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Warren Buffett is not too worried about a trade war

Warren Buffett has plenty on the line if the United States and China can't settle their trade differences. But the Or...

Posted: May 6, 2018 1:38 PM
Updated: May 6, 2018 1:38 PM

Warren Buffett has plenty on the line if the United States and China can't settle their trade differences. But the Oracle of Omaha isn't that concerned about the relationship.

"We've done remarkably well with trade in China," Buffett said of the US at Berkshire Hathaway's annual shareholders meeting Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska. "We will have disagreements with each other. We'll have disagreements with other countries on trade. But it's just too big, and too obvious that the benefits are huge and the world's dependent on, in a major way for its progress."

Threats of a trade war between the world's biggest economies have loomed for months, and both countries have threatened to slap steep tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of exports.

The tensions have rattled global markets - so far this year, for example, the S&P 500 index has swung wildly.

Related: China says 'big differences' remain after US trade talks

Buffett has several interests in China. His conglomerate Berkshire has a massive stake in the Chinese car company BYD, as well as big holdings of Apple, GM and Coca-Cola. All of them have a major presence in the Asian nation.

Berkshire's stock is down about 2% since January.

"It is a win-win situation when the world trades," Buffett said at the meeting, adding that he doesn't think the US and China will "do something extremely foolish."

"We will not sacrifice world prosperity based on differences that arise in trade," he said.

Top trade officials from the United States and China met in Beijing this week, an effort to ease the tough rhetoric and avoid a trade standoff.

The two sides made some progress in the in the two days of talks, according to China's official news agency, Xinhua. But the agency also reported that they still have "relatively big differences on some issues."

President Donald Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Friday that he would be meeting with the delegation to "determine the results."

"But it is hard for China in that they have become very spoiled with US trade wins!" he added.

Trade war fears escalated earlier this year after Trump announced hefty new tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum, which prompted retaliatory measures from China.

On Saturday, Buffett's longtime business partner Charlie Munger defended that move. He added that global trading rules "were almost unbelievably adverse" to US producers.

"Even Donald Trump can be right on some of this stuff," Munger said.

Buffett chimed in, adding that global trade is a benefit to Americans in the grand scheme.

He also said the US government has a duty to communicate that to the public - especially to workers whose jobs are at risk because of global trade.

"The negatives are very apparent and very painful," Buffett said.

He also said the government should "take care of people that become the roadkill for something that is collectively good for us as a country."

-CNNMoney's Paul La Monica and Daniel Shane contributed to this report.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
Lowndes6022137
Lamar588080
Lafayette5733113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4609123
Oktibbeha441393
Panola430394
Pearl River4167130
Warren4129114
Pontotoc408869
Marshall403192
Monroe3989126
Union395374
Neshoba3807168
Lincoln3541102
Hancock347374
Leflore3375118
Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
Itawamba289975
Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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