US President Donald Trump has said he expects to have a “very fruitful” meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping next month in Japan, amid escalating trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Monday, Trump also said he expects to meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“We are going to be meeting, as you know, at the G20 in Japan. And that will be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting,” Trump said on the possibility of his meeting with Xi.
The President’s remarks came as trade war between the US and China escalated after Trump last Friday increased the import duty on Chinese products worth USD 200 billion from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.
He has also started the process of a similar increase on the remaining Chinese imports of over USD 300 billion.
“We are taking in, right now, hundreds of billions of dollars. We are taking in billions of dollars of tariffs…. We have never taken in 10 cents until I got elected. Now we are taking in billions and billions…. In addition to that we have another USD 325 billion that we can do, if we decided to do it,” Trump said.
“So we are taking it in tens of billions of dollars. We have never done that before with China. We have never done that before with anybody, frankly, because we have been taken advantage of all of our trade deals,” he said.
The G-20 Summit would also be the first opportunity for a meeting between the Indian prime minister and Trump after the election results are declared in India on May 23.
However, Trump, during his interaction with the media at his Oval Office, made no mention of any meeting other than that with Xi and Putin on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit.
Like the Trump-Xi summit in Argentina last November, all eyes will again be on the two leaders in Japan because of the ongoing trade tension.
Ahead of the meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Putin on Tuesday, Trump said on Monday that it made sense for the US to get along with Russia.
“I’ll be meeting with President Putin also. I think the message is that there has never been anybody that’s been so tough on Russia but, at the same time, we’re going to end up getting along with Russia. It makes sense to get along with Russia,” he told reporters at his Oval Office.
Trump asserted that none of his predecessors had sanctioned Russia like he had.
“Nobody has talked about the pipeline going to Germany and various other places like I have. I said it’s very unfair – having to do with the United States and NATO,” he said.
“There has been nobody that’s ever done – and if you really look at something big, our energy business – we’re now the biggest in the world.
“We’re bigger than Russia. We’re bigger than Saudi Arabia. We’re bigger than anybody. That it all happened since I’ve become president because I’ve made it so that you can do that. And we’re taking in a lot of money,” he said.
Trump said America was doing really well.
“We’ve probably never done this well before, and it’s going to continue. We have tremendous signs,” he said.