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tv   Closing Bell  CNBC  March 30, 2017 3:00pm-5:01pm EDT

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putin is probably student of history to know just how much that promise ended up being worth from george h.w. bush. >> all right. thank you very much. that and other developments over the past couchple hours in the hacking matters. >> thank you for watching "power lunch". >> it starts right now. hi, everybody, welcome to "closing bell." >> tax reform has been front and center today. president trump met earlier at the white house with top economic advisers, and one of the ideas reportedly discussed is a tax reform plan that was put on the table in 2014 by then chairman of the house ways and means committee dave camp. mr. camp is joining us live in an exclusive interview coming up later here. after the bell, that first
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cnbc interview with wilbur ross. nafta letter, of course, laying out where this administration may be going. >> in the meantime, the high stakes e-commerce war between walmart and amazon is ugly. recode with a new story about that this afternoon. the reporter behind that story joining us in just a few minutes. it's like an episode out of steven king's "the stand." >> that stephen king? >> yes, not the one from yesterday. >> let's begin with the big interview on cnbc this morning. jeff, our colleague from cnbc europe, exclusively speaking with russian president putin and jeff joins us now this evening from russia. geoff? >> yes, we are at the arctic forum with president putin
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talking about resources in the arctic, the environment, and, of course, the issue of militarization at the arctic. i had the opportunity to put questions to him on a panel here, and, of course, ongoing the obvious question, did russia try to interfere with or influence the u.s. presidential election? let's hear what he said. >> translator: ronald reagan once debated about taxes and the american said, watch my lips, he said, no, watch my lips, no. >> reporter: so a very clear "no" as far as putin is concerned, and he went to quite some efforts, several times, to say, no, russia has not beenfei
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level in the election process. there's many who just won't believe that answer, but we will wait and watch and see what the intelligence committee throws up. so, obviously, the follow-up question is really why do you think this is happening? why do you think russia keeping coming up when it comes to u.s. domestic politics? again, let's listen to president putin's answer. >> translator: we perceive in regards the united states as a great power with which we want to establish good partnership relations. although things are fictional and provocations, lies, all these i used for domestic american political agendas. >> bill, kelly, you know, the challenging question here really is when are we going to see some
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thaw in very difficult relationships that are bilateral levels between moscow and washington? >> my sense is nothing happens in the relationship any time soon, but when i talked to president putin on this panel about when he might have a face-to-face meeting with president trump, he was very keen for that to take place. in fact, he said he would be very willing to participate in that or make that happen soon if the white house was keen for it to be so. that's pretty much where we wrapped up the conversation. back to you. >> yeah, and, geoff, this happened, and then reports rubio's campaign hacked. the level of disgust in the country with what people deem to be russian hacking tactics is quite high. the fact that all president putin was to say and deny flat
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out any of this was happening just as others are imprisoned, you know, to the sense he just simply can't be trusted, even seems to be making end roads at the white house where the way president trump talked about putin on the campaign trail was notably open and friendly more like the tone coming from there now. >> reporter: yeah, absolutely. there are some really conundrums here, kelly. one is the way i think donald trump talked about the president in the campaigning, clearly, that -- that whole warmth that was shown towards president putin has become a little frosty now. there appears to have been no real compact between these gentlemen since president pew tip phoned up president trump to congratulate him on his victory. on this whole issue of hacking, very difficult, really, from
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where we are here in the harcti to know where this hacking took place or not. it's down to the senate intelligence committee and other committees i think to prove this took place. i think president putin's message really is show us the evidence, and then we'll be proven wrong, but until you can do that, i think the russian president will stick to his guns on this at a state level, and that's the point here. now, the state level, we did not interfere. that was the message from president putin. back to you guys. >> geoff, before you go, we all hosted panels in our careers, many of them, but none as intimidatingly high powered as the one you did today. i'm just curious your reaction to sitting that close to president putin, the kind of body english you saw there, the body languages, especially when you posed the question about their role in any hackings?
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>> reporter: very intense experience, bill, as you can imagine. the room is full of russian delegates, some small gathering of international delegates here there is heightened security, you know that old thing when you are close to a head of state arriving and suddenly your mobile phone goes a bit screwy. well what all takes place, and then, of course; you get into the panel, and you are eyeball to eyeball with the russian president, and, you know, you got to ask him a tough question. you can't afford to let him get off the hook, so we did that, but what i thought, and my sense of it was, you know, he, himself, seemed quite frustrated with where he is in the discussions with the white house at this stage. i mean, clearly, this is a country under sanctions. people are very unhappy about ukraine, about crimea, and about
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what they see as continued raffling by the russians on nato frontiers, but president putin, himself, seemed a little frustrated he doesn't seem able to sit down with president trump at this point, man to man, to work out the issues, so i guess the first scheduled meeting right now is at the g20 in july in germany. president putin would like something to happen much sooner than that. back to you. >> all right. as always, a great job, geoff there in russia. thanks for staying late tonight for us, geoff. see you later. closing bell exchange for this thursday, a one full day left in this quarter. remind everybody, joining us today, kim forest from the capital group, jack from ucx in chicago. tom lee from global advisers here at post nine with us, and so is cnbc market analyst from
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stuart franco. dow up 6 had 4 points, oil back to $50 a barrel, how much of this is positions ahead of the end of the quarter and meandering here, what do you think? >> i think people are hoping for fundamentals to really start expressing themselves in the next quarter or so and backwards looking and show proof of life for the markets. when you really look at the s&p last week, i think that was very -- when you look at friday, when health care was squashed, and there was so many reasons to be a seller of the market, and the markets sold down roughly, technically to the 50-day moving average in the s&p and bounced dramatically the following week, off of a set when paul ryan, speaker ryan said, we're going to get back on track. we're trying to get back on track. these are just words in the market rallying on words. now, i get it.
