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Abe, Trump, and the $69 billion elephant in the room.
That's how much more Japan sells to the US than it buys from the US
and that's what will dominate talks at the White House later today.
Greece's debt crisis returns to haunt Europe.
Or will we have to add Grexit to Brexit?
Good morning, Britain, and hello, world. Welcome to the programme. We
have got that Friday feeling. If you are tuning in for the first time,
stay where you are. I am only asking to ten minutes, that is all I have.
I will give you an exciting snapshot of all the latest in a world of this
the same money. We start in the United States, where you have in
hearing that Japan's home minister, Shinzo Abe, meets with President
Trump later today. -- Prime Minister.
Remember, one of Mr Trump's first actions as President was to withdraw
from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal,
signed by Obama and strongly supported by the Japanese.
Mr Trump called it a terrible deal for the US.
He wants a fairer trading relationship with Japan -
Last year Japan sold almost $69 billion of more stuff to the US
That trade surplus, as it's called, is one of the biggest any nation
To give you an idea of why, look at this.
In 2015, the latest figures we have, the US exported a little over 16,000
Here's how many Japanese cars were sold that year
Most of those cars are actually made in the US.
Mr Abe is expected to stress that 1.5 million American jobs rely,
either directly or indirectly, on Japanese carmakers.
On top of this you have the so-called currency wars.
Mr Trump has claimed the Japanese yen is kept artificially low
against the dollar to help Japanese exporters.
And there's another big figure that is causing tension.
$5.5 billion was the bill to keep US troops in Japan last year.
Japan actually paid for almost half of that, according to their defence
ministry, but Mr Trump says the US is shouldering too much
of the burden of security in the region.
So how best to diffuse all this tension?
Over a round or two of golf of course, as Samira Hussain reports
Japan's Prime Minister will be meeting with President Trump at the
White House on Friday. But where most of the diplomatic charter may
actually take place is on the links. American presidents have a long
history of Wayne Gulf, and Mr Trump is no different. -- play in goal. In
a recent interview, the President said he believes playing golf is a
better way to get to know somebody then having lunch, one of the
reasons he has invited Shinzo Abe, a fellow golf enthusiasts, to join him
at Mar-a-Lago, the winter White House. This is a testament to the
importance the US places on the bilateral relationship and the
strength of a bite -- our alliance and the deep economic times -- ties
between the US and Japan. But the Japanese Prime Minister's trip to
Florida is raising questions of conflict of interest. Who will pay
for the Prime Minister's stay at Donald Trump's resort? I braise for
also raised when the Prime Minister met with the then president elect
Trump after his election win. The present's daughter, Eve Anke Trump,
was also there. That raise questions of potential conflict of interest
between the President and his family's Isner 's ventures. So what
will the two leaders be discussing? Security and trade will be top of
the agenda. Now that the US has pulled out of the TPP, the 12
country trade act, Mr Trump is going to be looking to try to get some
sort of a lateral trade deal with Japan on the books. -- why lateral.
Shinzo Abe will be coming to Washington with a massive business
proposal for Japanese companies to invest in the United States in
infrastructure and job creation projects. And the Prime Minister has
already picked up on the subtleties of this new game. He has said he
will give Trump a credible figure. -- tweetable figure.
It slack Mr Trump may have to pencil in a lot more golf, certainly some
with resonance Xi Jinping of China. -- some with President Xi Jinping.
We've just had some figures that show China is still selling far more
More than $21 billion in December alone.
That puts those Japan figures in perspective somewhat.
Let's go straight over to the Singapore bureau, where Mariko Oi
joins us. I know that you are married to a golfer. A professional
golfer, actually. So I want to know, has he told you anything? The
Japanese run minister, he is a dab hand at golf? I am wondering who is
the best, Trump or Shinzo Abe? We do not talk about golf at home, Aaron,
nor do we talk about news, because we have no interest in each other's
sessions, unfortunately. But I am sure they would both be welcome if
they come to Singapore, that is for sure. I think I have to say, it is
fair to say President Trump would the having a much you issue with
that China trade surplus than Japan. I think I minister Shinzo Abe will
be emphasising that when he meets the President, that, hey, our trade
surplus is not as big, and Japan actually contributes to the US
economy. You are talking about the jobs that are ready in America, but
he has reported they are also offering to create 700,000 US jobs.
