President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to expand his trade war to what he called delinquent members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, as he said a trade dispute with China could extend past next year’s election.
In London for a NATO leaders’ meeting, Trump said members of the 29-member military alliance not investing enough will be “dealt with.”
“Maybe I’ll deal with them from a trade standpoint,” Trump said. “We don’t want to have people delinquent.”
Trump was speaking alongside French President Emmanuel Macron. Monday, the Trump administration proposed tariffs of up to 100% on $2.4 billion of French imports, in retaliation for France’s digital tax aimed at companies including Google
Trump called the tax issue minor and said “I think we’ll probably be able to work it out.”
In comments that sent U.S. stock indexes reeling, Trump said he had no China trade-deal deadline and that, “in some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth. But I’m not going to say that, I just think that.”
As MarketWatch reports, U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods are set to increase on Dec. 15 if no action is taken by the White House to delay or remove them.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
was off more than 420 points by late morning. The S&P 500
index fell 37 points and the Nasdaq
dropped about 106 points in the wake of Trump’s trade comments.