Donald Trump’s trade deal is looking increasingly unlikely, with a new round of tariffs just days away.
President Trump told reporters in London that there was “no deadline” on a trade deal with China, sending markets reeling.
A new round of tariffs will kick in on 15 December. In light of President Trump’s comments, it’s unlikely that the proposed “phase one” trade deal will be signed before then.
President Trump praised the impacts of the trade war in a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“We’ve built something in the last three years that’s been incredible,” Mr Trump said.
“We’re up $21 trillion dollars and China’s down about $32 trillion dollars. And for years I’ve been hearing that it was 2019, and in 2019 China was going to become the largest economy. Well that didn’t happen. We’re much larger than China now.”
The comments came shortly after President Trump opened two new fronts in the trade war by imposing tariffs on Brazil and Argentina.
“Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies.,” President Trump tweeted.
“Which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the tariffs on all steel and aluminium that is shipped into the US from those countries.”
The fact that neither Brazil nor Argentina appears to have actually intentionally devalued their currencies does not appear to have stopped Trump from posting the market-upending tweet.
While Australia has so far been exempt from tariffs – due in no small part to the efforts of Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull – that could all change with a single tweet.