Technology executives appear to back the U.S. trade war with China, with CNBC reporting some tech executives have expressed support for the fight with CNBC’s Jim Cramer.
According to the CNBC report, the “Mad Money” host said Monday (January 14) that when he was in San Francisco last week a “surprising number of people in the tech industry” said they were willing to deal with short term pain if it resulted in a better trade relationship with China over the long run. “What they said was ‘If we’re going to take on China, now’s the time to do it,’” Cramer was quoted as saying. “They may not be fans of President Trump, but they’re on board with the trade war.” CNBC noted that the tech executives may be emboldened because recent government data showed China’s overall exports in December declined by 4.4 percent and imports dropped 7.6 percent. The data also revealed the biggest trade surplus with the U.S. in longer than ten years, noted CNBC.
“I think it’s because the Chinese economy has never been more vulnerable than it is right now, and our economy has rarely been this strong,” Cramer said on the show. “If we’re ever going to do anything about China, this is the perfect time. If we’re ever going to stop them from forcing our companies into dubious joint ventures that represent ridiculous technology transfers and often outright theft, this is the moment.” Cramer went on to note that among Silicon Valley executives, while no one wants a recession due to the trade war, they think China will have to cave. Cramer pointed to the fact that China exports more than $500 billion worth of goods to the U.S. but only imports $200 billion, which means China has more to lose from a prolonged trade war than the U.S.
“The reality of the situation may be that China is teetering here, something that keeps coming up in behind-the-scenes discussions with anyone who examines the People’s Republic from a financial angle,” Cramer said. “The trade war is not about soybeans, people; it’s about balance sheets. And, believe it or not, our balance sheet is much, much, much, much better than theirs.”