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This is Business Live from BBC
News, with Sally Bundock
and Alice Baxter.
Taking on the tariffs -
Australia secures an exemption
to US duties on steel
and aluminium imports.
Live from London,
that's our top story
on Monday 12th March.
The European Union and Japan
are also looking to be let off
the hook by President Trump, as
fears of a wider trade war heat up.
We will add an expert view.
Also in the programme -
the oil isn't flowing just yet.
Speculation grows that Saudi Arabia
won't sell of a chunk of its state
oil company until next year
at the earliest.
Financial markets trading right now
in Europe have seen a bumper start
to the week following the lead from
Asia. We tell you all you need to
And pouring your
money into alcohol -
we'll find out how you can
turn wine into profits,
and how Asia is driving
the demand for wine investing.
Today we want to know whether you
think life on Mars -
including a Mars Bar -
could be a reality anytime soon?
Because that what the maverick
entrepreneur boss of SpaceX
and Tesla, Elon Musk, thinks.
Let us know know.
Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
Yes, Elon Musk has been talking at
an event in Texas. You can hear what
he had to say about Mars, would also
about his company, space X, and
Tesla. Let's talk trade.
With the clocking ticking down
until President Trump's
tariffs on steel and aluminium
imports come into force, countries
are scrambling to seek exemptions.
And in the last hour or so,
Australia's Prime Minister has
welcomed his country being given
a waiver, which he said
on Twitter was important
for thousands of people who rely
on the industries for work.
And the EU and Japan are due to hold
more talks this week over
getting their own exemptions.
The Trump administration
says the tariffs
are necessary, because the sheer
quantity of steel and aluminium
in the global market is threatening
to impair the "national security"
of the US.
But America has made legally
binding trade commitments
as part of its membership
of the World Trade Organisation
rules, and other countries
are likely to use the WTO
to challenge the tariffs.
But whilst WTO rules allow
members to seek a "national
security exception" for industries
regarded as important
for the defence of the country,
some experts have already questioned
if that can apply here.
One of the United States' defence
allies is Australia, and its
Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull,
welcomed his country's exemption
whilst touring a steel
works in Wollongong.
This is a real example of a win-
win. We have got jobs in Australia,
jobs in the United States. The
tariff would simply have put jobs on
both sides of the Pacific at risk.
It is a very important outcome.
There are 77 anti-dumping measures
in place. 51 relate to steal. Seven
related to aluminium. We are very
vigilant in ensuring there is a
level playing field. We are
committed, passionately committed to
free trade. But it has to be fair.
That is the key.
Aline Doussin is a trade lawyer
at Squire Patton Boggs,
specialising in international trade.
She joins us in the studio. Good
morning. Australia has secured an
exemption, joining Mexico and
Canada. We know this week we will
see lobbying from EU officials and
other countries around the world
trying to secure the same. Liam Fox
from the UK goes to Washington this
week. What is the likelihood of
other countries securing a similar
It is a very good
question and very difficult to
answer. We are entering into this 15
day timeline where members are
apparently allowed to seek exemption
on a measure that most trade
lawyers, including myself, view as
completely contradictory to the
philosophy of the WTO rules. The EU,
even though it reserves its right to
challenge the measure, is focusing
on negotiating an exemption. It is
very unclear, the legal business
research exemption, where it
resides. Which criteria it uses. It
seems to be discretionary.
not totally unprecedented, this is
uncharted territory, using this
national security exemptions under
article 21 of WTO rules to justify
tariffs being imposed. One guest
that we spoke to rarely went further
to suggest this pick and mix
approach to is entitled to an
exemption and who isn't, is actually
illegal. What do you think?
national security exemptions exist
under WTO agreements. There is an
Article 21 and 14 which allows a
member, for national security
threats... It was raised before in
the past. The UAE and Qatar got
exemption. It has never been
adjudicated at the WTO panel level.
