In London for the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Trump said he had "no deadline" to conclude trade talks with China.
"In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal".
He also urged United States and Chinese companies keen to expand trade between the two countries to stand up against what he called efforts to "spread hostility and even create conflict between us", as well as "fake news" about the situations in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, China's troubled western region that is home to a large Uighur Muslim minority.
Beijing recently vowed to react strongly to Trump's signing of two human rights bills backing the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement a week earlier.
Watch above, via CNBC.
On Monday, the Chinese regime said they would suspend U.S. Navy visits to the port of Hong Kong.
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Washington is due to raise tariffs on an additional $160 billion of Chinese imports on December 15, including smartphones and toys.
Mexico experienced a similar turn of events in the summer when Trump, shortly after agreeing to a new free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, threatened to reimpose tariffs on Mexico if it didn't take swift action to curb illegal immigration into the US.
On a telephone call last week, China's lead trade negotiator Vice Premier Liu He discussed "core issues of concern" with U.S. Trade representative Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But he warned of forces he said were trying to drive a wedge between the two, without providing any details.
If both sides can not reach an agreement soon, the next important date to watch is December 15, when Washington is scheduled to impose even more tariffs on Chinese goods. The US announced that it would re-install tariff hikes on steel imports from Argentina and Brazil, even though Brazil has been living up to its end of a steel deal struck with the US a year ago.
Economists say a final settlement is unlikely this year.
"With just a week to go until the general election it seems that the financial markets are placing their bets on a Conservative majority with the pound extending its push higher", said XTB analyst David Cheetham. Now, analysts fear the White House position is hardening once again, insisting that China meet all of its major demands before the US will agree to even a limited deal.
The trade negotiations with China, the president declared, are at a "critical stage". Beijing said last month that the U.S. side agreed to withdraw some duties, but Trump refused. On Tuesday, he proposed tariffs on $2.4 billion in French products in retaliation for a tax on global tech giants, including Google, Amazon and Facebook.