Slipping away? US-China trade deal appears elusive at G20 summit

A US official describes the tone from Chinese negotiators as ‘negative’ as Trump and Xi prepare for crucial meeting.

By Michael Penn|

US President Donald Trump said he hoped to have productive talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping about their trade war, but given the wide gap between the two leaders’ positions, a breakthrough seems remote [Susan Walsh/AP]
(Al Jazeera News) – If United States President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are headed for a grand bargain over their bilateral trade dispute, there was little sign of it on the first day of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on Friday.

When the working lunch on “Growth, Investment and Trade” was held behind closed doors, the short briefing that an unnamed White House official gave to reporters suggested that the two sides remain far apart.

“The tone was largely positive from the various world leaders, [and] China was less positive,” the official said. “Just a more negative tone [from China].”

Trump and Xi are expected to meet on the sidelines of the summit on Saturday in what is likely to be the most keenly watched bilateral session of the two-day event.

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