World leaders from 19 countries are gathered in Osaka, Japan for the G20 Summit, held Thursday and Friday this week.
The summit has become an annual event that normally focuses on issues related to world economics and trade, with the aim of preventing global financial crises. Such gatherings have recently been preceded by meetings among national finance ministers and central bank representatives who help to shape the overall agenda.
This year’s meetings in Osaka are clouded by the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which has reportedly caused repercussions upon global supply chains and slowed economic growth beyond the two powers’ own economies.
Delegations from both countries have begun to engage in discussions ahead of Saturday’s in-person meeting between President Trump and China’s Party Secretary Xi Jinping.
President Trump is also expected to meet with Vladimir Putin on Friday. This will be their first meeting since special counsel Robert Mueller III issued his report detailing Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. Trump has not made clear what subjects he and Putin will discuss.
China Issues Demands in Trade Negotiations
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, China has drawn up a list of demands in order to continue trade negotiations. These demands include removing tariffs on all $250 billion of Chinese exports that were put in place on May 10, when the last round of U.S.-China trade negotiations broke down. In addition, China is demanding that the United States lift its ban on the Chinese technology company Huawei.
China’s demands are not likely to be well received by the Trump administration. In particular, President Trump wants any new trade agreement to include safeguards to protect American businesses from China’s corporate spying and theft of intellectual property, Whereas, Huawei epitomizes the threat of China’s corporate spying.
In January, the U.S. Justice Department issued multiple indictments against the Chinese telecom giant Huawei related to theft of intellectual property, obstruction of justice and fraud. Huawei’s wireless technology company also carries functionality that could enable large-scale spying by Chinese intelligence. The U.S. banned companies from using Huawei networking equipment since 2012, and earlier this year, President Trump issued an executive order to ban the use of Huawei technology in all U.S.-based communications networks.
In an interview with Fox News, on Wednesday, Trump indicated that he is prepared for the Chinese trade war to escalate and is willing to introduce a second round of tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports, should a new trade deal fail to move forward.