President Donald Trump discussed on Friday the possibility of making a trade deal with China before the 2020 presidential election, Mediaite reports.
Trump suggested that a deal with China is unlikely, stoking fears that the trade war he has been waging with China will continue to impact the American economy.
The president discussed the issue during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“We’re looking for a complete deal, not a partial deal,” he said, explaining to members of the media present at the conference that he believes he does not need to make a deal before the election.
“No, I don’t think I need it before the election. People know that we’re doing a great job. I’ve rebuilt the military,” the president said.
“When I came in, our military was depleted,” he added, proceeding to argue that the trade war with China has negatively impacted the Chinese economy, but not the American economy, which — Trump claims — is actually benefiting from the levies his administration is imposing on Chinese goods.
“Our economy is very strong. China is being affected very badly. We’re not. We’re not being affected,” he said.
Trump added that the United States is “taking in many billions of dollars,” because China is “eating” the tariffs.
Concluding his remarks, the president added that he has a “very amazing” relationship with China’s Xi Jinping, acknowledging, however, that the two countries have a “little spat.”
China is not exactly “eating” the tariffs, as Trump often argues, according to data, which suggests that the trade war is actually hurting the American economy, according to The New York Times.
President Trump on China: "We're looking for the big deal. We've taken it to this level. We're taking in billions and billions of dollars of tariffs." pic.twitter.com/ah6o927kJb
— The Hill (@thehill) September 20, 2019
According to data cited by the NYT, Trump’s latest tariffs on Chinese goods caused the index of American manufacturing activity to fall from 51.2 percent to 49.1 percent, in the first contraction since 2016.
As the chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank explained to the publication, the trade war Trump is been waging has “blown open a great big hole in manufacturers’ confidence,” which appears to have contributed to the manufacturing sector slowing down.
Hopes for a trade deal appear to be fading away, given that Chinese officials unexpectedly canceled a visit to farms in Nebraska and Montana. As Bloomberg reported, the “goodwill” trip, as the Trump administration had described it, was canceled on Friday.
The cancellation came following Trump’s comments, causing U.S. equities to decline, and gold prices to climb.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the latest major escalation in the U.S.-China trade war took place on September 1, when the countries began imposing new tariffs on each other’s goods.