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

Minnie Murray
February 11, 2019

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 USA leverage in the talks, where the two sides remain far apart on core structural intellectual property issues.

The concerns are driven by what some aides and others see as Trump's appetite to strike a deal to calm financial markets.

Along with planning a summit between Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un in Vietnam at the end of the month, the administration official told CNBC there may not be enough time.

Selling was triggered after White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said on Fox on Thursday that "there is a pretty sizeable distance to go" to achieve a deal. Trump and Xi last met in December in Argentina.

The trade talks between Chinese and USA officials are however continuing, reported The New York Times.

The S&P 500 Index closed down 0.93 percent in its biggest drop in two weeks. Treasury bond yields dropped as investors sought safety in sovereign U.S. debt.

Treasury bond yields dropped, while the benchmark 10-year yield slid 4 basis points to a low of 2.66%.

Trump has repeatedly denigrated past presidents' efforts to deal with China. "They're making a mistake because they need to be prepared", he said.

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 USA markets sank into the red.

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. China denies the accusations.

It's not clear what will happen if a trade deal isn't struck by the deadline.

Such reforms have been a sticking point in talks so far.

During his meeting with Liu, Trump hailed a Chinese offer to buy 5 million tons of soybeans, the most tangible outcome of two days of talks. Lighthizer told reporters last week that it was not certain a deal could be reached. "China's representatives and I are trying to do a complete deal, leaving NOTHING unresolved on the table".

Unless American and Chinese negotiators come to a new agreement, the expected to raise import taxes from 10 percent to 25 percent for $200 billion in Chinese goods.

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