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it's forward looking. it wants to interpret things a certain way, but, to me, when you see a markets reach like that, it means that guys are just sitting poised on the sidelines to be a buyer of equities. they are trying to buy every little dip. >> yeah. >> as a guy who is streaming "blacklist" on netflix, i love this whole russian thing. >> tom, we talked about whether 3% pullback is the correction we're going to get this time around. i don't know if you want to speak to that, but, also, you would be a buyer of financials, which have then have been caught up in that, and rebounds today helped the market. >> yeah. you know, 3% just seems really shallow given high yield, widening more in the last couple weeks than it did into brexit and into election day. i think we should really be looking at a 5-7% drawdown. i think it's interesting that groups like energy in the banks led the post-trump rally, essentially round trip, and so
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i, i don't think there's a change in economic fundamentals. energy and financials are especially atrabtive. energy is making a bottom too. it's a long bull market. >> wow, interesting. kim, you're the classic stock picker. are you seeing opportunities here? i mean, i know you go to a lot of bottom's up stock picking here. what are you looking for right now? >> yep. well, we're looking for what we always look for, which is a stock that has some sort of narrative, that either the stock itself can improve or the company itself can improve its condition, or, and this is a little more of a stretch, that you hold some sort of unique idea about what this company is, and the rest of the market is wrong, and you have to kind of tread water until they catch up to you. >> so who is that right now? >> well, right now, we think it's intel. a lot of people are looking at
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stocks like invida, that's stocks driving your car or maybe in your drone, and we still think intel has a great shot at the new markets, so we own intel because of the future, not because of its past. >> i like the way you say intel, like intelligence there too. jack -- >> maybe. >> jack, glad you're with us today. what would you do? we have not talked about race and how that figures into things too, but tom is a buyer of the financials. do rates have to move higher from here for all this to work? >> you know, one of the things tom said, i absolutely agree with. i don't think it's a step seen that's deep enough. you know, i think we -- it's too shallow. 3% it not enough in the environment where the market's been going up on just basically of words, as said earlier, but one thing that happens this week, and if rick was here, he'd be all over this. the fact you had a second failed german auction, all right, a two-year fail and the five-year
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fail this month. this is coupled with a flattening of the yield curve. look at the ten-year, moving 260 below 240. something is happening. the bond market gave us the signal. i don't know if it means the trump trade is tired. i don't know if it's looking for more, a legislative print down the road, but somewhere along the lines, we got to pay attention to the bond market and sending us signals, telling us we have to be careful. >> you know, we've de-emphasized fed policy as a major influence in the market since we focus on politics these days as you mentioned, steve, but a trader said on the floor he feels we'll see buy on the dips as long as money is as cheap as it is until the fed raises rates in earnest. historically, we're at record low rates. look at valuation in the s&p, and then you chart that longer term, and look at valuation back in 2007, and then you overlay the s&p market's reactions to
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it, and we're in that same area. now, i'm not saying it's the same as 2007. banks are in better shape. leverage, a lot better shape, not seeing 30:1 leverage, created the debacle we saw in those time frames, but i'll tell you if earnings don't continue to grow, and i'm definitely bullish, but having said that -- >> there's a but -- >> exactly. valuation to me, starting to look at this stuff, hitting a couple potholes and little hi hiccups, could be more volatile. >> we have to go, but i have to ask, recording a generational bottom in energy, is that the stocks? implying crude oil has too? >> yes. my implication -- >> the situation there is not supportive. >> that's right. by implication, we say that five years from now, nominal oil bottom at 26, and so i don't know -- >> early last year.
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>> yes. so, yes, i absolutely would agree that in order for energy stocks to do well, oil has to recover, but i think nominal oil is higher, much higher than it is today. >> wow. all right, thanks everybody. >> i want to say thank you, but i hope not. as a driver. and a consumer. thank you, guys. appreciate your thoughts today on the market. >> all right. 45 minutes to go. dow hangs on to 67 points today, we are mostly higher, pulling back a little bit midday, a gain of one-third percent, nasdaq up 15, and the small cap up .75% with a nearly ten-point gain today. >> you have wilbur ross with you today. >> you want to stick around? >> definitely. a lot to talk about, talk about trade, report that nafta may not change as much despite president trump's campaign promises over the last year or so. that's coming up. >> looking forward to that. up next, amazon trying to take away walmart's cookies and maybe
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its soap and, yeah, we're not talking about the computer kind. that story next. fascinating details. you're watching cnbc first in business worldwide. the power of a low volatility investing approach. the power of smart beta. power your client's portfolio with powershares. before investing, consider the fund's investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. call 800-983-0903 for the prospectus containing this information. read it carefully. distributed by invesco distributors inc. containing this information. read it carefully. e*trade's powerful trading tools, give you access to in-depth analysis, and a team of experienced traders ready to help if you need it. it's like having the power of a trading floor,
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welcome back, financials as it happens, is thee best performers today. xlf up 1.4% now, but you dig deeper into the stocks themselves, regions financials, huntington, each up more than 2% in today's trade. >> now a snacks smackdown on the way to your kitchen. new reports have amazon looking to convince brands like oreos
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and cheerios, fascinating, reimagine delivery friendly packages for the goods in the name of lower end costs and raising profits, reimagining packaging, could be bad news for walmart. >> we have insights, jason, the latest piece that addresses these issues, and we have back with us endependent retail analyst, good to see you both. thank you for joining us. >> thanks for having us. >> jason, tell us, it's a price war right now. losers are the suppliers if they squeeze profit, that the idea? >> losers are probably the brands making these goods. winners are consumers for now. but the brands, you know, they are used to selling stuff on store shelves, and not having to worry about the cost of shipping costs that, you know, amazon has to worry about, and so amazon wants the lowest price, but they have to worry about shipping costs, and so they are trying to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. on the other side, walmartments
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lowest price on 80% of goods they sell. something's got to give. maybe it's new packaging for the consumer goods guys, but they have not made lot of progress yet there to date. >> as a retail analyst, what do you think it means for the ability to compete with amazon if they change the game? >> well, in some ways, it's good for anyone selling online, including walmart and target. the reason is that if these discount companies find and create better packaging that's efficient, everybody that actually sells these products fairs better. this is not new. when the club channels took off like costco, dollar channel took off, there's new packaging to be created for those channels. this is an overdue change in the online channel as well. >> and adds to this, jason, some of the intrigue there, mark lori, over at walmart, was amazon before that after selling his company that, by the way, just has been disbanded by amazon, that sold diapers.com.
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you know, those are the personalities. is there a personal vendetta that maybe walmart's online team has against amazon right now? >> listen, i mean, marc is an ambition guy, competitive guy. i don't know what he'd say publicly. i will tell you that none of the folks who used to run the parent of diapers.com are thrilled to see the news yesterday of amazon disbanding it, so there's a level of intrigue here playing a part. the fact that walmart paid $3 billion for the guy and mostly this guy and this company as well, so the next couple years will be interesting in the space for sure. >> jason, you know, if you have more detail on this, interesting, we've seen packaging change before, for different needs, what specifically are amazon's needs
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when it tells retailers, we want you think more about making delivery friendly, and, by the way, as a user of amazon, doesn't help me to have a quarter inch high thumbnail of dove soap. how big is it? is it prime? that's complicated enough. >> right, right. i think a significant part to jas jason's appointment, it's about shipping. we are seeing increasingly consumers, particularly with amazon prime, doing one-off packages to order a bar of dove soap is not out of the realm of possibility and commonality. the idea of not putting that in another box, but being able to ship that in a durable box that could go into somebody's mailbox i think is really the idea here, and to pass -- make sure the manufacturers can get enough volume on that, that they can make it at least as cost efficient as what they'd sell to
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a grocery store. that's the goal here. tell the guys, volume it huge, growing, change the pack acknowledging to accommodate us, and, by the way, helps other dot-com sellers in the e ecosystem like walmart.com. >> we sound like it's amazon against walmart, but there's other players here. >> sure. >> they have to adapt just like amazon and walmart are doing. who are they? who are the ones that can be players in this big battle as well? >> sure. so in the brick and mortar world, you have new arrivals in the u.s. like aldi, a discount grocery chain, online, you know, and in store, think about target as well. i mean, they've had their ups and downs in recent years, but they are a big player. one other point on packaging. i think some of the brands are trying to figure out if they can make packaging weigh less. amazon, a low priced good, but it's heavy, i mean, detergent, other things like that, you know, it's really not cost
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efficient so i think they are trying to figure out, you know, new recipes for these items that might weigh less. that's a really long term investment. it's not clear if a lot of the big companies, you know, have the bandwidth to make them now. >> fascinating. >> yeah. >> watching this transition underway. j good to see you both. >> you want everything delivered. i like going to the market picking things out. >> it didn't mean to. started with a prime membership, than everything is delivered. >> yep. we got 35 minutes left in trading session. dow up 71 points, one full trading day left. >> lululemon crushed today. hear from the ceo when we come back, shares down 24%.
