Coverage: G20 summit begins in Japan
The annual G20 summit has launched today in Osaka with the meeting between the Chinese and U.S. Presidents in the spotlight.
Yves van Dam had the news for AP:
Trade and geopolitical tensions, and the looming threat of climate change, are on the agenda as Chinese President Xi Jinping and other world leaders gather in Osaka, Japan, for a summit of the Group of 20 major economies.
While prospects for detente in the trade war between the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China, are a major preoccupation ahead of the two days of meetings that begin Friday, many participating are calling for a broader perspective in tackling global crises.
“This will be a difficult G-20, there are global challenges to be met, we need to step up to avoid the climate threats … reform the World Trade Organization and prepare for the digital revolution,” Donald Tusk, president of the European Union Council said at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Tom Mitchell and Demetri Sevastopulo wrote for The Financial Times why the Xi-Trump summit will overshadow the summit:
The encounter between the US and Chinese presidents in Osaka, Japan, comes just weeks after talks to end their year-long trade war broke down in acrimonious circumstances, with each side blaming the other for negotiating in bad faith and then raising punitive tariffs on about half of each other’s exports.
While both sides hope that they can at least restart formal trade negotiations after this weekend’s encounter between the two presidents, another bust-up is also possible if Mr Trump follows through on his earlier threat to impose tariffs on all Chinese exports to the US.
Chinese officials say Mr Trump’s willingness to impose new tariffs at critical junctures in the trade talks, coupled with his administration’s recent moves to deny leading Chinese technology companies access to US components and software, has eroded what little trust Mr Xi still had in his American counterpart.
“China has learnt a big lesson over the past year,” said one senior Chinese official. “For four decades we admired and tried to emulate the US in many respects, but now we know that they can turn on us without warning.”
Fortune’s Renae Reints cited the reasons why a trade deal at the G20 is unlikely:
The economic volley over these points and more seems to have no end in sight: while Trump and Xi may make progress at the G20 summit, it’s unlikely the nations will come up with a completed deal.
“At the summit itself there might be some positive movement, but I think it’s still going to be months before we get a truly detailed final agreement,” Professor David Denoon, director of New York University’s Center on U.S.-China Relations, told Fortune. “But I think we will get an agreement, because the we have much more leverage over China than they have over us.”
The U.S. imports more from China than China does from the U.S., giving it more product to potentially tax. Trump, for example, threatened tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese goods to get Xi to the table at G20. If implemented, the tariffs would cover nearly all remaining Chinese imports to the U.S.
More than 600 companies wrote to Trump shortly after this announcement, expressing concern over the economic impact of such tactics.
“We know firsthand that the additional tariffs will have a significant, negative and long-term impact on American businesses, farmers, families and the U.S. economy,” wrote the companies’ leadership. “Broadly applied tariffs are not an effective tool to change China’s unfair trade practices. Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies, including those listed below—not China.”