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President Donald Trump said he won’t meet Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline to avert higher U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, intensifying fears the two won’t strike a deal before the end of a 90-day truce.

Trump responded “No” and shook his head Thursday (Feb. 7) when reporters at the White House asked him if he would meet with Xi this month. Then he added, “Unlikely.” But the U.S. president said the two would “maybe” meet later.

Trump told reporters last month that he planned to meet Xi in late February, adding there was a “good chance” of striking a deal.

Time is running out for the U.S. and China to reach an agreement before the deadline the Trump administration has set to more than double tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. While the U.S. has said it’s a hard deadline for the tariffs, Trump has also suggested he could agree to extend negotiations beyond month’s end if progress is being made. 

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