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welcome back, there's the dow, 2:1, 75 points overall. oil prices earlier, the fact they are $50 a barrel, that's helping today. 1.5% gain there. goldman's one of the best performer since the election. might be lacking, down 1% for nike. we expect the next story has something to do with that.
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>> the competitor, tumbling today, lululemon, firms downgrading lulu's stock in the wake of the athlete leisure apparel maker. lulu blames weak online sales and store traffic in the first quarter, and they say they are slowing sales and moderating growth margins puts pieces in question. that firm now has an under perform rating on lululemon and cut the price target, trading at 50 now, and "mad money" jim cramer just spoke with the ceo. >> there was a sudden shift. was it a fickle consumer? something you did wrong? i felt it was a great secular trend, that you were behind it, you were riding it, but there are a lot of players now. new balance, sweaty betty, old navy, j. crew, have they caught
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on to what you are doing? >> you know, i don't think they have. there's brands out there, and we continue to lead the market. the healthy mindful lifestyle we create, we lead that. i see others in china, business in china is on fire. >> be sure to catch jim's interview with lulu's ceo, that's at 6:00 p.m. eastern time. i was struck that in their announcement, the guidance they provided, that you had yesterday, they just said, look, our inventory this quarter just wasn't strong. we don't have bold enough colors and so forth. >> chip wilson on the halftime report earlier said what they are looking is a vision. you have to wonder. when the company was founded, when it came to -- i can remember the first time i walked in, it was an amazing experience because it was a totally different look. it was a totally different approach and respect for fabrics. now it's been so widely, you know -- >> emulated. >> everybody's catching up like jim pointed out there. >> by the way, the fact he said china is on fire, i wondered if
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that would moderate stock's losses, but if anything, down 18% yesterday after that report, initially, and it's only sunk further, even though you'd think, you know, growth prospects in the fastest growing economy in the world would calm investors somewhat, but it's not today. >> once again, it's competition, obviously, but there are probably too many companies doing the same thing right now, right? >> online was a big problem for them, and that should be something to fix quickly, but we'll see. >> we're heading to the close, 30 minutes left in closing session with the dow up 72 points. up next, the former congressman whose tax plan is being considered by the president and his economic team. talk with former house ways and means committee dave camp in just a couple minutes. >> later, commerce secretary wilbur ross discusses the plans to overhaul nafta and how much remains in tact when all is said and done. stay with us.
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25 minutes left in the session, dow up 77 points. joining me is peter costa from empire execution. we are taking stock of the quarter as tomorrow ends the
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first three months of this year. not a bad gain overall for the stock market. >> absolutely not. it's been a very good first quarter, and i think that what you see is the first year after an election, first three months after elections, normally is pretty good environment. it's about a 4% gain for the dow. 9% for the nasdaq. >> right. money went to the tech stocks. there's a lot of that, amazon, you know, apple, google, whatnot, but it's been a good quarter. you know, i'm not -- i'm still not in love with the market. >> you cover covered your shorts. >> we did. >> you're not going to commit? >> i'm not going to add or put paint on the table. the market's still so pricey, even though we are looking at a longer time frame, which when we started, projected high, now narrowing down a little bit, but i think the market's a little bit ahead of itself, and i think that if we do have any kind of
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geopolitical, always a risk in the market, but i think in this market, geopolitical risk is exaggerated. there is a potential of something like that happening. brexit will be in the back burner for the next two years. watch that as well. >> all right. we will. among many other things. >> sure. sleep well. >> i do. >> see you later. kelly? >> time now for cnbc news update with sue. >> here's what's happening this hour, everyone. white house spokesman sean spicer asked about a "new york times" report that two white house officials played a role in providing house committee chairman nunes with russian intelligence reports. >> in order to comment on that story would be to validate certain things that i'm not at liberty to do. i understand that. again, i think that there's an assumption, as i said before, we cannot condone -- in the same
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way you protect sources when i i call you and say, you've got 18 anonymous sources, and you go, i can't reveal my sources, chairman nunes in the investigation and review had an opportunity to have his sources. >> u.s. ambassador to the united nation haley telling a small group of reporters that the u.s. is no longer making or moving syria assad a priority, and the trump administration cannot focus on assad the way the previous administration did. caking out dandelion, created by a new shade, revealed during a facebook live stream tomorrow on national crayon day at 8:45 a.m. eastern time. stay tuned. kelly, bill? >> all right. still should have been white. >> i like dandelion. it's -- >> it's pretty. >> lemon yellow went one year too. you know? got too many yellows. >> picking on yellows. >> i will not break the dandelion crayon.
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>> will be a collector's item. >> that's true. >> don't lose it. >> president trump met with treasury secretary today and advertise top economic adviser at the white house to get the ball rolling on tax reform. one plan reportedly under discussion was the one written by dave camp, former house of the ways and means committee way back in 2014. >> the former congressman joining us now, now a former senior adviser, welcome back. >> welcome back, sir. >> well, thank you. good to talk with you. thanks for having me. >> let me begin by asking you, you think the prospects are for revival of the kind of plan that you put forward three years ago. >> well i'm just excited about the fact we'll get past the reform in general. there's a number of ways to do it, and, obviously, i left the plan on the shelf, and they are going to take a look at it, and they may use it as a back board,
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use parts of it, or decide not to take parts of it, but the house is working on something, the senate's working on something, and now the administration is getting engaged. that's a positive thing for the potential for tax reform. >> bearing in mind the atmosphere in washington right now in the wake of the failure of the health care reform bill. is it possible you only get a few tax cuts again this time around rather than the comprehensive reform that you were hoping for before you retired? >> it is a tough environment, always is, especially something as big as this, but i think doing a comprehensive tax reform bill, in many ways, having more issues on the table, more issues at stake is somewhat easier than doing a narrow focus. especially if you're goal is trying to, you know, grow the economy, to help create jobs,
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and help families do better, the more that you do on the code, the more economic impact you're likely to have. i think at least they are going to start to try to do it in a comprehensionive way, and, of course, if that does not work, they then try to scale back later, but we're not there yet to know whether they get the big thing done yet or not. >> we were showing some of the details of the ryan-brady blueprint. that's one of the plans under consideration at the white house, yours being the other. what are important differences between the two approaches? >> well, i think, probably the most significant is the blueprint goes to sort of a new system of taxation, the quarter adjustment. they also use what we call full extensing, write everything off all at once and no net interest deductibility. they have a different rate for pass-through end tities than th top individual rate. those are really the significant changes they've made in the blueprint, and, obviously,
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there's a lot of discussion about all those provisions, and i think they'll continue to be, but it is important they have a plan they are trying to move forward on, and i think that the white house can help facilitate this issue moving along. >> do you think when all is said and done there's going to be a border adjustment tax? >> well, i think they have to fully flush it out. so far, we've only seen a narrative or written summary of what it might do. i think we actually will have to see legislation, but it's clearly something that the speaker of the house and the chairman of the ways and means committee are engaged in, and the reason they are is it would mean that you wouldn't have to necessarily do the kind of base emotion that i worked on in hr1, en, also, they believe that it helps level the playing field, and helps really, you know, jump start growth here in the united states. they got good strong policy reasons for doing it. i think it remains to be seen
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whether they will be able to form the political consensus around that provision, but until we actually get the legislation that's going to be hard to predict. >> and one of the most controversial aspects of the ryan-brady blueprint is the b.a.t., the border adjustment tax. your plan has a very different approach. can you explain how you're able to come up with an alternative that didn't need that source of funding? >> hr1, or the plan i worked on as chairman of the ways and means committee, is a lower rate broader based approach, a reagan style approach to tax reform. the blueprint really looks at moving to a different system of taxation, which they call through the destination based cash flow tax, so they are looking at trying to advantage exports and trying to grow jobs here in the united states, and so there's different approaches, but there are a number of approaches that could be successful. you don't have just two.
