Trump, Xi unlikely to meet before March 1 trade deadline

11 February, 2019, 07:14 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Xi Jinping and Donald Trump last met at a G20 summit in Buenos Aires

Lighthizer and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, will lead an American delegation to Beijing next week for more trade talks.

Trump's comments echoed what U.S. administration officials said earlier in the week, relaying that the two men were unlikely to meet before the deadline.

The S&P 500 Index tumbled to its low of the day, down 1.6 percent in its biggest drop in more than a month.

The US stock market has fallen in response to the news, with hopes of a swift trade pact between the two leaders quickly dampened. The U.S. and China are trying to meet an early March trade deadline. The benchmark 10-year yield slid 4 basis points to 2.66 percent, the lowest in almost a week.

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".

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.

In a normal year, China buys about 35 million tons of soybeans from the U.S. So far this year China's purchases have been 20 percent of what they were in the last marketing year, according to the American Farm Bureau.

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If the talks do not succeed, Trump has threatened to increase US tariffs on Chinese imports.

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

"They're hoping for more success", he said. It also did nothing to remove the underlying cause - Chinese retaliatory tariffs - of last year's collapse in USA soy exports to China.

The U.S. agreed to suspend its plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% from 10% to give negotiators a chance to settle issues.

A meeting between the two leaders, which was announced last week after two days of trade talks in Washington, was originally expected to take place at the end of this month, close to Trump's second summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam. A source familiar with the talks expressed skepticism about that report to Reuters, and Lighthizer said last week that tariffs had not been a subject of the talks. "China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table".

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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