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G20: Trump and Xi to meet amid US-China trade tensions

01 Décembre 2018

Thomas Bernes of the Canada-based Centre for International Governance Innovation, who has held leading roles with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Canadian government, said the G-20 had "veered all over the road" at the summit and failed to truly fix trade.

But, he said, "that turned out to be a fleeting aspiration". The President has openly expressed his fondness for hearing differing points of view on trade, and has fostered the intra-administration disputes that have marked his policy toward China.

The president has had a long-standing relationship with Argentina's leader prior to their time in politics.

G20 delegates said that negotiations on the final summit statement proceeded more smoothly than at a meeting of Asian leaders two weeks ago that ended without a consensus, thanks to a decision at the G20 summit to avoid any reference to protectionism and unfair trading practices.

But Mr. Trump sent mixed signals later on Thursday about the prospects for a trade deal with China, saying an agreement was close but he was not sure he wanted one.

"He was a world leader, who strongly supported the alliance with Europe", said French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been lobbying other G20 leaders to carve out a 19 v 1 statement on climate change excluding Trump.

Putin grinned broadly and welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman like a long-lost friend with an enthusiastic handshake after the group photo, where Trump looked on somberly and Xi stood impassively.

It is to be bin Salman's first significant appearance overseas since the killing.

The wife of President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Emine, was dressed in a gorgeous white and floral long sleeved dress, pairing her look with a white head scarf and white pants.

"In relation to Mr Khashoggi, we want to see a full and transparent investigation of what happened and those responsible being held to account", she said.

The WTO has fallen victim to Trump's trade war on economic rival China and the United States has put pressure on the WTO itself to reform.

Russia, on the other hand, recently did not return Ukrainian ships and its crews that Russia seized near Crimea, resulting President Trump to cancel a highly anticipated meeting with Putin.

Trump himself said Bush had "inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service". "I think I understood you better in your language than I did on this, but that's OK", Trump told Macri and then dropped his earpiece on the floor.

Chinese and USA officials negotiating easing the trade tensions were making progress on Friday at a Group of 20 summit in Argentina, a Chinese official said. Trump has threatened to go ahead with that and possibly add tariffs on $267 billion of imports if there is no progress in the talks.

"I think the most likely scenario is that [Chinese President] Xi Jinping doesn't offer big enough concessions to Trump, and so nothing much comes of the G20 meeting", said Julian Evans-Pritchard from Capital Economics.

"These agreements are massive, and a vast number of technical details need to be scrubbed and wrapped up", she said.

A French source said that European leaders were trying to forge a statement on climate change even without the United States.

"I hope they understand that", he said. "But I can't imagine having a new Nafta is going to be Pelosi's first priority when she comes in, so I'd expect it to be drawn out".

But a day before the three neighbors were due to formalize the agreement on Friday, negotiators were still thrashing out what exactly they will be putting their names to, officials said on Thursday.

When the two presidents meet, they will either broker a settlement of simmering tensions over import tariffs and trade and investment rules, or lurch into a further escalation of tariffs as early as next year.

The G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.

G20: Trump and Xi to meet amid US-China trade tensions