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and you have an opportunity potentially to adjust both of those approaches and come up with a different track, if that's what we'll get, the kind of support politically to move something forward. >> and we have commerce secretary ross coming up in a while here. you know, there was talk by the president during the campaign of imposing some tariffs on trade partners to protect companies here in the united states. manufactures and so forth. what would you think of that in the context of tax reform of some kind as a revenue generator? do you think that is -- is it a nonstarter for somebody of your -- on the political spectrum, or do you think that has a real chance here? >> well, obviously, the president has great authority in the area.
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many of the laws that give the president authority have been used rarely. i think it's an area that needs to be looked at careful because of retaliatory efforts from other countries and for the fact you want to ensure the policies are actually helping our country, but it's -- some of the items have been used before, george w. bush did, and i think this is is certainly a policy area worth reviewing, but one that i think, you know, treading carefully is probably the wisest approach. >> congressman, we have to go, but the last time we spoke to you was about the bank tax, which you previously put forward as one funding option. in that discussion, you down played the likelihood of it coming up again or a place of revenue we should look for today. how do you feel about the bank tax being a source of revenue if needed here? >> well, again, they will be
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able to operate under different assumptions i had with the hr1. potentially, the revenue line is not the same. there's advantages and some flexibility. they may not need to go there. i know it was certainly a controversial thing to do. i thought it was important to have a bill that, obviously, was revenue neutral, and also, then, and the reason is that hr1, the bill i worked on, was the first bill to be dynamically scored. now there's a track record. they look at policies to grow the economy that the bank tax may not be necessary. >> wow. >> mr. camp, good to see you again, thank you for the time, sir, appreciate it. >> thank you. >> thank you much, take care. >> dave camp. up next, the trump administration is examining ways to penalize countries whose currencies the administration believes are undervalued. hear the plan and what it means
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couple movers on wall street
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today, conoco upgraded from buy to neutral. 50% stake in the oil stands partnership and other assets to cenovus. ubs says the deelt allows conoco to cut the debt load and increase stock buyback programs. meantime, vf corp. lower, distributor of brands like northface and timberland had a five-year growth plan ahead of a meeting with investors today. they plan to increase earnings between 10-12% a year. it also expects to return $8 billion to shareholders in that time. that stock, though, down 3.7%. >> president trump plans to get tough on countries that gain currencies without calling them manipulators. there's more from washington. >> the administration is looking at ways to penalize countries that undervalue their currencies. this is a way for them to
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fulfill the president's promise on the campaign trail to talk about manipulation. the terms around this is restricted. they are looking for other ways to pile on the pressure by using existing powers. the agencies involved are the treasury and the commerce departments, also includes the national economic counsel, national trade counsel, and office the u.s. trades representatives. now the review comes as the white house begins speaking about how it wants to renegotiate nafta. we got a copy of a draft letter that will be sent to congress. it lays out some of the broad principles for a new deal including leveling the playing field on tax treatment, changing the way that trade disputes are settled, and possibly reinstituting tariffs if too many imports hurt u.s. industries. the white house spokesman spicer did not confirm the contents of the document during the press briefing today. >> there's nothing that in those documents we're confirming or in
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the report rather that we are confi confirming. that is not the statement of the administration policy. that is not an accurate assessment of where we are at this time. >> guys, really looking forward to hearing from commerce secretary ross on your show later on to discuss all the issues. >> as will we. thank you, ylan. >> thank you. >> more trade policy with the commerce secretary in the next hour of the program. stay tuned for that. you don't want to miss it. taking on china last night in a special forum, highlights and taking on china ourselves.
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next week, chinese president meets with president trump following heated rhetoric between the countries and concerns of investing. let's bring in our panel. you're bullish on china, even as they tighten and everything going on. why? >> we're fundamental bottoms up investors looking for
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opportunities. for specific sectors in china, there's a lot of opportunities. for example, a lot of consumer products, health care, technology, these are areas of the market growing well. i used statistics to support it. look at the sectors where we're interested, there's 15%, versus the old industry businesses maybe at 5%. in addition, we see services growth around 8% where the broad economy's barely treading at inflation. this is an area where active management plays a really important role and allocates capital in the dynamic part of the market. >> john, we've been singing praises of china. you're not worried about the economy, but the capital markets, though, right? >> absolutely. you know, i don't buy the china is crashing story or the hard landing thing, and in the longer term, i'm on the same page as john because china's conversion from heavy manufacturing to services is going to support the consumer where incomes are growing, but in the near term, we got a very political year in
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china where they'll be new leaders brought in. you've got growth about 6.5% inflation, but in the meantime, people's bank of china has been raising the rates to match the fed. >> right. >> when they raise rates, that squeezes liquidity. they injected reserves three days this week, and we've got now interest rates that are running 5%-6%, 150% gdp is corporate debt. there's structural issues and some temporary sensitivity to the u.s. policymaking. it makes me stay away for now. >> all right. a woefully short conversation because we have the ultimate hard time in the closing bell coming up in just a moment here. thank you, both, for joining us on that. we'll be back with the closing countdown in just a moment.
