xi jinping trump tariff meeting 2x1
The future of the US-China trade war will be decided during a meeting between Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump. iStock; Lintao Zhang/Getty Images; Win McNamee/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business Insider


  • President Donald Trump is meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday and Saturday at the G20 summit in Argentina.
  • At the top of their agenda: the US-China trade war.
  • The US and China have implemented tariffs on $360 billion worth of goods flowing between the two countries.
  • Prospects for meaningful progress are dim as the two sides remain far apart on major issues.
  • Trump’s mood could also determine the outcome.

The moment of truth for President Donald Trump’s trade war with China is fast approaching.

Trump is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Friday and Saturday.

The meeting with Xi could determine whether the US and China can ultimately resolve their differences and lower tariffs affecting more than half of all trade between the two countries. Or, the outcome could be that the two sides will remain locked in a still-burgeoning trade war with no end in sight.

And you may ask yourself, how did we get here?

The trade fight between the US and China has been brewing for decades, as Beijing’s economic and political ascendance has threatened the US’ dominance on the world stage. Trump, a longtime proponent of tariffs, seized on China’s growing strength during the 2016 campaign.

After a year of courting China as an ally in negotiations with North Korea, Trump turned on Beijing in March with the announcement of tariffs on Chinese goods. The administration argued that the tariffs were a necessary measure to punish China for alleged theft of US intellectual property and would force the ruling Communist Party to reform their economic policies.

After a few months of unsuccessful negotiating, Trump imposed the first round of tariffs against China in July. The resulting back-and-forth has led to the current state of affairs: US tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods and Chinese tariffs on $110 billion worth of American goods.

Donald Trump Xi Jinping
Andy Wong/AP Photo


Economists have warned that escalation of the trade war or allowing the tariffs to remain in place for an extended period of time would be seriously damaging for the US economy. US companies have warned that the tariffs are harming their businesses, and American farmers are getting whacked by China’s retaliatory measures.

As reported by Business Insider