Southeast Asian summit puts focus on trade tensions, trends

SINGAPORE (AP) — The potential damage to the global trade brought on by President Donald Trump’s tariffs battle with Beijing is looming as leaders of Southeast Asian nations, China, the U.S. and other regional economies meet in Singapore this week.

Newly imposed tariffs on billions of dollars’ worth of each other’s exports resulting from a battle between the U.S. and China over technology policy and other issues have begun to bite.

It’s unclear if the region’s reliance on trade will lead ASEAN to push ahead with a free trade pact that would commit member countries to opening markets further this week. But the talk in Singapore was of freer trade.

Premier Li Keqiang told a business forum Monday that no country can handle trends toward more protectionism, uncertainty and other destabilizing factors alone.

Categories: International News