On Tuesday billionaire tech innovator Bill Gates spoke with President-elect Donald Trump over the phone on Tuesday and came away excited about the possibility of the next four years.
Gates told CNBC Tuesday morning that he believes Trump has the chance to establish “American leadership through innovation.” While Trump has had a lot to say over the last year about how bad things have become in America, Gates thinks that Trump can now switch course and be positive about our future.
“In the same way President Kennedy talked about the space mission and got the country behind that. I think whether it’s education or stopping epidemics … [or] in this energy space, there can be a very upbeat message that [Trump’s] administration [is] going to organize things, get rid of regulatory barriers, and have American leadership through innovation.”
Gates also said that he recently spoke with the President-elect about the power of innovation: “Of course, my whole career has been along those lines. And he was interested in listening to that. And I’m sure there will be further conversation.”
Gates also believes that Donald Trump is “too sophisticated” to get into a battle of wills over tariffs with China.
I don’t think it would be a good deal to have trade relations between China and the U.S. fall apart, so I feel sure that he and the team he brings in around them, even as they tune things, they won’t want the ‘lose-lose’ that you would get if you start to get large tariff walls.
There are challenges. A lot of the strength of the U.S. economy comes from exporters, so if you’re trying to supress imports, you could get into a situation where countries are raising tarriff walls.
The president-elect is very sophisticated. I hope he’s thought through how he’s going to get some adjustment there [in China] without that typical sort of tariff tit for tat.
It wasn’t just Gates who had some positive things to say about the coming Trump administration. British billionaire Sir Richard Branson is also excited about the possibilities of a Trump administration. Branson is particularly happy with Trump’s decision to make Rex Tillerson the next Secretary of State.
“First of all, if Rex Tillerson is indeed a climate denier, it is all the more reason for businesses to step up to the plate. What I’m actually hopeful is that he isn’t actually a climate denier. He said not so long ago that the recent climate change is very serious and warrants action. What we’re hopeful for is that when he’s no longer running Exxon-Mobil and he’s in a position of great authority in the American government, he will actually be able to do something about it. He obviously had a conflict of interest while he was at Exxon-Mobil. But he is at least someone who knows that climate change is serious and warrants action. We will obviously call him up and work with him at getting something done.”
It’s good to see these two influential billionaires getting on board the Trump train (finally) because it will take leaders of influence to help Trump lead our nation on the world stage. Having Gates’ and Branson’s support wasn’t necessary but it will be quite helpful as President Trump looks to accomplish his agenda.
See the full Bill Gates CNBC interview below: