China and the United States are locked in a trade dispute, and expectations have dimmed that Trump and Xi can ease the tension when they meet on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in the Japanese city of Osaka. U.S. President Donald Trump made clear on Friday his priority at a summit of Group of 20 leaders were trade deals to boost the U.S. economy, as other leaders such as China’s Xi Jinping warned against protectionism and its threat to the global economy.
Xi warned about the protectionist steps he said some developed countries were taking. “All this is destroying the global trade order. This also impacts common interests of our countries, overshadows the peace and stability worldwide,” Xi told a gathering of leaders of the BRICS grouping of nations on the sidelines of the G20 meet.
Trump’s administration also has trade feuds with India and Japan, whose leaders he met on Friday. Trump said he saw U.S. trade prospects improving, days after criticizing the U.S.-Japan security treaty and demanding that India withdraw retaliatory tariffs.
“The trade relations between China and the United States are difficult, they are contributing to the slowdown of the global economy,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference. Asian shares stumbled, and gold slipped during the day amid rising doubts that the highly anticipated meeting of the leaders of the world’s two biggest economies would bring progress in resolving their dispute.