Goldman's Blankfein is only major financial firm CEO to join Trump on China trip

Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein speaks at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, U.S., September 20, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein will visit China as part of a business delegation in November at the same time as U.S. President Donald Trump, a Goldman spokesman confirmed.

Blankfein will be the only executive of a major financial company traveling as part of the trade mission which is being led by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, according to a preliminary list.

Executives from major industrial companies including General Electric Co GE.N, Honeywell International Inc HON.N and Boeing Co BA.N are on the list, as well as a large number of leaders from energy and commodities firms.

Blankfein has publicly used Twitter to speak out against Trump. In January, he became the first major Wall Street leader to speak out against Trump’s order to halt arrivals from several Muslim-majority countries.

He also criticized the White House’s decision in September to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program that protects young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.

China is an important region for Goldman, which ranked as the top M&A dealmaker in Asia-Pacific excluding Japan in the first nine months of the year, according to Thomson Reuters data. While Wall Street firms like Goldman have to partner with a Chinese joint venture firm to run their investment banking businesses on the mainland, U.S. banks have for years been trying to operate these businesses on their own.

Following a trip to Beijing earlier this year, Blankfein said there was a “a lot of confidence in China” and it was “almost an island of stability.”

Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum