Trump, Xi chew over trade war at high-stakes dinner

Marsha Scott
December 2, 2018

BUENOS AIRES-When President Donald Trump sits down for dinner Saturday with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, their table talk will undoubtedly have a global impact. Highlighting the need to work closely towards common interests, he stressed on the need for unity among developing nations of the world.

Xi urged the two countries to step up coordination in multilateral mechanisms including the G20 and BRICS, and unite all parties concerned in upholding multilateralism, safeguarding the core values and basic rules of the World Trade Organization, supporting trade liberalization and facilitation, and opposing protectionism and unilateralism.

Applause broke out in the summit hall as the leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, signed off on a final statement at the end of a two-day summit.

Apart from trade and climate change, Russia's seizure of Ukrainian vessels has drawn condemnation from other G20 members, while the presence of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the summit has raised an awkward dilemma for leaders.

So Trump could use a big good news story to take home with him from Argentina.

Less than two months after Saudi Arabia outraged allies when a hit team murdered Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, Prince Mohammed flew into Buenos Aires to take his place among leaders of the top 20 global economies, a sign that he intends to remain firmly in charge. If we can make a deal that'd be good.

Trump and Moon, meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, "reaffirmed their commitment to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea, Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Mr Trump called the pact a "model agreement that changes the trade landscape forever".

"I just said we brought it up", she said. The Kremlin said it was willing to be "patient" in arranging a meeting with Trump.

Wang Xiaolong, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official, said Friday that talks with the USA were still ongoing and added that the two sides were finding more common ground.

Argentinian Presidency shows Argentina's President Mauricio Macri welcoming Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on arrival in Buenos Aires

On the trade war front, White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said on Tuesday trade talks between the US and China have been heating up ahead of the summit.

The European Union's President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker are also participating as leaders at the summit.

"I think I understood you better in your language than I did on this".

"If we continue along the current course, the economic risks will increase, with potential effects for growth, jobs and consumer prices around the world", WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo said last week.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said: "Everyone agrees that the WTO should be reformed".

May also told British media she meant to use the summit to sell the vision of a "global Britain" after its Brexit departure from the European Union, scheduled for March next year.

Saudi Arabia has insisted the prince had no prior knowledge of the killing. "If we can get any kind of trade indication in the coming weeks that there was a path to getting a deal done, I think people would be surprised how positively the market would react to that kind of news".

In another bilateral meeting on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the Renault-Nissan alliance's future with Japan's Abe, seeking to defuse a brewing diplomatic row over the balance of power inside the partnership.

The other key attendees on the American side, according to the White House, will be Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Munchin, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, national security adviser John Bolton, Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, and Larry Kudlow, assistant to the president for economic policy.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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