So it is uncharted territory. Having
said that, the president and the
administration are not at this stage
raising Article 21. Everybody is
commencing on this exemption being
used both so far there is no
challenge at WTO level. The WTO
cannot enter the dispute. A country
as to raise a complaint. Japan have
indicated they will do so. They have
confirmed it is something they are
currently looking to do if needs be,
but nothing has been launched
officially as yet.
And all of this
really increases the focus on the
WTO as an organisation. Is it really
fit for purpose? You mentioned the
processes involved. It is very long
winded, isn't it?
Yes. I worked at
the WTO years ago at some point, and
it does take a long time to agree on
negotiations because there is no
voting. Having said that, it is the
only forum where trade disputes can
be judged. There is no other forum
in the world that has these
disputes. It is still very relevant.
It has some issues that it needs to
deal with. Including respecting the
length of a judgment and the
negotiations that sometimes take a
very long time. But I think at this
stage it is not the case the WTO is
dead. It is a very resilient
Thank you. Fascinating story that
has been unfolding for weeks. We
will keep you up to date.
Let's take a look
at some of the other
stories making the news.
The takeover battle for UK
engineering company GKN has
intensified with a new $11.2
billion bid from Melrose.
It also raised the amount GKN
shareholders would own in Melrose
following the deal, and said
that this offer is "final".
Britain is in danger
of losing its status
as a "credible military power",
according to the former commander
of the UK's Maritime Forces.
Rear Admiral Alex Burton told
the BBC that budget cuts and rising
military threats meant the defence
budget needed an urgent boost.
It comes a day before the UK
Chancellor's update on the state
of the public finances.
The superhero movie,
Black Panther, has taken
an estimated $65 million
on its opening weekend in China.
It means the film has now made more
than $1 billion globally.
China is the world's second-biggest
movie market and has
become a lucrative country
for Disney and Marvel.
The founder of SpaceX
and Tesla, Elon Musk, said
colonisation of the moon and Mars
could help preserve human
civilization in the event
of a Third World War.
The billionaire entrepreneur
Elon Musk was speaking at the South
by South West conference in Texas.
We have asked for your views on some
of his comments. He had a lot to say
about Tesla. We will talk about that
One of the world's biggest carmakers
looks like is hoping it
may have a new lease of life
in South Korea.
America's General Motors
could get an injection
of cash from a bank funded
by the South Korean government,
which would mean it doesn't need
to close more factories.
Leisha Santorelli is
in our Asia Business Hub.
What more do you have on this?
have been large protests in South
Korea over General Motors' plans to
close at least one of their four
factories. The South Korean
government is assessing whether they
should contribute money towards a
rescue of GM business in the
country. GM is the third biggest
car-maker in South Korea behind high
Hyundai and Kia. It has been losing
money for several years. Sales at
home and abroad have been falling.
The outlook is not good. GM the
business decision seems clear. Their
strategy has been to focus on the
big market of and China,... They
have done this in Russia, Australia
and parts of Southeast Asia. When it
comes to Korea, GM has offered a
lifeline. They have offered nearly
$3 billion investment plan and
offered to upgrade its operations in
the next ten years. This is critical
the South Korean government can
contribute money, and if they don't,
we could see tens of tens of
thousands of workers lose their jobs
in South Korea when those factories
Thank you. Let's show you financial
markets. Across the board in Asia we
had strong gains. Also in Japan. And
in Hong Kong at the close. Asian
stocks, following on from what
happened in Wall Street on Friday,
the Nasdaq closing at a record high.
Basically concerned about a trade
war taking a back-seat. Economic
optimism kicked in as regards the
jobs report out on Friday. It showed
more people employed but wage growth
not as robust as some thought. Let's
look at Europe right now and how the
European Day is starting. Not such
strong gains seen in Europe. Germany
must up a percent. We will talk more
about marketing a second.
First, Joe Mellor is in New York.
