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Addressing reporters at the White House, Trump answered in the negative when asked if a meeting could happen by March 1.

Early on Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the U.S. -Sino trade tensions could negatively impact her country's economy and hurt exporters, as China is New Zealand's top trade partner, generating NZ$16.6 billion in the 12-months prior to September 2018 (more than double the country's sales to the U.S.).

"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...."

A senior Trump administration official said Trump and Xi may meet shortly after March 2, CNBC said.

Meanwhile, the stock market in the United States experienced a sharp fall on Thursday after Trump confirmed that he would not meet Xi Jinping anytime before the trade deal deadline.

Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer are set to meet their Chinese counterparts next week for trade talks. Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He met last week in Washington for trade talks. It is also expected that the situation will negatively affect the USA stock market.

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Businesses have been planning for the scenario of rising tariffs at the beginning of next month, by rushing imports and stockpiling goods - although that doesn't mean companies are embracing increased duties. Rather, it was due to the amount of work that still needed to be done by negotiators. He then said the two would "maybe" meet after that.

United States markets closed down Thursday and continued to be hit Friday with the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq all 0.3% lower as of 8.35 a.m in London (3.35 a.m in New York). The White House did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.

A delay in the meeting between Trump and Xi isn't a deal breaker, says Derek Scissors, a China expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

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. "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", Scissors said. "By itself, a delay until after March 2 is not a threat to the chances of a deal".

There had been speculation that Trump might meet the Chinese leader after he flies to Vietnam in late February for a summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Kudlow added that he had a "good vibe" about ongoing talks, and said that he saw all trade issues between the two countries as potential topics for discussion.


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