President Donald Trump said Tuesday he did not have a deadline set for a deal with China, suggesting that he could wait until after the 2020 presidential election.
“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal,” Trump told reporters shortly when asked about the trade negotiations. He also said that he did not have a deadline for a deal.
The president is in London to attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit celebrating the treaty’s 70th anniversary.
The Dow Jones fell 300 points after Trump’s comments.
Trump has warned in the past that he would be much tougher on China if they failed to reach a deal by 2020.
“If it’s after the election, it’ll be the toughest deal anybody’s ever had to make from the standpoint of China, and they know that,” Trump said in September.
Trump has repeatedly noted that China would prefer to negotiate with Democrats like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D) instead of him.
The first phase of the China trade negotiations is currently in limbo after Chile canceled the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit of world leaders, which was scheduled for November.
Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping and Trump were expected to meet in Chile and sign an agreement that would cancel the planned 15 percent tariff hike on Chinese products on December 15.
No new meeting has been scheduled as China continues to stall progress on the deal.
“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong,” he said in a statement. “They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.”