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  1. Get in touch at
  2. US President scraps two business committees
  3. Bosses of Campbell Soup and 3M resigned from manufacturing group
  4. They were followed by the heads of Johnson & Johnson and United Technologies
  5. US stock markets trim gains
  6. UK unemployment rate falls to 4.4% in July

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Thank you for joining Business Live.

We will be back at 6.00am sharp on Thursday and look forward to bringing you all the breaking business and economic news throughout the day.

Wall Street pares gains

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US stocks finished almost flat for the day, having eased back following Donald Trump's difficulties with his business councils and the Federal Reserve's caution on US inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 22,025, the S&P 500 also gained 0.1% to 2,467.37 and the Nasdaq Composite ended 0.2% higher at 6,345.11.

What about the Infrastructure Council?

Donald Trump at Trump Tower
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The two White House business councils disbanded today were seen as crucial for the president's relations with the biggest US businesses.

But what about the Infrastructure Council which Donald Trump created last month and which met at Trump Tower yesterday (pictured)? The White House has told US reporters it has no update on that business committee.

If you need a reminder of the two councils that have been disbanded, the Strategic and Policy Forum, which had 16 members when it was created last December, was designed to advise Trump on how government policy impacts economic growth, job creation and productivity.

The White House American Manufacturing Council, which started in January with 25 CEOs of top U.S. companies, was designed to promote job growth in the US.

How big of a deal is Trump business council decision?

Anthony Zurcher

BBC North America reporter

President Trump with the Strategy and Policy Forum
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The calculus for business leaders working with the Trump administration has changed quickly.

As more corporate chiefs headed to the exit, the riskier move - from a business as well as political perspective - became staying put.

The president, despite further tweets and verbal swipes, was unable to staunch the bleeding. His rhetorical gymnastics on the Charlottesville situation only made matters worse.

Is the collapse of the Trump regime's corporate entente a sign his fortunes are in a tailspin? Or is the man who ascended to the presidency without their help perfectly capable of staying there now that they've abandoned him?

Watch: Forget the selfie, here comes the 'bothie'

The latest Nokia smartphone aims to popularise the idea of filming "bothies".

The device can capture video from both its front and rear-facing cameras at the same time, and broadcast the images side-by-side to YouTube and other livestreaming services.

The BBC's technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones asked whether it is distinctive enough to stand out from other high-end rivals.

Nokia 8 smartphone takes 'bothie' videos

Dollar slips on Trump woes

What reaction has there been on the US markets to the turmoil over Donald Trump's business councils?

The dollar has slipped back after CEOs quit the two councils in their droves - and the president decided to disband them both.

The dollar index fell 0.32%, although that might also be due to the US Federal Reserve's concerns over low inflation.

US stocks, meanwhile, have pared earlier gains heading into the final hour before the closing bell.

'Not a business-friendly move'

More comment on Donald Trump and his business councils.

Blake Gwinn, US rates strategist at Natwest Markets, says: "He was elected partly because he is a business-friendly president. This is the flip side. It's a move away from that.

"The disbanding of these groups doesn’t mean all that much, but the market is looking at it as not a business-friendly move."

BreakingGeneral Motors is 'about unity and inclusion'

Mary Barra
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Statement from Mary Barra
General Motors

JP Morgan Chase boss 'strongly' disagrees with Trump

Jamie Dimon, the chairman and chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, says that he "strongly" disagrees with Donald Trump's reaction to the violence in Charlottesville.

View more on twitter

Trump still on the pulse of corporate life

Brian Battle, director of trading at Performance Trust Capital Partners, reckons Donald Trump will still be on the pulse when it comes to knowing what chief executives are thinking.

"Disbanding the CEO council won't diminish the President's ability to find out what the CEOs think," he says.

What now for tax and infrastructure?

Donald Trump
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Following the departures from Donald Trump's two business councils - and his decision to disband them both - some markets watchers are concerned about the president's ability to push through tax and infrastructure reforms.

John Doyle, director of markets at Tempus Consulting, says: "This calls into question the ability of the Trump administration to get anything done in terms of tax and infrastructure reforms. It's another piece of evidence of the administration's mounting problems."

Andrew Frankel, co-president of Stuart Frankel & Co, says: "The market should definitely care about Trump and these industry defections, and yet every day I come to trade, the overall tape appears averse to what goes on in DC and all its negativity."

US Fed concerned about inflation

Minutes from the US Fed Federal Open Market Committee shows that members are concerned about the rate on inflation.

"Many participants ... saw some likelihood that inflation might remain below 2 percent for longer than they currently expected, and several indicated that the risks to the inflation outlook could be tilted to the downside."

Voting members of the committee agreed to monitor inflation closely "in light of their concern about the recent slowing," according to the minutes.

Meanwhile, two days ago...

Here's what GE said on Monday:

"GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry or racism, and we strongly condemn the violent extremism in Charlottesville over the weekend. GE is a proudly inclusive company with employees who represent all religions, nationalities, sexual orientations and races.

