US Markets

Protectionism a lose-lose situation — Trump needs to reiterate pro-growth, strategist says

Sonders: Markets may be due to pause-to-refresh

President Donald Trump's administration should get back to its pro-growth message, which has been pushed aside by his protectionism talk, Charles Schwab's chief strategist, Liz Ann Sonders, told CNBC on Tuesday.

Protectionism is seen as the No. 1 threat to the U.S. economic expansion, according to the January CNBC Fed Survey.

"Protectionism doesn't tend to result in a win-win situation," Sonders said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

"It ends up being a lose-lose situation, especially if we head down the path toward trade wars."

Instead, she'd like to see a "little bit of a reset," with the administration reiterating the importance of the fiscal stimulus on the tax and regulatory side.

U.S. stocks slipped on Tuesday as investors continued to evaluate the latest policies coming out of the White House, as well as earnings.

On Monday, equities suffered their worst day of the year after Trump signed an executive order that would temporarily bar entry into the U.S. to Iraqi, Syrian, Iranian, Sudanese, Libyan, Somali and Yemeni citizens. The order seeks "extreme vetting" procedures for those it did allow to enter the country.

Sandra Navidi, CEO and founder of BeyondGlobal, agrees with the Fed Survey respondents that protectionism is the biggest threat to the U.S. economy right now.

Trump is "trying to short circuit complexity and you don't know what kind of black swan risk that may generate and unintended consequences," she told "Power Lunch."

Navidi, who is also the author of "Superhubs," advises businesses to be careful since the degree of uncertainty that the president is generating cannot be calculated.

— CNBC's Fred Imbert and Steve Liesman contributed to this report.