Trump, Xi Lock Eyes Over Sirloin Dinner

US-China trade relations may hang in the balance
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 1, 2018 6:06 PM CST
World Watches as Trump, Xi Talk Trade Over Sirloin
President Donald Trump, center, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, second from the right, listen to remarks by China's President Xi Jinping during a bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Table talk at President Donald Trump's dinner meeting Saturday with Chinese leader Xi Jinping will undoubtedly have a global impact, the AP reports. What they agree on—or don't—will likely move markets up or down, determine 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. Trump and Xi are seeking a way out of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies, while also saving face for their domestic audiences at home. Before the dinner of grilled sirloin, red onions, goat ricotta, and dates, Trump told reporters that "we'll be discussing trade and I think at some point we are going to end up doing something that is great for China and great for the United States." He did not offer any details.

Xi's remarks also gave no indication of whether any breakthrough was imminent. "Only with cooperation between us can we serve the interests of world peace and prosperity," Xi said, adding that he looked forward to exchanging ideas and having an opportunity to "jointly map out the future for China-US relations." The Trump-Xi meeting is set to be the marquee event of Trump's whirlwind two-day trip to Argentina for the Group of 20 Summit after the president cancelled a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin over mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Trump also canceled a Saturday news conference, citing respect for the Bush family following the death of former President George HW Bush. (See why world leaders agreed on trade, not climate.)

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