Investors may be spooked about the confirmation out of the White House that it could raise the tariffs on imported goods coming from China from 10% to 25%, but at least one stock bull sees it as a buying opportunity.
Arguing that the tariffs against China and other trading partners around the globe will pay off for the U.S. because they will ultimately fix trade imbalances, Tom Lee, co-founder of Fundstrat Global Advisors said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that any weakness in stocks, as a result, presents a buying opportunity. "We don't necessarily have to view this as a net negative," said Lee. "I think the economy is quite strong. We would use any of these pullbacks to buy and add to exposure." (See also: 3 Sectors to Buy in a Trade War.)
White House Confirms It Could Raise Tariff Rate
According to a report in Reuters, senior Trump administration officials told reporters on a background call that Trump told U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer to consider the higher rate of tariffs to get China to alter its actions on trade. That sent stocks lower in trading Thursday as investors fretted about the impact increased trade tensions between the U.S. and China will have on U.S. companies. It's particularly worrisome for technology companies and multinationals that do business in China. In response to the White House, China said it was "fully prepared and will have to retaliate to defend the nation's dignity and the interests of the people," reported CNBC.
While stocks were taking a hit, Fundstrat’s Lee said now may be the ideal time for the U.S. to focus on trade pointing to the fact that interest rates are rising and globalization has “peaked.” What’s more, he said, weakness in stocks, as a result, provides investors with the opportunity to increase rather than decrease their positions in U.S. equities.
Apple’s Cook Doesn’t View Tariffs Positively
During a conference call to discuss fiscal third-quarter results with Wall Street, Cook warned that the protectionist trade policies emanating from the White House could result in "significant risk and unintended consequences." He said tariffs "show up as a tax on the consumer and wind up resulting in lower economic growth." The CEO did express optimism that the tensions between the U.S. and China will eventually ease.