Amid trade tensions, PM Modi and Donald Trump to meet at G20 summit today

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Updated: June 27, 2019 9:34:30 AM

The Trump-Modi meeting assumes significance in the wake of the strain that has popped up in the bilateral relationship on a host of trade and economic issues

Donald Trump, G-20 Summit, naraendra Modi, Xi Jingping, Vladimir Putin, S Jaishankar, china, russia, indiaThe Trump-Modi meeting assumes significance in the wake of the strain that has popped up in the bilateral relationship on a host of trade and economic issues.(IE photo)

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday left the White House to attend the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan over the weekend to hold discussions on a host of bilateral and global issues with leaders of top 20 economies of the world. “I’m heading to Japan, Osaka. And we are going to be meeting with (leaders from) a lot of different countries, many of whom have been taking advantage of the United States but not so much anymore, and soon not at all anymore,” Trump told reporters in the South lawns of the White House before boarding Marine One which took him to Andrews Joint Air Force Base for Air Force One for travelling to Japan.

The US president will meet his Chinese and Russian counterparts Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin. A White House official said the president would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit. This would be his first meeting with Modi after his recent electoral victory. It comes in the immediate aftermath of the India visit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during which he met Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Also read: Trade war: US, China agree tentative truce ahead of G20 summit, says report 

The Trump-Modi meeting assumes significance in the wake of the strain that has popped up in the bilateral relationship on a host of trade and economic issues. In his brief interaction with the media on the South Lawns of the White House, Trump did not mention India. “I’m meeting with (leaders of) many countries. We’re meeting with many countries, we have many things. We’ve been ripped off by everybody over the years. They’re not ripping us off anymore. A big difference right now,” he said.

“We’re meeting with China, just so you know, China has been paying us billions and billions of dollars. Until I got here, they never paid this country 10 cents. So, we’ll see what happens with China, with Russia, with Japan, with many countries,” Trump said. Earlier during an interview with Fox news, Trump emphasized on bilateral trade agreements with other countries. This is Trump’s second visit to Japan in less than a month. The G20 is an opportunity for world leaders to discuss the biggest challenges facing the global economy, the White House said.

Trump’s goal this week is to fight for the best deals and outcomes possible to lift up America’s workers, it said. A truly level-playing field means breaking down foreign barriers — both the tariff and non-tariff kind — that have stifled America’s economy and taken away too many jobs, the White House said.

“Unlike his predecessors, Trump is willing to use every tool at his disposal to bring these countries to the negotiating table and agree to better terms for our citizens,” it said. “We are a country that’s respected again,” Trump said before boarding Marine One Wednesday afternoon.

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