U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has "no deadline" for a trade deal with China, while also suggesting an agreement may not be clinched until after next year's presidential election.
"I have no deadline, no. In some ways, I think it's better to wait until after the election with China," Trump told reporters during his visit to London to attend a summit of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
"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 added.
The U.S. presidential election is scheduled to take place in November 2020. Trump's remarks have raised speculation that a tit-for-tat tariff trade war between the governments of the world's two biggest economies will last at least over the next year.
Some analysts have recently warned that the opposing views of Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping over pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong could make it more difficult for them to make concessions on trade.
Trump and Xi had been expected to sign a partial agreement on the sidelines of a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum scheduled for mid-November in Chile, but the meeting was canceled due to instability sparked by anti-government protests.
Although Chinese and U.S. chief trade negotiators have continued talks, it remains uncertain whether Xi and Trump will hold a meeting sometime soon.