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Trump is doing an 'outstanding job' on international relations, says former McDonald's CEO

  • Trump is overall doing "pretty well" since he took office early this year, but when it comes to international relations and strategy, he's doing an "outstanding job," Ed Rensi said.
  • "He's telling the international community very clearly: 'Don't mess with us. We want fair trade,'" he said.
  • Don Peebles also gave Trump high marks when it comes to international relations.

President Donald Trump is overall doing "pretty well" since he took office early this year, but when it comes to international relations and strategy, he's doing an "outstanding job," former McDonald's CEO Ed Rensi told CNBC on Wednesday.

Trump is currently overseas on his first trip to Asia, arriving in China on Wednesday.

"He's telling the international community very clearly: 'Don't mess with us. We want fair trade. … We want balance. We want thoughtful trade,'" Rensi said in an interview with "Closing Bell."

"He's a dealmaker. He's re-established the strength of the U.S. military," he added.

President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania visit the Forbidden City with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania visit the Forbidden City with China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China, November 8, 2017.

Don Peebles, CEO and chairman of The Peebles Corporation, also gave Trump high marks when it comes to international relations.

"He's sending a message that we're not going to tolerate any aggression, for example, and also that we want a fair trade system," he told "Closing Bell."

"That's, I think, what's destroyed our manufacturing industry here in this country … these unfair trade agreements," he added.

Wednesday marked the first anniversary of Trump's election, although he's only been in the White House for 10 months.

Rensi called Trump's first five months a "disaster" as the new president tried to get his staff in place. However, he praised Trump as a strategist who is not playing "silly" political games.

"He's learning the job, and the thing I love about him the most is he's not a politician," he said.

Peebles, on the other hand, gave Trump a "C" for his management style.

"I would give him a higher grade if he would lead by example and if he would sometimes roll his sleeves up and force some action, and I think he's going to have to do that to get tax reform passed," he explained.

Rensi said it's lawmakers who must make tax reform happen.

"They need to start doing the right thing instead of worrying about getting re-elected. You can't satisfy everybody. There's going to be pain in that tax bill for a lot of people, and there's going to be benefit for more people," he said. "It's going to create jobs. That's what we've got to focus on."