Trump on trade deal with China: Maybe "better to wait until after the election"

By Melissa Quinn

/ CBS News

Trump launches attacks at NATO meeting

President Trump indicated Tuesday a trade deal with China may not come until after the 2020 presidential election, saying that he has "no deadline" for striking an agreement with Beijing.

Speaking to reporters in London, where Mr. Trump is attending the annual NATO summit, the president said any trade deal with China would come on his terms.

"I think in some ways it's better to wait until after the election with China," the president said during a bilateral meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

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Any deal between the world's two largest economies is "dependent on one thing: do I want to make it," Mr. Trump added.

The president reiterated that Beijing is eager to reach an agreement, but said the U.S. is "doing very well with China" and can do better.

Mr. Trump's comments come as the U.S. is set to impose another round of duties on Chinese imports Dec. 15. The latest tariffs will hit a wide range of consumer goods, including mobile phones and laptops.

The trade war with China has been ongoing for more than a year, with the two sides trading tariffs on thousands of products. An announcement from the president in October that the U.S. and Beijing reached a phase one deal, however, seemed to ease tensions between the two nations.

As part of the initial agreement, Mr. Trump said China agreed to buy between $40 billion and $50 billion in American farm products, though Chinese officials have said they would make purchases according to market needs.

Beijing, meanwhile, has been pushing for the U.S. to lift existing tariffs on products from China.

The Chinese Commerce Ministry said last week top Chinese and U.S. trade negotiators agreed to additional talks on a phase one deal, though it was not immediately confirmed by Washington.

First published on December 3, 2019 / 9:55 AM

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