Pompeo spoke in front of a crowd of about 40 people that included economics writer Stephen Moore, Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, Gristedes supermarket founder John Catsimatidis and former New York GOP chairman Ed Cox, at a private lunch in New York on Tuesday, according to people who attended the gathering.
The meeting was organized by the “Committee to Unleash Prosperity,” whose founders include Moore, former Reagan administration economist Art Laffer and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes. Catsimatidis is a member of the group.
Moore said Pompeo, speaking at the lunch, sounded somewhat bullish on the prospects of Trump reaching an agreement with the Chinese government.
“He still thinks that we can get a deal before the election. I think we would all agree that it would be better for the country,” Moore told CNBC in an interview.
Moore also noted that Pompeo still seemed hawkish on a China deal in the short term and pointed out that there continue to be hurdles to an immediate agreement.
“It’s been a tough slog to get China to agree to things. The hardliners are in command right now,” Moore said, reflecting on Pompeo’s remarks.
Catsmatidis also took away that Pompeo senses that China and the US will come to an agreement over the next year, he told CNBC.
“He talked about China. He thinks it will probably get done and they are not going to wait until 2020,” said the supermarket magnate.
Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump said that he planned to move forward with new 10 percent tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods imported into the United States, effectively placing a tax on all Chinese exports to the US, starting another round of trade tariffs.