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by banks, oil's hot. last three days. the ceo ringing the bell, of course, important thing, trends upside. >> stay tuned for kelly's interview with commerce secretary wilbur ross in the next hour of the "closing bell," see you tomorrow, kelly. thank you, bill. a look at how we are finishing up, gain of 66 points, and s&p up 7 points, 23.68, look at the nasdaq, 5914, a record close for the nasdaq. it's been on a tear, on fire for the first quarter, and incredible performance, apple,
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amazon, again, trading at all-time highs today, consumer discretionary sector, another story, and nevertheless, clearing the hurdle there, nasdaq is the story as we close out the quarter, and the russell 2,000, by the way, today putting in a strong performance of three quarters of 1%, 1382. now, wilbur ross joins us in a first on cnbc interview to discuss stands on trade and nafta with their letter circulating around washington. the outline where they look to be going, looking forward to speaking with him in a little while. joining me for the hour, senior market commentator and procolumnist. we kick things off, guys, welcome, first of all. mike, this nasdaq, i mean, it -- so amazing that it was up, like, seven out of the ten sessions the dow was on an eight session losing streak. >> it's been the leader, giving up pullback, resuming increase
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now. you mentioned, kelly, the consumer discretionary sector at an all-time high. that's an incredibly by forkated sector. all the upside from the likes of amazon, some of the other media companies, home depot one as well, not in the nasdaq, but not about retail, it's about services and technology. >> yeah. you need an asterisk. hey, it's amazon issue everybody else. everybody else up 2%. there were others. >> there were. upward revisions of 40 quarter gdp, that's old news, but the bond market was enough to get the treasury yields up and target gets marked up behind it. seemed like an index heavy move to me. all indexes up a third percent or a.3%. that's fine. i feel basically the bears might have lost a good chance with the stocks on the ropes at the lows on monday, and we'll see if it's more of a range or we can make a run at the highs. >> we saw this yesterday. maybe the day before, too, gains
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across all averages. is this window dressing into the end of the quarter? any reason to say, okay, but, you know, this tends to happen? >> i think it's energy. i think the inventory -- >> with oil? >> stabilized energy. when it stops going down, people got more confident, and then you saw rates actually start to creep a little bit higher, and then the inflation trait back on, and people want to see the reflags trait. they don't want to see the defensive lead, and i think to a lesser degree, the -- i mean, you think financials, energy, terms, that sort of thing, but discretionary is reflainflation too. there's short coverings. that's how a rally certainly starts, and then, also, continued leadership by the experiences within consumers. >> right. >> all of this, i think, we have one more week, kelly, earnings, and then we can talk about fundamentals and take the eyes off the macro. >> will be interesting when they
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come in. >> yep. >> glad you brought up oil, tom lee thought there was a generational bottom in energy stocks, oil, referring to the lows last february really there, but, yeah, seems like a dicey place to place your bets because there's this supply-demand, you know, situation in the energy renaissance in this country, but new hampshire, boosting today. >> right. i think oil is behaving in a game of tug-of-war now. opec affects sentiment, and then there's u.s. producers on the other side of the rope. they came out from the fed showing that average costs that a lot of producers need to hit to meet their cost is coming down. >> yeah. >> prices don't have to move up higher to see production coming online, and i think in the meeds yum term, sentiment from oh peck, they'll support it, meaning prices move lower as production comes on. >> as you suggest, it's not the end of the world for u.s. producers if they bring costs down. meanwhile, we will fed
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capitalist saying he sees the higher confidence not trancelating yet to activity. we talked about the gap, mike, but the market is saying it will be fine. the gdp, earnings, all meets confidence. >> looks stark on the chart. exactly how much the survey, the confidence numbers raced ahead of the actual economic hard data, i think it's okay for the markets as long as the hard data is still trending in the right direction, right? it's not diverging entirely and the hard data rolls over and looks terrible, but people feel good about it. i think that's why it's ala alarming. look, you want to see it translate. there's some wayins to say mayb on the business side, and it's predict predictive. look, i think you can show me story, but it's not one of the things that the market's delusional somehow. >> the reason why this is interesting is because you go back to the election of the period right after, and i remember us talking about the
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industries, the sicyclicals, a great play, and now there's a stellar first quarter, and apple and amazon the best day after day with all-time highs. what do you do in that environment? okay, fine, they had a moment to shine, or does this all augers for the whole year? >> it does not auger for the whole year. it grows in low and high gdp environments. the fact of rotation this year, people are confused. are we going? are we not growing? is the fed going to go? are they not going to go? >> it's a roped engine. >> get behind growth or value within technology. you can see why it would rally and why it would lead. i do think, though, that this week has seen a little bit back into the rotation reinflation. i watched the transports, particularly rails. the rails after reporting in february, they rolled over.
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on monday, the rails -- they caught a bit, and maybe, just maybe, they are starting to tell us something. something to do with the energy rally as well. a broad market. >> also, reminds me of allen greenspan in the bathtub reading the tables, and i didn't see this, nevermind, but the congressional budget office warnings the outlook for the nation's debt. that also came across today. we have more, ylan? >> kelly, u.s. debt rises to 150% of gdp in 30 years if the government stayed on the current spending task, more than what the cbo forecasted last year, and it would be the highest level of debt in history. interest payments projected to jump to 6.2% from 1.4% now. the biggest factor driving up the debt is a growing cost of mandatory spending programming on health care and social security.
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together, projected to make up 17% of federal spending. president trump had pledged on the campaign trail not to touch those programs, and the skinny budget released weeks ago, would not add to the deficit, but some of his big proposals like tax cuts or the trillion dollar infrastructure plan, those could wind up increasing the debt. the committee for responsible federal budget put out the response for projections, the cbo gave us a glimpse into the fiscal future and the picture isn't pretty. the budget office delivered a stark warning itself. it forecasts a potential gdp under 2%, and it said the massive buildup of debt increases the odds of a fiscal crisis. so, kelly, we have to see how trump's policies meet the needle. back to you. >> seems like most sensitive to this is the freedom caucus that was over pushing a move to shutdown the government in the past, the sequestering, the kinds of things to reign in spending, but they are at odds with the white house right now after the health bill collapsed.
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what kind of response are we looking for from the group especially as we talk about, perhaps, the next shutdown or debt ceiling hike? >> this is an interesting point because it's a question of revenue neutrality versus deficit neutrality. they have said that they are willing to finance tax cuts without some some of pay-for on the other side. the question is, do they offset tax cuts by cuts in spending? they may not continue to raise revenue, but they cut the federal budget in response. >> i like that. it's the revenue neutralities they might emphasize. >> exactly. >> what do you see in this? >> well, time is not on our side when it comes to the long term liabilities versus revenue story, but i think it's going to be interesting to see how, if at all, it shapes this debate on the budget, obviously, the continuing resolution, and then, of course, the debt ceiling. to me, it's one of the things that could be deployed in different ways in the current debate, but i don't think
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numbers, themselves, are do you wanting doesn'ting. >> not the fact this is not the baseline, but didn't get the passage, you know -- >> it only lifts the hurdle higher. >> i don't know if you are looking to this at all, but could the trump administration make a deal with the democrats and maybe, you know, pull some of them and get them involved in the reform, if parts of the republican party will not support it? >> sounds like they are willing to, right? all the rumblings we heard about health care, right? the fact that they, you know, there's one side that they want to go to that maybe they can negotiate with, and there's another side that is not as negotiating. >> yes. >> so, you know, i think at this point, i think, you know, all bets are on the table, really. we just don't know. i think president trump is a deal maker. he is. he's going to figure out how to get the deal done whether it's going from one side or the other. >> also, since friday, when the bill collapsed, what do you do with the health care stocks? what happens now? >> in the last couple weeks, i bought energy, european banks,
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and health care. beaten down health care. mike made a great call last year looking at the specialty pharma names, and some are interesting. they are cheap. they are beaten down. goes with what works. if there's no major change, you know, the hmo services continue to do well, but the vice companies do well, pick and choose at pharma and biotech, but, yeah, absolutely, you'll be buying that. >> samantha, what about you guys? what's the most come plpelling e now? [ inaudible ] >> baton down the hatches, hold europe. it's not the time to get out. get back to neutral with your em allocation if you have not already. >> all right. little risky emerging market proposition. thank you, guys, all for joining us. appreciate it. ylan, thank you as well. coming up, wilbur ross, and
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why president trump is seeking modest changes to nafta that was blasted on the campaign trail. plus, russia's stock market rallies today after president putin spoke to a panel and denied the country interfering in the u.s. presidential elections. should you invest in russia amid growing tensions between the two countries? that's next. stay with us. ♪ it's been over 100 years since the first stock index was created, as a benchmark for average. yet a lot of people still build portfolios with strategies that just track the benchmarks. but investing isn't about achieving average.
