LONDON – President Donald Trump signaled Tuesday that the White House’s trade war with China could drag on for some time after he said it might be better to wait to sign an agreement with Beijing until after the 2020 presidential election.
“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 will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” Trump told reporters in London, where he is taking part in two days of NATO meetings that coincide with the military alliance’s 70th anniversary.
Trump in Britain for NATO meetings:Macron talks may be more important
The election is in November next year.
“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 said when pressed about whether he had a deadline for the deal that, while it is being worked out, has seen the U.S. and China impose billions of dollars of tariffs on each other’s goods since 2018.
The next deadline to reach a deal is Dec. 15. Trump has threatened to impose 15% levies on an additional $160 billion in Chinese goods if an accord is not reached by that date. The looming deadline and Trump’s remarks Tuesday unnerved stock markets.
U.S. stocks were down more than 300 points, on the Dow Jones Industrial Average in trading Tuesday on Wall Street. The Dow fell 268 points on Monday after Trump said he would reintroduce steel tariffs on Brazil and Argentina because their currencies have dropped.
“Well, you have a logical deadline Dec. 15,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network. “If nothing happens