Cramer: I think Trump is winning the China trade war, and the US stock market backs me up

  • President Trump is beating China in a trade war that could soon escalate, CNBC’s Jim Cramer says.
  • “I think we're winning," the "Mad Money" host argues. "The market is saying we're winning.”
  • On Tuesday, the White House released a list of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.
Fred Dufour | AFP | Getty Images
Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump attend a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 9, 2017.

President Donald Trump is beating China in a trade war that could soon escalate, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Friday.

“I think we're winning," the "Mad Money" host argued. "The market is saying we're winning.”

On Tuesday, the White House released a list of 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, following through on Trump’s threat of additional punitive measures.

Tariffs of that magnitude, which now undergo a two-month review, would basically equal all the goods the U.S. imports from China, which promised retaliatory action and pledged to lodge a complaint with the World Trade Organization.

Cramer said in a “Squawk on the Street” interview he disputes the argument that there are no winners in a trade war. “That's completely false."

Look no further than the stock market for confirmation that the U.S. is getting the best of China on trade, he said.

The S&P 500 on Friday hit a four-month high after rallying nearly 1 percent in the prior session. The strong Thursday also saw the Nasdaq close at a record high. The S&P 500, Nasdaq and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were also tracking for their second straight week of gains.

The market’s resilience follows the U.S. and China just a week ago exchanging $34 billion worth of tariffs, in addition to the steel and aluminum duties that were already in effect.

“The intellectual property theft is not to be trifled with,” Cramer said, referring to the Chinese practice of forcing American companies to enter into joint ventures and share their technology in order to do business in the world’s second-largest economy.

That’s one of the reasons behind the Trump administration’s trade offensive against China. The White House also cites as unfair the $300 billion-plus annual trade deficit in goods that the U.S. has with China.

On Thursday, prominent economist and former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman Stephen Roach told CNBC that Trump appears to be on track to lose in the trade war because the U.S. is hugely dependent on China "for low-cost goods to make ends meet for American consumers ... [and] to buy our Treasurys to fund our budget deficits." Those are things that can't be quantified in trade deficit numbers, Roach said.