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Rubenstein, the co-founder of the Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms, told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto that he met with President Xi in China recently and believes there will be an announcement in the “not too distant future.”
“I think [I] had a sense out of that, that there's something that's going to get done -- it won't solve all of our problems. It'll be a phase one, and when phase two will come -- we don't know,” he said. “But I'd be very surprised if the president wants to go into reelection with this overhanging him.”
Meanwhile, President Trump on Tuesday told reporters in London that a trade deal may have to wait until after the 2020 election.
“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we’ll see whether the deal’s gonna be right -- it’s gotta be right,” Trump said during the NATO summit.
The U.S. is set to impose tariffs on about $156 billion worth of Chinese goods on Dec. 15.
During the meeting Xi fielded questions from a number of U.S. officials, including former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Rubenstein said. Xi gave the view that he wants a balanced, fair trade agreement with the U.S.
“He made it clear he doesn't want to be pushed around,” said Rubenstein. “But I think he made it clear that he thinks that a good trade agreement now would be a good thing for both countries.”