Escalation of US-China trade tensions to be discussed by G20 ministers as a threat to global growth

Escalation of US-China trade tensions to be discussed by G20 ministers as a threat to global growth

Recent US trade policies will be at the heart of today’s discussions among finance ministers from the world’s largest economies.

Two men talk at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires

Photo: Reuters/Marcos Brindicci

Recent US trade policies will be at the heart of today’s discussions among finance ministers from the world’s largest economies. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will maintain the White House’s stance on its steel tariffs and the budding trade war with China.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde has urged G20 ministers to “move past self-defeating tit-for-tat tariffs” by focusing on US concerns over intellectual property rights. China’s alleged malpractices on this front served as justification for US tariffs on $50 billion of imports last month.

But while Washington has claimed it is trying to resolve trade tensions with Beijing, no bilateral meeting between the two economic powers is scheduled for this weekend.

Tensions appear to be on the rise again, as Secretary Mnuchin informed Congress that talks with China had “broken down” last week. Thus, the US and China will likely remain combative, disgruntling other G20 member states. Without a compromise in sight, expect the US to move forward with tariffs on additional Chinese manufacturing and agricultural products. China could then match US tariffs with their own, as President Xi Jinping has done multiple times this year.

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