President Trump on Tuesday warned that the trade war with China could drag on beyond the 2020 election, saying there’s “no deadline” to strike a deal.
“In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election with China,” Trump told reporters in London, where he was due to attend a NATO summit.
“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal. But they want to make a deal now, and we’ll see whether or not the deal’s going to be right. It’s got to be right.”
Last month, the US and China announced they reached a “substantial” interim trade deal, staving off a tariff increase on Chinese goods and raising hopes of a de-escalation.
Trump, who in September said he didn’t need a deal before the 2020 election, put the pressure on China on Tuesday.
“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 a flick of a pen,” he said. “And China is paying for it, and China is having by far the worst year that they have had in 57 years. So we’ll see what happens.”
China reported its slowest economic growth in 27 years in October.
The US-China trade talks face a Dec. 15 deadline for new US tariffs to kick in on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including smartphones and laptops, though Trump could postpone the tariffs, as he did in October.