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Trade and security lead Trump's ambitious G20 agenda

29 November 2018
Trade and security lead Trump's ambitious G20 agenda

Washington is however open to reaching a deal with Beijing, with White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow saying the US President is expecting this to take place over a dinner on Saturday.

The G20 meeting is probably the last opportunity to avert an escalation of trade hostilities that are slowing China's economy and starting to have repercussions in the US.

"We're going to make a great deal with China and everybody hopefully will be very happy, including China". Trump has faced calls to take a harder line on Saudi Arabia, and the prince in particular, after a Saudi journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi nationals at a consulate in Turkey in October.

Trump already has imposed steep punitive tariffs on about half of the Chinese goods imported into the USA market each year, and has threatened to target the remaining $267 billion as well - which would hit Apple iPhones and laptops produced in China.

Trump campaigned on reducing the trade imbalance with China, which totaled $335.4 billion past year.

While others in the administration are also clearly concerned about China's growing geopolitical influence and see its "One Belt, One Road" initiative as inimical to USA interests, Trump's perspective is narrower and more parochial.

China will have to give way on "fairness and reciprocity", he said, warning that U.S. concerns over intellectual property theft and China's forced technology transfers "must be solved".

However, all eyes are expected to be on two meetings that Trump would have with the Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

But at that same dinner he has warned Mr Trump will hike tariffs on U.S. exports should he not get the deal he wants.

"Maybe I won't have the meeting".

There are no plans, the White House says, for Trump to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto leader of the oil-rich Gulf kingdom. But Trump has dismissed this, prompting an outcry from opponents and even some allies in Congress.

The trade war had "harmed businesses, farmers, consumers, workers, and families worldwide", the statement said, appealing to Trump and Xi to "meet the challenge of global leadership".

"I wouldn't say we've ruled out any interaction", she said, although she stressed that "the president's schedule is pretty packed".