President Trump has indicated that he thinks it is better to wait for a trade deal with China until after the U.S. presidential elections next year. 

“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right," Trump told reporters Tuesday. 

The President's comments can dampen Christmas cheer for investors, as an additional 15% tariffs on Chinese consumer goods exports are set to be imposed on Dec. 15.

Stock market reacted negatively to the news – Dow futures lost 100 points after Trump's comments were reported. The outlook for the markets remains negative.

The two countries have been negotiating to arrive at a "Phase One" trade deal but it has remained elusive so far. 

One key stumbling block to reaching a deal is China's intellectual property laws, while China wants a rollback in tariffs that President Trump has imposed on Chinese manufactured goods. Recent reports have said that the U.S. would likely not roll back tariffs for a "Phase One" agreement which fails to address core intellectual property and digital issues. 

Trump further added, "I have no deadline, no ... In some ways, I think it is better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth.”

Trump and First Lady Melania Trump are in London to attend the start of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s leaders’ meeting.

The President's comments seem to indicate that the U.S.-China trade war, which started with both countries imposing tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s goods in 2018, is set to continue, at least until the 2020 presidential elections. The back and forth between the two countries on tariffs has adversely affected global financial markets and consumer sentiment.Trump counts himself as the only variable when it comes to making a deal with China. He has stated in the past that he can make a deal with the “flick of a pen.”

While most tech companies rely on Chinese manufacturing, China also buys U.S. farm products. With China imposing tariffs on U.S. farmers, Trump doled out a $28 billion stimulus, which will be made available to the farming sector over a two-year period.

The Trump administration’s stance on China’s human rights violations in Hong Kong is also expected to have affected a possible trade deal.

The 45th U.S. President has signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law, which upholds Hong Kong’s autonomy from Mainland China. The law allows for diplomatic actions and even sanctions against the Chinese government.

US President Donald Trump is giving muted support to Hong Kong protesters as talks on US-China trade go down to the wire US President Donald Trump is giving muted support to Hong Kong protesters as talks on US-China trade go down to the wire Photo: AFP / JIM WATSON