From climate change to trade- Trump effect leaves G20 divided

Geneva Stokes
December 2, 2018

At the same time, Trump again raised with Xi his concern about the synthetic opioid fentanyl being sent from China to the United States, urging the Chinese leader to place it in a "restricted category" of drugs that would criminalize it. The deadly synthetic opioid is responsible for tens of thousands of USA drug deaths annually.

"The relationship that I have with President Xi, I think that's going to be a very primary reason we'll probably ending up getting something good for China and good for the United States, so we very much appreciate it".

Leaders of the world's largest economic powers have agreed to overhaul the global body that regulates trade disputes, but they faced resistance from President Donald Trump over the Paris accord on climate change.

The Trump-Xi meeting is the marquee event of Trump's whirlwind two-day trip to Argentina for the Group of 20 Summit.

Trump has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion on Chinese products. China also agreed to boost its purchases of agricultural and industrial goods to reduce its trade imbalance with the USA, she said.

The truce buys time for the two countries to work out their differences in a dispute over Beijing's aggressive drive to supplant US technological dominance.

China's refusal to approve the deal upended the global expansion plans of a premier American company and showcased Beijing's ability to make the US feel financial pain in ways other than tariffs.

Trump has been demanding China to drastically reduce the Dollars 375 billion trade deficit and ensure IPR production for United States technology and services.

What they agree on - or do not - will likely determine whether stock markets rise or fall and whether the world economy gets some relief from destabilizing trade tensions, as well as cast judgement on the wisdom of the United States leader's hard-nosed trade tactics.

"It's an incredible deal", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on the flight home to Washington, adding it would have an "incredibly positive impact" on American farmers.

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Among those at the table for the United States: Trade policy adviser Peter Navarro, seen as the most hawkish member of Trump's team when it comes to economic issues with China.

According to the White House statement, the two leaders agreed to immediately begin negotiations on top United States concerns related to forced technology transfer, intellectual property and cyber theft.

Trump, who made USA trade policy a central plank of his platform as a presidential candidate in 2016, wants to address specific gripes with China's trade practices, especially its alleged theft of US intellectual property.

President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping.

Following more than two hours of dinner talks between the two leaders, the White House said an increase of tariffs from 10 to 25 per cent due to kick in on Jan 1 would now be put on hold, providing room for intense negotiations. "We encourage the voluntary use and sharing of innovative as well as traditional agricultural practices and technologies", it said.

"China relations that both sides claim victory", said Michael Pillsbury, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and a defense official under presidents including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

That the deal was done at the leaders' level also underscores a particular phenomenon of the Trump presidency.

The US also agreed to maintain the 10% tariffs on $200 billionworth of Chinese goods, instead of raising them to 25%, the White House said. "Notwithstanding our differences, we have been able to agree a path forward at the G20", French President Emanuel Macron told a news conference.

"In a diverse world, with so many different protagonists with their own background and culture, the spirit of the G20 is to promote a dialogue that is respectful of differences and to foster actions based on common interests", he said.

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