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Cramer: US-China trade fight 'is not serious' right now; Trump has upper hand

Key Points
  • "I'm waiting for something serious to hit my way," CNBC's Jim Cramer says.
  • By escalating the U.S. trade conflict with China, Cramer says President Donald Trump is saying, "'You know what guys ... we got more staying power. ""
  • Trump has asked the U.S. trade representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.
Jim Cramer on CNBC's "Mad Money."
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Tuesday that he's not worried yet about the escalating trade conflict between the United States and China.

"Right now, this is not serious," Cramer told "Squawk on the Street." "I'm waiting for something serious to hit my way."

The "Mad Money " host said the fight would get real if Apple, Yum China or Starbucks were targeted by boycotts or some other measure.

But for now, that's not happening, Cramer said, arguing President Donald Trump has the upper hand. "The president is saying, 'You know what guys [China] ... we got more staying power than you, particularly with your stock market collapse.'"

While the Dow Jones industrial average was off more than 300 points, or about 1.3 percent, in early Tuesday trading, the carnage in China was far worse.

"There were 1,000 stocks that were down 10 percent in China. Is that good for the Chinese? Are they sitting there saying, 'Let's have a real [trade war], bring it on?' No. They're going to have to support a lot of stock. It costs them a fortune," Cramer said.

The Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets overnight dropped 3.8 percent and 5.77 percent, respectively, after Trump late Monday asked the U.S. trade representative to identify $200 billion worth of Chinese goods for additional tariffs at a rate of 10 percent.

That would be on top of the 25 percent import tariffs on up to $50 billion of Chinese products that Trump announced Friday. Those tariffs are set to start July 6. Chinese President Xi Jinping's administration has responded with 25 percent tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods.

Cramer said, "so what" to the argument that China could also start selling U.S. Treasurys as another way to get back at the U.S. "We could use a little inflection in the yield curve," he added.

WATCH: Cramer: Trump believes China is a paper tiger

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Cramer: Trump believes China is a paper tiger