Trump says he may wait until after 2020 election to complete 'phase two' China deal

Trump says he may wait until after 2020 election to complete 'phase two' China deal
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE on Thursday said that he may wait until after the 2020 presidential election to complete negotiations on a so-called phase two trade agreement with China because he could get a “better deal.”

“We’ll start right away negotiating phase two. It’ll take a little time. I think I might want to wait to finish it until after the election because I think doing that we can actually make a little bit better deal, maybe a lot better deal,” Trump told reporters Thursday morning in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Trump also touted the “phase one” deal announced by his administration in December as a robust one, calling it a “phenomenal deal” and saying it could result in up to $50 billion in U.S. farm product sales to China. 

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Trump administration and Chinese officials are expected to sign the “phase one” trade agreement on Jan. 15, next Wednesday.

Before the initial “phase one” agreement was announced, Trump had floated the possibility of waiting to complete a deal with China until after the 2020 election.

Trump administration officials announced that an initial deal had been reached with China last month that includes some tariff relief for Beijing and a commitment by China to purchase more U.S. agricultural products.

A text of the agreement is not expected to be released until after it is signed, however, leading to continuing questions about its contents.

“Phase one is a big, big number. It’s a big percentage of the deal. Some would say half, some would say a little less or a little more than half,” Trump told reporters Thursday.

“It’s a tremendous percentage. It’s pretty much all for the farmers, also bankers,” Trump continued. “We also have regulations ... A lot of things are covered that people are going to be very surprised to see.”

Officials have said China agreed to purchase between $40 billion and $50 billion in agricultural goods over the next two years and that the U.S. won concessions from China in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, financial services and others.