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


Earlier, towards the end of January, President Trump revealed in a tweet that he would be expecting to meet his counterpart to negotiate on some of the most hard issues that the two countries have been holding for decades.

But the United States president said the two would "maybe" meet later.

Trump said in his State of the Union address Tuesday that any new trade deal with Beijing "must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices".

Trump said last week he did not think he would need to extend the March 1 deadline, adding that he believes "every point will be agreed to" when he meets Xi.

Trade discussions between the USA and China are far from over. This unfavourable development has certainly raised concerns over trade talks dragging on beyond the 90-day tariff truce.

Canada's main stock index posted a triple-digit decline in late-morning trading as the Toronto market was hit by broad-based weakness and US markets sank into the red. Though Washington continues to posit that the ban is entirely for cybersecurity in the U.S., Huawei, one of the largest producers of networking equipment in the world, continues to claim that its products are entirely safe, and that Trump is using claims of cybersecurity to prevent competition in the U.S. from Chinese telecommunications companies. When asked by reporters at the White House later if he would meet with Xi before the end of the month, Trump shook his head and said "no", according to reports. The Kospi in South Korea declined 1.2 percent to 2,177.04 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 was down 0.4 percent at 6,067.60. 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. Treasury bond yields dropped as investors sought safety in sovereign U.S. debt.

Lighthizer told reporters last week that the two leaders may not meet if the negotiations do not progress sufficiently. While the USA has said it's a hard deadline for the tariffs, Trump has also suggested he could agree to extend negotiations beyond month's end if progress is being made. "I have complete confidence in the president, both to close a deal if we get to that point, but also to make that judgment".

USA companies caught in the trade war are now anxious Trump will follow through on his initial threat to increase tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent.

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