G20 Bilats – Day One…


There will be more detailed summaries coming later; however, here’s some of the more interesting aspects so far.   The G20 Osaka, Japan Group Picture:

(Click Image to Enlarge)

As expected the schedule of President Trump’s first set of bilateral discussions seems structured around the Indo-Pacific strategy to counter China’s expansion.  In this strategy within Southeast Asia geopolitics Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the fulcrum for a shifting economic dynamic.

President Trump hosts a bilateral with Prime Minister Abe, and then again hosts a rather unusual trilateral meeting between himself, Abe and India’s Prime Minister Modi.  The three leaders met in a trilateral discussion at the Buenos Aires G20 in 2018.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) (In progress.) You were the first state guest to Japan. I would like to thank you for your visit. It was a great honor for us. And so many Japanese citizens had a huge welcome to President Trump.

The G20 Osaka Summit will commence from today. Through the contribution to international challenge and issues solutions, like the sustainable growth of the world economy, I’d like to communicate a strong message: Without the cooperation of the U.S. and Japan, such work wouldn’t be possible.

Once again, I will say, the first state guest in the era of Reiwa, by you, was a historic event. I thank you for your visit. Through G20, we’d like to cooperate so that we can produce good results. Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, Shinzo. It’s an honor. And we just left Japan, and now I’m back. (Laughter.) That was a quick trip, and it was a great honor to be your first guest. And meeting the Emperor and the Emperor’s family was, really, a very special thing on behalf of the United States.

And I can say we very much appreciate the courtesies — giving out the World Championship to the great sumo wrestler. (Laughter.) He was — you would not want to fight with him. He was great. But that was a very special evening and something that everybody is talking about. All over the world, they showed that. Everybody is talking about it.

But I just want to thank you. And I know we’re going to have a successful day. We’re going to be talking about many things, and we’re going to also be talking about a lot of trade. I appreciate the fact that you’re sending many automobile companies into Michigan, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and North Carolina — a lot of our states. I see they’re building all over the United States, a lot of the great Japanese car companies — and other Japanese companies also.

But in particular, the car companies have been terrific. They’re coming in and they’re building magnificent plants. We haven’t had that, and we very much appreciate it.

So we’ll be discussing trade. We’ll be discussing military. And we’ll be discussing the purchase of a lot of military equipment by Japan, and we appreciate that.

Thank you very much. (LINK)

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PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) It is indeed a great pleasure that I am able to convene this summit meeting of three countries: Japan, U.S., India. Three countries.

I think we three countries are the foundation of the peace and prosperity of the region. Free and open Indo-Pacific is something that we would like to strive toward, and I’d like to have closer coordination among three countries going forward.

Donald and Prime Minister Modi, I thank you for your cooperation to enable this summit meeting.

Now, please, Donald.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s a great honor to be here and with my two very good friends. We’ve gotten to know each other very well over the last short period of time. And you and I are going to be meeting separately after this meeting.

PRIME MINISTER MODI: Yes.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: But, Prime Minister Modi, thank you very much. And congratulations on your great victory.

PRIME MINISTER MODI: Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I should say congratulations, really, to both, because Shinzō also had a great victory — a great electoral victory.

So, congratulations to both of you on the tremendous numbers, tremendous success, and tremendous popularity.

You’re doing a great job for your countries. And I’ll see you in a little while. I look forward to it.

PRIME MINISTER ABE: (As interpreted.) Thank you very much. Prime Minister Modi. I won victory in the presidential election of LDP.

And, Prime Minister Modi.

PRIME MINISTER MODI: I am very grateful to you that you have congratulated me for my victory in the elections. Japan, America, and India: JEI — J-E-I. Jai, in Hindi, means “victory.”

We are three countries that support democracy, and we met last time in Argentina and we had the opportunity to meet once again. This new forum — this forum of ours has received a new impetus, and there is a new faith and confidence in our relations. And I am sure that we’ll have meaningful discussions during our meeting.

We have common interests in the area of Indo-Pacific. We would like peace and stability in this region. We are committed to democracy, and therefore we would like a peaceful development and security in this region.

