Wednesday, 21 August, 2019

Trump says no immediate plan to meet Chinese leader on trade

US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders in Beijing China on Nov 9 2017 Trade Deadline Will Come and Go: Trump Highly Unlikely to Meet Xi Before Mar 1 - Mish Talk
Deanna Wagner | 10 February, 2019, 11:09

Time is running out for the U.S. and China to reach an agreement before the deadline the Trump administration has set to more than double tariffs on US$200 billion (S$271 billion) of Chinese goods.

Asked if a meeting could happen by March 1, he said: "No".

USA stocks fell sharply on Thursday as it became clear the meeting will not take place before the deadline.

Trump's announcement on Thursday was a reversal for the President, who said last week that he planned to meet Xi to resolve any "final issues" before the trade deal.

Trade discussions between the US and China are far from over. 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.

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Larry Kudlow, White House economic adviser, told reporters that the two leaders could still meet at a later date. "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". Reuters reports the news has "prompted a sharp selloff in usa stocks".

The United States and China have been engaged in a trade war since Trump announced last June that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs in a bid to fix the US-Chinese trade deficit. But he shook his head and said no when reporters asked if the meeting would take place before March 2. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index saw a 0.50 percent decline, and Australia's ASX 200 was down 0.34 percent.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other United States officials are scheduled to go to Beijing next week to again meet with their Chinese counterparts. U.S. Treasury bond yields also dropped following the move of investors in securing their safety in sovereign U.S. debt. They include USA demands that China boost imports of US products, and Chinese government and corporate pressure on US firms to transfer their technology to Chinese partners. He tweeted last week that he plans to meet the Xi to hammer out a deal.

While the USA has said it is a hard deadline for the tariffs, Mr Trump has also suggested he could agree to extend negotiations beyond the month's end if progress is made. The president has said repeatedly that the tariffs would go up if no deal has been reached, and that position has not changed, one source said. "I have complete confidence in the president, both to close a deal if we get to that point, but also to make that judgment".