US President Trump, Chinese President Xi to meet at virtual Apec forum as trade spat endures

US President Trump, Chinese President Xi to meet at virtual Apec forum as trade spat endures

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) – US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will attend a virtual summit of Asia Pacific leaders on Friday (Nov 20) to discuss the coronavirus and global economic recovery, with lingering trade differences likely to cloud the meeting.

The pair will be at a meeting of the leaders of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) hosted virtually by Malaysia, just two weeks after Mr Trump lost his re-election bid.

Asia-Pacific leaders have called for more open and multilateral trade to support the economic recovery, and warned against protectionist trade policies.

After coming to power in 2017, Mr Trump slapped tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese products, which launched a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

At the last Apec summit in 2018, member countries failed to agree on a joint communique for the first time in the bloc’s history as the United States and China disagreed on trade and investments.