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Trump says he could wait to finish China trade deal until after 2020 election

2020-01-10 07:02:10

President Donald Trump may not reach the second part of a trade pact with China until after the 2020 election, he said Thursday.


The president said his administration will start “right away” negotiating the next piece of an agreement after striking a so-called phase one deal. But he said “it’ll take a little time” to finish an accord and suggested he could have more leverage after his reelection bid in November.


“I think I might want to wait to finish ’til after the election, because by doing that, I think we can actually make a little bit better deal, maybe a lot better deal,” Trump told reporters at the White House.


The president and Chinese officials plan to sign a long-sought initial piece of a trade agreement on Jan. 15. The deal will involve some tariff relief, increased Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural goods and changes to intellectual property and technology rules.


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Trump has pushed for a trade agreement between the world’s two largest economies as he tries to follow through on a 2016 campaign promise to crack down on China’s trade abuses. But Thursday was not the first time he suggested he could wait until after voters decide whether he gets a second term to put together a full trade pact.


Only days before Washington and Beijing announced the first piece of the accord, Trump said, “In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”


The president has tried to dial back a trade war that has threatened the livelihood of farmers and other business owners in the U.S. reliant on trade with China. Trump counts the agriculture industry as a key political constituency, and his administration has so far authorized $28 billion in relief for farmers.


During the trade war, the U.S. slapped tariffs on more than $500 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing put duties on more than $100 billion in American imports.


Investors, fearing a drag on economic growth, have cheered the U.S. and Chinese efforts to resolve the trade conflict.



Reference

www.cnbc.com


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