken to them for many months.
I have personally spoken to the US
trade relations and US commerce, and
we have shown them statistics and
facts to show it's not in the
interests of the US either. But it
looks like if they are determined
not to exclude anyone, it's very
unfortunate. It will severely
disturbed global markets and create
an atmosphere that is not
constructive at all.
Thank you for
your time, European Union trade
Commissioner. That's with the EU's
response. We will keep a close eye
on this story as it develops this
Let's take a look at some of
the other stories making the news.
The French insurance giant
AXA is set to buy XL
Group for $15.3 billion.
The Bermuda-based company
specialises in property
and casualty insurance.
The deal is expected to be completed
in the second half of this year.
The accountancy firm PWC says that
reducing the gender pay gap
could boost OECD nations
by $6 trillion.
The report suggests that women
could play a greater role
in the labour market
through increased skills
and a reduction in joblessness.
Italy appears to be heading
for a hung parliament,
with exit polls suggesting that no
group has won a majority
in the country's general election.
But as ever, one of the most
pressing issues is the financial
state of Europe's fourth largest
That was on the minds of many who
went to the polls.
Since the global financial
crisis hit a decade ago,
Since the global financial
crisis hit a decade ago,
the economy has struggled to keep up
with the rest of the Eurozone
and suffered two big recessions.
But things picked up last year
with growth of 1.6%.
One of the biggest election
concerns for young voters
has been unemployment.
has been unemployment.
It unexpectedly rose last week
to 11.1% as more people
started looking for work.
That's well above the Eurozone
average and amounts to nearly
3 million people.
Federico Santi, Europe
Analyst at Eurasia Group.
Welcome to the programme. What's
your take on the results we have
got, the Five Star Movement and the
League coming in stronger than
people anticipated but this is a
real antiestablishment vote we have
Definitely, the results were
unexpected but not entirely
surprising. We have been flagging it
for some time, the risk of a
populist government taking hold in
Italy has been fully borne out by
the results. We are still waiting
for the definitive result. The one
thing that is clear, there is no
clear majority. I think we are
looking at lengthy and unpredictable
complex coalition talks, which is
something we have grown used to in
Europe. But at this point the
chances of a government being led by
a populist party are actually quite
The Five Star Movement is
relatively new, and it has taken
many people by surprise. It's not
just young people voting, it's right
across the board, from both sides of
the political spectrum.
as a protest movement, but by this
time it has fully transitioned into
almost a mainstream party. They have
broadened their base of support
beyond this disaffected, younger and
unemployed voters and they have done
a good job of harnessing this
sentiment in the country.
question is, will they see change in
the near future, or even in the
years ahead? It's difficult to say
at this point with so many political
players in there, including the
likes of Silvio Berlusconi, who came
back onto the scene.
were somewhat disappointing for
Berlusconi but his base was strong
and I think he will be in the next
for the next government, which is
quite surprising. Even before the
vote, we did not see anything good
coming out of the election in the
economy and this is all the more so
given the results we are seeing.
you think the Five Star Movement
gathered such support from different
age groups because so many young
people have left Italy to find work
elsewhere. Perhaps their parents and
grandparents are fed up and want
them to return.
Biker said, this is
pervasive, the disaffection with
mainstream parties, who have had
their worst performance in decades.
This is no coincidence. Italy is one
of the countries hit hardest by the
financial crisis, the Eurozone
crisis, and the immigration crisis
more recently. The country hasn't
really grown in 15 years so this is
the unsurprising effect.
for your time and your analysis of
what happened in Italy over the
China has set its 2018 growth
target at "around 6.5%",
a faster expansion than any western
economy could dream of.
But behind the strong growth figures
there are concerns China's economy
is too reliant on borrowing,
while the country has also
pledged to crack down
on financial risk taking.
Stephen McDonell joins
us now from Beijing.
On the face of it, there is a great
target, but underneath there are
real concerns about spiralling debt
and how the economy can cope.
first day of the NPC is always
marked by a lot of attention for the
target GDP growth. That's because it
gives you an idea of how the
government will try to pull various
levers to try to manage this
enormous economy. The 6.5% target
this year is the same as last year.
