Trump says China could wait until U.S. election for trade deal

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would not be surprised if China held out until after the U.S. election in 2020 to secure a trade deal in the hope they could negotiate with a different U.S. president.

“I don’t think personally China would sign a deal if I had a 2% chance of losing the election,” Trump told reporters at the White House just days before top U.S. officials head to Shanghai for another round of negotiations.

“I think China would probably say: ‘Let’s wait. Let’s wait. Maybe Trump will lose and we can deal with another dope, or another stiff.’”

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Susan Thomas