Biarritz, France: U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday offered an olive branch to China after days of intense feuding over trade that has spooked financial markets and he opened the door to diplomacy with Iran, easing tensions on the last day of a strained G7 summit.
The leaders of the world’s major industrialized nations, meeting in the French coastal resort of Biarritz, agreed on a deal to provide $20 million in emergency help to Brazil and its neighbors stop the Amazon forest fires.
While they were not expected to leave Biarritz with a more comprehensive set of agreements or even a joint communique, Trump and his Western allies appeared to have at least agreed cordially to disagree on issues dividing them.
These ranged from Washington’s escalating trade war with China, which many fear could tip the slowing world economy into recession; how to deal with the nuclear ambitions of both Iran and North Korea; and the question of whether Russian President Vladimir Putin should be readmitted to the group.
Trump, a turbulent presence at last year’s G7 gathering, insisted during the Biarritz meeting that he was getting along well with other leaders of a group that also comprises Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
The trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, escalated last Friday as both sides leveled more tariffs on each other’s exports.
On Sunday, a White House spokeswoman said that when Trump told journalists that he had had second thoughts about last week’s tariff blow against China, they were regret for not raising them more.
However, the mood-music changed abruptly on Monday, hours after China’s yuan fell to an 11-year low against the dollar amid fears that the quickening Sino-U.S. trade war would inflict more damage on the world’s largest economies.
Speaking on the sidelines of the G7 summit on Monday, Trump said he believed China wanted to make a trade deal after it contacted U.S. trade officials overnight to say it wanted to return to the negotiating table.
Mr Donald Trump hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping as a great leader and said the prospect of talks was a very positive development.