Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Meeting with China’s Xi Jinping Before Trade Deal Deadline Unlikely

Xi Jinping and Donald Trump last met at a G20 summit in Buenos Aires Xi Jinping and Donald Trump last met at a G20 summit in Buenos Aires
Melinda Barton | 10 February, 2019, 11:10

Asked Thursday if he had a meeting set up with XI in the next month or so, Trump told reporters: "Not yet".

When asked whether there would be a meeting in the next month or so, Trump said: "Not yet".

Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow said earlier at the White House that a Trump-Xi summit was "off in the distance" but that he remained confident the two leaders would still meet at some point. The remarks of the president confirmed that there will be no meeting between the two leaders before the deadline and it also implies that the hope of a quick trade pact between them is in peril. But the USA president said the two would "maybe" meet later.

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

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead the US delegation for the third round of talks on Thursday and Friday in Beijing.

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.

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. Treasury bond yields dropped as investors sought safety in sovereign US debt. The benchmark 10-year yield slid 4 basis points to 2.66 percent, the lowest in almost a week. With all the ingredients for another round of a stock market selloffs in place, equity bears are seen jumping back into the scene if US-China trade talks do take a turn for the worst.

Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met last week in Washington for trade talks. A senior administration official now says there's "far too much work to do" in a short period of time before a deal can get done with China.

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

Trump has said that final resolution of the trade dispute would depend on him and Xi meeting "in the near future".

China has retaliated with tariffs of its own, but has suspended some and is allowing some purchases of United States soybeans during the talks.