'Good signs' on US-China trade, Trump says ahead of Xi talks

Mood on Asian stock markets tested by Trump's tariff threats

Mood on Asian stock markets tested by Trump's tariff threats

Trump also says he "probably" will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite earlier threatening to cancel their sit-down.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpVeterans Affairs Dept says it won't reimburse vets who were underpaid GI Bill benefit payments: report Ex-Clinton spokesman slams Ivanka Trump over defense of private email use: "Nothing short of outrageous" Sinclair defends segment justifying use of tear gas at border as "commentary" MORE early Thursday touted the "billions of dollars" pouring into "the coffers of the United States of America because of the tariffs being charged to China" ahead of his scheduled meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the Group of 20 summit this weekend.

Trump spokeswoman Sarah Sanders indicated that an informal meeting may yet happen.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro - a trade hawk - is expected to attend a dinner between the pair of world leaders, as first reported by the South China Morning Post, which some believe could decrease prospects of progress. "So I really don't know", Trump told reporters at the White House. But White House aides were still planning for the Putin meeting after Trump's comments. The two leaders will have dinner on Saturday. But he warned that "if things don't work out in this US-China summitmeeting, he will invoke another $267 some odd billion dollars in tariffs".

"As we've all learned, he means what he says", Kudlow said.

Kudlow said the two leaders must resolve the issues of "fairness and reciprocity" at the center of the dispute.

Sanders called the trip an opportunity for the president to cement relations with other world leaders and advance a global economic system based on "free, fair and reciprocal trade". It exports growth since the start of the year has already been sluggish.

Trump has slapped punishing tariffs on more than US$250 billion (S$343 billion) in Chinese imports so far this year, demanding that Beijing end allegedly unfair trade practices and reverse industrial policies criticised by other major economies.

"Whether they can get through all that remains to be seen", Kudlow clarified.

Trump on Monday said he did not think a deal would be reached this week that would prevent a scheduled increase in the tariff rate on $200 billion in goods.

Economists and critics of the president's trade policies point out duties are paid by importers and thus constitute a tax on USA industry and consumers that is not paid by China.

Kudlow said the administration has been "extremely disappointed" by China's engagement in trade talks but the meeting between Trump and Xi on the sidelines of the G-20 summit could be a game-changer.

Security concerns also weighed on the two-day talks in Buenos Aires.

"As the President has repeatedly noted, China's aggressive, State-directed industrial policies are causing severe harm to US workers and manufacturers", Lighthizer said. He shrugged off the potential for higher consumer costs, saying "I can make it 10 percent and people could stand that very easily".

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