Trump says no plan to meet China's Xi before trade deal deadline

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The news that the two leaders were now unlikely to meet spurred a sharp selloff in United States stocks, dashing the optimism that had been building that the countries were progressing towards a deal before tariffs on Chinese imports rise to 25 percent after the March 1 deadline. "Probably too soon", according to Reuters.

"Maybe". Nonetheless, earlier last month, Trump had said that he would like to meet the Chinese President in order to resolve their trade differences and sprouted optimism over ongoing tariff warfare with China.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are leaving Monday for the next round of talks in China, one administration official said.

The White House said in a statement that the United States and China made progress during bilateral trade talks in Washington, DC last week, but much work remains to be done.

USA and Hong Kong media have reported that Trump and Xi may meet in late February - possibly around the time of a U.S. 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.

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.

The White House said there would be a preparatory meeting of senior officials beginning February 11 and the talks would include officials from the Agriculture, Energy and Commerce Departments. If a deal is not struck before then, US tariffs on Chinese goods will increase, barring some sort of extension.

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Trump indicated last week that he might aim for an agreement in a summit with Xi. But the US president said the two would "maybe" meet later. Markets in China were closed.

The 2 countries remain far apart on issues such as China's alleged violation of intellectual property rights.

The March 2 tariff hike (if it happens) won't come as a surprise to the business world.

"Retailers are doing our best to mitigate the pain, but raising tariffs on thousands of consumers products causes massive disruption to retailers in an already uncertain environment", Hun Quach, Vice President for International Trade at the Retail Industry Leaders Association, told Supply Chain Dive in an email. She described the deadline as a "black cloud".

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%.

Chinese officials have said their policies do not coerce technology transfers.

"They're hoping for more success", he said.

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