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This is Business Live
from BBC News with Jamie
Robertson and David Eades.
Trading threats - raising tensions.
Fears of a global trade war set
to dominate as G20 finance chiefs
gather this weekend.
Live from London,
that's our top story
on Friday the 16th of March.
With jobs and trade
on the line, the United States
is demanding more from its biggest
partners so will they hit back
with action of their own?
Also in the programme...
Singapore-based chipmaker Broadcom
hints it will look to buy smaller
rivals after President Trump blocked
its $140 billion deal for Qualcomm.
The market is starting down but not
a huge amount of change. Less than a
10% movement on the European markets
as they open today.
And we'll be getting
the inside track on the business
impact of those growing tensions
between Russia and the UK and all
the other big stories of the week
with our Business Editor Simon Jack.
And we begin our Future Of Work
series with a look at commuting
so we want to know what unusual
journeys to work you have.
Just use the hashtag BBCBizLive.
Hello and welcome to Business Live.
Tensions are growing
over global trade.
As President Trump continues
to protect US industry there have
been threats of retaliation
from around the world -
raising fears of a trade war that
could seriously damage
the global economy.
People putting up tariffs to protect
their own industries against others
around the world.
The issue will top the agenda
when finance chiefs from the world's
biggest economies meet
in the Argentine capital
Buenos Aires this weekend.
This week the Trump
the temperature with China again -
demanding a $100 billion
cut in Beijing's
trade surplus with the US.
It also turned its
attention to India,
complaining to the World Trade
Organisation about export subsidies
to Indian exporters worth
an estimated $7 billion a year.
That's what he reckons, anyway.
And there's just a week to go
until US tariffs of 25%
on imported steel and 10%
on imported aluminium
come into force.
Many countries are seeking
exemptions to stop any
damage to their economies.
Since they were first announced
at the beginning of the month,
global stock markets have been
confused as investors try to assess
the potential damage
as the European Union and others
threaten to retaliate
against those US tariffs.
Chris Watling is the Chief
Executive of the global
consultancy Longview Economics.
Thanks for joining us. Just to get
the short for you first. We have a
raft of demands from Donald Trump,
but it's all coming to a head.
What's going to happen, two days to
sort it out.
It's classic trumpet,
go in hard and aggressive, make a
lot of noise and shake things up and
see how things fall, and hopefully
go from there and end up with
something fairly sensible. We have
seen this several times in his
presidency in the last year or so,
whether it was Tpp on many of these
deals. He goes in hard and then
pulls back and see what happens.
With China, would you expect some
movement from them? This sort of
technique has some effect.
have some effect. We saw some
movement from Japan when he raised
it with Japan several months ago.
Whether or not we'll get movement
with China who knows, only the
Chinese leadership will know. The
problem I think is misdiagnosed by
the administration. It's not simply
a case of, we have a $100 billion
deficit, you are clearly doing
better than we are. It's a
reflection of overconsumption in the
US and under saving, essentially.
When the shouting stops and it dies
down, will he get anything out of
it? What are his targets? Is there
anything specific, there is more to
him than just making a noise.
is more, his place in the political
constituency, old economy, a lot of
it in the midwest. There is
something in this. There are unfair
trade practices in the world and the
WTO does not have a much bite as one
would hope. China has all sorts of
industries, there is too much steel
capacity in the world and part of
that is because China keeps
businesses that are basically
loss-making going through the
government stimulus and back door
credit programmes. There is
something to what he says, but I
think it misses the main point about
the trade deficits and
When it all dies
down, whatever happens here, if
there is give and take, it has a
ripple effect. It's not just
necessarily a one-off, we are done
and move on.
It's a risky business.
You are clearly upsetting the global
consensus. Growing global trade is a
good thing, falling tariffs is a
good thing. All that stuff is very
powerful. We saw in the 1930s,
rising tariffs was a dangerous
approach to global growth. It's not
a great way to go about things, but
it is Donald Trump and hopefully it
will follow the usual pattern and
We will see, Chris, thank
you very much.
Let's take a look
at some of the other
stories making the news...
