August 24, 2019 / 1:39 PM / 21 days ago

UK PM Johnson to tell Trump to de-escalate trade tensions

BIARRITZ, France (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday he would tell President Donald Trump at this weekend’s G7 summit to pull back from a trade war that is already destabilizing economic growth around the world.

Johnson and Trump are due to meet on Sunday morning for what are expected to be positive talks on their countries’ future bilateral trade relations and Brexit, as well as covering international topics where the two sides do not see eye to eye, like Russia, the Iran nuclear deal and trade policy on China.

Asked if he would be telling Trump he should not escalate the trade war with China, Johnson said “you bet”.

Speaking to reporters on arrival in the southwestern French city of Biarritz, Johnson said one of his priorities for the summit was “clearly the state of global trade. I am very worried about the way it’s going, the growth of protectionism, of tariffs that we’re seeing”.

A year-long trade war between the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, has roiled financial markets and shaken the global economy. The dispute worsened just ahead of the summit with Washington and Beijing announcing further tariffs.

“Don’t forget that the UK is at risk of being implicated in this,” Johnson said.

“This is not the way to proceed. Apart from everything else, those who support the tariffs are at risk of incurring the blame for the downturn in the global economy, irrespective of whether or not that is true.

“I want to see an opening up of global trade, I want to see a dialing down of tensions and I want to see tariffs come off.”

Reporting by William James; Editing by Andrew Heavens and Frances Kerry

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