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Trump says China deal could wait until after election

Posted on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 By Zeke Miller, Associated Press

Donald Trump, Mick Mulvaney
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney talks with US President Donald after his meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at Winfield House, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in London. US President Donald Trump will join other NATO heads of state at Buckingham Palace in London on Tuesday to mark the NATO Alliance's 70th birthday. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

LONDON (AP) — President Donald Trump appeared to downplay the chances for a deal to end the U.S.-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.

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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