Trump won’t meet Xi before trade deal deadline

Trump and Xi shake hands after making joint statements in Beijing in November 2017

Trump and Xi shake hands after making joint statements in Beijing in November 2017

But the president and other senior administration 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. The countries had taken a 90-day hiatus in their trade war, putting a planned increase in tariffs on hold, to hammer out an accord.

Businesses have been planning for the scenario of rising tariffs at the beginning of next month, by rushing imports and stockpiling goods - although that doesn't mean companies are embracing increased duties.

Unless American and Chinese negotiators come to a new agreement, the U.S. is expected to raise import taxes from 10 per cent to 25 per cent for USD200 billion in Chinese goods.

CNBC reported that the tariffs were likely to remain at the 10 percent rate.

'At some point the two presidents will meet, that is what Mr. Trump has been saying.

Early on Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the U.S. -Sino trade tensions could negatively impact her country's economy and hurt exporters, as China is New Zealand's top trade partner, generating NZ$16.6 billion in the 12-months prior to September 2018 (more than double the country's sales to the U.S.). "But that is off in the distance still at the moment", he said.

The S&P 500 Index market worth dropped by 0.93 percent, the biggest drop in 2 weeks.

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Trump said last week he would meet Xi again to finalise the final deal.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are due to travel to China next week to continue for the third round of trade negotiations.

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.

The US is showing much flexibility and is thus willing to extend the deadline beyond the March 1st self-imposed deadline - just for the two sides to agree to end the truth once and for all.

Also pressuring markets was a report out Thursday that President Trump is planning to sign an executive order next week which would ban Chinese telecommunications equipment from US wireless networks. Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met last week in Washington for trade talks.

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.

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