Trump White House may spark recession: Meg Whitman

Meg Whitman: Trump is a dishonest demagogue
Meg Whitman: Trump is a dishonest demagogue   

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman said Friday that Donald Trump's policies could send the U.S. economy spiraling into recession and would increase the national debt and deficit.

"His ... plan to put on a 35 percent tariff for goods imported into the United States from Mexico and China would sink this country into a recession," she told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." "It would penalize global companies who are trying to be competitive globally."

Those tariffs would also hurt U.S.-based workers of American multinational companies and make foreign products more expensive for consumers and businesses, she said.

"I think he doesn't fully grasp the law of unintended consequences of what seems like a silver bullet, a quick fix. There are no silver bullets and quick fixes to our problems in the United States," said Whitman, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for California governor in 2010.

The country needs a thoughtful, experienced leader with the temperament to unite the American people, and Trump is not that person, she said.

Trump's refusal to reform entitlements programs would increase the country's debt and deficit, she added.

Whitman served as national finance co-chair for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's failed bid for the Republican nomination. After Christie endorsed Trump, she called the move "an astonishing display of political opportunism" and bashed Trump as a "dishonest demagogue who plays to our worst fears."

Earlier this week, Whitman joined with Republican business leaders, including hedge fund manager Paul Singer and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, to raise funds for a political action committee that would seek to derail Trump's bid for the White House.

HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman blasts Christie's Trump endorsement
HP Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman blasts Christie's Trump endorsement   

Asked whether Hewlett Packard Enterprise could be seen as not rewarding U.S. workers following tens of thousands of layoffs, Whitman said the United States needs to create companies that are competitive globally.

In September, Hewlett-Packard announced it would cut 25,000 to 30,000 positions as part of its restructuring, which has since seen the company split into two separate firms, one focused on enterprise services and one dedicated to its legacy hardware business.

At the time, the company said it expected the share of its workers employed overseas in low-cost locations to grow to 60 percent by 2018 from 42 percent.

The layoffs came on top of 55,000 cuts announced in recent years and further reduced Hewlett-Packard's 300,000-person workforce by about 10 percent.