A committee of British MPs say
they have been unable to find
a technical solution anywhere
in the world that would be capable
of avoiding a hard border
between Northern Ireland
and the Irish Republic after Brexit.
The Northern Ireland Affairs
Committee has called
on the government to set out more
details on how it will manage
the movement of people
and goods across the border.
The Swedish music streaming
giant Spotify says it
will start selling its shares
on the New York Stock
Exchange on April 3rd.
In a pitch to investors
the company's boss Daniel Ek said
he would put growth over profits
to try and fend off competition
from the likes of Amazon and Apple.
More than half of Spotify customers
use the free services and the firm
has yet to make a profit.
Deutsche Bank says it does not
expect to cut costs by $1.1 billion
in 2018 as previously announced.
However, Germany's biggest
lender is forecasting
an increase in revenues,
with banker bonuses returning
to levels not seen since 2015.
Profits are up at
Singapore-based computer chip
maker Broadcom which has been
outlining it's plan for the future.
This week it formally
abandoned a $142 billion
attempt to buy its US rival
Qualcomm after President Trump
blocked the deal.
Mariko Oi is in Singapore
with more details.
Interestingly, in the conference
call with investors,
the company's chief executive didn't
really comment about that block
deal by President Trump,
who cited national security concerns
to which the company said
there shouldn't be any concerns.
But he also said that the company
continues to look at the US
as a potential market,
prompting speculation that broad,
as a potential market,
prompting speculation that Broadcom
might be looking at smaller,
probably lower profile targets
in the market as well.
In terms of the earnings number,
they came in stronger
than analysts expected,
but the company warned
that they are seeing a slowing
demand from its US customer,
which many analysts believe
is Apple, but growing
demand from South Korea.
Again, analysts are speculating
that's probably Samsung,
which is ramping up its production
of the latest Galaxy smartphones.
We can look at the Asian markets.
Trade and the G20 meeting this
weekend in South America. What will
happen in terms of protectionism and
the amount of tariffs that will be
put on over steel and aluminium. A
slightly confused message there but
we have the Dow Jones up about 0.5%.
Asia is a little bit worried, it's
down. Europe, pretty inconclusive,
up a tiny fraction.
And Kim Gittleson has the details
about what's ahead
on Wall Street Today.
On Friday, investors will be eyeing
a raft of economic data to better
gauge what the US Federal Reserve
will do when it meets next week.
Housing data released
by the Census Bureau is expected
to show that new construction slowed
in February, partially
as a result of poor
weather here in the north-east.
Two key measures of US manufacturing
activity will also be released.
A miss in any of these figures could
worry America's central bankers,
especially after retail sales
and inflation data came in lower
than expected this week.
The expectation is that the Fed
will continue to slowly
raise US interest rates.
But in order to do that,
it will need the American economy
to be growing at a healthy pace.
Joining us is Simon Derrick,
Chief Markets Strategist,
Bank of New York Mellon.
In terms of occurrences, we have
this trade war, a great euphemism,
for general chaos in the trade
sphere. What effect is it having on
currencies generally? I'm thinking
about the three main ones.
the one that is really starting to
emerge as being a beneficiary for
this has been the Japanese yen.
Maybe because a little bit it is a
safe haven, but it's worth noting
over the last 40 years, one of the
trade policy has come up as an issue
in the US, more often than not it
has also focused on people
manipulating the currencies and
Japan has come up time and time
again, more often than not, the
pressure has been upward on the yen
because that is the easiest way of
fending off concerns from the US.
The stronger currency makes the
trade situation better.
Down on the
That's the main story. In
fairness, playing out against the
Asian currencies. Stirling and
Europe are pretty much sidelined the
We talked about the
Australian dollar and its impact
potentially on smaller currencies.
That's the one currency that really
has been under pressure over the
last few weeks. Most obviously
because Canada is the largest
exporter of steel to the United
States, so if you are looking to
currencies heading in different
directions at the same time, the yen
and Canadian dollar are eight right
Something many people don't
follow, unless they are in the
market and following day today is
the weakness of the dollar and how
it has weakened over the last year.
It's getting on 15% or something.
Will that continue?
I think it will.
