Trump meets Ger­man, Chi­nese lead­ers at Buenos Aires G-20

Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - News - BY MARK LANDLER

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump neared the end of an at­ten- uated visit to the Group of 20 sum­mit here Satur­day, sit­ting down with the lead­ers of China and Ger­many, two coun­tries he has threat­ened with trade wars over what he calls their un­fair com­mer­cial prac­tices.

“We have a tremen­dous trade im­bal­ance, but we’re go­ing to get that straight­ened out,” Trump said be­fore a meet­ing with Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel of Ger­many. “We all un­der­stand each other.”

Merkel said the two lead­ers would also dis­cuss Ukraine, where a clash be­tween Rus­sian and Ukrainian ships last week caused ten­sions to flare be­tween the two neigh­bors. It was cited by Trump as the rea­son he can­celed a meet­ing with Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin at the meet­ing in Buenos Aires.

Later Satur­day, Trump was sched­uled to have din­ner with Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping of China to dis­cuss ways to avoid a new round of tar­iffs that some an­a­lysts fear could pro­voke a fullfledged eco­nomic Cold War be­tween the world’s two largest economies.

“We'll be talk­ing about a thing called trade,” Trump told re­porters. “It’s a very im­por­tant meet­ing.”

China is seek­ing to pre­vent Trump from fol­low­ing through on a plan to raise tar­iffs on $250 bil­lion in Chi­nese goods to 25 per­cent, from 10 per­cent, on Jan. 1. In re­turn, U.S. of­fi­cials said, the Chi­nese were likely to of­fer to in­crease their pur­chases of U.S. soy­beans and nat­u­ral gas.

Nei­ther a dra­matic break­through nor an ac­ri­mo­nious break­down was ex­pected at the din­ner. The most likely out­come, of­fi­cials said, was an agree­ment to keep talk­ing.

Trump’s sin­gle-minded fo­cus on trade with Ger­many has put Merkel in an awk­ward spot be­cause Ger­many, as a mem­ber of the Eu­ro­pean Union, can­not ne­go­ti­ate sep­a­rately on trade is­sues with the United States.

Trump said he can­celed a news con­fer­ence planned for Satur­day af­ter­noon out of def­er­ence to the fam­ily of Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush, who died a day ear­lier in Houston.

He turned to Merkel and asked her to share a rec­ol­lec­tion of a visit she made to the White House with then-Chan­cel­lor Hel­mut Kohl, when Bush was pres­i­dent. She re­ferred to him as “one of the fathers of the Ger­man uni­fi­ca­tion,” and said, “we will never for­get that.”

PABLO MARTINEZ MON­SI­VAIS AP

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump listens to ques­tions from mem­bers of the me­dia dur­ing his meet­ing with Ger­many's Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel at the G20 Sum­mit, Satur­day.

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