"With more than 100,000 employees in the United States, it is important for GE to participate in the discussion on how to drive growth and productivity in the U.S., therefore, Jeff Immelt will remain on the Presidential Committee on American Manufacturing while he is the Chairman of GE."

GE chairman quit council 'this morning'

GE chairman Jeff Immelt
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General Electric chairman Jeff Immelt, a member of Donald Trump's manufacturing council, has just released a statement:

"The President’s statements yesterday were deeply troubling.

"There would be no GE without people of all races, religions, genders, and sexual orientations. GE has no tolerance for hate, bigotry, racism, and the white supremacist extremism that the country witnessed in Charlottesville last weekend.

"I joined the President’s committee on manufacturing because engagement with government on economic policy is very important for GE, our employees, and partners. As a company that exports over $20bn of American made goods to the world, I believe we are best served when we constructively engage with leaders in the United States and around the world. The committee I joined had the intention to foster policies that promote American manufacturing and growth.

" However, given the ongoing tone of the discussion, I no longer feel that this council can accomplish these goals. Therefore, I notified members of the council this morning that I could no longer serve on the President’s committee on American Manufacturing."

Meanwhile in other news

The US Federal Reserve is about to release the minutes from its July interest rate setting meeting.

Stay tuned.

24 hours ago...

Donald Trump and Johnson & Johnson's Alex Gorsky
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Donald Trump and Johnson & Johnson's Alex Gorsky

On Tuesday, Johnson & Johnson's chief executive Alex Gorsky, said that he would stay on the White House Manufacturing Advisory Council.

Here's what he said then: "At Johnson & Johnson we are deeply saddened by the horrific events that occurred in Charlottesville this past weekend. Intolerance, racism, and violence have no place in our society.

Several members have made the decision to leave President Trump’s White House Manufacturing Advisory Council, and I respect their decision as a matter of personal conscience.

Given the events of the past few days, I can understand the concerns—even the fear—that some people have expressed. These are difficult days for everyone.

In the end, I have concluded that Johnson & Johnson has a responsibility to remain engaged, not as a way to support any specific political agenda, but as a way to represent the values of our credo as crucial public policy is discussed and developed."

He added: "Ours is an important voice on healthcare, one that global leaders at every level, in and out of government, need to hear. If we aren’t in the room advocating for global health as a top priority, if we aren’t there standing up for our belief in diversity and inclusion, or if we fail to speak out when the situation demands it, then we have abdicated our credo responsibility. We must engage if we hope to change the world and those who lead it."

BreakingTwo more bosses quit Trump's disbanded councils

Two more chief executives have announced they are leaving Donald Trump's business councils - Johnson & Johnson chief executive Alex Gorsky and United Technologies chairman and chief executive Greg Hayes.

Their announcements came after the US president's tweet that he is disbanding both his manufacturing council and the strategy & policy forum.

View more on twitter

US markets trim gains

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has trimmed gains and is now up 26.75 points at 22,025.74.

The S&P 500 is up 3.34 points at 2,467.95.

The Nasdaq is now ahead 11.71 points at 6,344.64.

BreakingUS business leaders speak out

What a difference a day makes

A short-lived idea

Indra Nooyi, Stephen Schwarzman, Donald Trump and Mary Barra
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(L-R) Indra Nooyi, Stephen Schwarzman, Donald Trump and Mary Barra

Members of the US President's strategic and policy forum,which had 17 members and held its first meeting in February, included:

JP Morgan Chase chairman and chief executive Jamie Dimon

Walmart chief executive Doug McMillon who said on Monday that Donald Trump had missed a chance to unify the US but said he would stay on the council.

General Motors chairman and chief executive Mary Barra

PepsiCo chairman and chief executive Indra Nooyi

IBM chairman, president, and chief executive Ginni Rometty

BreakingTrump disbands councils

Campbell Soup chief changes tune

Denise Morrison
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The statement from Denise Morrison represents a change in tone for the Campbell Soup boss.

On Monday, the company put out the following statement: "The reprehensible scenes of bigotry and hatred on display in Charlottesville over the weekend have no place in our society. Not simply because of the violence, but because the racist ideology at the center of the protests is wrong and must be condemned in no uncertain terms.

"Campbell has long held the belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to the success of our business and our culture. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion is unwavering, and we will remain active champions for these efforts."

"We believe it continues to be important for Campbell to have a voice and provide input on matters that will affect our industry, our company and our employees in support of growth. Therefore, Ms. Morrison will remain on the President’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative."

BreakingCampbell Soup: Racism and murder are not morally equivalent

In a statement, Campbell Soup boss Denise Morrison, said: "Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville.

"I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point.

"Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great."

BreakingCampbell boss resigns from Trump council

Campbell Soup cans
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Denise Morrison, president and chief executive of Campbell Soup Company, has resigned from the US President’s Manufacturing Jobs Initiative.

Trump strategy and policy council 'disbanding'

Bloomberg is reporting that the US President's strategy and policy council is being "disbanded".

