As markets sink further into the red during what will likely become their worst week of the year, more skeptical reports about the likelihood of a deal have emerged.
On the heels of a report that a tentative summit with President Xi had been pushed back, the Financial Times returned with comments from a senior administration official, who reiterated that the President would "walk away" from a bad deal. In comments during a conference on Friday, Williams acknowledged that negotiations "aren't exactly where we need to be."
A senior White House official said president Donald Trump was prepared to “walk away” from a “bad” trade deal with China, stressing that there is “work left to be done” in the negotiations before an agreement can be finalised.
Clete Willems, the deputy director of Mr Trump’s National Economic Council, said at a conference at Georgetown Law School on Friday that the US administration was “cautiously trying to remain optimistic” about the prospects for a deal, and negotiations were continuing in “good faith”. But Mr Willems said there were still issues of “substance” that needed to be thrashed out and said it would be inaccurate to presume that Mr Trump would settle for a weak agreement. “We aren’t exactly where we need to be,” he said.
Around the same time, President Trump once again offered an optimistic take on the talks, saying we would see "a very big spike" in markets if the deal gets done. While Trump hedged, saying he wouldn't hesitate to walk away from a bad deal, he told reporters he was "confident" a good deal would get done.
Trump said as soon as the China trade deal is done, if it is done, he thinks we will see a "very big spike" in the markets. https://t.co/hJ6MYf2UFu— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 8, 2019
As @Northmantrader put it, this was the president's message to markets following this morning's abysmal jobs number.
Administration messages to markets in the first 30 minutes of down open:— Sven Henrich (@NorthmanTrader) March 8, 2019
Ignore bad data
Confident a trade deal will get done
Very big spike in markets coming on trade deal
Global slowdown will not impact US
Adding another layer of complication to the trade deal, Larry Kudlow said Friday during an interview on CNBC that the legal conflict with Huawei might bleed into the trade talks.
"We regard that more of a legal issue, at least at the moment. It may enter into trade. I don't want to make any predictions."
Though, when it comes to this morning's jobs report, Trump was more focused on the details than the headline.
Women’s unemployment rate is down to 3.6% - was 7.9% in January, 2011. Things are looking good!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2019
“This is as good a time as I can remember to be an American Worker. We have the strongest economy in the world.” Stuart Varney @foxandfriends So true!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2019
However, when it comes to the market's response to the trade deal, it looks like that "big spike" might have happened already.