Published: Sun, February 10, 2019

Trump sees no Xi meeting by tariff deadline, stoking trade worry

Trump sees no Xi meeting by tariff deadline, stoking trade worry

US President Donald Trump said that he won't meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping ahead of a trade deal deadline on March 2 when American tariffs on Chinese products are slated to increase. Officials on both sides had said the two presidents were scheduled to be face-to-face later in February but now, CNBC says a meeting before the March 2nd deadline is unlikely. "Probably too soon", according to Reuters.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead the US delegation for the third round of talks on Thursday and Friday in Beijing.

Last week, Chinese and USA negotiators said they made "important progress", China's state media reported following the conclusion of two days of high-level talks in Washington, DC. With all the ingredients for another round of a stock market selloffs in place, equity bears are seen jumping back into the scene if US-China trade talks do take a turn for the worst.

In a December 1 summit in Argentina, Trump and Xi agreed a truce in which both sides pledged to refrain from imposing further tariffs on each other's imports for 90 days while trying to complete talks to end the trade war.

But the likelihood of reaching a deal in the near future is waning.

President Donald Trump said Thursday he will likely not meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a 90-day trade truce between the two countries is up.

Previously, Trump said during his second State of the Union address that a new trade deal between the United States and China must include a structural change to end unfair trade practices.

Time is running out for the USA and China to reach an agreement before the deadline the Trump administration has set to more than double tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods.

But Reuters later cited three anonymous sources who indicated the CNBC report was incorrect.

The U.S. agreed to suspend its plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% to give negotiators a chance to settle issues. "We need an agreement at the end of the 90-day period that specifically rescinds the tariff that China has imposed on USA soybean imports". The CEO of agricultural trader Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) made a similar prediction, expecting a trade resolution with China this year.

The March crude contract was up seven cents at US$52.71 per barrel and the March natural gas contract was up 2.6 cents at US$2.58 per mmBTU.

The 2 countries remain far apart on issues such as China's alleged violation of intellectual property rights.

Businesses have been planning for the scenario of rising tariffs at the beginning of next month, by rushing imports and stockpiling goods - although that doesn't mean companies are embracing increased duties. She described the deadline as a "black cloud".

Lighthizer said last week that tariffs had not been a subject of the talks.

Until now, a good deal of optimism has surrounded the U.S.

Chinese officials have said their policies do not coerce technology transfers.

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