Trump has no deadline for striking a trade deal with China — and says it might be ‘better to wait until after the election’

source
Reuters

  • Donald Trump might wait until after next year’s presidential election to strike a deal with China to end the trade war.
  • “I have no deadline, no … in some ways I think it is better to wait until after the election, if you want to know the truth,” Trump told reporters in London on Tuesday.
  • He added that a deal depended entirely on him, and one could be done with a “flick of a pen.”
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Following more than a year of escalating tariffs and trade talks, Donald Trump might wait until after next year’s presidential election to strike a deal with China to end the trade war.

The US president told reporters in London on Tuesday that he liked the idea of postponing an agreement. “They want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” he said.

When asked if he had a deadline in mind, he said, “I have no deadline, no … in some ways I think it is better to wait until after the election, if you want to know the truth.”

Trump added that he was the only factor in whether a trade agreement is signed.

“Let me tell you something, the China trade deal is dependent on one thing – do I want to make it. Because we are doing very well with China right now, and we can do even better with the flick of a pen,” said Trump, before adding that China was “having the worst year by far in 57 years.”

Futures underlying the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 100 points on the news, while Germany’s Dax index dropped 0.2%.

Trump’s comments come as China is considering blacklisting certain US companies, slashing the odds of a deal between the two sides.

Global Times, a Chinese state-run news outlet, tweeted that a list of “unreliable” entities was being drawn up, and the process was being accelerated by Sen. Marco Rubio’s bill pushing for sanctions against Chinese companies involved in the alleged mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

“The chances of a deal by December 15 just took another turn lower,” said Neil Wilson, chief markets analyst at Markets.com, in a morning note. “Markets simply aren’t priced for this; for a trade deal to be that far in the future – if one can even be struck at all.”

“Combined with the barrage of tariff threats on the EU, the comments can be taken as a sign that the White House has no qualms about levying further tariffs and is happy about using trade as an economic, political and diplomatic weapon.”