Friday, 22 February, 2019

No U.S.-China Trade Deal in Place; Deadline Closing In

Trump and Xi shake hands after making joint statements in Beijing in November 2017 Trade Deadline Will Come and Go: Trump Highly Unlikely to Meet Xi Before Mar 1 - Mish Talk
Ellis Copeland | 10 February, 2019, 15:01

President Donald Trump says he will not meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before a temporary truce in the countries' trade war expires March 1, stoking fears that a deal will not be reached before the 90-day freeze ends. Speaking to the reporters at the White House, Trump added that his meeting with Xi would take place soon but not before the trade deal deadline.

"When it was agreed that they would meet, it was known at the time that it would be hard to match schedules before March 2", Mr Scissors said. Futures for the S&P 500 index shed 0.3 percent to 2,696.10.

"Not yet", Trump said when asked whether a meeting with Xi has been scheduled amid the ongoing US-China trade talks.

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 stock market has fallen in response to the news, with hopes of a swift trade pact between the two leaders quickly dampened.

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Despite the optimism, the White House emphasised in a statement that a scheduled tariff increase on $200bn of Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent was a "hard deadline" if no deal was reached by March 1. "They're making a mistake because they need to be prepared", 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.

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, Trump said a trade deal needed to include "real structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our trade deficit and protect American jobs".

Such reforms have been a sticking point in talks so far. Lighthizer told reporters last week that it was not certain a deal could be reached.

But top White House economist Larry Kudlow told Fox Business on Thursday that while Trump was "optimistic" about prospects for a deal, there remained a "sizeable distance" separating the two sides.

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%.

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