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denying the country interfered in the presidential election in a cnbc moderated panel today. we have the highlights, jeff geoff? >> this was the international arctic forum, and the focus was primarily on russia's ongoing developments of this region. while i had the chance to talk to president putin, i asked directly about whether russia had interfered in the u.s. election process. >> translator: ron reagan was debating about taxes and addressing the americans, said, watch my lips, he said, no, watch my lips, no. >> reporter: i also got on the issue of when the two presiden s might meet. at the moment, president putin
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and president trump will gather in germany at the g20 session in july. i asked the question, would president putin be interested in meeting earlier if there was an opportunity? >> translator: what can i say? i expect a number of occasions. we're ready for the meeting to discuss the premises, agenda, and that depends to a large stance on the american side. >> reporter: with investigations ongoing in the united states into alleged russian meddling in the election process, it's difficult to see how there will be any immediate improvement in relations, but it's clear from my conversation today with president putin that he would like at least some face to face discussions to begin. this is jeff in russia.
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>> all right. thanks to jeff. for more on whether russia is a good place to invest now, let's bring in co-founder and ian, absolute strategy researchers global chief strategist in town at post nine. welcome to you both of the harvey, you run russian focused funds, what are the prospects for the assets to do well? >> i notice the watch my lips promise putin referred to was the most fray mouse untrue statement maybe in the history of american politics. it was not reagan. it was bush. that aside, i'm quite positive on russia because i think oil prices will stay strong in the next year. nobody can predict oil price, they say, by will predict them. i think that oil prices are going to be at least where they are now or higher at the time of the ipo in second half of 2018. >> okay. >> saudi arabia i think wants to keep prices upward trajectories,
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and you see it, i think the strength of the ruble recently, very strong, and it's not reacting todays when oil is down. the ruble goes up anyway. the russian central bank cut rates, the ruble went up anyway. that tells us that people believe that over the next year oil stays strong, despite short term flux asians, and that means the ruble is strong, then buy denominated securities and lock in a 10% return or something like that. >> ian, what do you look at? >> 53% of the equity market is dominated by equity stocks, and correlation between oil price and russian market relative to global market, that's 78% in correlation, in just three month changes, short changes in the last five years. you can't strip out the russian
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market from the oil core. our view is that oil price is going to be somewhere between the $50 and $60 region. a point estimate, there's 54 in the 12 months ahead. we agree that pressure going into 2018 is going to be one of the factors here, and, you know, talking about a market that's been a low valuation, you know, compared with the u.s. market, for example, and you can see why we've seen some of the global investors start to look more attractively at the emerging market plays in the current finds. >> the driver is so much resource prices and sentiment towards them, does all the geopolitical issues have no affect at all in terms of just asset flows? >> they play a role in terms of changing sentiments towards the market itself. what we are seeing is, if america decides to become more isolationist, russia becomes a much more important geopolitical play for investors. whether europe makes more of
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itself buddy up to the russian side, it's important for the energy side of the russian -- euro zone economy. we see europe move towards the chinese trade and role of german trade in china. it's a china-russia link that's critical in geopolitics. >> harvey, same question to you here. calling crude, there's plenty of ways to do it other than investing in russia. we heard about the pressure the economy's under for years now under putin. is there, you know, you're talking about the next couple years, but what about beyond that? >> i do think there is another driver in russia. recently, ian mentioned the low p.e. that's important. more important is the high dividend yields. they are yielding 4% in dividends, and that reflects corporate governance in russia where companies just westernized
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to a degree that i wouldn't have believed ten years ago, even five years ago. i think in the longer term, you know, it's becoming a more normalized investing environment, and so i think that's another driver that beyond the oil price and looking out, i think will attract more people, an i don't think that's fully priced in yet. i think people still think of russia the way it used to be, but especially in the privately owned, not the state owned companies, i don't think that's priced in yet, and it's -- i think when it is, the market will command a higher multiple than does now. >> all right. there's moscow up a percent today. gentlemen, thank you both. >> thank you. >> thank you, kelly. now, health care reform stalled in washington, but the trump trade agenda is moving forward. coming up, commerce secretary ross joins us in a first on cnbc interview to discuss how the
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white house could penalize countries who keep currencies undervalued. this could set a motion of media mergers, a wave of them, accessionings on wall street, all the details coming up on "closing bell."
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providers from selling your personal data. earlier today, we spoke with randa randallstephenson. >> in terms of privacy rules passed in congress, i -- basically, what that does is put everybody on the same playing field. we put oushrselves in a situati where the fcc was regulating some some way, the ftc regulating other people in privacy a different way. what happened is everybody's in the same game, regulate everyone the same way. >> and facebook taking a page from go fun me's playbook. the new tool allows users to ask friends to contribute to certain costs including education or medical expenses. new questions being raised about the effectiveness of online ads. jpmorgan sees little change in the visibility of advertisements after dropping the number of websites it's on from 400,000 to
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5,000. this just is after the financial giant pulled business from youtube after ads placed next to offensive content. mike? >> yeah. interesting. i mean, there's this ongoing low level crisis in ad measurement and, you know, gauging effectiveness. it's always going to be there, but not a surprise that the 395,000 websites below the top 5,000 maybe are not giving you much that bang for the buck for a brand like jpmorgan chase. maybe it's credit cards response, things like that. >> bigger deal for other companiesment doesn't take much to figure out, if they lose marginal revenue, now if you're a billion other websites out there taking a piece of it. >> sure. clearly, there was ad exchanges serving jpmorgan ads to all sites. you can tweak that in the learning experience from it. >> still, 400,000, a huge number. >> phenomenal. >> now it's just 5,000. up next, commerce secretary ross, when the white house could announce proposed changes for nafta, and whether it could punish countries that have huge
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trade imambulances with the u.s. and look out, bill gates, amazon founder and ceo is chasing the microsoft founder. why? coming up. [ male announcer ] eligible for medicare? that's a good thing, but it doesn't cover everything. only about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement insurance plans, they could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs.
