Trump says he doesn’t need China trade deal before election

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WASHINGTON (AP) – As China and the U.S. near a new round of trade talks, President Donald Trump said Friday he doesn’t feel he needs to secure an agreement before next year’s election.

Trump told reporters he wants a complete deal with China and won’t accept one that only addresses some of the differences between the two nations.

“I’m not looking for a partial deal, I’m looking for a complete deal,” Trump said during a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Trump says voters understand the “spat” between the U.S. and China and insist the ongoing trade war won’t hamper his reelection chances, but he conceded that reaching an agreement “would probably be a positive” for his campaign.

Trump continued to try to paint a dark picture of the Chinese economy ahead of talks that resume next month in Washington.

“China is being affected very badly. We’re not,” Trump insisted.

It’s true that China’s economy is decelerating, slowed by Trump’s taxes on Chinese imports and by Beijing’s deliberate campaign to combat runaway debts. Still, the International Monetary Fund expects the Chinese economy to grow 6.2% this year.

Morrison said Australia has benefited greatly from China’s economic growth. At the same time, he said once China’s economy got to a certain level, “then you need to be obviously playing to the same rules as those other developed nations.”

Trump also emphasized the importance of passing a new trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. He said “we need that for our country.”

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Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison arrive for a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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