FILE PHOTO: Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam listen to U.S. President Donald Trump address the Republican Jewish Coalition 2019 Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., April 6, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top Republican donor warned President Donald Trump in a phone call last month that his escalating trade war with China could hurt his re-election prospects, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the call.
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson discussed with Trump the broader implications of the U.S.-China trade war rather than the impact on Adelson’s business interests, one of the people familiar with the call said, according to the newspaper report.
Adelson, a major donor for Republican election campaigns, is the founder and chief executive officer of Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS.N), a casino company that does business in the Chinese territory of Macao.
The White House did not have an immediate comment on the report. A representative of Las Vegas Sands Corp did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
U.S.-China trade tensions have led to tariffs on much of the commerce between the world’s two biggest economies, hitting U.S. factories and farms.
While the U.S. economy has looked otherwise strong in recent months, a downturn might weigh on Trump’s hopes of winning the November 2020 election.
Washington and Beijing are in talks to restructure their trade relations, although a deal has appeared elusive. On Friday, Chinese officials unexpectedly canceled a visit to farms in Montana and Nebraska as deputy trade negotiators wrapped up two days of negotiations in Washington.
Reporting by Jason Lange in Washington; Editing by Peter Cooney