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welcome back, green arrows across the board, dow up 69, nasdaq closing at a record high, up 10% in the first quarter, the best quarterly performance in about almost four years, really, in terms of best performers today, russell up .75%. nasdaq up 17. we have breaking news. the fed president, steve? >> kelly, thank you. he'll say today in a speech that even after the last couple rate hike, the fed funds rate is still, quote, unusually low, and rate hikes are appropriate to redice the risk of overheating in the economy. he also said the economic outlook is brightening, and he gave a couple reasons for that. one is that fiscal policy looks like it's more stimlative. i don't know what's going to be adopted by congress, but he said ultimately, he thinks there's stimulus policies and abroad it's significantly lower, which you have not heard a fed
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official say in kbiet soquite s. inflation concerns, overheating concerns, but he said the growth and inflation risks are both to the upside. bill discusses the balance, fed officials have been talking about recently, says when the fed gets around to reducing the balance sheet, it should taper reinvestments. as you know, kelly, the cleveland fed president said today she thinks the fed should reduce this year, dudley not laying out that question, but we'll watch in the month ahead. >> to tighten or not, steve, thank you. >> right. thanks, kelly. all right, there you have t. there's the update from steve having had those comments from bill dudley. according to a draft proposal circulated in congress by the u.s. trade representative, the trump administration is likely to see modest changes to the north american free trade agreement known as nafta. cnbc obtained a copy of the proposal, and now we're in a
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first cnbc interview with wilbur ross. mr. secretary, welcome. >> good to be on, kelly. we looked at the letter addressing a number of changes to b made to nafta. is this the final proposal for the administration? >> what apparently you have is a leaked draft of a letter we've sent to the staff of the house ways and means committee, and the senate finance committee. the permission of those two committees to send the formal letter, which is what triggers the 90-day period, and we're hopeful that that will happen before the spring recess. >> today speaking at the white house sean spicer called it not an accurate assessment where we are today. is that the case? before we go through what's in here, this reflects thinking on changes to nafta, right?
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>> there's no change in the thinking. this letter simply describes in very broad outline the topics we'll discuss, so i dent think there's any great reasons for you to overthink it. >> understood. just so everybody's aware, this talks about trades and goods, trades in services, but one of the important things in here to elaborate on, if you can, are the rules of origin. it says we're going to seek rules of origin that ensures that nafta supports production and jobs in the u.s. what does that mean? >> well, first of all, what rules of origin mean is in nafta, you get the benefit of no tariff among the three countries, mexico, u.s., and canada, as long as it's produced there. however, rules of origin are a loophole that allows material from outside to come in and yet be counted as though it wouldn't have to produce up to certain limits. one of the many problems with
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the rules of origins in nafta as presently drafted is that in the case of say autos, it went specifically part by part. nafta's in all the agreements, and many of those parts are no longer even used in cars because automotive technology has moved on. so leave the aside the question whether the percentages were right. it's an obsolete provision, and it's essentially a back door way for a nonnafta goods to take advantage of nafta. >> so, in other words, china could take advantage of the rules? >> china or any other country. >> and does this relate as well to the dumping, anti-dumping announcments made today? >> well, the anti-dumping consists of dealing with countries that are actually violating the rules. for example, in trade, in steel, we now have something like 187
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cases of these kind of duties and anti-dumping outstanding. more than half of those involve china. >> the reason to speak about this as well as enforcement issues that ties nafta together with anti-dumping and other trade measures you're taking, on the enforcement front, are you looking to make nafta a place where you can actually go after people who you think are violating the terms? for example, there's a pam right now that can be used to adjudicate these issues, but, perhaps, the u.s. has not gotten a fair shake from it. what enforcement measures would you like to see going guard? >> well, we think the right way to negotiate details like that is in the conference room rather than in the press room, but in general, in terms of enforcement, there's several measures we're going to be taking that have not been characteristic of prior administrations. first one is self-initiation.
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commerce has had that power for a long, long time, but almost never uses it. equally important is this. when we wait for an industry to bring an action itself, the rules are the industry must organize itself, certain percentage of the whole industry must agree, and then they have to draft the papers, take months to submit them to commerce, takes months to review them. that's a slow, slow process. when we self-initiate, it cuts out one of the two steps, and it cuts out the need for the industry to organize itself. it does another thing as well, which is sometimes countries want to take reprisals against the companies, the u.s. companies that bring the action. if commerce brings the action, there's no reprisal they can take against us, so it becomes a little of a heat shield for our
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corporations. >> and as we understand it, there may be some executive orders on their way that would also improve the enforcement that you have today at commerce, so, for example, it could make commerce powerful by going after china for being the currency manipulator opposed to libelling them as being one. is that a fair characterization of what else is coming down the pipe? >> well, it's been my practice since i was back in the private sector not to comment on rumors. we will be happy to comment on fact. we're not going to comment on rumors. >> understood. all right. let me go back to the letter, then, on the second page it talks about how there's the desire to seek to level the playing field on tax treatment. this seems to be a key part of all of this. in other words, does this mean that if there's a 16% value added tax, we'd impose on them a border adjustment tax of 16%? >> no. what that simply describes is an
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unfairness that exists, not just with mexico and canada, but with most of the rest of the world. mexico like europe, china, japan has a value added tax. that's the tax that is rebated on exports. we in the u.s. do not have a valuated tax, but the cbo three times turned down legislation three times drafted by our congress to percent the rebate of our e kwaif lant, namely corporate income taxes on our ceo ports. it's totally unfair to let our competitors get a rebate, sometimes the size much 20%, on their exports, and, yet, we can't get a rebate of our taxes. that's a problem that has to be solved in one way or another, and we will be using nafta as a partial means of addressing that. >> and how can you actually go
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about doing that? what would be the microphone for that to work if i'm a big u.s. company, caterpillar, for example, and i want the same treatment. >> well, this is not meant to deal just with individual companies. it's meant to deal with everything going cross borders, so would be a nation to nation solution, not a solution to one individual company. >> all right. you mentioned sense and fre frustration with the wto. is it a priority to you to remain a member of the organization? >> well, what's important to us that we have an impartial trade dispute around the world to the degree that the wto acts as an impartial arbiter, that's fine, but to the degree there's rules like this rule that i just described about inequitable tax treatment, we have a problem with it.
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in one way or another, we need a resolution of the problem. >> and to go back and zoom out a little bit about why you're putting this letter forward, proposed changes forward to nafta, is it the administration's goal that this simply brings jobs and manufacturing back to the united states, and this is one avenue for doing so? >> well, the reason for the letter is we are required to submit a so-called 90-day letter as part of the consolation process in the trade promotion agreement, so it's a little bit unfortunate that somebody apparently someone in the congress leaked a draft letter not yet approved by the house ways and means committee and the senate finance committee. those are the two groups that have to agree to our submission of the 90-day letter. that's what i mentioned a little bit earlier. we're hopeful to have done before the spring recess. >> you said as well the needs to address 20%, and one of the
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members said, look, the transpacific partnership was a great venue for doing so, making modernizations and some of the language in here borrows from that. would the tpp actually achieve some objectives when we talk about trade deals with other nations? could that be salvaged in some way or form? >> well, fist rst of all, we fe provisions in tpp, that mexico and canada already agreed to, should be the starting point. we certainly don't intend to lose ground from any provisions they've already agreed. if anything, our intention is to push them further. >> and when it comes to nafta, then, that is just -- you're saying that would mean an important part of introducing new legislation the same protections for digital property, that sort of thing? >> well, at least, at least the sai same, yes. tpp made some progress. we think there's a need and room for more progress.
