Business News

CCTV Script 13/03/17


This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on March 13, Monday.

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

On Tuesday, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and Donald Trump, the new president of the United States, are going to meet for the first time - something that will be watched closely by governments around the world for clues about the future of the transatlantic alliance.

So far, the divide on both economic and foreign policy between the two leaders appears vast.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs on German carmakers that import into the U.S. market. Meanwhile, the White House has criticized Berlin for not spending more on defense.

Another source of tension is Germany's trade surplus with the United States.

Prior to the upcoming meeting, the U.S. posted its biggest monthly trade deficit in nearly five years in January.

The foreign-trade gap for goods and services increased 9.6% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $48.49 billion in January, the Commerce Department said last Tuesday.

This might become a potential short-term drag on growth that highlights broader economic forces working against the Trump administration's plans to reshape the country's international economic agenda.

Wilbur Ross also reiterating the administration's stand on correcting unfair trade practices.

[United States Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross] "The next week or so, you are gonna start to seee a lot more out of this unenforcement. I think it's ridiculous to go to all the trouble to bring a trade case, win it, and then not enforce it against the other party. We will be a very strong enforcer of it."

Siemens boss Joe Kaeser and BMW's Harald Krueger will be part of the group, and both will likely be trumpeting the thousands of jobs linked to their investments in the US.

Besides, Russia and Ukraine issues will also be on the agenda. White House officials have said Trump will seek advice from Merkel on how to deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Now, a new draft budget from Merkel's government shows that the European biggest economy remains far from meeting President Donald Trump's demands for higher military spending even as it slowly lifts its defense expenditure.

The budget proposal showed it was planning to spend EUR1.4 billion more on its military next year. While this represents a 3.9% rise from this year's budget, it will put the country's defense budget at 1.23% of gross domestic product, unchanged from this year's share and still far off the NATO's military-spending recommendation of 2% of GDP by 2024.

Can the leaders find the common ground on this issue? This would also be key during this meeting.

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore.