Trump and Xi to Discuss Trade at G-20 Summit in Japan

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to meet in Japan next week, lifting financial markets and spurring hopes for a trade truce that could stave off a fresh round of tariffs, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In a Twitter message on Tuesday, Trump said he had a “very good” telephone conversation with Xi, setting the stage for a summit on the sidelines of the Group of 20 leading global economies meeting in Osaka.

“We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan,” Trump tweeted. “Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting.”

The news, confirmed by Beijing, came after six weeks of rising trade tensions between the two nations, which were thought to be near an accord before talks broke down in early May. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 353 points, or 1.4%.

“You look at the rally, the stock market, I think the market says talk is better than no talk,” White House adviser Larry Kudlow said. Both sides are under pressure to get back to the bargaining table, the Journal adds.

The Trump administration’s plan to levy new tariffs on $300 billion in Chinese goods, including many consumer products previously untouched, has generated stiffer resistance than the introduction of previous duties.

China, for its part, has blamed the U.S. for the impasse and said it is in no haste to make a deal. Even so, China’s economy is weakening and economists say the trade conflict is sapping domestic demand and investor confidence.

Big hurdles remain before the U.S. and China can restart formal talks or clinch a possible deal. Relations between the two countries have deteriorated significantly since late April, when many thought Osaka would be the venue for Trump and Xi to sign a trade accord.

Washington wants Beijing to commit to changing laws and economic policies it says have contributed to a widening trade imbalance. The Trump administration also wants to phase out punitive tariffs over time rather than at once to ensure Beijing follows through on pledges to make changes, the Journal notes.

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