What's interesting is that it has
broken the relationship with yield
because relatively speaking interest
rates are going up in the United
States, which is normally good for a
currency. Instead people are focused
on two things, first of all, the
administration seems to be less
supportive about the dollar in the
He doesn't talk about
stronger dollar any more.
are talking about increased spending
plans and where the money comes
from. One of the main areas it comes
from in the past is the far East,
people like China. Maybe if China is
allowing its currency to move more
freely, there is less money coming
in to be recycled to the US is about
looking ahead to next week, the Fed
has a decision to make. Interest
rates up? Definitely next week. What
will matter will be the rhetoric and
how concerned they are about
inflation and what happens with
Still to come...
We'll have all the implications of
the UK and Russia trade and more
from Simon Jack, business editor.
You're with Business
Live from BBC News.
JD Wetherspoon has reported pre-tax
profits of £54m for the six months
to 28th January -
up 36% on the same period
in the previous year.
Joining us now from
London Stock Exchange
is Tim Martin, the founder
and chairman of JD Wetherspoon.
Thanks for joining us. These are not
easy times for the casual dining
market. Give us your secret.
hard to know, really. It's a
thousand components of a BMW, you
work on different components all the
time and you eventually come up with
a good car. We have been going a
long time, we sell a lot of things
that have been unfashionable over
the years, like real ale, which is
doing very well for us. We are now
selling quite a bit of draught beer,
which is at the trendy end of the
market. Over the years we have moved
into breakfast and coffee which do
very well. Coffee is particularly
going great guns at the moment.
about your costs, the weak pound,
food costs going up, and business
rates going up next month. You have
the national living wage, which is
putting upward pressure on wages.
Will you be able to keep costs under
control to the point where you can
still increase profit?
Can we keep
them under control when it comes to
the things that you mention, the
answer is no. What we can try and do
is make sure we are running the
business well, everyone else has got
the same costs. If we can get all
the different components running
better, we will be able to sell
people a pint at a reasonable price
with a good atmosphere. It's
difficult enough. The main sword of
Damocles for the pub industry is
that it pays much higher taxes per
pint or per meal than supermarkets.
That disparity has increased over
the years. Eventually, when things
settle down and people have a chance
to look at it, we have to say, do we
want pubs and restaurants,
particularly in small towns and
unfashionable suburbs. If the answer
is yes, then you have to equalise
Tim Martin, we wanted to talk
about Brexit, but we are running out
of time. I'm sure you would have
lots to say about that, but we will
save it for another day. I'm sure he
might be relieved, or maybe not!
A quick look at how
markets are faring.
There is not much happening on this
Friday morning but coming off the
back of an unsettled week with Asian
markets waiting to see what's going
to emerge from these trade tensions
as they mount, courtesy in large
part to President Trump of course.
We will talk more about lead the
second because we have Simon Jack
here and a round-up of all the
Russia says its expelling British
diplomats following the poisoning
of a spy on British soil but there's
less impact on trade
ties and global trade
tensions on the rise.
Let's talk to Simon. Let's talk
first about global trade, is there
going to be a trade war? People
increasing tariffs and the rest of
There's been widespread
condemnation of the steel tariffs
and we will see how other countries
respond to that so that is the big
worry. Much more so than the Russian
tensions. At the moment we have the
US which pulled out of the TTP, and
many voices in the US are saying
that as we withdraw and put up
barriers we are losing influence in
areas where we had a lot of it, for
example in the Pacific area, we used
to have a big military presence,
that tilts away, meanwhile China is
expanding into those areas. So you
have got the most developed economy
in the world turning away from
global trade at a time when everyone
else is trying to get together. That
could reduce long-term US influence
and allow China to get a march on
that. You have the rest of the world
coming together, promoting trade,
globalisation, the world economy is
doing well, the fly in the ointment
is the approach of the US.
interesting angle on that, we were
saying on this programme a week ago
that it is not that surprising China
is the champion of free trade at the
moment because the dominant economy
in the world is always in favour of
free trade. You go back historically
into the 19th century, Britain
getting rid of the Corn Laws. Then
is America became dominant it
promoted free trade, now China is
coming up and it too will promote
That is not quite the
dominant economy, but it is coming
This is one of the symptoms of
One other thing you are seeing,
this is being looked at through the
lens of Brexit, with the UK going
its own way. The Government are
saying we are not leaving Europe,
just the European Union but you have
these tensions there.
