Trump won't meet Xi before trade deal deadline

Xi Jinping and Donald Trump last met at a G20 summit in Buenos Aires

US President Donald Trump has said he may not meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline in trade war negotiations between the two economic superpowers. On Thursday (February 7th), while being asked by a reporter whether Trump would like to meet China's Xi before the trade truce, Tramp said "no", voicing an intransigent air, which had flawlessly added further strains to the concerns related to trade conflict. He then said the two would "maybe" meet after that.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing next week for another round of trade discussions.

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. Futures for the S&P 500 index shed 0.3 percent to 2,696.10.

Trump has said that final resolution of the trade dispute would depend on him and Xi meeting "in the near future".

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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.

The US stock market has fallen in response to the news, with hopes of a swift trade pact between the two leaders quickly dampened.

But the President and other senior officials have publicly and privately stated the negotiations are going well and that the two sides are continuing to bridge their differences at every round of talks.

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

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While China has offered to buy more U.S. soybeans and beef, officials have yet even to agree on a draft of a deal that would address key USA concerns, according to media reports.

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

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". They include US demands that China boost imports of USA products, and Chinese government and corporate pressure on US firms to transfer their technology to Chinese partners. Three sources familiar with the matter indicated that report was wrong.

Lighthizer said last week that tariffs had not been a subject of the talks. The two leaders could also speak by phone, the official said.

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