US President Donald Trump Tuesday said he will hold an extended meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan next week, a major development amid the ongoing trade war between two of the world's largest economies.
Trump met with Xi at the previous G-20 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, last December. The two leaders discussed the trade dispute and tariffs, as well as the US opioid crisis. "We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting," Trump said in a tweet Tuesday morning. Trump's tweet came after his telephonic conversation with Xi.
During their telephonic conversation, the two leaders discussed the importance of levelling the playing field for US farmers, workers, and businesses through a fair and reciprocal economic relationship, the US side said. This includes addressing structural barriers to trade with China and achieving meaningful reforms that are enforceable and verifiable.
The leaders also discussed regional security issues. The two presidents look forward to meeting again in Osaka, Japan at the G20 Summit on June 28-29. "Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China," Trump said. Despite differences over key trade and strategic issues, Trump and Xi talk at regular intervals. Trump ratcheted up trade tensions when he slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of products in May.
The president has threatened to place tariffs on another USD 300 billion worth of Chinese goods, saying he would hold off on doing so until after the G-20. Trump wants China to take steps to address the issue of massive trade imbalance, stop coercing its companies and stop theft of intellectual property. Leaders of top 20 economies of the world, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the head of the European Union are scheduled to meet in Osaka, Japan for the biannual G-20 Summit.
During a Congressional hearing on Trump's trade policies, Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said that Trump has rightly pointed out that trade must be fair for workers and this is central to his commitment to confront China and unfair trade practices and their American policies. "When American companies get access to Chinese market they often have to sacrifice valuable intellectual property or enter joint ventures with Chinese companies. China's massive subsidies also create global distortions,” he said.
The US seeks structural changes in China's trade policies and those related to intellectual property rights, cyber hacking and trade barriers, the White House said. Talking to reporters President's chief economic advisor Larry Kudlow said, "Our position will continue to be we want structural changes here. We want structural changes on all the items -- theft of IP, forced transfer of technology, cyber hacking, of course trade barriers. We've got to have something that's enforceable. Refusing to guarantee on the outcome of the talks, Kudlow said that the two leaders will have a good conversation.
"As I've said many times, I think the president is 100 percent right. All these unfair, nonreciprocal trading practices have got to change... hurting our economy, hurting our workers,” he said. "In terms of the economic burden, we feel that the bigger part of that burden will come from the China side because No. one if they want to sell into the tariffs they're going to have to slash prices which means they'll lose money and damage their economy," Kudlow said.