Cramer says Trump's Huawei reversal may indicate 'something afoot' in China trade talks

Key Points
  • President Trump's agreement to ease restrictions on China tech giant Huawei came as a shock, says CNBC's Jim Cramer.
  • "For the president to turn around like this, it must have meant there is something afoot," the "Mad Money" host speculates.
  • The president has been "had" by the Chinese in trade talks in the past and won't be "had" again, argues Cramer.
Cramer: Trump's Huawei reversal may suggest 'something afoot' in trade talks

CNBC's Jim Cramer speculated on Monday that there may be something going on for President Donald Trump to have eased restrictions on Huawei while the U.S. and China reengage in talks to end their trade war.

As part of Saturday's trade truce with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Japan, Trump agreed to allow Chinese tech giant Huawei to purchase some U.S. commercial products.

Not even two months ago, the Trump administration effectively blacklisted Huawei from doing business in the U.S., citing national security concerns.

"For the president to turn around like this, it must have meant there is something afoot," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." "Much bigger than anyone realizes," he added.

People who don't believe something is "afoot," Cramer said, think "the president got had."

"The president did feel very 'had' after Buenos Aires," Cramer said, referring to the G-20 summit in Argentina in December, when the two leaders had agreed to a 90-day tariff escalation ceasefire. "It is hard for me to believe that he's going to let himself be had this time."

Cramer said there had been a strong belief that Trump would place additional tariffs on Chinese goods after Saturday's meeting with Xi and continue to restrict U.S. businesses from selling to Huawei.

"The president's people are shocked," Cramer added. "There was both the concessions and also the trip to North Korea," he said of the impromptu trip to meet leader Kim Jong Un.

However, top White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow on Sunday defended Trump's Huawei move, adding the blacklist was still in place.

"This is not a general amnesty," Kudlow said in an interview with Fox News. "Huawei will remain on the so-called entity list where there are serious export controls and in national security inferences or suggestions there won't be any licenses."