No Talk With President Xi Before Truce Deadline

No Talk With President Xi Before Truce Deadline

No Talk With President Xi Before Truce Deadline

US President Donald Trump said Thursday he did not expect to meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline for the two economic superpowers to reach a deal. 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.

Asked by a reporter whether there would be a meeting before the deadline, which was previously set as March 1, Trump said: "No". "Probably too soon", according to Reuters. He added that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin leaves on Monday for the next round of talks in China hoping for more success.

Last week, Chinese and U.S. negotiators said they made "important progress", China's state media reported following the conclusion of two days of high-level talks in Washington, DC.

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In a meeting at the White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump's trade team discussed the next steps for the trade talks, according to a person briefed on the matter. Analysts had hoped that Trump would jump over to China on his upcoming trip to Asia, when he is scheduled to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but Trump's most recent comments dispelled this belief.

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

Earlier on Thursday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow indicated that it was unlikely that the two leaders would meet before the deadline, but they could still hold talks later.

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Last week, at the end of the two days of talks, Trump said in a tweet: "No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more hard points". Still, he declined to say whether he expected negotiators to strike a deal before the end of the month, when Trump has said he will raise tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods. "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". "I have complete confidence in the president, both to close a deal if we get to that point, but also to make that judgment".

The March 2 tariff hike (if it happens) won't come as a surprise to the business world.

His position, together with a threat to raise tariffs on more Chinese imports on March 2, may be a US tactic to extract concessions from China, especially in structural areas such as alleged intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

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