The trade war between the two economic giants may possibly even escalate.
In light of all this, while Trump may indeed expect Xi to come to the G-20 with his arms full of concessions on trade, the reality is that anything the latter offers will likely be little more than cosmetic gestures.
But many economists and investors disagree with Trump's approach to trade and believe imposing tariffs on imports will directly result in what are effectively taxes on US consumers as a result of higher prices.
China had already hit the USA with $3bn of tariffs in April, in response to USA tariffs on global steel and aluminium imports.
Trump also says he "probably" will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin despite earlier threatening to cancel their sit-down.
But only days before the summit, he poured cold water on such optimism.
When Davis pushed further, asking if Trump was willing to suspend a scheduled increase in the tariff rate set for January 1, the president's answer was not encouraging: "I think it would be highly unlikely".
Known for relishing routine and preferring his own bed, Trump has largely eschewed marathon trips during the second year of his presidency after some more ambitious world tours in his first year.
G20 leaders, whose countries account for four-fifths of the world's economic output, first met in November 2008 to forge a united front against the global financial crisis.More news: Trump Responds To Michael Cohen's Guilty Plea In Mueller Investigation
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-China trade relations, tariffs, and the possibility of a deal.
And a G7 summit in Canada in June ended in disarray as Trump retracted his endorsement of the joint statement.
If the tone between the two sides seems to have brightened, the Aussie, which isn't far above the more than two-year low it set last month, is worth getting excited about, said McCormick at NatWest. Allen predicts the new tariffs will be applied in stages rather than all at once if Saturday's meeting between Xi and Trump fails to produce at the very least a pause in the dispute.
Farmers in some USA states are being forced into plowing their crops under - effectively burying them under soil in fields - as there is not enough room to store them in storage facilities, and they are unable to sell their products thanks to Chinese tariffs, Reuters reported last week.
China last year accounted for around 60 percent of United States soybean exports, but such is the lack of demand this year that many farmers are being forced to leave crops. "Bracing for delays in material from China - a rush of orders trying to race tariff implementation is flooding shipping and customs".
For many agricultural goods, particularly soybeans, China is the largest export market for U.S. farmers.
Among those potentially affected would be Apple products imported from China, including iPhones and laptops, according to a transcript of the interview with The Wall Street Journal's Bob Davis. A key item on the agenda is expected to be the incipient trade war between the US and China.
"All of us being here is a way to anchor the energy of this place, which we need so much", she said. Pence insisted that "when it comes to Beijing's malign influence and interference in American politics and policy, we will continue to expose it, no matter the form it takes". It recently restricted American firms from selling parts to a Chinese company over national security concerns.
The EU and USA suspended potential auto tariffs in a truce announced over the summer, but that deal may not hold much longer, some observers predict.