President Trump rules out meeting with Xi Jinping as next round of talks begin

The United States President Trump nullified previous suggestions that he will meet with his Chinese counterpart before the current trade war truce period ends on March 1, the Financial Times reported, recasting doubt over whether a concrete arrangement will be achieved before the deadline.

President Donald Trump said during a visit by Chinese Vice President Liu He earlier this month that a meeting with Xi would be necessary to hammer out the “more difficult points” from ongoing negotiations. His reversal disappointed markets, sending the S&P 500 down 0.9% the following day.

Talks have turned more pessimistic following the upbeat conclusion of the last set of meetings in Washington, where both sides touted that progress had been made towards a resolution. Speaking to US media, chief White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said there remains “a pretty sizeable distance to go here.”

The pace is quickening, however, as both sides strive for a deal to avoid the US pledge to raise tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25% after the détente. US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will begin a new round of talks in Beijing on Monday.

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