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Trump says trade deal with China could wait until after 2020 election; Dow plunges 400 points

libadmin December 3, 2019

“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 will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” Trump told reporters Tuesday in London.

The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 400 points after his comments, or 1.4 percent, and the Standard & Poor’s 500 fell roughly 1.3 percent.

For much of the protracted trade war with Beijing, Trump has contradicted himself on when a deal might be reached or how willing he is to come to the table. The next deadline is Dec. 15, when a new set of U.S. levies would hit roughly $160 billion in Chinese goods. People familiar with the talks told The Washington Post last month that those tariffs would disappear if a deal was brokered beforehand.

In October, Trump said the United States and China had reached a “phase one” deal, marking the first tangible achievement in the long-running economic clash that’s affected hundreds of billions of dollars in goods and that analysts projected would stunt global trade and cost American jobs. With the preliminary deal, Trump said Beijing had agreed to roughly double its purchase of U.S. farm goods to more than $40 billion a year, open its financial services market, tighten its intellectual property protections and refrain from using currency as a trade weapon.

The stock market has also rallied amid optimism that a deal was coming. November was a blockbuster month for Wall Street, as strong earnings and trade hopes yielded 10 record-breaking closes for U.S. indexes.

But Chinese officials have never confirmed an agreement was imminent and have said the talks remain ongoing. Trump’s comments Tuesday suggest a deal could be further off than he has recently claimed.

On Tuesday, Trump also derided recent comments made by French President Emmanuel Macron — in which Macron described the “brain death” of NATO due to lack of American support — as “very very nasty” and “very disrespectful.”

“I would say that nobody needs NATO more than France,” Trump said. “That’s why I think when France makes a statement like they made about NATO, that’s a very dangerous statement for them to make.”

Just the day before, Trump threatened new tariffs of up to 100 percent on $2.4 billion in French products, including wine, cheese and yogurt. Trump’s top trade negotiator, Robert E. Lighthizer, said the levies came in response to a French digital services tax that the U.S. determined is discriminating against American Internet companies.


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