Trump says China deal could wait until after election

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping. (Reuters Photo)

President Donald Trump appeared to downplay the chances for a deal to end the US-China trade war before the end of the year.

Speaking in London he is attending a NATO summit, Trump said Tuesday that the only limiting factor to reaching an agreement with China is whether he wants to make a deal.

Asked about his previous goal of reaching an agreement by years' end, Trump told reporters, ''I have no deadline, no." “In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election," Trump added. He has previously suggested that China wanted to wait until after the election to negotiate a deal.

Tensions between the two nations flared anew last week after Trump signed legislation expressing U.S. support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong. The U.S.-China trade talks face a Dec. 15 deadline for new U.S. tariffs to kick in on many Chinese-made items, including smartphones and laptops.

The pressure is building on both sides to complete what Trump has called a limited "phase one" deal before the deadline, though Trump could end up postponing the tariffs, as he did in October, to allow more time for negotiations. 

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