After a bust employment figures
drove markets to the close on
Friday, Monday will give investors
time to breathe ahead of Tuesday's
inflation report, which last month
showed the price of goods and
services in the United States had
grown at nearly 2.9%. Wall Street is
expecting the yearly figure to have
risen to 2.2%, but a significant
uptake in the rate of inflation
would weigh on markets and could
prompt the Federal reserve, under
the new leadership, to be more
aggressive with interest rate rises
in the coming months. And in a week
to void of major company news, we
will hear whether sports retailer
Dicks has been hurt by its decision
to stop selling assault rifles in
the wake of a shooting at a Florida
Joining us is Mike Bell,
Global Market Strategist,
JP Morgan Asset Management.
Good to see you. Let's talk about
those numbers. Unemployment was
expected to fall and actually it was
flat. What does that tell us?
quite complicated, but what happened
was actually very positive. The
number of people who are working is
now more than 300,000 more than was
previously. The reason that didn't
cause the unemployment rate to fall
is because the number of people
looking for a job went up. The way
the numbers are calculated meant he
didn't go forward in the
unemployment rate. The simplest way
to think about it is, if nobody was
looking for a job, then even, than
the unemployment rate would be zero.
As soon as more people start
looking, the unemployment rate would
rise. That is how it is possible to
have job gains put the unemployment
rate to be flat.
softer wage growth. Potentially the
Fed increasing rate rises sooner
than thought. What are your
I think there is positive
news on that front. It may seem
counterintuitive that lower wage
growth numbers is viewed as a good
thing. What everybody got concerned
about last month is that low -- wage
growth numbers were picking up quite
quickly. We have seen it has become
clear that that was due to weather
distortions. Even the wages are
rising gradually, it is at a much
slower pace than people were
concerned about. The central bank
would have to put interest rates up
as fast as they might otherwise have
In terms of the week ahead, there
was so much economics at last week,
European Central Bank, the bank of
Japan, the jobs figures in the US...
I think the ECB was interesting.
They removed the easing bias, the
view that if things got worse they
might have to do more QE. I think by
the end of this year they will have
stopped doing QE. We don't think
that means they will stop -- start
putting interest rates up but we
don't think that will be the case.
Still to come...pouring
your money into alcohol.
We'll find out how you can turn wine
into profits and how Asia
is driving the demand
for wine investing.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
A record 660,000 customers switched
electricity supplier in February
with over 1 million doing so this
year so far.
Energy UK, which released
the figures today, claims
the energy market has never
been so competitive.
We're joined in Salford
now by Clare Bailey,
founder of Retail Champion.
Thanks for joining us. Why do you
think so many people have chosen to
change at this time?
I think there's
a couple of factors in play. With
the energy switch guarantee we have
procedures that make consumers more
confident in the process of
switching, and nine tenths of the
market are already subscribed to
that which is a process that ensures
that when customers choose to switch
the processes run seamlessly. Also,
looking at other figures out today,
there has been issues around
consumer confidence, reductions in
consumer spending and people are
tightening their belts. So actually
looking to make savings on moving
energy provider to reduce costs of
gas and electric is contextual with
everything else in the market in
terms of seeing reduction in
spending and trying to tighten their
Also has the weather had
anything to do with it? The fact we
are experiencing quite adverse
weather conditions and people might
think that is a trend that is here
We would typically get the
seasonal cold spells some time
between December and February every
year. It has been late this year but
that might encourage people to think
harder. But from my point of view it
is around the confidence and
process, and the fact suppliers are
making it a lot easier. There's a
lot of the and the fact people are
finding things difficult. The
statistics show people are spending
far less in terms of the consumer
side of the market so I think
looking savings in any of your
bills, energy as well as telecoms,
our ways consumers will try to
ensure they moderate the fact that
income growth is not catching up
with inflation and I think switching
energy provider is a great way to do
that in terms of immediately taking
founder of Retail Champion.
You're watching Business live -
our top story: Australia's Prime
Minister has welcomed his country
being given an exemption
to US tariffs on steel
and aluminium imports.
It comes as the EU and Japan step up
efforts to secure their own waivers.
A quick look at how
markets are faring...
We talk about trading
in commodities like oil and gold
but did you know you can also bet
on the performance of burgundy,
chardonnay and Champagne?
It's pretty popular too.
In 2016, wine was the top performing
asset class on the Knight Frank
Luxury Investment Index,
with growth of 24%.
