No Talk With President Xi Before Truce Deadline

No Talk With President Xi Before Truce Deadline

President Donald Trump said he won't meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to avert new United States tariffs on Chinese goods, intensifying fears the two won't strike a deal before the end of 90-day trade truce.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, Trump confirmed that no meetings between him and Xi were planned before the March 1 deadline for a deal.

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.

A person briefed on the talks said that Trump's advisers were concerned that accepting a meeting invitation at this stage would raise unfounded expectations for a quick deal and erode US leverage in the talks, where the two sides remain far apart on core structural intellectual property issues. The deadline is rapidly approaching with no plans in place for the two presidents to meet.

On Thursday, Trump did not dismiss the possibility of meeting Xi in the next month or so.

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.

Trump has been saying.

The news follows White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow's less-than-upbeat comments to Fox Business earlier Thursday that there is a "pretty sizable distance" between the world's two largest economies to reach a deal. 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% to 25% on US$200 billion in Chinese goods.

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Trump claims that he is in a warm relationship with the Chinese president.

The news prompted a selloff in USA stocks overnight, with the S&P 500 Index closing 0.93% in its biggest drop in two weeks. U.S. Treasury bond yields also dropped following the move of investors in securing their safety in sovereign U.S. debt.

"They're hoping for more success", he said.

Officials say they remain optimistic they will reach an accord, but more work remains before the two presidents can complete a deal.

The United States is pressing China to make major reforms, including on structural issues related to how it treats USA companies doing business there.

Washington complaints about technology transfers and intellectual property protections, along with accusations of Chinese cybertheft of United States trade secrets and a systematic campaign to acquire USA technology firms, were used by Trump's administration to justify punitive tariffs on $250bn worth of Chinese imports.

A study released Wednesday by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a campaign opposed to tariffs, said an increase to 25% would reduce employment by 934,000 jobs and GDP by 0.37%.

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