The trade talks between the U.S. and China are expected to overshadow the G20 Summit in Osaka this week.
The summit, known as the ‘premier forum for international economic cooperation' takes place for two days from the 28th, but Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping have already publicized their plans for an encounter on the sidelines of the G20 to look for a deal that could end the bruising trade war.
“I spoke with President Xi, this morning, of China. We’ll be meeting at the G20. And I think that is working out pretty much as I anticipated it would. China very much wants to discuss the future, and so do we."
The trade spat between the world’s two largest economies dates back to July last year when the Trump administration demanded China help the U.S. cut its massive trade deficit that reached over 539 billion dollars last year. The U.S. also pushed for better protection of intellectual property rights and more access to the Chinese market.
As the two sides have been exchanging hefty tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each others' exports, the fallout of the trade war has spread well beyond their borders.
Some of the worst blows from a prolonged trade spat would land on Korea as Seoul is one of the largest exporters of intermediary goods to Beijing.
OECD data shows Korea’s Q1 exports were down over 7-percent on-quarter to 138-billion U.S. dollars… the biggest fall in the G20.
And the export-reliant economy has seen six-straight months of drops in outbound shipments, starting in December last year.
While many observers in Seoul say there’s not much wiggle room for Korea at this point other than diversifying its export markets,… there are some optimistic voices.
“The U.S. and China have previously used the G20 Summit stage as their foundation to help unravel their tangled issues. So it is likely that the leaders may come out with a solution for not just the two economies, but with one that will impact global commerce.”
The expert added that in the past,… Trump and Xi have already used the stage to hammer out their rivalry on trade,… with a joint communique at the end of their last encounter in Buenos Aires, and although the progress made there was short-lived,… expectations linger that they will do something similar this week.
With neither side seeming to give ground on tariffs,… there's growing attention on whether they can agree on something during the G20 summit this week.
Kan Hyeong-woo, Arirang News.