Trade talks between the U.S. and China are so far apart that neither side has put anything in writing yet, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The Journal said the two sides have not even drafted an accord specifying the matters they agree and disagree on. The U.S. and China are trying to meet an early March trade deadline. If a deal is not struck before then, U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods will increase, barring some sort of extension.
The report comes just a day after White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said there is a “pretty sizable distance to go” before China and the U.S. reach a deal. Kudlow also indicated, however, that President Donald Trump is “optimistic with respect to a potential trade deal.”
After that, Trump said that a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping will not take place before the crucial March deadline. Trump’s remarks came hours after CNBC reported the meeting was “highly unlikely,” citing a senior White House official.
U.S. stocks fell sharply on Thursday as it became clear the meeting will not take place before the deadline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 220 points, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.9 percent.
The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.