Last year the Chinese economy
achieved a 6.9% GDP growth. It shows
they will continue to try to step
down the economy to achieve a longer
lasting and more sustainable growth,
given the problems with things like
that, as you say. It will also pay
for an 8% increase in defence
spending. And a 3% reduction in the
amount of energy expended for every
unit of GDP. That's so China can
achieve its commitments to global
warming targets. It means for every
bit of GDP that is achieved, more
renewable energies and less fossil
Thank you for that update.
Let's take a look at the wider
The Nikkei has fallen
for the fourth session in a row.
for Hong Kong's hang seng
and Australia's all ordinaries -
comes after the Dow
closed down on Friday.
Steelmakers, car manufacturers
and shipping companies seem to be
worst hit amid fears that a global
trade row could break
How is it looking so far in Europe,
given the results of
the Italian election.
The FTSE 100 is pretty flat at the
moment. It's struggling to stay in
the black. But the Dax and the
French markets have both been
negative today. We have the European
figures behind me.
Joining us is Jessica Ground,
Global Head of Stewardship
I was noting that in Germany, in
Frankfurt, the big losers were BMW
shares down, and Volkswagen shares
also down, over concerns of a
possible trade war that they could
be caught up in.
A bit more
clarification of the weekend that
this could be extended to importing
cars. People are just trying to
think about the unintended
consequences, whether it's through
retaliation, as we have just been
hearing about, and also how it
affects the whole supply chain. For
example, the domestic oil industry
in the US is a huge consumer of
steel and aluminium. Higher costs
there, will it hit people at the
How worried are you about
this? Listing to Cecilia earlier
when she said, we are ready and
poised. We have thought through our
retaliation. -- listening to
It's interesting because
George W Bush was the last person to
put tariffs on steel. But backed
down when the WTO got involved. The
problem is, Donald Trump feels like
a different personality and whether
or not he will be cowed isn't great.
Retaliation is one thing, but in the
long-term, markets will be more in
favour of more free trade and
seems to be the theme running
through financial markets at the
moment. Also politics, we had the
result from Italy with another hung
parliament. Interestingly, we have
the Dax on the board in negative,
even though there was quite good
news as far as its government was
It's swings and
roundabouts. The currency as far as
I understand it, the euro is feeling
better about Angela Merkel going
into coalition and it feels more
significant than Italy, which we
always knew was a more difficult
electoral result, certainly more
colourful. The Dax is really
responding, that's where the auto
manufacturers are and that's where a
lot of trade exposure is, so
individual names are being hit.
For now, thank you. She will return
later to talk Cornish pasties. And
Still to come - we get
the inside track on how Scotch
whisky has become record
breaking export for the UK.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
Global demand, especially
from Europe, is helping UK
manufacturers shrug off political
uncertainty at home.
That's according to manufacturers'
organisation EEF, which has
upgraded its 2018 growth
expectations from 1.4% to 2%.
This means manufacturing could grow
faster than the rest of the economy.
Lee Hopley, EEF's Chief Economist,
is here to tell us more.
This comes after the effect of the
bad weather on the UK economy, do
you think manufacturers will be hit
by that and supply chain issues?
There will clearly be issues around
logistics challenges but I don't
think we expect that to have a
material impact on the trajectory of
the sector over the course of the
next couple of quarters. We have
seen a really strong 2017 and a lot
of momentum is carried into this
year on the back of strengthening
global demand, and particularly
prospects coming from European
So you have upgraded your
outlook for this year which is good
news but beyond that, what is your
thinking? Because that is the
difficulty for manufacturers.
Without clarity on Brexit, it is
difficult to plan.
There's a lot of
uncertainty around our forecasts,
not least issues around global trade
and increased signs of protectionism
from the US for example, which could
play out in a negative way for UK
manufacturers. As we look beyond
this year, we have to assume we do
have some clarity around the Brexit
outcomes towards the autumn of this
year as has been indicated by the
Government and that starts to lead
to more certainty, especially as we
work towards a transition period
that extends to 2020 and that is
critical for the sector at the
Thank you for your time.
Lots more stories on the BBC News
website. Trinity Mirror will be
changing its name to Reach. It
reaches millions of people everyday,
is why Reach is a great name for
them, it says. What's more on the
BBC News business live page.
You're watching Business live -
our top story: China and Europe
have reacted to the White House
after it says no countries
will be exempt from steel
and aluminium tariffs.
