No Xi summit before tariff date

Trump and Xi shake hands after making joint statements in Beijing in November 2017

US and Hong Kong media have reported that Trump and Xi may meet in late February - possibly around the time of a U.S.

On Thursday, Trump did not dismiss the possibility of meeting Xi in the next month or so.

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.

Last week, at the end of the two days of talks, Trump said in a tweet: "No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more hard points".

Stocks in the USA fell sharply on Thursday after reports that Trump and Xi would not meet.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters that the leaders of the two economic superpowers could still meet at a later date.

Asian stocks tumbled Friday on worries the USA and China won't reach an agreement.

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The American Soybean Association says trade talks are good, soybean purchases are good, but lifting the tariff that China slapped on US soybean imports would be better. The Kospi in South Korea declined 1.2 per cent to 2,177.05 and Australia's S&P ASX 200 was down 0.3 per cent at 6,071.50.

Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and other USA officials are scheduled to go to Beijing next week to again meet with their Chinese counterparts.

The news prompted a sharp selloff in US stocks, dashing the optimism that had been building that the countries were progressing toward a deal before tariffs on Chinese imports rise to 25 percent after the March 1 deadline. U.S. Treasury bond yields also dropped following the move of investors in securing their safety in sovereign U.S. debt.

"They're hoping for more success", he said. They include USA demands that China boost imports of US products, and Chinese government and corporate pressure on US firms to transfer their technology to Chinese partners. Lighthizer told reporters last week that it was not certain a deal could be reached.

"Trump meeting Xi makes it more likely any deal will last". Trump has threatened to raise tariffs from their current 10 percent level to 25 percent at the deadline. The president has said repeatedly that the tariffs would go up if no deal has been reached, and that position has not changed, one source said.

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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