There is a "good possibility" President Donald Trump will reach an agreement later this week to resolve the US trade dispute with China, a White House official said Tuesday. She said the two will further discuss it later this week during the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He said he would decide on a course afterward. But White House aides were still planning for the Putin meeting after Trump's comments. "So I really don't know", Trump told reporters at the White House.
President Donald Trump will hold a make-or-break trade meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the G-20 summit this week and also navigate a diplomatic minefield with Russia's president after unrest in Ukraine, the White House said on Tuesday. "What's happening in the Sea of Azov is serious", said Francois Heisbourg, special adviser at the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris.
Both sides have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's goods in a fight that has rattled the financial markets.
"As this is a hard moment for global cooperation, I would like to appeal to the leaders to use this summit to seriously discuss real issues such as trade wars, the tragic situation in Syria and Yemen and the Russian aggression in Ukraine", European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference in Buenos Aires.
The warning from Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, came ahead of the two leaders' high-stakes sit-down on Saturday evening.
Leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico met in the morning to sign a trade deal replacing the North American Free Trade Agreement that was struck following months of tough negotiations that analysts say left a bitter taste among the partners. In a speech to lawmakers in Spain, where he is conducting a state visit before attending the summit in Argentina, he said the world is facing "instability, uncertainty and hot topics without precedents in our history".
Overall the G-20 summit is meant to focus on issues such as labour, infrastructure, development, financial stability, climate sustainability and worldwide commerce. He then added the caveat that fairness and reciprocity must be a part of the deal.
The Trump-Xi meeting would be the first since the two countries began hitting each other with import taxes earlier this year. This time it could be on more than $260 billion in Chinese goods. "And we'll see", Trump said.
Security concerns also weighed on the two-day talks in Buenos Aires.
Argentine President Mauricio Macri kicked off the summit by acknowledging divisions within the G-20 while urging world leaders to have a "sense of urgency" and take actions "based on shared interests".
Trump is seeking concessions on alleged intellectual property theft and what he describes as exploitative trade practices, while Xi is hoping the president pledges limits new tariffs on Chinese goods.
Eleanor Olcott, a China policy analyst at TS Lombard, wrote in a note on Tuesday that "hopes for this meeting providing an off-ramp for the trade conflict should not be overstated" as there was a fundamental dissonance between the China and USA positions "that can not be solved over an Argentine steak".