This timeline shows how the US-China trade war led to Trump and Xi's high-stakes meeting

President Donald Trump (3rdL) holds a bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping (2ndR) at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S., April 7, 2017.
Carlos Barria | Reuters
Key Points
  • President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet at the G-20 summit in Argentina as they try to de-escalate a mounting trade war marked by a series of tariffs. 
  • Below is a timeline of the major actions so far in the trade conflict during the Trump era, as well as the products the tariffs have affected so far. 

The Trump administration has one of its best opportunities yet Saturday to de-escalate a potentially ruinous trade war with China.

President Donald Trump will hold a dinner meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Argentina. The leaders of the world's two largest economies will try to make progress toward a trade deal as businesses and investors fear a mounting series of tariffs could damage the global economy.

The G-20 summit is underway, but what does it mean for investors?
The G-20 summit is underway, but what does it mean for investors?

The U.S. has already put tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods, and could slap duties on an additional $267 billion in imports. Beijing has responded with tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. goods targeting politically important industries such as agriculture.

Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on cracking down on what he called Chinese trade abuses, comes into the meeting with a specific set of demands. He wants to address alleged Chinese theft of intellectual property, forced technology transfers, ownership of American companies in China, and tariffs and nontariff barriers, among other issues.

The White House has shown optimism about making progress, but Trump has threatened even more tariffs if the sides cannot reach a deal. Washington and Beijing appeared to have a difficult task in striking a concrete trade agreement even as Trump seeks a political win on one of his signature issues.

On Friday, a senior administration official said Trump "doesn't feel pressure to make a deal for the sake of a deal" and feels "he has more time." The president has gotten information from advisors that the economy "continues to show resilience and strength" despite a recent slide in U.S. stock prices, the official said.

Here is a timeline of the U.S.-China trade conflict during the Trump era that led up to the dinner, and the products the tariffs have affected so far:

Tariff lists

The list of goods covered by the trade war runs to thousands of specific items, from aircraft to zirconium.

While American consumers may notice an immediate impact with higher prices on TV sets and sneakers, tariffs on intermediate goods will also eventually be passed along.

Here are the lists of goods subject to tariffs, along with additional products that may yet get hit if the trade war continues to widen.

Click on a product category to filter the lists. Hover over the charts for details:

— CNBC's Eamon Javers contributed to this report