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Schwarzman Says Trade Deal Shows Huge Change in U.S.-China Ties

Heather Perlberg and Jason Kelly

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Steve Schwarzman, chief executive officer of Blackstone Group Inc., said the U.S.-China trade agreement shows positive change from the world’s economic superpowers.

“What has been achieved is very, very significant,” Schwarzman said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Washington on Wednesday. “The two countries want to work together. This is a huge change. Tariffs are starting to be reversed.”

The Blackstone co-founder has strong ties to China, started a school in the country and travels there frequently, at times functioning as an intermediary between the Washington and Beijing governments. The 72-year-old billionaire visited China eight times on behalf of the Trump administration in 2018. New York-based Blackstone, with about $554 billion of assets, is the world’s largest alternative investment manager.

The U.S. and China signed what they’re billing as the first phase of a broader trade pact earlier in the day. The deal commits China to do more to crack down on the theft of American technology and corporate secrets by companies and state entities, while outlining a $200 billion spending spree to try to close its trade imbalance with the U.S. It also binds Beijing to avoiding currency manipulation to gain an advantage and includes an enforcement system to ensure promises are kept.

“It provides a baseline of a better world economy,” Schwarzman said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Heather Perlberg in Washington at hperlberg@bloomberg.net;Jason Kelly in New York at jkelly14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at smamudi@bloomberg.net, Josh Friedman

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