US President Donald Trump has said he does not feel the need to strike a trade agreement with China before the next year's presidential elections, emphasizing that he is looking for a complete and not a "partial deal" with Beijing.
The world's two largest economies have been locked in a bruising trade war since Trump in March last year imposed tariff hikes of up to 25 per cent on USD 250 billion of Chinese goods.
In response, China, the world's second largest economy after the US, imposed tit-for-tat tariffs on USD 110 billion of American goods.
"No, I don't think I need it before the election," Trump told reporters on Friday at a joint news conference with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison when asked if he feels the need for a trade deal with China before the 2020 presidential elections.
Trump insisted that he was looking for a complete trade deal.
"We are looking for a complete deal. I am not looking for a partial deal," he said.
"China has been starting to buy our agricultural product. If you noticed over the last week and actually some very big purchases but that is not what I am looking for. We are looking for the big deal. We have taken it to this level," Trump said.
The trade dispute between the US and China widened in August, with each side imposing retaliatory tariffs on the other. But there have been signs of deescalation in recent days, and Trump has increasingly expressed optimism of reaching a deal with China. US and Chinese counterparts have resumed trade talks this month.
On September 19 and 20, deputy-level negotiators from the United States and China met here to continue discussions aimed at improving the trade relationship between the two countries, the United States Trade Representative said in a statement.
These discussions were productive, and the United States looks forward to welcoming a delegation from China for principal-level meetings in October, it said.
President Trump said the US was taking in billions and billions of dollars of tariffs from China as a result of his policies.