President Donald Trump said Friday he was not ready to strike a trade deal with China and indicated the next round of talks might not take place as scheduled in early September — raising new doubts about the future of the negotiations and stoking uncertainty on Wall Street.
“We’re not ready to make a deal, but we’ll see what happens,” he said. “We’ll see whether or not we keep our meeting in September.”
Speaking to reporters outside of the White House, Trump also said the administration would not grant licenses for U.S. companies to resume certain types of transactions with blacklisted Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.
Trump has directly connected the administration’s treatment of the company to the broader trade talks. According to the website Politico, industry sources said that the US easing up on Huawei would likely only happen if China agreed to resume purchases of US agricultural goods.
“We’re not doing business with Huawei,” Trump said. “That doesn’t mean we won’t agree to something if and when we make a trade deal, but we’re not going to be doing business with Huawei.”
Trump raised the stakes in his trade battle with Beijing last week when he said he would slap a 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports on September 1.
He escalated tensions further on Monday when he directed his Treasury Department to formally label China a currency manipulator, a rare designation the US has not assigned to China since the early 1990s.
That move was made after China let its currency weaken beyond the psychologically important threshold of 7 yuan to the dollar.