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Apec summit: Trump defiant on trade as speculation mounts over possible meeting with Putin

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Apec summit: Trump defiant on trade as speculation mounts over possible meeting with Putin

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Will presidents Trump and Putin meet? That was one of the big questions as world leaders gathered for the APEC summit in Vietnam.

The White House has said no formal encounter is planned due to scheduling conflicts, though there is still a chance the two leaders could interact in an informal manner on the sidelines of the summit.

Speaking in Danang, President Trump vigoriously defended his America first vision of the world, declaring the US would no longer tolerate chronic trade abuses.

“From this day forward we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the USA to be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in the this room to put your countries first,” Trump said.

North Korea is likely to top any talks between the US and Russian leaders’ as President Trump seeks to build a consensus against Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.

“The future in this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail,” Trump declared.

Security in the beach resort city of Danang was inevitably tight as leaders from the region gathered.

The Apec summit brings together 21 Asia-Pacific economies, representing around 60 percent of the world’s GDP.