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Political and trade rifts threaten G20

2018-12-01 00:00:52
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World leaders are set to open a two-day Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Friday, with global trade concerns set to dominate, while the flare up in Russia-Ukraine tensions and the fallout from the murder of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi are also likely to feature.   


While there have been some signs that Chinese and US delegations could reach a ceasefire on trade, there are growing worries that President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping will not be able to make a breakthrough at their highly-anticipated meeting at the summit.   


Before departing Washington on Thursday, Trump said he was “very close” to reaching a deal with China but added “I don’t know that I want to do it because what we have right now is billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes.”   Trump said China “wants to make a deal,” and was open to one, but said he liked “the deal we have right now.”   


The US began hiking tariffs on Chinese goods earlier this year and Beijing has responded in a tit-for-tat fashion, sparking tensions that a full trade war could erupt. 

 
Trump has already threatened to further increase tariffs on some 200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods.   Ottawa meanwhile confirmed the new trade deal between Canada, the US and Mexico would be signed in Buenos Aires on Friday. However the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) will still need ratification from each country’s legislative body.   


Following the G7 summit in Canada in June, Trump triggered a war of words with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling him “dishonest,” and withdrawing support for a joint G7 communique, after the Canadian leader vowed retaliation for US tariffs on steel and aluminium.  

Buenos Aires (dpa), Nov 30, 2018


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