5 Things You Need To Know – (24/7/17)
Welcome to our daily update, where we summarise the key talking points from the last 24 hours.
1. UK-US Trade deal
Liam Fox, the UK’s international trade secretary, is holding initial talks in Washington DC about a potential UK/US trade deal following Brexit’s completion.
One of the talking points has been the potential issue of chlorinated chicken, which is banned from being imported to the European Union. Once the UK has left the EU, it could be the case that these imports are a part of any potential trade deal with America. Fox has said this is “a detail of the very end stage of one sector.”
More than 2,500 products, including chocolate, coffee, and toilet rolls, have shrunk in size over the last five years, official figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown. The term “shrinkflation” has been applied to the trend.
Manufacturers have explained the changes by citing factors such as rising costs of raw materials and product improvements. However, the ONS has cast doubt on the idea that raw material costs are rising.
3. Kushner denies Russian collusion
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son in law and senior adviser, has denied allegations that he or anyone in the Trump election campaign team colluded with Russian officials.
Mr Kushner’s denial comes ahead of a testimony he will give to a Senate panel investigating Russian interference in last November’s election.
“I did not collude, nor know of anyone else in the campaign who colluded, with any foreign government.,” he has said in his written statement.
4. Battery technology
Advances in battery technology could cut energy bills by up to £40 billion by 2050, the government has suggested.
A £246 million government investment in the industry has been launched, with Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark saying, “A smarter energy system will create new businesses and high-skilled jobs, while making sure our infrastructure is able to cope with demand.”
5. IMF update
The International Monetary Fund has said that the UK and US economies will expand more slowly this year than first predicted. The UK is now expected to grow by 1.7%, which is slightly down from the original 2% forecast.
Similarly, the US will grow at 2.1%, down from the original 2.3% forecast.