The Straits Times says

Trade tensions point to wider concerns

The meeting of leaders of the world's largest economies, the Group of 20 (G-20), which gets under way in Buenos Aires today, has a crowded agenda. The host, Argentina, has flagged three priorities: the future of work, infrastructure for development and a sustainable food future. China has indicated that it wants climate change to be on the agenda. France and Germany want to discuss crypto-currency regulation.

However, the highlight is widely expected to be the meeting on the sidelines of the summit between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the outcome of which could help determine the future course of the US-China trade war which has been raging all year. The signals from the White House have been mixed. Mr. Trump has suggested that it is "highly unlikely" that the US will hold off on raising the tariffs on US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 per cent to 25 per cent from next year and that he is prepared to impose tariffs on a further US$267 billion worth of Chinese goods - which would penalise almost all Chinese exports to the US. However, subsequently, the director of the US National Economic Council, Mr Larry Kudlow, suggested that Mr Trump believed there was "a good possibility" of a deal with China, provided Beijing meets certain conditions - which helped buoy equity markets in recent days.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2018, with the headline 'Trade tensions point to wider concerns'. Print Edition | Subscribe