US President Donald Trump praised the G20 Emergency Summit that was hosted by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Thursday and carried out by teleconference.
During his daily coronavirus update at the White House, Trump said he was encouraged by the meeting and declared “we will vanquish this virus.”
He praised the virtual summit — organized by Saudi Arabia, which holds the presidency of the G20 this year — saying: “We had a great meeting. We have had a lot of different ideas. We’re working together…to discuss the problem that 151 nations have got…hopefully (coronavirus) won’t be a problem for much longer.
“We are working to stop the spread of the virus and coordinate our efforts…sharing data…it was a terrific meeting. Tremendous spirit among all of those countries.”
On Wednesday, before the teleconference, Trump said that he did not favor the option of lifting tariffs, as has been demanded by China, and that he would continue to push for “strong borders.”
“I’m very strong on borders and I don’t want people coming in here,” Trump said when asked about the G20, tariffs and borders.
Earlier, Trump said that in joining the G20 discussion he was not planning a “coordinated” strategy with other nations. “I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily. I don’t do that,” he said.
Trump’s comments contrasted his message at the G20 in June last year when he was promoting “Worldwide economic growth and prosperity” through a series of policies. He advised the attendees at the time that countries should focus on implementing pro-growth policies that will help spur their economies, such as reforming tax laws, cutting regulations and promoting currency stability. He also put great emphasis on what he called “unfair trade practices” by some countries, such as China.
During Thursday’s summit, the G20 leaders said they hope to raise $5 trillion to fight the pandemic, will share more health data and address potential trade-war disruptions.
Partisan and often angry political debate has mired the US response to the rapid spread of the coronavirus and caused some delays, including passage of an economic stimulus package to help the economy.