Xi will reportedly meet with Mnuchin, Lighthizer as US and China try to strike a trade deal

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Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on Friday as both sides pursue a trade deal before an early March deadline, the South China Morning Post reported.

The report, which cites sources close to the matter, said Xi “is scheduled to meet” with key members of the U.S. trade delegation that is currently in Beijing, including Lighthizer and Mnuchin. Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is also expected to attend a banquet for the U.S. delegation later this week, according to the Morning Post.

China and the U.S. are trying to strike a deal before the start of March. Otherwise, additional U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will take effect.

The report comes a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would consider pushing back the current March deadline if it means a deal between the two countries can be reached soon. He added, however, he “would prefer not to.”

The ongoing trade tussle between China and the U.S. has sent ripples through financial markets over the past year. Investors have fretted over the impact of tariffs on corporate profits.

Neither the Treasury Department nor the U.S. Trade Representative’s office responded to CNBC’s request for comment.

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