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tv   Business Briefing  BBC News  February 19, 2018 5:30am-5:46am GMT

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this is your business briefing. i'm sally bundock. the headlines: is the world's trading system in crisis? as china hits back at us plans for more import tariffs a high—level un meeting looks for a way forward. taking care of the future. singapore braces itself for tax rises to look after its aeging population. and on the markets: china and hong kong are closed, celebrating a brand—new year. in japan and australia you can see they are headed much higher. is the world's trading system in crisis? since president trump entered the oval office the world's biggest economy — the united states —
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has been reshaping its trading relationship with the rest of the world. over the weekend china threatened to retaliate if the us went ahead with proposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. so a high level un—led meeting in geneva is looking at the way ahead. in many parts of the world the importance of multilateral trade deals can be seen in the number of people they've lifted out of poverty. the world bank says the number of people living in extreme poverty has halved since 1990 because of free trade. but president trump has been wringing the changes. he pulled out of the trans—pacific partnership which would have covered about 40% of the world economy and is seeking major changes to the nafta free deal between mexico, the us and canada which is worth more than $1 trillion a year. whilst president trump says he's trying to secure american jobs the us chamber of commerce says 41 million of them depend on international trade.
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but the relationships behind it are showing signs of strain. as i said china is warning it won't take us tariffs lying down. our correspondent robin brant is in shanghai. just tell us about some of the conversations going on over the weekend? this is the latest chapter in what increasingly looks like a potential trade war between donald trump's united states and china. we had that decision from the commerce department ‘s in the states on friday, giving the green light to the president to decide if he wants to impose new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports into the states from china and at this catchall and roller —— umbrella, that they believe the way it china subsidises
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its steel industry is a threat to national security in the united states. china has said that it is groundless, unrealistic and has said if there are new tariffs to come from the president it will take the necessary measures to protect what it says are its right. —— writes. donald trump is proudly a protectionist as the president of the united states, we have action against solar components from china, washing machines from south korea last month and the decision will come from the president as to whether he will impose these tariffs perhaps later this month. the big thing for him is the trade deficit between the two countries, china sends a lot more to the states then the states sends to china but interestingly, the export it sends are worth a lot more to the chinese economy then slice that the us sends the other way to china. the big
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issue for american business is the issue for american business is the issue of reciprocity, access to the markets here, that is what their ongoing big concern is here. with me is the economist and trade expert cornelia meyer who runs the cosultancy mrl corporation. you were listening to rob and there, you were also in davos at the world economic forum where this was explained at length because the official announcement was given about the tariffs. over the weekend things have got even more feisty, haven't they? yes, it is disconcerting because really, if you look at it, on the face of it, the biggest importer of steel and aluminium into the us is canada. the reason the us gets hot under the collar that china is producing more
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than 50% of all steel and aluminium at relatively low cost. but this shouldn't he carried out in an ideal world, ina shouldn't he carried out in an ideal world, in a bilateral thing is that we have a world trade organization which has dispute resolution mechanisms and global trade only work when it is really multilateral when the biggest players are getting out of it into bilateral spat is, thatis out of it into bilateral spat is, that is when you undermine the global system. at the same time this is going on, there is a spat getting more acute, we saw footage of president trump's trip in november where he was, i remember, we will live with his speech, he was gushing in beijing about the special relationship between them. it seems they don't go together. i wanted to ask you about this un meeting in geneva taking place, tell us about
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special group meeting and what difference they can make. it is good to talk. what they are trying to do, it is the un organisation for trade and development, they are trying to ta ke and development, they are trying to take the whole multilateral trade issue in context with the sustainable development goals, which we should achieve i 2030. —— by. this is putting that into context but when it comes to the dispute and dispute resolution, the wto is the first port of call. if the barriers are not going up and there are blockages to trade, quite often the losers can be those in poorer developing nations. absolutely. the losers are, china is a big way, the us isa losers are, china is a big way, the us is a big boy, the losers will be vietnam's and the smaller countries
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who depend on trade to lift their country out of poverty. a multilateral system really only works when you have global rules and people adhere to the global rules, cowboy actions are not helpful. they differ coming in, always good to see you. —— thanked you for coming in. —— thank you for coming in. how should government's pay for the growing healthcare needs of an ageing populations? it's a question that's gripping many countries around the world. they include the wealth city state of singapore. and it's widely expected that when the finance minister will announce tax increases when he gives his budget to parliament in a couple of hours time. rico hizon is in singapore. it is could to see you. tell us what is expected in this budget? who likes taxes? how can you raise the revenue? you have to tax the people. that is the problem. that is why a nalysts a re that is the problem. that is why analysts are expecting this budget
