Image: Gage Skidmore 2013 Image: Gage Skidmore 2013

The future of a potential trade deal between the US and China has been thrown into doubt after US President Donald Trump's comments over the deadline.

The US has previously said the 1st March deadline is strict and will not be extended, but a lack of real progress led commentators to suggest that the deadline would be extended. However, Trump has now said he could extend the deadline, but only is good progress is being made, leading experts to speculate that the president is willing to let the deal fall aside.

Both countries have imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs on each other's goods in recent times, sparking a trade war, but are now looking to bring it to an end. The US has imposed $250bn worth of tariffs, while China has hit back with $110bn worth.

Mr Trump said: "If we're close to a deal where we think we can make a real deal and it's going to get done, I could see myself letting that slide for a little while.

"But generally speaking, I'm not inclined to do that."

If a deal is not signed, the president has threatened a whole new raft of tariffs. $200bn worth of goods will see tariffs rise from 10% to 25%, and he has also raised the possibility of further tariffs on $267bn worth of goods from China.

One of the biggest issues to be negotiated is China's economic policy, which the US says unfairly favours Chinese companies through government subsidies.