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Escalating trade dispute looms over Trump, Xi meeting

Escalating trade dispute looms over Trump, Xi meeting

As leaders of the world's top economic powers seek to defuse tension over US President Donald Trump's protectionist trade policies, they will search for common ground on reforms to end a crisis at the institution that was created to prevent economic disputes escalating into war.

What they agree on - or don't - will determine whether stock markets rise or fall, whether the world economy gets some relief from destabilizing trade tensions, and cast judgment on the wisdom of the American leader's hard-nosed trade tactics. "We are debating (trade and climate change) more closely because we want to reach the consensus of all the countries involved". Trump abruptly cancelled a planned meeting with President Vladimir Putin, citing Russia's recent seizure of three Ukrainian ships, but remains billed to dine with President Xi Jinping on Saturday after igniting a trade war with China. But there were no serious disturbances reported on the opening day of the summit.

"Five years ago, when I first attended the G20 leaders' summit, I called for the maintenance and development of an open world economy", Xi said, according to a transcript of his speech.

Argentina's security minister said eight gasoline bombs were discovered in an area of the capital several miles from the summit venue where a protest in the afternoon drew thousands of demonstrators who held up banners with slogans like "Go away G-20" and "Go away Trump". An economic crisis has led to a deeply unpopular bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Merkel's spokesman said that during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, she also voiced concern about rising tensions in the Kerch Strait off Crimea and pushed for "freedom of shipping into the Sea of Azov".

Putin's attack, and similar criticism of Trump's isolationist stance by French President Emmanuel Macron, capped an incident-packed buildup to the G20 that included flare-ups over Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.

Trump cited Russia's seizure of the ships as the reason he canceled a planned bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, where they had been expected to discuss the US leader's threat to withdraw from the Cold War-era Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty.

Prince Mohammed appears to be enjoying a pass from Washington.

USA army ranger possibly died from friendly fire with Afghan forces
Nasart Rahimi, deputy spokesman for the Interior Ministry, says there are no immediate details. The casualties included residents who live near the compound, the ministry said.

Trump is right that people in the US like their American-made light trucks, though that is in fact one of the main reasons for GM closing the factories it's closing.

European Council President Donald Tusk was more focused on the Ukraine crisis, saying he was "sure" the bloc would roll over its sanctions on Russian Federation next month. And on the G20 front, he admitted the world was undergoing a "difficult moment" overall.

"Given the role that Turkey has played in this, given that the murder happened at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, this will be an interesting meeting", said Willis Sparks, director of global macro politics at Eurasia Group.

Such a statement would endorse the Paris Agreement on climate change, repeating one issued at last year's G20 in defiance of Trump, who has yanked the United States out of the pact despite increasingly urgent warnings from scientists in advance of a UN climate meeting starting in Poland next week. Kudlow's comments come after Trump reiterated a threat Monday to tack on duties on an additional $267 billion in Chinese exports if a trade deal isn't reached.

If Ukraine was the stated reason to cancel his talks with Putin, the latest revelations in the probe showed that Trump can not escape the lengthening shadow of what he again called the "witch hunt" at home when he comes to worldwide fora like the G20.

"I expect (US President Donald) Trump to be very warm with him, but European leaders probably are going to be very reluctant to have their pictures taken with him".

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said UK's friends and partners were already lining up to sign bilateral trade deal with the country after it quits the European Union next March.

Scott Morrison and Donald Trump have met for the first time since Mr Morrison became Prime Minister, with the pair due to hold official talks at the G20 in a few hours' time.