In lieu of the Argentina-based G20 summit on Friday, there are a slew of things to watch out for. In fact, so much anxiety has been brewing over the summit that markets have dipped as investors amplify their concerns over US and China potentially coming to blows.
The most dominant topic of discussion is expected to be the trade tensions between US and China with respect to tariffs. The US has, to date, imposed approximately $250 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, while China has retaliated with its own tariffs on almost $60 billion American goods.
To make matters worse, Trump threatened to hike tariffs from 10% to 25%, possibly as a ploy to position the US at a solid bargaining point in time for the summit.
"I would be surprised if they agree on a tariff ceasefire since Trump views the tariffs as a source of leverage," says Bonnie Glaser, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank. "So maybe the outcome will appear positive for a short period, and then Trump will say he is dissatisfied with China's offer and announce more tariffs."
There is also a possibility that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is called out for his war crimes against not only people in Yemen, but also his own kingdom. Trump will be in talks with him regarding outrage over the recent death of a Saudi journalist.
"The Argentine judiciary has sent a clear message that even powerful officials like Mohammed bin Salman are not above the law and will be scrutinized if implicated in grave international crimes," said Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch. "A cloud of suspicion will loom over the crown prince as he tries to rebuild his shattered reputation at the G20, and world leaders would do well to think twice before posing for pictures next to someone who may come under investigation for war crimes and torture."
Talk of a mutual communique regarding climate change will be pertinent, especially since Trump has pulled the US out of the Paris Climate Accord. Other topics of interest will be labor markets, achievement of gender equality, digital economy and reforming the World Trade Organization.
Also, Trump and Putin will be in talks regarding the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty since Trump has claimed the US will exit the partnership after Russia supposedly defaulting on certain terms.
The United States, Mexico and Canada are also set to sign a revised NAFTA agreement on Friday, which is now being referred to as the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). The terms of USMCA were already agreed to in October, and could have a huge effect on mobility of labor as well as minimum wage regulations.