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Jim Cramer Urges Trump to Be 'Little Less Harsh' to Chinese: Watch

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The major indices are down in intraday trading on Friday, May 15.

Stocks tumbled Friday as tensions between Washington and Beijing flared and retail sales in the United States fell a record 16.4% in April as shoppers stayed home during the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. has continued to ramp up its criticism of China's handling of the coronavirus outbreak and has encouraged companies to relocate their supply chains back to the United States.

Worries over U.S.-China tensions were renewed on Thursday after President Donald Trump said he didn't want to talk to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping "right now."

And then there are retail sales. Retail sales dropped a record 16.4% in April, almost double March's 8.7% decline, which was the steepest month-on-month drop since 1992 when record-keeping began.

The expectation had been for a decline of 12.3%.

When asked about whether or not investors should be taking the U.S.-China trade tensions seriously, Jim Cramer said, "This is real and it's bad."

He said that Applied Materials should be up today, but it's not because "it has a lot of business in China."

In the video above, Cramer said that it might be time for the administration to be "a little less harsh." 

You can follow Jim Cramer and Katherine Ross on Twitter at @JimCramer and @byKatherineRoss. Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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