Stormy G20 looms as Trump bashes China on trade

Posted June 29, 2019

If the world's two largest economies don't reach a deal soon, Trump has threatened a new round of tariffs that would target remaining imports from China worth $300 billion.

"China's core concerns must be addressed properly", Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a regular briefing in Beijing Thursday, when asked about the three demands laid out by Vice Premier Liu He in May.

Global shares were mixed Friday as investors waited for a meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping that they hope will produce a truce in spiraling U.S.

Washington and Beijing have been locked in a trade stalemate since Trump came into office on a populist wave, fueled in part by his promise to get tough on China and a laundry list of other countries he still contends have been "ripping off" the USA and treating it like a "piggybank".

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Thursday that Trump has agreed to no preconditions for the meeting, set to take place on Saturday at the G20 summit in Japan, and is maintaining his threat to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods.

Regardless of the outcome (of the talks), McKenna said, "we will not be in a holding pattern on Monday morning".

Ahead of talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Trump said he would discuss trade, days after criticising the US-Japan security treaty and demanding New Delhi withdraw retaliatory tariffs. Washington is also upset with New Delhi's plans to restrict cross-border data flows and impose stricter rules on e-commerce that hurt United States firms operating in India.

"We urge the U.S.to abandon the outdated Cold War mentality and the zero-sum thought, objectively and rationally view China's development, follow the general trend of China-U.S. relations, and must not sign the act that contains negative contents on China into law, so as to avoid damage to the overall situation of China- U.S. relations." .

The list of items to be broached by leaders of the world's top 20 economies is long, but trade is expected to dominate.

Despite what the USA president describes as a strong friendship, he and Xi have been locked in a trade dispute for some time.

Trade tensions between China and the United States are unlikely to be resolved during the two-day G20 summit but Scott Morrison is hoping deals with other countries will ease the impact on Australia.

"I can say very easily that we've been very good to our allies", Trump answered.

Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the plans, that the USA could be willing to pause plans to slap tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese products.

"All this is destroying the global trade order". And, President Xi is reportedly planning to attend the meeting with prepared terms for further trade negotiations.

Trump said the two leaders would also discuss Japanese purchases of United States military equipment, although a Japanese official said later the topic did not come up.

"I appreciate the fact that you're sending many automobile companies into MI and OH and Pennsylvania and North Carolina", referring to USA states critical to his effort to win re-election next year.

Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer were to meet later in Osaka.