Asia-Pacific

Trump talks trade, Xi anti-protectionism

US President Donald Trump, Japan PM Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit. (AAP)

US President Donald Trump is focusing on trade deals at the G20, while China's Xi Jinping and other nations are warning against protectionism.

US President Donald Trump has made clear his priority at a summit of Group of 20 leaders was trade deals to boost the US economy, as other leaders such as China's Xi Jinping warned against protectionism and its threat to the global economy.

China and the United States are locked in a trade dispute and expectations have dimmed that Trump and Xi can ease tension when they meet on Saturday on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in the Japanese city of Osaka.

Trump's administration also has trade feuds with India and Japan, whose leaders he met on Friday.

Trump said he saw US trade prospects improving, days after criticising the US-Japan security treaty and demanding that India withdraw retaliatory tariffs.

"I think we're going to have some very big things to announce. Very big trade deal," Trump said at the beginning of talks with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

he gave no details.

A White House official said the two leaders had called on their teams to work on mutually beneficial trade solutions.

Trump also made a push to discuss US concerns about Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei.

The United States has pressed its allies to shun Huawei in their 5G networks on security grounds, and it has also suggested it could be a factor in a trade deal with Xi.

"We actually sell Huawei many of its parts," Trump said at his meeting with Modi.

"So we're going to be discussing that and also how India fits in. And we'll be discussing Huawei."

Several leaders, meanwhile, warned that the growing trade friction was threatening global growth.

"The trade relations between China and the United States are difficult, they are contributing to the slowdown of the global economy," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told a news conference.

Xi also warned about the protectionist steps he said some developed countries were taking.

"All this is destroying the global trade order ... This also impacts common interests of our countries, overshadows the peace and stability world wide," Xi told a gathering of leaders of the BRICS grouping of nations on the sidelines of the G20 meet.

Modi, at the same meeting, called for a focus on reforming the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and Russian President Vladimir Putin decried what he called efforts to destroy the Geneva-based body.

"We consider counter-productive any attempts to destroy WTO or to lower its role," Putin said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged G20 leaders to send a strong message in support of free and fair trade, warning that trade and geopolitical tensions were rising and downside risks to the global economy prevailed.

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