Trump Prepares for ‘Productive’ Talks With Xi on Trade War

June 28, 2019 Updated: June 28, 2019

OSAKA, Japan—U.S. President Donald Trump on June 28 said he hoped for productive talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, but said he had not made any promises about a reprieve from escalating tariffs.

The trade feud and signs of a global slowdown has loomed over a two-day Group of 20 (G20) summit in the Japanese city of Osaka, where Trump and Xi met in passing, and prepared for one-on-one talks on Saturday.

To lay the groundwork for the talks, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer at the hotel where the U.S. delegation was staying, a source familiar with the talks said.

“At a minimum it will be productive. We’ll see what happens and what comes out of it,” Trump told reporters after a series of meetings with leaders where he made clear that his priority was two-way trade deals to boost the U.S. economy.

Asked, however, if he had promised Xi a six-month reprieve on imposing new tariffs on a $300 billion list of Chinese imports, Trump said: “No.”

Trump has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports and is threatening to extend those to another $300 billion of goods, effectively everything China exports to the United States. China has retaliated with tariffs on U.S. imports.

Trump also made a push to discuss U.S. concerns about Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei.

“We actually sell Huawei many of its parts,” Trump said at his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “So we’re going to be discussing that and also how India fits in. And we’ll be discussing Huawei.”

The United States has pressed its allies to shun Huawei in their fifth generation, or 5G, networks on security grounds, and it has also suggested it could be a factor in a trade deal with Xi.

By Roberta Rampton

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