President Donald Trump said Tuesday that while he’d like to finalize a trade deal with China soon, it may have to wait until after the 2020 election.
“I have no deadline, no. In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election with China,” the president told reporters in London, where he is scheduled to attend a meeting of NATO leaders.
“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,” he added.
Investors have hoped the U.S. and China would be able to avert deepening their trade war. Previously, U.S. officials said a deal could happen this year but it would depend on China.
In October officials announced a so-called “Phase 1” agreement which raised hopes of a de-escalation, but nothing’s been signed yet.
Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were planning to meet and sign the preliminary trade deal at an Asia-Pacific leaders’ summit in Chile in mid-November, however, the summit was canceled.
Trump, who had said in September that he did not need a deal before the 2020 election, now seeks to pressure Beijing.
“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.