Trump, Commerce Secretary Send Signal That China Deal Can Wait

Some analysts are predicting some massive initial market swings. Image Shutterstock

Some analysts are predicting some massive initial market swings. Image Shutterstock

A full-blown global trade war is now seen as the biggest threat to world markets.

Gold prices jumped as USA stock index futures slid on Tuesday after President Donald Trump suggested he may want to delay a trade deal with China until after the 2020 presidential election.

In an interview with Fox Business on Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence said that the president is leveraging the strong US economy in trade negotiations with China and around the world. Recent U.S. legislation seeking to sanction Chinese officials over human-rights issues in Hong Kong and Xinjiang are unlikely to impact the talks, one person familiar with Beijing's thinking said.

Trump on Monday announced tariffs on USA steel and aluminum imports from Brazil and Argentina "effective immediately", opening new fronts in his trade war.

Beijing has called on the U.S.to roll back all of the more than $350 billion of tariffs placed on its goods as part of a deal.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

Trump, speaking Wednesday at a meeting in London with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the discussions with China are going very well. "Because otherwise, there's a tendency of the other side to say 'Oh, he needs it for political reasons, so we'll give him a worse deal than we would.' He's not going to play that game". "There is hope, as long as it is based on mutual respect and equal consultations", according to Phoenix TV.

Trump held a press conference in London while attending a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit, and as reporters asked him about ongoing negotiations with China, the president left open the deadline for a trade deal, while expressing interest in postponing it for a year. The offshore yuan reversed declines to gain as much as 0.25%.

Investors are closely watching for any signs of progress on a phase-one deal as worries increase that Trump may slap more tariffs on China later this month. In response, China has threated to place sanctions on US companies.

China's foreign ministry did not specify on Wednesday what retaliatory measures are being considered.

Senator Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, tweeted on Tuesday in response to Ross' comments that the Commerce Department would need to a launch a new investigation before it could impose the tariffs.

Another potential threat to the outlook emanating from USA policy is a currency war, in which nations go against their Group of 20 pledges and target foreign-exchange rates for domestic economic benefit.

On Monday, the Chinese regime said they would suspend U.S. Navy visits to the port of Hong Kong. The move appears to factor in Mr. Trump's threat to expand tariffs beyond imports from China.

Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, said in a statement the House bill is an important action opposing "China's continued push of extreme persecution" and that the organisation looks forward to Trump signing it into law.

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