In a new interview, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban skewered tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump, calling them “attacks on the American people.”
“I’m not a fan of the tariffs,” says Cuban, a billionaire entrepreneur who is considering a run for president in 2020. The tariffs result in undue costs for American businesses, he said.
After trade negotiations between the U.S. and China stalled earlier this month, Trump escalated the conflict, raising tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. The Chinese government retaliated by raising tariffs on $60 billion worth of American products. After months of trade talks, both sides have blamed the other for the failure to reach an agreement.
Cuban, a host of the television show “Shark Tank,” said he has seen firsthand the economic strain caused by the tariffs, pointing to the struggles of companies he’s invested in on the show.
“Some of my smaller ‘Shark Tank’ companies that resell products are getting crushed by the tariffs,” he says. “I've got one that may go out of business simply because tariffs at 10% were one thing. Tariffs at 25%, they just can't compete.”
“The uncertainty, it's made it very, very difficult,” Cuban adds.
Cuban made the remarks to Editor-in-Chief Andy Serwer in a conversation that airs on Yahoo Finance on Thursday at 5 p.m. EST in an episode of “Influencers with Andy Serwer,” a weekly interview series with leaders in business, politics, and entertainment.
While Cuban is known for the Mavericks and “Shark Tank,” he made his first billions with an online streaming company called AudioNet that he co-founded in 1995. The company, which later became broadcast.com, sold to Yahoo in 1999 for stock valued at $5.7 billion. Soon after, in 2000, Cuban purchased the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks for $285 million; the team is now valued at $2.3 billion, according to Forbes. He also co-founded 2929 Entertainment, a film production and distribution company.
Cuban has invested in hundreds of start-ups as a host of the TV show “Shark Tank,” which he joined in 2012.
‘I understand what he’s trying to do in terms of battling China’
“I understand what he's trying to do in terms of battling China,” Cuban said of Trump. “I would approach it differently.”
Cuban proposed that the U.S. stop allowing Chinese companies to go public or trade on U.S. stock exchanges.
“A trading halt would certainly create a lot of disruption for those Chinese companies,” Cuban says.
As of February, 156 Chinese companies were listed on major U.S. stock exchanges with a total market capitalization of $1.2 trillion, according to the U.S.-China Economic Security and Review Commission, a group tasked by Congress to monitor the trade relationship between the two countries.
Cuban supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, saying ahead of the election that Trump had gone “crazy.”
Despite his public criticism of Trump, Cuban said the two of them “get along.”
“Like any president, I agree with some things and disagree with other things,” he says. “It's not personal.”
Andy Serwer is editor-in-chief of Yahoo Finance.