Bill Gates: Tariffs Rhetoric Could Hit Poor Countries Hard

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Microsoft’s founder spoke with CNBC TV18 about trade tensions.

H/T dataroma

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Bill Gates: Tariffs Rhetoric Could Impact The Poorest Countries


Global economy actually is doing quite well right now. The estimates have actually been pushed up a little bit. growth China growth and new growth. And those are rare. Those are all going fairly well. Certainly these trade issues are scary in that if you get people turning inwards raising up tariffs the global economy is not going to do as well. There are huge benefits to trade take. If one country is growing too much of a crop the fact that you can send it to Africa where it's needed otherwise when you get a bumper crop then you get a price collapse because you don't have that that global demand. And so agriculture has been an area where a number of countries including India have to think again how willing are they to to be part of that global trading system.

So you know we're not in the midst of a full blown trade war just yet. What do you believe is likely to be the tipping point.

Well I don't have a crystal ball on this but the rhetoric that OK you know we'll use trade tariffs I'm all for somebody to do something that can escalate. And and so you know we could end up with a lot of tariffs and all the plans people have made about assuming their global supply chains will work and that they're able to do exports and imports. That alone will be quite a burden on economic growth and therefore for job creation. And in all of these things you always have to say OK the poorest countries you know they're the ones who are just barely getting by. And so it's always interesting to think you know how do we avoid them suffering. You know even Indian farmers want their crops to be exportable.

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