America’s dream has been to make America great again. And, in Japan, they have worked on the basis of Abenomics to take Japan to new heights. And India has called for collective efforts: inclusive growth, (inaudible), and “Make in India.” All our three countries have contributed in some way to the journey to us development in the world. I’m very grateful to you for hosting this meeting. Thank you very much.

Q Are you going to talk to Modi about trade?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We’ll be talking trade. We’ll be talking about trade.

Q On the Japan auto tariffs, will you go ahead with the tariffs on the Japan automakers?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We have a lot of things to talk about. It will be very positive. We have a lot of very positive news.

Q Will you be seeking assurances from Japan and India about Iran?

THE PRESIDENT: We have a lot of things to talk about.(LINK)

PRIME MINISTER MODI: (As interpreted.) Mr. President, at the beginning of my second term, I’m really very happy to have this opportunity to meet you. I would also like to express my gratitude after the huge democracy in India. The people of India gave us this huge victory — this landslide victory.

The people of India have reposed — have given me a second mandate. And immediately afterwards, after the victory in the elections, you called me over the telephone and congratulated me. And, two days ago, Secretary of State Pompeo carried a letter from you, which was a very warm letter. Also, it expressed the kind of sentiments that you have towards India, your love towards India. You expressed those issues. Once again, Mr. President, let me thank you.

Secretary Pompeo visited India two days ago. We had an opportunity to have discussions on many issues. Also, he carried, as I said a short while ago, your warm message. Given that we have a time limitation, in this meeting we would like to discuss four issues: Iran, 5G, bilateral relations, and defense relations.

The India-U.S. relations — we have a vision, which is far-sighted and positive. And India is committed to taking forward these relations within this far-sighted and positive vision. We will continuously strive to do so.

Once again, let me thank you, Mr. President, for having taken out time to meet me. Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, Mr. Prime Minister. And we’ve become great friends, and our countries have never been closer. I can say that with surety. And we work together in many ways, including military. But we certainly work together on trade, and we’ll be discussing trade today.

You did indeed have a landslide election. That was a great election. Seventy-two percent, as I understand it. And that, in the United States, would be called a very big victory. And you deserve it. You’ve done a great job pulling everybody together. You had many factions.

I remember when you first took over, we were talking, and you had many factions and they were fighting with each other. And now they all get along. And you just — you’ve really brought it together, and I think it’s a fantastic tribute to you and your abilities.

Thank you very much for the relationship and the friendship. And I think we’re going to have a — some very big things to announce. A very big trade deal. We’re doing some very big things with India in terms of trade, in terms of manufacturing, in terms of — we will be discussing 5G. It’s a big subject nowadays, and other things having to do with like manner.

So, it’s been a lot of fun being with you. We’ve had some good talks already. And, again, I think you’ll be hearing some very productive elements come out.

We had a joint meeting with — as you know, as the press was there, we had a very successful meeting with Prime Minister Abe. And we also are going to be announcing some very big trade transactions, some very big trade deals. They’re moving many plants — auto plants — into the United States. And they announced some more this morning, and we’re very happy about that.

So, again, I want to thank you, and I want to congratulate you. And I look forward to talking. Thank you very much.

PRIME MINISTER MODI: Thank you. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, what is the most important thing for India to do on trade?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I think we just — we’ll continue to get along with India. India is doing very well as a country. We’re doing very well as country.

We have picked up, as you know, many trillions of dollars in worth and value at the United States. And I think we consider, right now — we’ll be discussing it with Prime Minister Modi — the hottest — we’re the hottest country in the world, the United States, right now. And everybody wants a part of it.

A big factor and a big relationship is that of India, and so we’re going to be discussing many things. All very positive. I think you will see and you will hear it’s all very positive. The relationship with India, as I said, has, I don’t believe, ever been better than it is right now.

Q What’s your message on Huawei, sir?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s something we’re going to be talking about. We understand the subject very well. We actually sell Huawei many of its parts. A lot of people don’t know that, but the United States sells. We have great companies that are the leaders of a lot of what Huawei does, and we sell them a lot. So we’re going to be discussing that and also how India fits in. We’ll be discussing Huawei.

