A source close to Trump’s negotiating team told Axios that the China deal was now “stalled because of Hong Kong legislation” and that time is needed “to allow Xi’s domestic politics to calm.” The “Phase One” deal with China would probably happen “year-end at the earliest,” and Trump is expected to hold off on his planned December tariffs to keep the deal alive.
Two other Axios sources said several substantive obstacles remain, including how much of his tariffs Trump will roll back, what mechanisms will enforce the agreement, and how the Chinese will guarantee enormous purchases of US agriculture products that Trump has already said they will make.
There are also logistical complications. The Trump team has bandied around possible locations to sign the deal, but has struggled to find a mutually acceptable venue.
China’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that legislation signed by Trump on Wednesday backing protesters in Hong Kong was a serious interference in Chinese affairs.