Trump, Xi showed optimism about dinnertime talk on trade war

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Buenos Aires, Dec 2 (IANS) US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping sat down with cautious optimism to a working dinner here in hopes of making some progress in winding down the trade war between the two countries that affects the global economy.

“At some point, we’re going to end up doing something that is great for China and great for the US. The relationship is very special,” Trump told reporters at the beginning of the dinner, Efe reported.

Xi, seated facing Trump and flanked by a dozen of his advisers at a long rectangular table, noted his “personal friendship” with the US president and expressed a wish to collaborate with him in order to guarantee prosperity for the global economy.

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“Only with cooperation between us can we serve the interests of world peace and prosperity,” Xi said in his brief statements.

The US president noted that Saturday’s meeting was very important and also spoke of his “incredible relationship” with Xi.

Since midway through this year, Washington has imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods from China, to which Beijing responded with import duties on $60 billion worth of products from the US.

According to The Wall Street Journal, both nations are working on an accord so that Washington refrains from imposing more tariffs, while the Chinese government lays out changes in its economic policy, such as ending restrictions on importing US agricultural and energy products.

The meeting was held at the Duhau Palace-Park Hyatt Buenos Aires hotel where Trump stayed during the G-20 Summit, and was the US president’s last event before returning to Washington.

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Accompanying Trump were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and advisers on matters of trade and the economy, Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow, respectively.

The Chinese delegation included Xi’s Cabinet chief, Ding Xuexiang; Deputy Finance Minister Liu He, Communist Party Foreign Affairs Director Yang Jiechi, State Councilor Wang Yi, Commerce Minister Zhong Shan, and National Development and Reform Commission Chairman He Lifeng.

After the dinner, Trump headed for the Buenos Aires airport to fly back to Washington, without the White House providing any immediate information about the results of the dinner.

–IANS

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