Q Mr. President, what will be your message on Iran?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: On who?

Q On Iran.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, it’s the same message I’ve been telling you for the last three days. It’s — we have a lot of time. There’s no rush. They can take their time. There’s absolutely no time pressure. I think that in the end, hopefully, it’s going to work out. If it does, great. And if doesn’t, you’ll be hearing about it.

Thank you.

Q How long will you delay the census for, Mr. President? How long will you delay the census for, until we get the citizenship question on?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much everybody.(LINK)

Today the President with met Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to discuss a wide range of issues including Iran’s dangerous activity in the Middle East, stabilizing Libya and the Sahel region, and supporting economic reform in Ukraine. The two leaders also reviewed ongoing negotiations with China and establishing fair standards for global trade.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. It’s great to be with Chancellor Merkel, a friend of mine — a great friend of mine. And we’ve had a terrific relationship.

The trade between Germany and the United States, I think, has reached a — pretty much a high level. We’ll see if we can do even better, but it’s reached a level that it’s never reached before.

And we have many things to talk about, and we have a long meeting scheduled. And we’ll be spending some time later on together also. But I just want to say she’s a fantastic person, a fantastic woman, and I’m glad to have her as a friend.

And thank you very much, Angela. Thank you.

CHANCELLOR MERKEL: Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you.

CHANCELLOR MERKEL: (As interpreted.) Thank you. Thank you very much. I very much look forward to our exchange today.
We have a lot on our agenda, especially the fact that German investment in the United States is very important. Not only bilateral trade is important but also German companies are investing a lot in the United States of America.

We’re going to talk about international issues, the developments on the international front too, especially about what has been happening in West Africa. We will be also talking about counterterrorism, and I very much look forward to that exchange. Of course, Iran will also be on our agenda today.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I just passed a television set on the way here, and I saw that healthcare, and maximum healthcare, was given to 100 percent of the illegal immigrants coming into our country, by the Democrats. And, unfortunately, they didn’t discuss what they’re giving to American citizens. That’s not a good thing. So we just passed that, and then I came here.

And I will say that we’re going to have a very interesting time today.

You know, they have a debate going on. They had the first debate last night. Perhaps you saw it. It wasn’t very exciting — I can tell you that. And they have another one going on today. They definitely have plenty of candidates. That’s about it.

So I look forward to spending time with you rather than watching the debate.

Thank you.

Q President Trump, do you think Germany is living up to your expectations for them in terms of their defense commitments?

THE PRESIDENT: The Chancellor is a great friend of mine. She’s a great friend of mine.

Thank you.(LINK)

Today, President Donald J. Trump met with President Vladimir Putin of Russia on the margins of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. President Trump and President Putin reviewed the state of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Russia. Both leaders agreed that improved relations between the United States and Russia was in each countries’ mutual interest and the interest of the world. The Presidents agreed the two countries will continue discussion on a 21st century model of arms control, which President Trump stated as needing to include China. The leaders also discussed the situations in Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and Ukraine.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much everybody. It’s a great honor to be with President Putin, his representatives, my representatives.

We have many things to discuss, including trade, and including some disarmament and some — a little protectionism, perhaps, in a very positive way. And we’re going to discuss a lot of different things.

We’ve had great meetings. We have had a very, very good relationship. And we look forward to spending some pretty good time together. A lot of very positive things going to come out of the relationship.

So, Vladimir, thank you very much. Thank you.

PRESIDENT PUTIN: Thank you, Mr. President.

(As interpreted.) Well, I cannot but agree with Mr. President. We have something to discuss here. All the topics have been outlined. We haven’t seen each other since Helsinki meeting, although our teams have been together working and they gave us a great opportunity to follow up on that.

Thank you very much, both teams, for that. Thank you for your time.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Thank you.

Q Mr. President, will you tell Russia not to meddle in the 2020 election?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yes, of course, I will.

Don’t meddle in the election, President. Don’t meddle in the election.

Q Mr. President, are the Ukrainian ships still an issue in the relationship?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: We haven’t discussed it. We haven’t discussed it.(LINK)

President Trump delivers remarks on digital trade and the 5G networks:

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….. More to follow

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