tv BBC Business Live BBC News August 17, 2017 8:30am-9:01am BST
this is business live from bbc news, with ben thompson and jamie robertson. under pressure. another string of top bosses quit president trump's business groups, so he scraps them both. but can he stay friends with business after this? live from london, 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? we'll assess what's at stake. also in the programme: "the worst deal ever". that's how donald trump has described the north american free trade agreement, a pact between the us, canada and mexico.
now it's being re—negotiated. 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. and we'll get the inside track on the batteries that could power the future. we'll find out how batteries will not only power our cars, but our homes too. 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 0k? where did your grades get you? let us know, use the hashtag, #bbcbizlive. hello and welcome to business live. failing migrate five piano exam is what has got me here today... (!) —— failing my grade five piano exam. welcome to the programme. 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 in virginia this week. mr trump had condemned the white supremacist and neo—nazi groups in a statement but then on tuesday he appeared to defend the rally‘s organisers. 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. 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 theirjobs underarmor. they are not taking their jobs seriously as underarmor. they are not taking theirjobs seriously as it pertains to this country. after commenting on the corporate resignations in a press c0 nfe re nce 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 up, but they have a mostly symbolic so far, in the beginning, a lot of press c0 nfe re nce 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 uponin 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 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 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 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? we spoke briefly about nafta, 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 trading partners around the world. currently trade between these three countries is worth about one trillion dollars a year. 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 than $55 billion with mexico. trump wants a deal that helps us firms sell more to these nations, and his trade representative began the meeting by talking tough. for cou ntless
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 boosted the economy. japan has recorded a i7% fall in its trade surplus last month to $3.8 billion, as the cost of energy imports rose because
of the weaker yen. 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 earnings report due out later. chinese consumers' demand for shopping online has made alibaba the dominant player in that sector with companies like alibaba, taobao and aliexpress. but it's notjust online anymore, 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 alibaba later today. christine hah is in singapore. 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 a0%, 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. the session when we get the update from aliba ba. to the session when we get the update from alibaba. to the markets. tokyo stocks closed lower with big car makers seeing the biggest falls, 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 retailgiant walmart later today too. in europe, we get retail sales stats for the uk, giving us the familiar update on whether consumer spending is helping prop up the economy. 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 at royal london asset management 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 that later, because of brexit, we a re less 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 are worried about the future. 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 itjust certainty that they need? businesses always wa nt 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 fa ct 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&q. i think i have spent all that money there. i need a new drill. revenues down by nearly 296 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 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 — so he scraps them both. but can he stay friends with businesses who are distancing themselves from him? we have also been asking you about qualifications in the uk, exam results june. we qualifications in the uk, exam resultsjune. we have been asking whether you got where you got —— example whether you got where you got —— exa m ple results 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 as we touched on earlier, the pound weakening, the ftse100 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 for electric cars. but what about the batteries? how long do they take to charge, can you really rely on them for long trips? 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 battery systems. hyperdrive has developed links with firms in europe and japan and exports around the world. but the batteries aren't only used in cars — they can be used at home, too — to store power from solar panels or wind turbines. tesla's founder, elon musk, has already hailed home storage as the next big step. 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 thatis 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? really long trip because you will have to stop somewhere to charge ?|j think have to stop somewhere to charge?” 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 yea rs, 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 ta ke work with those partners to help take their products to market
faster. the uk government has launched a fund, and a fund used to 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 andjapan. 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?” 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 forjoining 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&q. 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 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 forjoining 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 into the afternoon. that early morning rain clears away from eastern areas. a bit of a slow start the south—east with a bit of cloud. elsewhere, though, good spells of sunshine, and evenin though, good spells of sunshine, and even in the south—east that cloud will break up to give sunny spells as well. one or two showers as we mentioned this afternoon, particularly across parts of dead and in the somerset, dorset, a few showers in the account home counties, wales as well. temperature is 21 to 2a degrees, that will feel quite pleasant. even in the north, with that sunshine at times, temperatures could well reach 19 or even 20 celsius. any showers that form will tend to fade away through this evening, and a fairly quiet
night for many of us but then we will start to see a bit more in the way of rain spreading its way through northern ireland, into scotland, quite a few showers in northern ireland by the early hours of friday morning. temperature is now lower than 13 to 15 or 16 degrees. during friday it could be quite unsettled the northern areas. there will be quite evident rain across scotland. that will persist in the far north—east of scotland. and then more rain spreads into northern ireland, showers developing quite widely elsewhere. a fresh breeze i think for tomorrow. feeling just eight had cooler, temperatures 16 or 17 just eight had cooler, temperatures 16 or17 in just eight had cooler, temperatures 16 or 17 in the north, 18 to 21 degrees in the south. how about the weekend? it starts off pretty decent. there will be some good spells of sunshine on saturday. the odd shower here and there. again feeling quite cool in that breeze, temperatures 15 to 17 in the north, 21 in the south. for sunday's weather, we have to go to the other side of the atlantic, hurricane gert is just sitting off the eastern coast of newfoundland. that is going
to wea ke n coast of newfoundland. that is going to weaken over the next 2a hours but it will track its way across the atlantic. it will become an x hurricane, but the remnants of it will be mixed up with other weather systems, which will bring is quite a bit of rain i think during sunday. that will mainly be confined towards northern and western parts of the uk. further south probably feeling just a bit more humid, averages about 20 celsius. more details online. hello it's thursday, it's 9 o'clock, i'm joanna gosling. welcome to the programme. it is a level results day! hundreds of thousands of teenagers across the country are this morning finding out how they did. and universities are bracing themselves for what could be one of the busiest years ever for the clearing process as changes to the exams have made it difficult to predict results. we have had exclusive access to a radical new approach to tackling homelessness. dubbed edinburgh's "homeless village",