G20 Summit: Trump tells Xi America open to ‘historic’ trade deal

Osaka: Washington is open to a “historic” trade deal with China, President Donald Trump said today as he met President Xi Jinping, who called for “cooperation and dialogue”.

“It would be historic if we could do a fair trade deal,” Trump said at the start of the high-stakes meeting to thrash out a tariff war between the world’s top two economies. “We are totally open to it,” added Trump, a day after he held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Xi opened the meeting by telling his US counterpart that “cooperation and dialogue” are better than “confrontation”.

The bilateral talks are the most highly anticipated event of the two-day G20 summit in the Japanese city of Osaka, even though experts see little chance of a full deal to end the damaging trade war between the two countries.

The best that most experts expect is a truce, which would avoid the imposition of further tariffs, and open the way for additional discussions and an eventual deal.

“We want to do some things that will even it up with respect to trade,” Trump said.

“We were very close but something happened where it slipped up a little bit,” he added, in reference to the breakdown of previous negotiations.

He also heaped praise on Xi and China. “We have had a lot of time together, we’ve become friends,” Trump said, ignoring questions from reporters about what their talks would cover. “Chinese culture, it’s an incredible culture,” he said.

On Friday, Modi held wide-ranging talks with Trump and discussed ways to leverage the power of technology, improve defence and security ties as well as issues relating to trade, Iran and 5G.

Modi, who is in Osaka, Japan, for the G20 Summit, thanked Trump for expressing his “love towards India” in a letter delivered by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo this week.

The Prime Minister said India stands committed to further deepen economic and cultural relations with the US. The two leaders discussed Iran, 5G, bilateral relations and defence ties on the sidelines of the summit.

‘The talks with @POTUS were wide ranging. We discussed ways to leverage the power of technology, improve defence and security ties as well as issues relating to trade. India stands committed to further deepen economic and cultural relations with USA,’ Modi said on Twitter.

Agency