Let's move on,
we have the tensions between Russia
and the UK and we have heard Sergey
Lavrov the Foreign Minister saying
for sure our response is coming so
we are waiting for that but there is
still this reticence about
I thought the
I thought the
Prime Minister got a lot of plaudits
for the way she dealt with this this
week, the expulsion of huge amount
of diplomats, we are expecting tit
for tat. But the word business
didn't come into her speech at all
and in fact there were words of
comfort for the Russians who have
come and made their home in the UK.
You think about Roman Abramovich who
owns Chelsea, and of course the big
one, BP, aren't they already have...
Have we been dancing with the Devil?
Bob Dudley sits on a board chaired
by close Putin friend Igor Sechin
and at some point he has to walk out
of the room in case there is
anything pertaining to him
personally! I don't think there was
anything in the list of sanctions we
saw that apply additional pressure
to the business relationships. They
said we don't want your spies or
assassins but we want to keep doing
business with you.
And the Royal --
the rollback for banks?
doing this you are swept up in the
bid to make the to big banks safer,
you've also swept up lots of
community banks and made it hard for
them to do their job which is to
lend to communities. There is a bill
passed in the Senate to roll back
some of these regulations, it has
got to go through the house and is
deeply dividing the Democrats. We
are sowing the seeds of another
financial crisis, some are saying,
but others are saying we have
constrained the banking system
unnecessarily at a local and smaller
level and this is a good thing for
the US economy.
Simon, thanks so
Now it's time for the first in our
series about the Future of Work.
For many of us, the daily commute
can be a combination of unreliable
trains and overcrowded buses.
But advances in technology,
automation and artificial
intelligence are set to change
the way we travel to work
as Rico Hizon has been
finding out in Singapore.
People have long dreams of taking a
jet pack or flying car to work and
that reality is closer than most of
you think. One man passenger drones
are being tested but widespread use
is yet to come. For now
battery-powered electric vehicles
are moving people in new ways. For
many commuters, this is the last
mile solution. When their office is
there and the train only takes them
here so how does it work?
It is a
battery operated Scooter, where you
can actually use an app to activate
it. We see the huge popular demand
in other places we have launched,
especially places where they need
connection to their offices or
schools from the station.
were only used by the likes of James
Bond, but a number of companies are
turning science fiction into science
We can get into really
exploring the dream and the idea,
the concept and the science behind
true human flight and achieve a lot
of those things that people have
been dreaming about for a long time.
Jet packs may not be for commuting
just yet but the way we get to work
is constantly changing and will be
vastly different in the future.
Simon Derrick is back with us, and
you like the hover board. It's all
right when you get one person doing
it, it is when you get thousands
going down Oxford Street! But have a
look at the papers. This is the rush
investigation and they are going
after the Trump organisation now
closer and closer...
don't know how this plays out so we
cannot comment too much about how it
goes but I think what matters is how
markets react to these kind of
stories. People forget what matters
over time. People seem to think
politics is a big issue but it's
never proved a market mover in
Germany. In the US absolutely it has
been a market mover. Think back to
Watergate in 1973, a cause of major
market volatility so this story,
talking about concerns within the
White House, that could potentially
be an issue.
Would you expect flight
away from US assets if political
things get hot in the states?
go back and look at the past three
events, they were dollar negative.
But not necessarily globally?
Shall we go for your
favourite story of the day, the
scientists who planted a noble card
in his hand to make it easier to use
the Sydney underground -- an Opal
He puts the card under his
The big he got done for was
mutilating his card, which is the
best bit of all of it! He calls
himself a body hacking scientist.
There are lots of them around, I'm
If I put my travel card for
London inside my glove, is that
low-level body hacking? Most
important, the gentleman changed his
name... Does he signed it on all his
He wouldn't have a I doubt.
I wonder if we have this, body
hacking. Click has it all over the