Trump says Bush death puts 'damper' on Xi trade talks dinner

President Donald Trump called former US President George H.W. Bush, who died at the age of 94 on Friday night, a "wonderful man" during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are seen during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov 30, 2018.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are seen during the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov 30, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - US President Donald Trump confirmed that trade talks will go ahead Friday (Dec 7) with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, but said that the death of former president George H.W. Bush casts a cloud over the meeting.

"We will be meeting with President Xi tonight," Trump said in Buenos Aires, on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

He said that the dinner meeting, which is his last scheduled event before he returns to Washington, will be "primarily (on) trade and it's a very important meeting." However, Trump added that the death Friday of Bush, at 94, "really puts a damper on it, to be honest."

With markets watching nervously, Trump has described the talks as a deadline for China to meet his demands on opening up markets or risk more punitive tariffs.