Trump: China deal might follow 2020 poll

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Britain NATO

President Donald Trump says a trade deal with China might be best to happen after the 2020 election

US President Donald Trump says a trade agreement with China might have to wait until after the US presidential election in November 2020, denting hopes of a quick resolution to the dispute which has weighed on the world economy.

"I have no deadline, no. In some ways I think I think it's better to wait until after the election with China," Trump told reporters on Tuesday in London where he was due to attend a meeting of NATO leaders.

"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."

European share prices and the Chinese yuan currency fell on Trump's comments.

Investors have been hoping that the United States and China can avert an escalation of their trade tensions which have slowed global economic growth.

Washington and Beijing have yet to ink a so-called "phase one" agreement announced in October, which had raised hopes of a de-escalation in their prolonged trade war.

Trump said a deal with China would only happen if he wanted it to, and he thought he was doing very well in the talks.

"I'm doing very well on a deal with China, if I want to make it," he said. "I don't think it's up to if they want to make it, it's if I want to make it. We'll see what happens."

"I'm doing very well, if I want to make a deal, I don't know that I want to make it, they're going to find out pretty soon."