US President Donald Trump told reporters on Thursday that no meeting has yet been scheduled with Chinese President Xi Jinping, according to a White House pool report.
But the USA president said the two would "maybe" meet later. An American delegation that is scheduled to take place in Beijing next week will be headed by Lighthizer and Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, for more trade talks.
The United States and China have been engaged in a trade war since Trump announced last June that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs in a bid to fix the US-Chinese trade deficit.
While the USA has said it is a hard deadline for the tariffs, Mr Trump has also suggested he could agree to extend negotiations beyond the month's end if progress is made. Futures for the S&P 500 index shed 0.3 percent to 2,696.10.
"No final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future", Trump tweeted on January 31.
With a March 1 deadline fast approaching, U.S. and Chinese officials resume negotiations next week to prevent escalation of a trade dispute that has major implications for the global economy.
Asked whether there could be a meeting with Xi around March, Trump said, "Not yet".
The news prompted a sharp selloff in US stocks, dashing the optimism that had been building that the countries were progressing toward a deal before tariffs on Chinese imports rise to 25 percent after the March 1 deadline.
"They're hoping for more success", he said. Washington accuses China of stealing USA intellectual property and forcing American businesses to share their technology with Chinese companies.
The United States is pressing China to make major reforms, including on structural issues related to how it treats US companies doing business there. China denies the accusations.
Mr Lighthizer told reporters last week that it was not certain a deal could be reached.
President Trump had set a deadline of March 2nd to reach an agreement on trade.
Officials say they remain optimistic they will reach an accord, but more work remains before the two presidents can complete a deal.
A study released Wednesday by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, a campaign opposed to tariffs, said an increase to 25% would reduce employment by 934,000 jobs and GDP by 0.37%.