Presidents Xi Jinping of China and Donald Trump of the US could discuss trade on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan next month, according to White House economic adviser Larry Ludlow. Photos: AFP/Fabrice Coffrini and Mandel Ngan

US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping could meet next month on the sidelines of the G20 summit to discuss their differences on trade, but no new talks are scheduled, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Sunday.

The world’s two largest economies ended two days of negotiations in Washington on Friday with no trade agreement. While making it clear that the US was unwilling to settle, Kudlow sought to assuage concerns, insisting the process was ongoing.

“We need to see something much clearer and until we do, we have to keep our tariffs on,” Kudlow said in an interview on Fox News Sunday, adding: “We can’t accept any backtracking.”

As for future negotiations, while there are “no concrete, definite plans yet,” Kudlow said China had invited Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to Beijing –and higher-level discussions could be possible.

The chances of Trump and Xi meeting during the Group of 20 summit in Japan in late June “are probably pretty good,” the top White House aide said.

The G20 summit is scheduled to take place in Osaka on June 28-29.

Trump had accused Beijing of reneging on its commitments in trade talks and ordered new punitive duties, which took effect Friday, on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, raising them to 25% from 10%.

He then ordered a tariff hike on almost all remaining imports – $300 billion worth, according to Lighthizer – from China.

– with reporting by AFP

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