Whether or not that is achievable is another matter, because if it is
that easy he really should have done it back home already. That will
definitely be high on the agenda. For the rest of the world, or at
least for the rest of Asia, China's trade figures are not actually bad
news, because as you mentioned, the trade surplus with the United States
is huge, but also its exports are rising 8% and its imports are rising
to 7%. Both beat expectations. That indicates China's economy is off to
a good start. That is great news because China is the biggest trading
partner for many Asian countries. Indeed. Thanks for that. I am
wondering what you do talk about at home, then, if you don't talk about
your job or about golf? I kid! Do you actually talk to him? Do you
talk about things with your husband? We talk about our daughter a lot,
yes. Have a great weekend. See you soon. We are also looking at this.
Welcome it is coming. We are also looking at Greece,
which today has to pay back 1.4 It's the latest instalment
on the country's 320 billion euro And it's just one in what will
become an avalanche of payments over The crunch will come in July -
when Greece will need fresh funds from its European and international
creditors to stay afloat. The problem is, the International
Monetary Fund says it won't pay any more unless Europe agrees to write
off a sizeable chunk And it warns that Greece is not
doing enough to reform. I think we would agree that Europe
has provided extraordinary support to Greece and we would agree
that it is encouraging that Europe indicates, reiterates again today
that it will stand by Greece We obviously welcome
both of those things, but I think it's important to say
this also that that support The standards chief of the US
Congress says a senior Trump aide Kristian Scholz joins us. Thanks for
coming in. You know what I'm going to say to you. I am so bored of
this. I am so bored of it. I cannot believe it is back, I feel like I am
either in a timewarp warp or it is Groundhog Day. The same old
arguments, Greece needs more money, Greece is not performing. The
European lenders and Europe are battling over what to do. Can I put
a gun to my head now? What do you say to that? This is square one.
Another thing that is or is the same is that there is a deadline
approaching, and external deadline. At some point Greece will have to
make a payment. The big ones are perhaps in April, and the really big
one you mentioned is the repayment of the ECB. That is private
creditors, in July. Does it have the money now to make these payments?
Probably has the money for the April payment but not the July payment. By
July, it needs that big amount of money. It needs to pass the second,
only the second review of the programme, which was agreed back in
2015. But the problem, or the issue, which is slightly different this
time, is that it is still so many months away. The first understood
half months away. The second is four and half months away. It is almost
half a year away, and we are already in a mode where it feels like we are
on the brink. We are not on the brink. We still have lots of time.
There is no liquidity issue. And if that is the case there is always,
well, if there is an immediate deadline... They won't do anything
until they get to that deadline. An important difference this year is
that Europe could look very different come the end of this year.
In terms of politics, right? We have more Eurosceptic parties coming out
in favour with a lot of the population. We have the French
elections, Netherlands, Germany. Greece could be dealing with a
completely different Europe, and a Europe that may not have the
appetite to give the Greeks any more money. Absolutely. We are in a big
election year. This time it is the creditor countries, not the
countries are explained in Portugal and Greece with elections. This time
it is countries like France and Netherlands and Germany. They are
under pressure to deliver for their populations results on Greece, but
there are reforms, that there is great that the Greeks are running
the primary and fiscal surpluses that they need to repay the debt.
That is not coming through the not going to give Greece any help. -- if
that is not. This is a highly controversial year, because of the
politics. You and I have sat here over the years talking about Grexit.
That was well before rags it happened, it was all about Grexit.
-- before Brexit happened. Everybody said that cannot happen, you cannot
have a nation leave the European Union. Yes, you can! With Brexit now
happening, could the European say, you know what, it is OK. Just let
the Greeks go as well? I think there is a big difference between Grexit
and Grexit. -- Brexit and Grexit. In terms of financial stability Grexit
is probably the big deal, it is just leaving the EU, not leaving the
currency like a Grexit is. We have had the German finance minister
several times saying that it is conceivable that Greece leads the
euro, it does not reform. That is part of the article or whatever, one
of the articles. It is written in stone, isn't it? I have to wrap this
up. But you cannot write off your debt, and if you cannot pay, you out
of the euro. There is the no bailout clause in Europe, and the no bailout
clause means no direct transfers to know countries. No writing off of
debt. Kristian, always a pleasure. Thank you to coming in. Have a great
weekend, by the way. Let me just touch on this story before I leave
you. The standards chief of the US
Congress says a senior Trump aide was "wrong, wrong, wrong" to promote
Ivanka Trump products Kellyanne Conway told
Fox News on Thursday, Retailer Nordstrom earlier this
month dropped the US first daughter's clothing line,
citing a lack of sales. The White House said
President Donald Trump "absolutely" continued to support Ms Conway,
despite intense criticism There you go. You can full amount
to, I will be back with James to take us over the papers in a little
mile. -- you can follow me on Twitter.
The BBC has learnt that the organisation responsible for
advising English health trusts on security of staff is ending that
work despite a steep increase in attacks on doctors and nurses. NHS