Foreign affairs expert predicts US-China won't reach 'comprehensive' trade deal before 2020 elections

Foreign affairs expert Gordon Chang predicted on Tuesday that the United States and China won’t reach a comprehensive trade deal before the 2020 U.S. elections.

“The markets consistently have underestimated the political considerations on both sides of the Pacific that argue against a deal,” Chang, a columnist and author, told Hill.TV during an interview on "Rising."

“So I don’t see a deal coming anytime — certainly not, at least, a comprehensive deal before the elections in our country,” he added.

The White House trade office announced Tuesday morning that it plans to delay tariffs on various Chinese imports -- including cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, toys, computer monitors, footwear and clothing -- until Dec. 15. 

The agency also said that it would exempt an unspecified number of items from a list of Chinese products that will be subject to a 10 percent tariff starting Sept. 1.

The Dow Jones industrial average soared 500 points following news of the delay. 

The latest move comes amid President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE’s escalating trade war with China.

Some Wall Street economists in the past week have warned of rising chances of a recession between now and the 2020 elections, saying Trump’s trade policy is partly to blame. These economic concerns could pose a challenge to Trump as he seeks to tout the economy in his bid for reelection.

Trade talks are still scheduled to resume in September, but Chang said on Tuesday that he doesn’t expect a significant breakthrough on the horizon.

“There’s this 13th round of negotiations that are supposed to occur in Washington next month but I expect them to be unproductive,” he told Hill.TV. “Right now, this is a situation where there is very little common ground if any, so I don’t see any sort of coming together.”

Trump has already suggested that the latest trade talks are not necessarily guaranteed.

When reporters asked last week if he would cancel the next round of negotiations, Trump said, "Maybe.”

—Tess Bonn