by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump said Tuesday that a trade deal with China might wait until after the 2020 elections, indicating the negotiations remain slow. Trump has previously accused Beijing of slow-walking the talks in the hopes of negotiating with a Democratic president instead.
“I have no deadline, no,” Trump told reporters in London Tuesday during a meeting with NATO secretary general Jens Stoltenberg. “In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal.”
The White House and Beijing are currently engaged in talks to complete “phase one” of a trade agreement announced on Oct. 11. The deal has been gridlocked over how the terms would be committed to writing and whether the administration would remove some of the tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese imports it has imposed.
Trump has repeatedly claimed that Beijing would rather negotiate with a Democrat and is stalling the talks in the hope that happens. “I think that China felt they were being beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election, 2020, to see if they could get lucky & have a Democrat win,” he said in a May 11 tweet.