Trump: Xi Dinner On, But Press Conferences Off Until After Bush Funeral
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Trump says the expected dinner with China's Xi is on as planned, but that no press conferences will be held until after the funeral of the late George H. W. Bush.

As the G20 summit in Argentina is underway on Saturday, President Donald Trump both confirmed he would be meeting afterwards with Chinese President Xi Jinping but also warned he will hold off on giving any press conferences until after the funeral of former President George H. W. Bush who died late Friday night. 

"I was very much looking forward to having a press conference just prior to leaving Argentina because we have had such great success in our dealing with various countries and their leaders at the G20," Trump said over Twitter early Saturday. "However, out of respect for the Bush Family and former President George H.W. Bush we will wait until after the funeral to have a press conference."

Later in the day, Trump said the meeting with Xi was still on, saying during a news conference that he and a small group of representatives would be discussing "a thing called trade."

"And it's a very important meeting. But again, the fact that we lost a President who truly was a wonderful person, a wonderful man, a great man, it really puts a damper on it, to be honest with you," Trump said, according to a transcript of the joint press conference between the president and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday afternoon.

After the event, Trump said, he'll return to Washington, and "we can all meet sometime during the week or shortly thereafter."

It's unclear if the outcome of the dinner between Trump and Xi will be released Saturday evening, but expectations are high for the event.

Trump is threatening to up tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports to 25% from the 10% announced in September, but the president also reportedly has signaled he is close to a deal with China over trade.

The tariffs are justified as the "United States' continuing response to China's theft of American intellectual property and forced transfer of American technology," according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative, which in September listed the 6,000 or so Chinese goods that would be subject to additional tariffs.

The high rate would be imposed in January, after the critical holiday shopping for retailers concludes.

But many fear that a trade war, increased tariffs and other restrictions of imports and exports will increase prices in the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe. 

"Further escalation remains a real threat. If we continue along the current course, the economic risks will increase, with potential effects for growth, jobs and consumer prices around the world. The WTO is doing all it can to support efforts to de-escalate the situation, but finding solutions will require political will and it will require leadership from the G20," said Roberto Azevêdo, director-general of the World Trade Organization in the weeks before the summit. 

The WTO found in November that the amount of trade hit by fresh import restrictions reached a new high from May to October -- costing $481 billion.

That's six times higher than in the previous period and the biggest jump since the measure was first calculated some six years ago.

Moves to ease trade also increased to $216 billion, but the efforts were "less than half that of trade-restrictive measures," the WTO found. 

Nations involved in the G20 talks include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the countries of the European Union.

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