A quick look at how
markets are faring...
Let's talk about liquid gold.
Scotch whisky broke a new export
record 2017, with overseas sales
hitting $6 billion, equal
to more than 1.2 billion
That's a lot to drink!
Tomatin Distillery -
which was once Scotland's biggest
whisky distiller by volume -
hopes to be a key player
in that growing market.
Since 1986, it's been owned
by a Japanese corporation
and has focused especially
on single malt.
Sales of that particular whisky
variety have increased by 83%
in the last five years
and are exported to 55
countries around the world.
Stephen Bremner is the Sales
Director at Tomatin.
Good to see you. Thanks for being on
the programme. Tell us more about
how you've made the most of this
growing appetite globally for Scotch
whiskey. It is very much a worldwide
phenomenon, isn't it?
It is indeed,
there is growing interest,
especially in malt whiskey and over
the last few years that interest has
grown worldwide. Because of the rich
history and provenance of Scotch
whiskey, more and more consumers are
buying into that so it's been, the
last few years have been very
Is it part of this whole
craft trend? We have seen lots of
different founders and entrepreneurs
who have set up their own brand.
Have you tapped into that, the
desire for something original?
I think consumers now, because there
is so much information available,
they are very astute in what they
are buying. What they want to buy is
something of a very high quality.
Because of the regulations we have
in place for the production of
Scotch whiskey, consumers know that
they will get something that is
produced to a very high standard.
Interesting though, a story we are
looking at today is a US lobby
groups who say special protection on
certain products like Scotch
whiskey, like champagne, like the
Cornish pasty should be removed.
There shouldn't be this protection
is it worth. What do you think in
reaction to that? It must be
extremely important to your
Yes, I don't agree with
that. Scotch whiskey has been
produced in Scotland for hundreds of
years and as I said previously, we
have very strict regulations in
place as to how Scotch whiskey is
produced so the idea that other
countries could then the dues are
whiskey and call it Scotch doesn't
really sit right at all.
bought by a Japanese company in the
mid-80s which helped turn around the
fortunes of your company but some
would say that is selling out, isn't
it? It doesn't mean you are now
independent and really you are
selling Scotch whiskey.
We are owned
by a Japanese company but in terms
of the day-to-day running of the
business we are fairly autonomous.
In terms of the strategic direction
of the business, we are left to our
own devices. We very much see
ourselves as a Scottish company.
you were telling me earlier about
the time you were bailed out by the
Japanese company, 25 distilleries
went bust in Scotland and a lot of
that was to do with the US market,
big dip in the US market that the
Historically the Scotch
whiskey industry was tied into the
American market so if there was a
slump in the American market there
tended to be the same situation
But now you are more
diversified and there has been a
surge across Asia, because we have
talked about it on this programme,
the fact there is a massive appetite
Yes, China is
definitely a growing market. There
is much more interest in malt
whiskey now, and because of the
growing middle-class there many more
people are interested in the
provenance of what they are
drinking, and because of the rich
history we have in Scotland is
people can really buy into you.
will be picking up on the theme of
that protected status in the moment
but first a quick reminder of how to
get in touch.
We have insight and analysis from
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globe, and we want to hear from you
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live on television and online. What
you need to know, when you need to
As promised Jessica has returned and
we will talk now about the story we
have been highlighting, the fact
that some goods have this protection
status so champagne, Scotch
pasties. Tell us about this US lobby
that wants to see a change.
Brexit when we will be negotiating
more of our own arrangements, the US
lobby group has made the suggestion
we walk away from our protected
status. We are defensive about
wanting to keep pork pies and
Cornish pasties, on the other hand
there might be opportunities for us.
English Parmesan could be an
attractive product as well. Are
there areas we could innovate? These
will surface in the future as we
reassess our trading relationships
with everyone in the world.
to show you this story, the world
pasty championships, it was the US
bakery that scooped the top award so
perhaps we are missing out.
competition might force us to raise
our own game.
"I Think the monopoly
of product names like champagne is
pointless. Cornish pasties are
Cornish pasties wherever they are
made." And David says, they should
in my personal Tupperware box! There
is a fine line to be made. It's an
interesting one. I'm afraid we have
run out of time. Thank you for your
thoughts, it's always interesting to
hear what our viewers think.
That's it from Business live today.