Tags: China | Trump Administration | david rubenstein | trump | china | election

David Rubenstein: Trump Needs Any China Deal to Avoid Losing 2020

(Evan Vucci/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 22 August 2019 05:32 PM

Private-equity billionaire David Rubenstein predicts that President Donald Trump needs to reach some sort of trade agreement with China if he doesn’t want to end up a one-term executive-in-chief.

“Some agreement is better than no agreement,” Rubenstein recently told CNBC.

Trump rattled the stock and bond markets this month when he announced plans to put a 10% tax on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, the Associated Press reported. The market reaction suggested a recession might be on the horizon and led Trump to delay some of the tariffs that were scheduled to begin in September, though many others remain.

“Give the markets some certainty, even if it’s not comprehensive. I think the markets would respond well to it,” said the co-founder of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm based in Washington, with $223 billion of assets under management.

“If the China trade agreement is not resolved in some form before the election, I suspect it will not be good for those running for re-election,” Rubenstein said.

“We don’t have to have the most comprehensive China trade agreement of all time in order to have an agreement with China,” said Rubenstein, a political independent who says he doesn’t give money to either party. “Right now there’s uncertainty about China. Give the markets some certainty, even if it’s not comprehensive. I think the markets would respond well to it, and I think the Chinese want to make a deal.”

Amid regular distractions from the president's social media feed, Trump's team has worked to highlight rising retail sales and the solid labor market with its 3.7% unemployment rate as sources of strength.

The U.S. economy appears to be showing vulnerabilities after more than 10 years of growth, however. Factory output has fallen and consumer confidence has waned as Trump has ramped up his trade fight with China.

Meanwhile, about 6 in 10 Americans disapprove of Trump's overall job performance, according to a new poll released Thursday by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, which finds some support for the president's handling of the U.S. economy but gives him weak marks on other major issues.

Just 36% of Americans approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president; 62% disapprove.

The numbers may be ugly for a first-term president facing re-election in 14 months, but they are remarkably consistent. Trump's approval rating has never dipped below 32% or risen above 42% in AP-NORC polls since he took office. By comparison, President Barack Obama's approval never dropped below 40% in polling by Gallup.

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Private equity billionaire David Rubenstein predicts that President Donald Trump needs to reach some sort of trade agreement with China if he doesn’t want to end up a one-term executive-in-chief.
david rubenstein, trump, china, election
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2019-32-22
Thursday, 22 August 2019 05:32 PM
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