The U.S. and China over several months have imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of imports arriving from each other's shores. "But it is far from clear whether the discussions will produce any agreement". He said he would decide on a course afterward.
Lighthizer said "As the President has repeatedly noted, China's aggressive, State-directed industrial policies are causing severe harm to USA workers and manufacturers, "We are continuing to raise these issues with China".
The meeting will take place shortly before Trump is slated to depart Buenos Aires for Washington, giving him hours of time on Air Force One to reflect and react on Twitter.
The high-stakes dinner between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires on Saturday is likely to end with no joint statement or joint press conference, regardless of whether they achieve a breakthrough in their talks. Kudlow said there were no scheduled talks on the ground for their advisers.
China has retaliated with tariffs of its own on U.S. imports.
"As this is a hard moment for worldwide cooperation, I would like to appeal to the leaders to use this summit to seriously discuss real issues such as trade wars, the tragic situation in Syria and Yemen and the Russian aggression in Ukraine", European Council President Donald Tusk told a news conference in Buenos Aires. The meeting offers an "opportunity to break through" after progress toward a trade agreement stalled in recent months, according to White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow.
Trump also says he "probably" will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite earlier threatening to cancel their sit-down.
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul South Korea Tuesday Nov. 27 201
Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Trade Representative on Wednesday said that he was investigating every available tools to improve U.S. tariffs on Chinese vehicles to the 40 percent duties that China is now charging on U.S. produced vehicles. The annual summit of leaders of the top 20 economies of the world is being attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sanders called the trip an opportunity for the president to cement relations with other world leaders and advance a global economic system based on "free, fair and reciprocal trade". The Chinese a year ago shipped just $884 million worth of cars and light trucks to the United States - less than 1 percent of total auto imports. The United States targeted $250 billion in Chinese products, and Beijing lashed back by slapping tariffs on $110 billion worth of USA goods.
On the trade front, Heisbourg said the question at the G20 was whether Xi will "rear up" against Trump's combative stance, or try to find an accommodation between the world's two largest economies. "And we'll see", Trump said.
"I wouldn't say we've ruled out any interaction", she said, although she stressed that "the president's schedule is pretty packed".
China's foreign ministry has said a recent phone conversation between Xi and Trump about trade and other issues was "extremely positive".
Eleanor Olcott, a China policy analyst at TS Lombard, wrote in a note on Tuesday that "hopes for this meeting providing an off-ramp for the trade conflict should not be overstated" as there was a fundamental dissonance between the China and U.S. positions "that can not be solved over an Argentine steak".
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