Published: Fri, November 30, 2018
Markets | By Otis Pena

Argentina tightens security in Buenos Aires ahead of G20 summit

Argentina tightens security in Buenos Aires ahead of G20 summit

Trump is expected to pose for the usual "family photo" with the other world leaders gathered in Buenos Aires.

They expressed optimism about resolving their damaging trade war ahead of the meeting on Saturday, but there have been few tangible signs of progress.

Argentina, host of the Group of 20 (G20) meetings this year, sees a key role for the multilateral platform in forging consensus on trade and global development issues, Argentine Foreign Affairs Minister Jorge Faurie said in a recent interview.

Even so, differences among Trump's top advisers over China policy and his personal unpredictability and fondness for headline-grabbing moments mean it remains anyone's guess what the Trump-Xi meeting might bring.

Maersk's warning was not the first time the shipping giant has weighed in on the trade war. In Trump's public comments, at least, there is no room for the possibility that the tariffs will also damage the US economy, although that is the consensus of most experts.

Opponents to the G20 summit carry a giant inflatable doll depicting U.S. President Donald Trump wearing a diaper in front of Congress in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018.

Absent some agreement, the rate of the existing tariffs on US$200 billion (NZ$291 billion) of China's exports to the U.S. will rise from 10 per cent to 25 per cent from January 1.

In exchange for holding back on new tariffs through the spring, China would reconsider some economic policies, which could include intellectual property protections, subsidies to state-owned businesses, opening up its markets and cyber-espionage, according to the report.

Cui Lei, an expert at the Department for American Studies at Beijing's China Institute of International Studies, said the signs were not promising following the stormy APEC summit and new U.S. accusations of Chinese sharp practice on fronts such as intellectual property rights and technology transfers.

White House officials said this week Trump was open to making a trade deal with Xi when they meet.

How serious is the US-China security rivalry?

Microsoft HoloLens gets US$480M contract for special combat variant
The augmented reality systems wouldn't be limited to only training, instead also being deployed on the battlefield. In June, over 100 of the company's employees requesting that Microsoft end its cloud computing contract with U.S.


On Tuesday, Larry Kudlow, director of the president's National Economic Council, echoed his boss's sentiments, saying the administration is "extremely disappointed" in discussions so far with China, another signal that an agreement isn't likely.

Many small firms have explicitly blamed the trade war for layoffs this year.

A Reuters poll on Wednesday showed China's factories likely struggled to grow for a second straight month in November as cooling demand at home and the threat of higher U.S. tariffs stifled new orders.

While the two sides have taken care to maintain military-to-military contacts, close encounters have raised fears that an accidental clash could escalate into an unexpected conflict - particularly over Taiwan, which Beijing considers a wayward province and a "red line" not to be crossed.

Lighthizer called China's policies on auto tariffs "egregious" and said China's tariff on USA automobile imports is 40%, compared to the US tariff on Chinese auto imports of 27.5%.

Is the current trend reversible?

Trump didn't elaborate further.

One of Trump's goals in issuing the tariff is to pressure Apple to move production to the USA; but the cost of shifting the tech leader's global supply chain from China to America would be expensive, hard and, therefore, "highly unlikely".

"Whether they shake hands and announce some kind of agreement, or whether they don't, we don't think that anything substantial is going to happen in the broader U.S".

But don't expect the president to emerge from his dinner with Xi or his private chat with Putin and announce a trade pact or that Russian Federation has agreed to cool its aggressive actions in Ukraine or Syria.

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