Steve Schwarzman Says China Compliance Could Be ‘Dealbreaker’ in Trade

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The U.S. government is “very focused” on ensuring China’s compliance in any trade agreement and failure to address how to enforce it could cause talks to break down, Blackstone Group LP Chief Executive Officer Steve Schwarzman said.

“One of the things that I think could potentially be a dealbreaker is compliance,” Schwarzman said in an interview on Bloomberg Television at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

The billionaire financier is friendly with both President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping and functions as something of an intermediary between the U.S. and Chinese governments. He described the trade negotiations as “going pretty well” when gauged against the history of U.S.-China relations.

To satisfy U.S. concerns, Schwarzman proposed that China set up a compliance bureau in the office of the country’s vice premier. He said it’s “important” that American companies have a place to register grievances over trade with the China and be certain they’ll be resolved within a certain time frame.

“That enforcement mechanism becomes key, and that’s not something that the Chinese are used to,” Schwarzman said.

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