British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters Saturday that he will ask US President Donald Trump not to escalate the trade war with China.
Johnson made the statements after arriving for the G7 summit in the southwestern French city of Biarritz.
“Clearly the state of global trade, I’m very worried about the way it’s going. The growth of protectionism, of tariffs, that we’re seeing,” Johnson said. “There are all sorts of people, who will take any excuse at all to interfere with free trade and to frustrate trade deals, and I don’t want to see that.”
The dispute between the US and China accelerated Friday when Beijing announced a new round of retaliatory tariffs on about $75 billion worth of US goods. Trump responded with a promise to raise the rates importers must pay on Chinese-made goods even higher. There are few signs either side will relent, even as they pursue a larger trade agreement.
When questioned by reporters on whether he would ask Trump not to escalate the trade war with China, Johnson responded “you bet.”
Trump arrived in France Saturday morning. He and Johnson are due to meet on the sidelines of the summit Sunday morning.
The G7 represents the world’s major economies. The membership includes the United States, Germany, France, Japan, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom. In small group sessions, with only the leaders and few aides present, the world’s major economic and geopolitical problems are discussed at length.
CNN’s Kay Guerrero and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.