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Trump says China deal could wait until after election

In this Sept. 16, 2018, photo, American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags on top of a trishaw in Beijing. A congressional advisory panel says the purchase of internet-linked devices manufactured in China leaves the United States vulnerable to security breaches that could put critical U.S. infrastructure at risk. The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission issued the warning Wednesday in a report focused on the increasing use of the internet in household appliances. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

LONDON β€” President Donald Trump appeared to downplay the chances for a deal to end the U.S.-China trade war before the end of the year.

Speaking in London he is attending a NATO summit, Trump said Tuesday that the only limiting factor to reaching an agreement with China is whether he wants to make a deal.

Asked about his previous goal of reaching an agreement by years’ end, Trump told reporters, ”I have no deadline, no.”

β€œIn some ways I like the idea of waiting until after the election,” Trump added. He has previously suggested that China wanted to wait until after the election to negotiate a deal.

Tensions between the two nations flared anew last week after Trump signed legislation expressing U.S. support for pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong.

The U.S.-China trade talks face a Dec. 15 deadline for new U.S. tariffs to kick in on many Chinese-made items, including smartphones and laptops.

Pressure is building on both sides to complete what Trump has called a limited “phase one” deal before the deadline, though Trump could end up postponing the tariffs, as he did in October, to allow more time for negotiations.

Zeke Miller, The Associated Press