In a statement Tuesday that appeared to be "moving the goalposts," so to speak, President Donald Trump said he wasn't beholden to a previous plan to try and create a "phase one" deal with China when it comes to trade.

"I have no deadline, no," Trump told reporters in London, ahead of a NATO summit set to take place there, according to the Associated Press.

The president added that he didn't have a definite timeline in mind whatsoever at this point, even though on December 15, a new round of tariffs imposed on Chinese-made goods is set to start. The trade war between Washington and China could even last another year, he quipped.

"In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election," Trump said.

Stock markets in the UK appeared to react to Trump's comments in a negative way. In London, the FTSE 100 dropped by 124 points (1.7 percent) as of press time. U.S. futures also appear to be going down, and it's likely that the New York Stock Exchange will see a lower opening than where things ended on Monday afternoon.

The trade wars with China began in early 2018, after the Trump administration imposed tariffs on Beijing due to what the president described as unfair trade policies that came at the detriment to U.S. interests. At the time, Trump suggested that the trade war was a good thing, saying it would be "easy to win" in a tweet from March of that year.

In spite of assurances that China would be paying billions to the U.S. government, studies have found that it's actually the American consumer who is paying the brunt of the costs, per prior reporting from HillReporter.com.

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