PM Morrison may get Trump G20 meeting

29 November 2018 18:58 Australia Desk

The prime minister remains hopeful of securing his first face-to-face meeting with US President Donald Trump.

Scott Morrison has flagged he could meet with Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Argentina, despite not being included on the US president's formal program.

"Watch this space, as he (Trump) would say," Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra ahead of jetting off to Buenos Aires for the two-day gathering.

Trade tensions between the US and China, concern over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and calls to put climate action back on track form the background of the G20 summit in the Argentinian capital.

Mr Morrison will join Mr Trump and other world leaders in a series of sessions on Friday and Saturday (Argentina time) dealing with such issues as anti-corruption, education, jobs, climate and energy.

He will be accompanied by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg pulled out to deal with domestic political issues.

Many leaders will be seeking to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who will be attending the summit, amid concerns about the murder of Khashoggi.

However, of greater interest will be a meeting between Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping and the potential signing of a trade deal between the US, Mexico and Canada.

Mr Morrison said in a statement he would seek a "constructive way forward" on global trade.

"A strong multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its' centre has helped underwrite regional and global economic stability and prosperity," he said.

"This is critically important to Australia as an open, trade-reliant economy - our continued growth and prosperity depends on it."

Ahead of the summit, International Monetary Fund boss Christine Lagarde warned against further trade barriers, including Mr Trump's proposed car tariffs to protect American auto jobs.

"We have had a good stretch of solid growth by historical standards, but now we are facing a period where significant risks are materialising and darker clouds are looming," she said.

"Rising trade barriers are ultimately self-defeating for all involved. Thus, it is imperative that all countries steer clear of new trade barriers, while reversing recent tariffs."

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is also attending the summit, told reporters the world needed "stepped-up global leadership".

"Strong economic growth, reduced inequality, and limiting carbon emissions are possible and compatible," he said.

"But we need greater ambition. We are in a race for our future. It's a race we can and simply must win."

The G20 includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.

write a comment

0 Comments

Add a Comment