Stocks fall as Trump signals delay in China trade deal

U.S. stocks sank Tuesday with the Dow falling more than 300 points at the open, after President Donald Trump said a trade deal with China might not happen until after the 2020 election.


(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:

“I have no deadline, no. In some ways, I think I think it’s better to wait until after the election with China. 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’ll see whether or not the deal’s going to be right; it’s got to be right.”


Trump's comments were made in London, where he was due to attend a meeting of NATO leaders, and sparked fears of a delay in resolving the tariff dispute.


Investors had been hoping that the U.S. and China could avert an escalation of their trade tensions. U.S. officials have previously said a deal could happen this year, depending on China.

(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:"I'm doing very well with a deal with China if I want to make it, if I want to make it. I don't think if it's they want to make it, it's if I want to make it."

The prolonged dispute between the world’s top two economies has roiled financial markets, dented global growth and disturbed factory floors. Data out Monday showed U.S. manufacturing activity contracted even more, causing Wall Street to pull back from record highs.

Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had planned to meet and sign a preliminary "phase one" trade deal at an Asia-Pacific leaders’ summit in Chile in mid-November, but the summit was canceled due to mass protests.


And Trump said on Monday that legislation backing protesters in Hong Kong hasn't made trade negotiations with China any easier.

Adding to investor concerns, Trump ambushed Brazil and Argentina, announcing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the two countries, and also surprised France with a threat to impose duties of up to 100% on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products.

Another round of tariffs on Chinese imports is set to go into effect on December 15th, a date U.S. officials had said could be a natural deadline for an agreement.


(SOUND BITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:

"I don't know if I want to make it but you'll going to find out pretty soon. We'll surprise everybody.''