CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday said it is a “huge mistake” for President Donald Trump to wage a trade dispute with Mexico in an effort to curb immigration at the border.
“It is a mistake to use commerce as a weapon against a government that’s been happy to cooperate with us on trade,” the “Mad Money” host said.
Cramer has generally been in favor of the prolonged trade war with China to address “predatory practices” the country has used, but Mexico “is the best trading partner we could ask for.”
According to Cramer, corporate executives think Trump’s Mexican tariff threat could be a stunt. But “hope” should not be a part of the equation, the host said. Many companies have seen their stocks collapse while waiting for the U.S. and China to strike a deal, he added.
“You have to presume the president will actually go through with these tariffs,” Cramer said. “You don’t want to get caught with your pants down when he does exactly what he told you he’d do.”
Trump announced the 5% tariffs on all imports from Mexico in a tweet Thursday. The taxes are slated to take effect on June 10. In a series of hikes, the rate could rise to 25% later this year if the country does not move to stop the flow of asylum seekers crossing the southern border.
“Right now, Trump’s trying to get his revised version of NAFTA through Congress. Slapping a bunch of tariffs on Mexico out of nowhere — left field — doesn’t help,” Cramer said. “A fit-of-pique tweet is unbecoming of our great country. We are all losers this time.”
Watch out for that tariff
President Donald Trump tours the area around the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Calexico, California, U.S., April 5, 2019.
Kevin Lemarque | Reuters
Cramer drew a line in the sand on President Donald Trump’s attempt to negotiate trade via Twitter.
After supporting a hard-line trade stance against China, Cramer denounced the surprise 5% tariffs that Trump has threatened to slap on all imports from Mexico starting next month. The threat sent the three major U.S. indexes down between more than 1% each Friday.
“When Trump goes after the Mexican government, which has already made a bunch of concessions in the NAFTA renegotiations, it makes investors nervous [and] makes them want to sell,” the host said. “It feels like there’s no plan, like anything could happen, and that’s a bad feeling because the markets hate uncertainty.”
America imported more than $346 billion of merchandise from its southern neighbor in 2018, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. Mexico is the country’s second largest trade partner, and the duties on imports could reportedly cost U.S. consumers at least $18.6 billion.
The Trump administration said the tariffs would put pressure on the Mexican government to impede the flow of undocumented asylum seekers crossing the border. Trump said he has planned a series of tax hikes over the next several months if the matter is not addressed to his satisfaction.
“If you want a strong economy and higher stock prices … the last thing you need is a president who bursts through Twitter shouting: ‘Who’s next for punishment?’ … You can’t conduct negotiations out of left field, via tweet,” Cramer said. “In an era where all that matters is who’s next for punishment … we need to be very cautious, unless we get some sort of game-changing data that shifts the whole narrative.”
Click here to read up on what Cramer is watching in the week ahead
A close eye on tariffs
Anjali Sundaram | CNBC
Investors searching for a needle-in-a-haystack stock that has limited exposure to tariffs might come across Okta.
CEO Todd McKinnon told Carmer in a one-on-one interview Friday that the global cloud software company does not have as much exposure to China’s economy as most other entities. But the firm is monitoring trade tensions, he said.
“In an indirect way, we’re helping companies of every organization across the entire world be successful with their businesses as well,” he said in the interview. “Indirectly we benefit from that, so we have a close eye on that as well.”
Read more here
Jay Chaudhry, CEO of Zscaler
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Some of the most recognizable names on the stock market, like General Electric and United Airlines, are relying on Zscaler to protect its systems from phishing attacks. The attacks are done via social engineering attacks to steal user data, such as login credentials.
Zscaler, the cloud-based information security company, acts as a check point almost like TSA an international airport, CEO Jay Chaudhry told Cramer.
“We’re inspecting everything that goes in and out of your device to make sure we are blocking the bad we are protecting the good to have people do good business,” he said.
The company blocks as much as 100 million threats a day, he confirmed.
Catch the full interview here
Training the ‘new collar’ workforce
Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM, speaking at the Business Roundtable CEO Innovation Summit in Washington, DC on Dec. 6th, 2018.
Janhvi Bhojwani | CNBC
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said that corporations owe it to society and their shareholders to help prepare people for AI-driven changes to the workforce.
In a world where it is expected that artificial intelligence will impact every existing job, she said business leaders have an important social, corporate and economic responsibility to help high school students develop skills for what she called “new collar” jobs at the intersection of business and technology. Think cloud and cyber careers, she said.
“[There’s] a different paradigm that I think is going to be needed to make this an inclusive era. It is one of the things I worry the most,” Rometty said in a sit down with Carmer. “We build these technologies so I think we have a responsibility … to prepare society for these technologies.”
Get more here
Cramer’s lightning round: Aramark is in the ‘penalty box’
In Cramer’s lightning round, the “Mad Money” host zips through his thoughts about callers’ stock picks of the day.
Aramark Holdings: “Did not like that last quarter. They’re in the penalty box. We’re gonna skip that one.”
California Resources: “Stay away. It’s a fossil fuel company that we don’t like. We’re recommending very few of those.”
Medifast: Sell it. “No. Planet Fitness, my friends. “
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