20 January 2020
US President Donald Trump:  The United States will make "a great deal or no deal at all". Photo: Reuters
US President Donald Trump: The United States will make "a great deal or no deal at all". Photo: Reuters

Trump warns China against delaying trade deal as talks resume

US President Donald Trump warned Beijing against waiting out his first term to finalize any trade deal, saying if he wins re-election in the November 2020 US presidential contest, the outcome will be worse for China, Reuters reports.

As a new round of US-China trade negotiations got underway in Shanghai, Trump said on Twitter on Tuesday: “The problem with them waiting … is that if & when I win, the deal that they get will be much tougher than what we are negotiating now … or no deal at all.”

Trump said China appeared to be backing off on a pledge to buy US agricultural products, which US officials have said could be a goodwill gesture and part of any final pact here.

“China … was supposed to start buying our agricultural product now no signs that they are doing so. That is the problem with China, they just don’t come through,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets.

US and Chinese officials restarted negotiations after talks stalled in May, in a bid to end the year-long trade war marked by tit-for-tat tariffs, but must still resolve deep differences, keeping expectations for this week’s two-day meeting low.

The talks were expected to center on “goodwill” gestures such as Chinese commitments to purchase US agricultural commodities and steps by the United States to ease some sanctions on Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., a person familiar with the discussions told Reuters.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said decisions on license applications by US firms to resume some sales to Huawei could come as early as next week.

The Commerce Department put Huawei on a national security blacklist in May, effectively banning US firms from selling to Huawei, a move that enraged Chinese officials.

Trump had agreed last month to allow some sales to Huawei in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but so far, US semiconductor and software makers are still mostly in the dark about the administration’s plans.

The trade war between the world’s two largest economies has rattled global financial markets that have also been pressured by this week’s US Federal Reserve policy meeting and renewed concerns over Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Speaking later to reporters at the White House, Trump said the trade talks were going well with China, but added the United States would “either make a great deal or no deal at all”.

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