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Trump's comments caused an average fall of two percent in stock prices worldwide, the biggest in nearly two months.
United States President Donald Trump said Tuesday a trade deal with China might have to wait until after the U.S. presidential election in November 2020, causing stock prices to tumble and triggering a rush into safe assets such as U.S. Treasury debt.
“I have no deadline, no,” Trump told reporters adding that “in some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal. But they want to make a deal now, and we’ll see whether or not the deal’s going to be right; it’s got to be right.”
Trump's comments caused an average fall of two percent in stock prices worldwide, the biggest in nearly two months as hopes that the two largest economies would soon reach an initial deal dissipated.
Meanwhile, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday said that while staff-level talks are continuing with Chinese officials, no high-level meetings are scheduled.
If there is no deal or substantial progress in talks before Dec. 15, tariffs on remaining Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers, and toys, will take effect, Ross told CNBC on Tuesday.
China and the U.S. agreed to roll back sanctions on each others’ goods as part of the first phase of a trade deal back on Nov. 7, officials from both sides, although amounts nor timelines were discussed.
The Chinese commerce ministry, without laying out a timetable, said the two countries had agreed to cancel the tariffs in phases. “The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs,” Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a press meeting.
The proportion of tariffs canceled for both sides to reach a “phase one” deal must be the same, but the number to be canceled can be negotiated, he added.
The General Administration of Customs of China and the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said the country is currently considering removing restrictions on poultry imports from the U.S. China has banned all U.S. poultry and eggs since January 2015 due to an avian influenza outbreak.
In a series of conciliatory measures, Trump in October agreed to suspend a tariff hike scheduled for Oct. 15 on US$250 billion worth of Chinese imports, and in return, the Asian nation agreed to buy US$40 to US$50 billion in U.S. farm products.
A Washington-based source briefed on the talks told Reuters that the U.S. side is willing to remove some tariffs, but wants additional concessions from Beijing to curb the forced transfer of American technology to Chinese firms.
According to the International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva, the 15-month long trade-war could cost an increasingly fragile global economy about US$700 billion, or 0.8 percent of GDP, by 2020; and it is already taking a toll on both countries’ economies.