President Donald Trump has no urgent need to reach a trade deal and is happy to continue with the tariffs against China, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday.
Many stories in the U.S. and international media have speculated, without evidence, that Trump could feel pressure to announce a “win” by striking a deal with China before the 2020 election or to distract from the impeachment proceedings.
Many Trump adminstration officials are aware that an unsatisfactory deal would be seen as a sign of weakness by his political opponents and used to attack his trade agenda as misguided.
Many investors and market-watchers had been expecting that the tariffs scheduled to be applied on December 15 would be delayed as part of the phase one deal.
That seems unlikely, given that no high level talks are scheduled.