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

US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping meet business leaders in Beijing China on Nov 9 2017

President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House Thursday he would not meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before the March 1 deadline, after which 10% tariffs are set to rise to 25%.

Asked by reporters if the meeting with Xi would take place, Trump said: "Maybe".

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

Trump said he did not have plans to meet with Xi when asked during an event in the oval office on Thursday. Several rounds have taken place since Trump and Xi agreed to a 90-day halt on tariff increases past year at the G-20 summit, and additional discussions are scheduled for next week.

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

Last week, Chinese and U.S. negotiators said they made "important progress", China's state media reported following the conclusion of two days of high-level talks in Washington, DC.

According to Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at Oak Brook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois, said believes said that the market was affected because the market was lifted in the month of January because of the optimism that surrounds the trade talks. The U.S. and China are trying to meet an early March trade deadline.

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Speaking at the White House during a meeting last Thursday with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Trump said he was optimistic that the economic powerhouses could reach "the biggest deal ever made".

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.

"They're hoping for more success", he said. Though Washington continues to posit that the ban is entirely for cybersecurity in the U.S., Huawei, one of the largest producers of networking equipment in the world, continues to claim that its products are entirely safe, and that Trump is using claims of cybersecurity to prevent competition in the U.S. from Chinese telecommunications companies. The U.S. and China sought to resolve deep-seated trade issues in just three months, and analysts largely agreed the short time frame did not provide sufficient time for matters such as intellectual property and technology transfer. China denies the accusations.

Previously, Trump said during his second State of the Union address that a new trade deal between the United States and China must include a structural change to end unfair trade practices.

Such reforms have been a sticking point in talks so far. "I have complete confidence in the president, both to close a deal if we get to that point, but also to make that judgment". Trump has threatened to raise tariffs from their current 10 percent level to 25 percent at the deadline.

But Reuters later cited three anonymous sources who indicated the CNBC report was incorrect.

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