Share prices slip as U.S.-China trade deal delayed

A meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign a long-awaited interim trade deal could be delayed until December as discussions continue over terms and venue, a senior official of the Trump administration reportedly told Reuters on Wednesday. 

The news caused U.S. share prices to slip slightly after a relatively flat period.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that it was still possible the “phase one” agreement aimed at ending a damaging trade war would not be reached, but a deal was more likely than not. 

Dozens of venues have been suggested for the meeting, which had originally been scheduled to take place on the sidelines of a now-canceled mid-November summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Chile, the official said. 

They included sites in Europe and Asia, but the former was more likely, with Sweden and Switzerland among the possibilities. Iowa, which Trump has suggested, appeared to have been ruled out, the official said. 

China’s latest push for more tariff rollbacks would be discussed, but was not expected to derail progress toward an interim deal. 

The official said China was believed to see a quick deal as its best chance for favorable terms, given pressure Trump is facing from a congressional impeachment inquiry as he seeks re-election in 2020. 

China’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the U.S. official’s remarks. 

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