Russia-Ukraine crisis clouds G20 summit in Buenos Aires

Gladys Abbott
November 30, 2018

Although there is a long list of economic and political issues that are of both immediate and longer-term relevance to the health of the world, the main focus for this G-20 meeting is on the dinner meeting between Trump and Xi.

US President Donald Trump headed to Argentina Thursday for a fractious weekend of G20 summitry, cancelling planned talks with Russia's leader and boasting that his trade war with China was paying off. The United States imposed a 25 per cent tariff on Chinese vehicles on top of the 2.5 per cent it normally charges. "This is an opportunity, with the two presidents, to break through what have been disappointing discussions", Kudlow said, according to Politico. Allen predicts the new tariffs will be applied in stages rather than all at once if Saturday's meeting between Xi and Trump fails to produce at the very least a pause in the dispute. That tension surfaced again on Thursday.

Trump also said British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit agreement "sounds like a great deal for the EU" that would make it more hard for the U.K.to strike a trade deal with the U.S. The British pound fell in the wake of his comments, which were countered by May.

PM Modi is scheduled to visit US President Donald Trump and Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe to hold a trilateral meeting amid its common hostile partner, China's growing economic and military expansions.

Trump didn't elaborate further.

A White House official said that Trump sees a "good possibility" for a deal to defuse the trade frictions, as Washington demands greater market access and protections for intellectual property by Beijing. Analysts say the question will be how much pressure will Trump and the European Union put on Putin over the issue.

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Li, who is the director of the USA think-tank's "John L. Thornton China Center", cautioned that even if a trade deal is reached, it would be "naive" to believe that the economic conflict between the two countries would be over. "If the US does not do that, these forums flounder".

The U.S.is poised to increase tariffs on a range of Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on January 1, and Beijing likely to retaliate.

In a statement Wednesday, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer complained that China slaps 40 percent tariffs on U.S. auto imports - more than the 15 percent tariffs it imposes on other countries and the 27.5 percent U.S. tax on Chinese auto imports.

Washington wants Beijing to act to reduce a $375 billion trade surplus by opening its economy to foreign competition, increasing protection for US intellectual property, ending joint venture requirements that lead to technology transfers and cutting subsidies to state-owned industries. "Otherwise, lets just make our Country richer than ever before!"

"And Korea actually used to be a part of China", Trump told the Wall Street Journal in April after meeting China's Xi Jinping.

A Chinese response to US demands sent earlier this month amounted to a rehash of previous commitments and pledges that Xi had made in recent speeches, according to people familiar with the discussions. Shortly after announcing his presidential bid in 2016, Trump told an American broadcaster: "I love China". China has responded with tariffs of its own on USA goods, targeting farm states that are an important part of Trump's political base. -China summit, the top USA trade official is blasting Beijing for imposing "egregious" taxes on American-made cars. Hawks in his administration have also been eager to see broader changes in Chinese industrial and technology policy.

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