Business Live understands that this is a different group than the Manufacturing Advisory Council.

The strategy and policy council is chaired by Stephen Schwarzman, chairman, chief executive and co-founder of private equity giant Blackstone.

More to follow...

Trump manufacturing council - the tally so far

Donald Trump and Ken Frazier
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Merck boss Ken Frazier, seen here with Donald Trump, was the first to resign from the council

3M chief Inge Thulin is the sixth person to leave Donald Trump's manufacturing advisory council since Monday.

On Monday, Ken Frazier, the chairman and chief executive of drugs giant Merck, said he was stepping down following the US President's tepid first response to the violence in Charlottesville.

He was followed by Brian Krzanich, boss chip giant Intel and Kevin Plank, the founder and chairman of sportswear group Under Armour.

Scott Paul, president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, then announced he was leaving and on Tuesday evening - following Mr Trump's inflammatory comments blaming "both sides" for the violence at the weekend - Richard Trumka, president of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, resigned.

Breaking3M boss resigns from Trump council

The boss of 3M, the company which makes Post-it notes, has resigned from Donald Trump's Manufacturing Advisory Council.

Inge Thulin, chairman and chief executive of 3M said: "I joined the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative in January to advocate for policies that align with our values and encourage even stronger investment and job growth – in order to make the United States stronger, healthier and more prosperous for all people.

"After careful consideration, I believe the initiative is no longer an effective vehicle for 3M to advance these goals. As a result, today I am resigning from the Manufacturing Advisory Council."

He adds: "At 3M, we will continue to champion an environment that supports sustainability, diversity and inclusion. I am committed to building a company that improves lives in every corner of the world."

Ireland refuses to collect Apple tax

Man walks below Apple logo
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Ireland is refusing a demand from the European Commission that it retroactively collect 13bn euros in taxes from Apple.

Finance minister Paschal Donohoe told German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine: "We are not the global tax collector for everybody else."

He said the tax rules from which Apple benefited had been available to all and not tailored for the US company, and added that they did not violate European or Irish law.

US: NAFTA has failed countless Americans

Robert Lighthizer
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US trade representative Robert Lighthizer says that NAFTA has "failed" countless Americans.

In opening remarks ahead of Wednesday's talks with Mexico and Canada, Mr Lighthizer said: "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."

He said that President Donald Trump "is not interested in a mere tweaking of a few provisions and a couple of updated chapters".

He says: "We feel that NAFTA has fundamentally failed many, many Americans and needs major improvement."

London markets close higher

The FTSE 100 closed 52.81 points higher at 7,436.66.

Commodities giant Glencore was the day's biggest riser after its share price jump by 4.23% to 345.25p. Insurer Admiral was the largest faller, down 5.74% at £20.53.

The FTSE 250 finished up 159.44 points at 19,854.25.

All change at Topshop

The Times retail editor Deirdre Hipwell tweets...

Behind the screens

Two actors from ITV show Downton Abbey

ITV is planning a "mini-theme park" in London featuring some of its hit programmes such as Downton Abbey, Victoria, and Broadchurch, according to today's Evening Standard.

The company is on the look out for a property where visitors would be treated to "immersive cinematic presentations" as well as being shown sets, costumes and artefacts from the programmes.

It's a tried and tested formula with ITV's Emmerdale Studio Experience in Leeds and Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour just north of London already long-running successes.

Apparently what ITV is looking for is a site of up to 20,000 sq ft which is just around half a football pitch. Since they're planning to squeeze in a 100 seat auditorium and presumably a gift shop, you have to ask just how much space will be left for the crinolines and bonnets.

Amazon to create 1,000 jobs

Amazon warehouse
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Online retail giant Amazon is to open a new warehouse near Bristol in 2018 which it says will create 1,000 jobs.

Amazon's Stefano Perago said: "Bristol offers fantastic infrastructure and talented local people who we look forward to joining the Amazon team."

The new warehouse will open at Severn Beach adding to its 13 sites in the UK.

Read the full story here.

US: We cannot ignore trade deficits

BBC business correspondent Michelle Fleury tweets...

Oil price gains diminish

Oil storage
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Oil prices have trimmed gains following data which showed that US commercial crude inventories fell in the past week.

Brent crude is up 0.5% at $51.03 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate is off 0.2% at $47.63 a barrel.

The king still rings the tills

Mexico: We must not tear NAFTA apart

Mexico's economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo
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Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico's economy minister, says that the key to successful talks over NAFTA is "not tearing apart what has worked" but instead finding a way to make the agreement better.

Representatives from the US, Mexico and Canada began discussions in Washington on Wednesday to update the 1994 trade deal.

Need a refresher on NAFTA? Read the BBC guide here.

BreakingUS oil stocks slide

The Energy Information Administration reports that US commercial oil inventories fell by 8.9 million barrels for the week ended 11 August.

At 466.5 million barrels, US crude oil inventories are in the upper half of the average range for this time of year