Pos­si­ble Trump-Xi meet­ing raises trade war thaw hopes

Manila Bulletin - - World News -

EIJING (AP) — With China and the United States open­ing the door to a meet­ing next month be­tween Pres­i­dents Xi Jin­ping and Don­ald Trump, hopes are ris­ing for a po­ten­tial eas­ing of ten­sions in the trade war be­tween the world’s two largest economies.

Wor­ries about the in­creased tar­iffs the two sides have im­posed on each other’s goods con­trib­uted to a dizzy­ing bout of volatil­ity in fi­nan­cial mar­kets this week.

The higher tar­iffs raise costs for com­pa­nies in both coun­tries, and econ­o­mists say that if they re­main in place in­def­i­nitely, they could de­press eco­nomic growth.

A Xi-Trump meet­ing, if it hap­pens, would take place dur­ing a sum­mit of lead­ers of the Group of 20 big­gest global economies in Ar­gentina in late Novem­ber.

“I don’t think any de­ci­sion has been made in re­gards to a meet­ing,” Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin told re­porters Satur­day in Bali, In­done­sia, where he’s at­tend­ing global fi­nance meet­ings.

Still, Larry Kud­low, Trump’s top eco­nomic ad­viser, said in Wash­ing­ton on Fri­day that prepa­ra­tions for the talks were un­der way.

“It looks like there will be a meet­ing in Buenos Aires at the G-20,” Kud­low said in an in­ter­view with CNBC.

“We are look­ing at it. The Chi­nese are look­ing at it. Prepa­ra­tions are be­ing made. I can’t say 100 per­cent cer­tainty, but there is no ques­tion ev­ery­body is look­ing at it.”

Kud­low said that so far, the ad­min­is­tra­tion viewed China’s ne­go­ti­at­ing of­fers as “rather un­sat­is­fac­tory” but that “maybe talks be­tween the two heads of state will bear fruit.”

Asked if China would need to make spe­cific con­ces­sions for such a meet­ing to take place, Mnuchin said, “To the ex­tent that we can make progress to­ward a meet­ing I would en­cour­age that and that’s some­thing we’re hav­ing dis­cus­sions about, but for the mo­ment there’s no pre­con­di­tions. The pres­i­dent will de­cide on that.”



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