Trump says China trade deal can wait, triggering stock sell-off

U.S. President Donald Trump looks on as France's President Emmanuel Macron talks during a meeting ahead of the NATO summit in Watford in London Britain

Further noting that the tensions stirred up by the Hong Kong and Xinjiang bills are unlikely to impact the talks.

"I'm doing very well in a deal with China, if I want to make it", Trump said while asserting that "I don't think it's "if they want to make it", it's "if I want to make it".

The statement alerted investors, who had expected the United States and China to move to a phase-one deal that would have taken future tariffs from coming into existence. "I don't think it's up to if they want to make it, it's if I want to make it".

Negotiators have continued to work on the trade deal. But sources familiar with the talks say the two sides are still wrangling over the details, including whether existing USA tariffs on Chinese goods will be removed. That's despite the fact that Trump's strategy in trade talks has always been to downplay his desire for a deal and slow-walk a negotiating partner.

Both bills could add to the tension between the USA and China.

Ross said that the tariffs scheduled to take effect on December 15 will stay in place unless "enough substantive progress has been made" in trade talks.

"I have no deadline", Trump said.

She did not elaborate on what the measures might be.

Most markets were in the red across the region after Trump said overnight that he may delay making a deal with China until after the presidential election towards the end of 2020.

"If the USA follows through with the threat of tariffs on December 15, that is definitely a re-escalation, and China will retaliate", Lu said.

"While the trade mood music can change very quickly, events over the past 48 hours have forced a reassessment in terms of what to expect before the end of the year", said Rodrigo Catril at National Australia bank. It urges Trump to impose sanctions for the first time on a member of China's powerful Politburo, Xinjiang Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo.

The Chinese foreign ministry said that it would defend its "legitimate and lawful interests" in negotiations with the US.

Vice-Foreign Minister Qin Gang made "stern representations" to Mr William Klein, the US Embassy's minister counsellor for political affairs, and urged the US to stop interfering in China's domestic affairs.

The US Embassy in China, in an emailed statement, told Reuters it would not speculate on China's possible countermeasures. Sources close to the negotiations said President Trump's comments about possibly waiting until after the election should not be taken as a sign that talks are failing. A report from Chinese state media earlier had indicated the government would soon publish a list of "unreliable entities" if the Xinjiang bill passes that could lead to sanctions against USA companies.

But Washington has since courted Chinese anger by expressing support for Hong Kong protesters.