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>> and, mr. secretary, i want to ask about the tax points at this point that are incredibly important, obviously, to companies here. once the health care repeal and replace bail fails, people were concerned that the revenues could fund a big tax reform is gone. how are we going to fill that hole? what plans do you have at this point to push through tax reform over the system? >> well, at this stage, the administration is in a listening mode consulting with members of the congress and consulting with other groups to get a view of them as to the kinds of reforms that might have eventually be. as you know, tax legislation starts from the house of representatives and then goes forward. the initiation most likely would be from the ways and means committee in the house. >> understood. though, when it comes to negotiates with nafta, wouldn't
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the introdoouction of a tax be key piece of this if they look at it as a hurdle to get goods in the country? >> well, the administration has not of yet taken a position on the border adjust tax. it's a complex question that requires complex answers, so we're studying it very, very carefully, and we know that one its purposes is to fill a hole that otherwise would exist in the tax proposals. we're taking it very seriously, but administrations take no position on it as of yet. >> all right. mr. secretary, finally before you go, this the first time we've seen you since that --
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>> well, very accurately, so i'm not going to get into a public debate with her, but you ought to do some fact checking, and if you'd look at the recent new york times article, which did a very thorough investigation report on my efforts involving the bank of cypress, those people did check their facts, and it is certainly not that the new york times is a great supporter of the administration. so you can take their benign treatment of me as being fact based. >> understood. well, thank you so much for joining us. so many complex issues and important changes taking place. appreciate your time this afternoon. >> it's good to talk with you. >> that's commerce secretary wilbur ross. coming up, media stocks trading higher today as the ftc considers a possible change in regulations that could have a big impact on that industry. we'll have those details next. here in upstate new york.
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welcome back, changes that could have a ripple effect on media deals. here's more from los angeles. julia? >> reporter: today, the fcc chair announced the path to overturning a big obama era regulation. they will vote on proposals including considering a plan to loosen the national cap of local tv station ownership preventing media companies from owning more than 39% of the national
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audience share. they would do that by changing how stations are counted towards that cap. writing today, quote, i'm proposals we hit the reset button and launch are comprehensive review of the ownership cap. this could start off a state of deals. one is interested in buying stations if the cap is raised. the broadcast group shares up 23% so far this year, and expectations that it will buy tribune media, a deal only possible if this rule is changed. 21st century fox challenged the ownership limits imposed by the obama administration. the ceo said last month that he was interested in buying more stations at this time. the acquisition of time warner expected to be approved in a lighter regulatory cut. we could see a wave of consolidations between media companies and between media companies, kelly? >> julia, thank you. this feels like, mike, the beginning of a frenzy.
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i sympathize with what station owners say. look, we live in a world where the internet gives you full content to everyone everywhere all the time. does it matter whether their ownership models covers a certain percent of the population? >> rules date back to local monopolies. think back far enough, you couldn't own a newspaper and radio station and tv station in the same market. that's antiquated. i think, i don't know if it's necessarily going to be megadeals, but i definitely think on the station group end, i mean, you saw ew script, a stock that would be in play this that regard, up 2% today. >> also interesting, trying to remember now who the company was recently, could have been comcast, but rolling out, again, the ability for anybody to log in, use the platform, access the portal, and all the shows availability. there's a lot of startups doing this all the time. there was one funded today out of california as well, so if the idea is, i own this content, and i, you know, and consumer only accesses it through me, well, i can understand the case, but a
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lot of the content is any where, just pick a website. >> that's true. they were going back to a time when you would be a gate keeper of local news and information, right? so it's much more about, i think, the content that would be sourced out some information, maybe you could sort of tilt things a certain way. that's not as much the world we live in, certainly, those concerns are not out front right now. >> i wonder what sort of deals will be, will it be people who own x% of the country and combine it with more, is it more vertical, whether there is different players coming together? >> interestlying the market will like the buers as well as the sellers, cbs up more than 1%. it's a good business and a scale business. for now. i think the high concept is going to come. at&t time warner doesn't involve stations. but it's very interesting in terms of what the rationale is and whether it will survive the next wave of technology.
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>> great point and cbs mentioned at 1.6% today. watch out, warren buffet. who has unseated oracle and omaha to become the fastest man in the world? coming up, one top strategist why he says the trump rally is far from over. that's at 5:00 p.m. eastern. ♪ ♪
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. >> welcome back. amazon stocks trading higher, all time interday highs earlier, after climbing 2%. we'll tell you how much bezos is worth after this run. next.
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>> welcome back. we have a news alert, a lot more is happening. >> hi, kelly, steve mnuchin made 11.2 million as vice chair of cit group in 2016 according to an sec filing that came out 10.9 million was severance pay, also
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remember cit group purchased his california bank that he had once had one rest back in 2015. so those are the numbers out from income from treasury secretary steve mnuchin. back to you, kelly. >> not a bad payday. thank you very much. >> want your back, bill gates, becoming the richest man in the world amazon ceo passed warren buffet to become. am i reading your script? >> we can start from there. >> i thought it was interesting stuff. go ahead. >> bill gates, does, in fact, have to watch his back. jeff bezos is on his way to becoming the richest man in the world. they passed warren buffet to become number two in the world and the surge in amazon stock prices added 2.5 billion of bezo's fortune. >> that makes him richer than
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warren buffet. . >> these numbers are all according to bloomberg millionaire's index. in the past year alone bezos added 22 billion to his fortune, that's 62,000 a day. he made his way on the forbes list when amazon had a net worth. by 2013, his net worth was 27 become. so what would it take for bezos to become number one? assuming amazon would have to increase 13% to a share price of $990 bucks per share for bezpos to top gate's 96 something. gates has been the top man, maybe it's time for a change. >> that's pretty amazing.
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>> i think if it happens, bezos crosses, first of all, he might say, congratulations, when will you give yours away? that's the other distinction that gates had to. >> for buffet, too, by the way, he is under pressure to be more philanthropic. the stock is at 91% at one point from 2000 to 2001 his net worth would have been down 90% at some point. >> be i the way, robert, the fact is, so here's what i'm trying to say, amazon right now is still a growing, flourishing company with many chapters ready on the written. is that common? >> we live in a day. people can become very wealthy, making unprecedented shorter and shorter in time. i think it will be a race not
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between him, but zuckerberg. they will be number one and number two. they hold so much of these companies. it appears, anyway, at early stages of just massive growth. >> yes, exactly. which is unbelievable. >> thank you. >> gates became the world's rich et in '95. he's probably in a younger age than i'm guessing. >> thank you very much. time for "fast money". >> "fast money" starts right now! live from the nasdaq markets, overlooking new york city's time's square, i'm mellissa lee. tonight on "fast" one beaten down is surging, rallying hard today the top technician says there is more room to run. he will be here to tell you what they are and how you can play it. the republican trifecta in d.c., gridlock. we will tell you why that may not be a bad thing for the rally. later, lululemon getting crushed, madman

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