With the G20 conference fast approaching, President Donald Trump is offering Chinese President Xi Jinping an ultimatum: meet with him or face tariffs on an additional $300 billion worth of goods. Currently, roughly $200 billion dollars worth of Chinese goods are facing 25-percent tariffs.
While Xi has not indicated that he would avoid Trump, some in the media have speculated that Xi could try to slight the president. Both leaders are expected to be in Osaka, Japan on June 28th and 29th. Speaking on the issue, Trump said:
“I would be surprised if he didn’t go. I think he’s going. I haven’t heard that he’s not. We’re expected to meet and if we don’t that’s fine and if we do that’s fine.”
He later commented that if President Xi does skip the meeting, tariffs could be slapped on an additional $300 billion worth of goods. This would undoubtedly spark a backlash from China, which has already hit $60 billion worth of American goods with tariffs. Still, with China exporting far more to the United States than the U.S. exports to China, there is only so much that Xi can do.
Analysts fear, however, that if the trade war gets worse it could destabilize global markets and even set off a recession. So far, markets have suffered considerable turbulence but most major economies, including China’s, are continuing to expand. Tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of additional Chinese goods, however, could slow growth further. The effects could end up cascading through the global economy as demand slumps.