Last year it came in
second place, after art.
So what's driving it?
Well most of the demand
is coming from Asia.
According to Cult Wines, sales
there increased by 123% in 2017.
Cult Wines is an investment
manager in fine and rare wines
and currently manages assets
in excess of 90 million dollars.
The company has around
2,400 customers spanning
70 countries worldwide.
Tom Gearing is the co-founder
and Managing Director of the firm.
Thanks for joining us. That return
figure is something a lot of asset
managers would really like to have
on their balance sheets, isn't it?
Talk me through the thoughts behind
the company, is what got you into
My family background helped to
lead me into this as a career and I
was lucky to go around some of the
greatest vineyards at a young age
with my father so I was always
growing up around wine. He started a
price comparison website for fine
wines in the early 2000 so I spent a
lot of time typing in prices, and
data. Winds have historically
increased in value because the best
wines in the world are produced in
small quantities and it's a
consumable product so every time a
bottle is opened that wine doesn't
exist any more and it will keep
dwindling until there's none left
some fine wine prices will always
continue to rise.
You started this
company more than ten years ago?
When you were at university
with your brother and friends, and
your dad is involved as well because
of his expertise. Talk us through
how you made a success of it through
the financial crisis.
Our timing was
fantastic, sometimes you need some
luck and to be coming into the
market at the right time. With the
global financial crisis people lost
confidence, there was a lot of
market volatility. We are in a
record low interest rate environment
and that's not just in the UK, it is
globally. People were having to look
outside of the normal areas for
sources of return. When you spoke
about the Knight Frank index, things
like classic cars and wine have done
so well because investors want to
make a decent return. We have been
one of the market leaders in this
For some of you
who think you might recognise Tom,
that's because this is not your
first time on television, is it? You
were on the Apprentice. How did you
find the whole experience, and did
it help with the business or was it
just something you did on the side?
From a personal perspective I was 23
years old and it was a remarkable
experience. It's a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I
loved every minute of it, regardless
of the pressure and even Claude's
interview. I want to this day so
that was one of the worst
experiences of my life! It was
outrageous. Apart from that on the
business side of things it was great
for us because it gives you a great
reputation and I get to meet people
like you this morning and on a media
publication like the BBC so it was a
great helping hand in that regard.
And you became runner-up which is no
mean feat because it's not easy.
This was under Alan Sugar in the UK,
how do you think you would have got
on if it was Donald Trump saying
It's funny because I
was in Beijing meeting some people,
I told them I was on the Apprentice,
and they said "Oh, Trump! Trump!" I
thought they probably don't know who
Alan Sugar is!
We have got to leave
it there. This is how to stay in
touch, and we will be back in a
moment to talk about Elon musk.
We have insight and analysis from
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and we want to hear from you too,
get involved on the BBC Business
Live web page. We are on Twitter,
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and online. What you need to know,
when you need to know.
business stories has the media been
taking an interest in?
Joining us again is Mike Bell,
Global Market Strategist,
JP Morgan Asset Management.
One thing that piqued our interest
was comments made by Elon Musk over
the weekend. He spoke about whether
life on Mars could be a reality any
time soon. We have had a few
responses in. We have heard from
Mark, who says, it depends on what
you classed as soon. I would have
thought we would want a base on the
moon first as a springboard to Mars.
I'm sure Elon Musk wants to achieve
a landing in his lifetime. I don't
know whether you think life on Mars
will be possible in the time soon,
but what did you make of Elon Musk
said, not only in terms of
colonising Mars but also when he
went on to talk about the precarious
health of Tesla and space X.
Mars thing seems far-fetched to me,
it seems like a long time before we
could be going to Mars. On companies
struggling in the early stages, that
is nothing abnormal at all.
Obviously start-ups tend to come
into difficulty, if you take Space X
as an example it requires a lot of
investment with no real revenues. I
think there will be some people in
the city who will be upset about it
being delayed, a lot of fees on
whoever manages to list that but it
will still happen.
Mike, many thanks
for coming on. Goodbye.