The leaders of countries representing four-fifths of the global economy opened a two-day meeting in Argentina facing the deepest fractures since the first G20 summit convened 10 years ago in the throes of financial crisis. With nationalist sentiments rising in multiple countries, the G20 is being forced to questions how to deal with trade tensions that have caused disturbances in the global market.
The Group of 20 brings together leaders of 19 of the world's most industrialised nations plus the EU.
Describing Trump and Macri's closed-door meeting, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that "the two leaders reiterated their shared commitment to face regional challenges such as Venezuela and China's predatory economic activity".
In addition to the 10 percent tariffs already targeting US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports, the Trump administration is poised to increase the tariff rate from 10 percent to 25 percent on January 1 if "China fails to address USA demands".
Trump counted a victory Friday for his brash trade stance as the United States, Canada and Mexico signed a new trade deal, a successor to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
"We're working very hard".
The two countries are also at odds militarily over China's extensive claims in the South China Sea and USA warship movements through the highly sensitive Taiwan Strait.
"But. the suggestion that the path the United States is pursuing has a protectionist motivation, I think is false". For example, a draft says 19 of the participants agree on the importance of upholding the Paris climate accord, but the U.S. doesn't.
Trump sought to use the gathering to make his own trade deals. "I'm not here to critique or second-guess the Chinese economy, but most observers believe China to be in a slump, whereas the United States is in a very strong, solid position going into this summit". "Way, way, way above my pay grade", he said.More news: Major change ahead with Storm Diana brewing in Atlantic
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Trump has made a decision to pull the United States from the Paris accord on curbing carbon emissions, saying it is unfair, despite mounting evidence of the changing climate's dire effects.
In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the trade war "on hold" after Beijing agreed to increase its purchases of USA soybeans and liquefied natural gas - a move that could have put a dent in China's massive trade surplus with the United States.
But tensions have eased since then, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assuring that the United States is not seeking a new Cold War and USA and Chinese trade officials swapping a lengthy list of items up for discussion.
US officials insist that the American economy is more resilient to the tumult than China's, but they remain anxious of the economic effects of a prolonged showdown - as Trump has made economic growth the benchmark by which he wants his administration judges.
Chinese President Xi Jinping rallied developing nation leaders in attendance on Friday to condemn protectionism and laud the global rules-based order ahead of his highly anticipated dinner with US President Donald Trump on Saturday night.
Moscow said U.S. domestic politics may have been the real reason behind the cancellation after Michael Cohen, Trump's former longtime personal lawyer, pleaded guilty on Thursday to lying to Congress about a proposed Trump Organization skyscraper in Moscow.
Trump met Friday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a rare trilateral meeting.
Putin grinned broadly and welcomed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman like a long-lost friend with a high-five ahead of a group photo where Trump stood grimly. Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler arrived under swirling controversy over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October. Human Rights Watch asked Argentine prosecutors to investigate him for human rights abuses.
Macron also called for worldwide involvement and "complete clarity" in investigations into the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and said European leaders should discuss it at a meeting today. The Saudi foreign ministry said the prince had meetings with his French, South Korean and Mexican counterparts. President Emmanuel Macron of France had a conversation with the crown prince, French officials said in media reports.