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will have a hike in the goods and services tax, given how singapore's rate remain competitively low against regional countries. other forms of tax that may be implemented by the taxman might be an e—commerce tax and if implemented, this would make the citystate among the first in asia to have won the. there is also talk of a further increase of taxes such as those on tobacco, gambling as well as wealth taxes. i asked amy earlier why raise taxes when singapore has a budget surplus? you have to look at raising your tax revenue in a competitive way while not affecting the attractiveness of singapore to be a place to work and do business in the. in terms of the gst rate for singapore at 7% is one of the lowest in the world. even if we increase to 9% or 10% it is very much in line with the rate in
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asia—pacific. much in line with the rate in asia-pacific. but experts say that singapore should not fear because the goods and services tax which may increase by i— 2% is only likely to be implemented over the next two or three years to prepare people. the gst was last raised in 2007 from five to the current 7%. sally. thank you very much, we will speak to you soon. now let's brief you some other business stories. the head of latvia's central bank has spent the night in custody. ilmars rimsevics, who is also a member of the european central bank's governing council, has been detained by latvia's anti—corruption agency but no details have been released about why. his home and offices at the bank of latvia were both raided. the prime minister has called an emergency cabinet meeting for monday but said "there are no signs that there is any threat to the latvian financial system". former shareholders in the collapsed british construction giant, carillion, are calling for its management to be investigated. according to a parliamentary report
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one leading investor — kiltearn partners — considered suing the company. it told the committees looking into the collapse there are clear grounds for into whether carillion's management knew, or should have known about a major black hole in its finances earlier than july 2017. a strong start to the week, not many openin a strong start to the week, not many open in asia. many are closed for new year celebrations. japan is up strongly, following a strong close to the week in the us, the best week since 2015. just to say as well that we had a great day out of the states on friday about the economic outlook, all of that boosting sentiment in asia today. see you in
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a moment for the news briefing. before we get stuck into other stories, let's tell you that the uk government saying it cannot issue a medical cannabis licence for a six—year—old at the child despite calls from his family and a group of mps. alfie dingley is from warwickshire and regularly suffers violent seizures, a cannabis treatment he received in the netherlands improved his condition but it is illegal in the uk. charlotte alec has the story. —— gallagher. six—year—old alfie dingley has a rare form of epilepsy and suffers up to 30 violent seizures every day. to go through that once would be traumatising,
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but we're going through it sometimes every 7—10 days, and it's just absolutely horrendous. last september, the family moved to the netherlands so alfie could be prescribed medical cannabis oil. his parents say he went 2a days without having a seizure. they've now moved back to the uk, but cannabis oil is illegal in britain, so they want the home secretary amber rudd to give alfie a license to use it. it is thought this drug works with nerve receptors in the brain to help control the seizures. but the home office has ruled it out. they say... a group of mps want the home secretary to make an exception for alfie. if we can find a way for her around the regulations that exist, and we believe that we can, she can issue a license to make sure
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that alfie can get this medicine. alfie's family have vowed to continue their battle, saying "you've got to fight, for your kids and we want to know that we've done everything we can". charlotte gallagher, bbc news. this is the briefing from bbc news. the latest headlines... russian officials have confirmed that one of their neutral athletes competing at the winter olympics is suspected of failing a drugs test. alexander krushelnitsky has now left the olympic village. increasing tensions between poland's so—called patriots and its liberal elite is highlighting wider division across europe. survivors of the florida school shooting are organising a national march on washington to demand tighter restrictions on gun ownership. president trump will meet with students and teachers on wednesday.
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china hits back at us plans for more import tariffs on steel and aluminium. a high—level united nations meeting is looking for a way forward. now it is time look at the stories that are making the headlines in media across the world. we begin with the times and survivors of the latest school mass shooting in florida who are planning to march on washington dc and demand that us lawmakers take action on gun control measures. the arab news reports on comments made by israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu who in a speech at the munich security conference warned iran not to test israel's resolve and accused tehran of seeking to dominate the middle east through terror. the telegraph reports uk prime minister theresa may has criticised britain's "outdated attitude" to university education saying too many people taking degrees are charged too much money for their courses.
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there's upbeat news in the ft. global dividends reached record levels last year, bolstered by strong global growth and a revival in us pay—outs as business confidence returns following political the uncertainty of 2016. and on front of the guardian, actor gemma arterton poses for a photo alongside equal pay campaigners gwen davis and eileen pullen at this years bafta's. actresses were asked to wear black dresses after a call for the awards to focus on industry inequality rather than clothes.

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