USA and Hong Kong media have reported that Trump and Xi may meet in late February - possibly around the time of a U.S. The U.S. and China are trying to meet an early March trade deadline.
The remarks were the first drastic shift in tone since Washington and Beijing stepped up negotiations last week, hoping to agree to a framework for a deal by the deadline.
That may depend on how trade talks in Beijing go next week. Several rounds have taken place since Trump and Xi agreed to a 90-day halt on tariff increases previous year at the G-20 summit, and additional discussions are scheduled for next week. "We need an agreement at the end of the 90-day period that specifically rescinds the tariff that China has imposed on USA soybean imports".
The American Soybean Association says trade talks are good, soybean purchases are good, but lifting the tariff that China slapped on USA soybean imports would be better. On Thursday (February 7th), while being asked by a reporter whether Trump would like to meet China's Xi before the trade truce, Tramp said "no", voicing an intransigent air, which had flawlessly added further strains to the concerns related to trade conflict.
The S&P 500 Index closed down 0.93 percent in its biggest drop in two weeks.
Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are set to meet their Chinese counterparts next week for trade talks. Treasury bond yields dropped as investors sought safety in sovereign US debt.
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USA companies caught in the trade war are now anxious Trump will follow through on his initial threat to increase tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent. "They're making a mistake because they need to be prepared", he said. Washington accuses China of stealing US intellectual property and forcing American businesses to share their technology with Chinese companies.
"If we do make headway, and the president thinks we're close enough that he can close the deal on major issues, then I think he'll want to have a meeting and do that", he told reporters.
CNBC reported that the tariffs were likely to remain at the 10 percent rate.
But Reuters later cited three anonymous sources who indicated the CNBC report was incorrect.
The negative mood sweeping across financial markets late in the trading week continues to highlight how investor sentiment remains extremely sensitive to any changes in the narrative with US-China trade developments.
Lighthizer said last week that tariffs had not been a subject of the talks.