“Some observers, such as Xiaomeng Lu, an international public policy manager at Access Partnership, a global public policy firm that hosted a recent webinar on Trump’s trade agenda, aren’t very optimistic about the likelihood of the discussions easing tensions between China and the U.S.
Lu couldn’t help wondering what might unfold if Trump were to have a “really bad or moody day” at the G20. Just look at what happened earlier in the year during the G7 summit, when Trump criticized American allies in Europe and got into a verbal spat with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, she said.
Tariffs on Chinese imports are slated to increase by 25 percent in January. But if things go badly during the G20 meeting, Lu said that the Trump administration could react by enacting the increase earlier. Trump already told The Wall Street Journal on Monday that it was “highly unlikely” that the U.S. would call off the tariff increase.
“If he wants to portray the more hawkish side then he can totally speed that up and drop the tariff in December, right after the G20,” Lu said. “Companies affected by tariffs need to do scenario planning. Get ready for the potential of an accelerated timeline.”
“Logan Finucan, a policy analyst at Access Partnership, had a similar expectation. He predicted that “we’re going to hear some nice-sounding noise coming out of the meeting. They’ll announce a deal to make a deal.”
“But I would caution people not to read too much into the positive noises,” he added. “I think the U.S. has a lot of room to escalate if they chose to do so.”
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