Trump's G-20 lineup: Xi, Putin, Modi, Merkel and MBS

POTUS arrives in a rainy Osaka. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

The centerpiece of this year’s G-20 summit is a bilateral meeting on Saturday between President Trump and China’s Xi Jinping.

The backdrop: It comes at a crucial tipping point, with Trump threatening tariffs on an additional $300 billion in Chinese imports, a move analysts say could tip the global economy into recession.

  • David Dollar of the Brookings Institution says there's a high likelihood of a "mini-deal" that sees Trump hold off on the tariffs and open up a new period of negotiation. He says a more substantial deal seems far off.
  • The WSJ reports that Xi is arriving in Osaka with a list of preconditions for any deal, including "insisting that the U.S. remove its ban on the sale of U.S. technology" to Huawei.

Trump already met with Australian PM Scott Morrison.

Up on Friday are...

  • Japanese PM Shinzo Abe
  • Indian PM Narendra Modi
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

And on Saturday...

  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

What to watch: There are “two Trump foreign policies,” says Tom Wright of Brookings, noting that “official” U.S. policy often “exists in tension” with the president. At the G-20, Trump will be “front and center.”

  • “When you talk to administration officials they’ll often say these trips are when they feel least in control,” says Wright. And the “possibility of real events driven by the president” is highest.

Go deeper: Putin reflects on Trump ahead of G-20 meeting

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