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Kyle Bass: China trade pact short of real reform would be 'dumbest deal Trump has ever done'

Key Points
  • The Trump administration needs to ensure a potential trade deal with China includes intellectual property protections, says hedge fund manager Kyle Bass.
  • Trump's focus shouldn't be on whether or not soybeans are purchased, says the longtime China critic.
  • "Any president of the United States can get the Chinese to buy food from the U.S.," says Bass.
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Kyle Bass: China deal without IP reform would be 'dumbest deal Trump has ever done'

Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, a longtime China critic, told CNBC on Monday that President Donald Trump needs to avoid striking a deal with Beijing solely for agricultural purchases.

"If all we're going to do is get them to buy some soybeans and let them continue to rape and pillage us by stealing [intellectual property] from us every year, then that will be the dumbest deal Trump's ever done in his life," said Bass. "I know he's done some humdingers," claimed the founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management.

The White House was not immediately available for comment on Bass' remarks.

The U.S. and China have been engaged in an escalating trade war for more than a year, with each side upping retaliatory tariffs over the summer. The largest hike in duties took place earlier this month before Washington and Beijing agreed to meet for another round of high-level talks starting Oct. 10.

Some agricultural relief came earlier this month, when privately run Chinese firms bought more than 600,000 metric tons of soybeans, a key move after China suspended all U.S. farm product purchases.

Bass, who has been skeptical a deal with China will ever be reached, said Trump's focus shouldn't be on whether or not soybeans are purchased.

"Any president of the United States can get the Chinese to buy food from the U.S.," Bass said on "Squawk on the Street." The real issue, he said, comes as China has repeatedly been accused of IP theft, though Beijing has denied those claims.

"All of these things China is doing are very, very bad for U.S. national security," Bass argued.

Vice President Mike Pence voiced similar IP concerns earlier in September at the Delivering Alpha conference presented by CNBC and Institutional Investor. Pence told CNBC's Joe Kernen that the U.S. loses almost a half-billion dollars in intellectual property theft every year — in addition to the "$500 billion trade deficits" with China.

"For too long one administration after another, Republican and Democrat administrations, were willing to accept extraordinary disadvantages to American workers and American jobs in the name of trade with China," Pence added.

VIDEO6:1606:16
Kyle Bass: Chinese should adhere to US law to raise money here
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Key Points
  • Hedge fund manager and Hayman Capital Management founder Kyle Bass said the U.S. needs to crack down on the "insane" nature of U.S.-China business standards.
  • "Imagine what kind of fraud is behind these companies," Bass said Monday.
  • About $2 trillion worth of Chinese entities are listed in the U.S., and about $1 trillion of American capital is estimated to be moving into China by 2021.