UK's Boris Johnson says he'll urge Trump to deescalate China trade tensions

UK's Boris Johnson says he'll urge Trump to deescalate China trade tensions
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday he would urge President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE to ease tensions with China amid an escalating trade war when the pair meet this weekend at the Group of Seven (G-7) summit.

When asked by reporters if he would tell Trump not to ramp up his trade war with China, Johnson said, “You bet,” Reuters reported.

“This is not the way to proceed,” he said, according to Reuters. “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.”

Johnson said his priority during the summit is “the state of global trade,” adding that he is “very worried about the way it’s going, the growth of protectionism, of tariffs that we’re seeing,” according to Reuters.

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“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,” he said, according to Reuters.

Johnson’s comments come after Trump on Friday announced plans to increase tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese goods, a move that came hours after Beijing said it would impose its own retaliatory duties against the U.S.

Trump on Friday also demanded that U.S. companies “start looking for an alternative to China” in response to Beijing’s tariffs.

Trump is slated to meet Johnson for breakfast on Sunday on the sidelines of the G-7 summit in France, marking what is expected to be the first meeting between the two leaders since the outspoken British politician took over as the United Kingdom's prime minister in July.

In addition to the Trump-China trade war, the two are expected to discuss Brexit as well the prospect of brokering a bilateral free trade agreement between the U.S. and Britain, while Trump’s broader focus is expected to be trade.