Washington: A trade agreement between the US and China is likely to happen either before or immediately after the American elections, President Donald Trump has said, exuding confidence that the treaty signed after the presidential polls in 2020 would be the "greatest deal" ever.
The US and China have been locked in an escalating trade war since early 2018, raising import tariffs on each other's goods.
US President Trump first imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods, prompting China to slap tit-for-tat tariffs on USD 110 billion of US goods.
"I think there'll be a deal may be soon, may be before the election, or one day after the election. And if it's after the election, it'll be a deal like you've never seen, it'll be the greatest deal ever, and China knows that. They think I'm going to win," Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Tuesday.
Trump said China thinks he was going to win the presidential election in 2020 and are concerned about it.
"They are concerned because I told them, if it's after the election, it's going to be far worse than what it is right now. I told them that. Would they like to see somebody else win? Absolutely," said the US President.
"It'll be the greatest deal ever made and China knows that," he asserted.
The two countries have been negotiating a trade deal since last November, but without any success so far.
"If it's after the election, it'll be the toughest deal anybody's ever had to make from the standpoint of China, and they know that. China knows that. China would love to have Sleepy Joe and Elizabeth 'Pocahontas' Warren," Trump said.
Trump has threatened punitive measures against Chinese goods if Beijing does not cut down the trade deficit by USD 200 billion by 2020.
The US says it had USD 375 billion trade deficit in USD 636 billion total trade last year. China, however, says the trade deficit is around USD 200 billion.
The trade spat between the top two economies of the world began with Trump imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports into US.
China retaliated by imposing additional tariffs worth about USD three billion on 128 US products. Trump, while demanding China to reduce the USD 375 billion by USD 100 billion, retaliated with USD 50 billion tariffs on Chinese products.
In retaliation, China announced plans to impose new tariffs of 25 per cent worth USD 50 billion on 106 American products including items like soybeans which could hurt American farmers. The two countries have not yet implemented their tariff increase.