Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s (BRK-B) chairman, has shared his views on US-China trade relations a few times. Last year, Buffett said, “I don’t think either country will dig themselves into something that precipitates and continues any kind of real trade war.” However, Jack Ma (BABA) said that the trade war could last for decades.
In his 2018 annual shareholder letter, Buffett said, “Americans will be both more prosperous and safer if all nations thrive.” The comment is seen in the context of President Trump’s trade rhetoric against China (FXI) (JD). President Trump has cited China’s (BIDU) (TCEHY) slowdown several times. President Trump has credited his tariffs for China’s economic woes.
Last month, in an interview with CNBC, in response to a question about President Trump’s decision to postpone the tariff hike on China, Buffett said, “I’m relieved at the idea that there’s still some chance that sense will prevail.” He also said, “It is bad for China, it’s bad for us– if we get into some kind of a trade war.” However, Buffett did admit that the US hasn’t really been getting fair deals from trading partners. Last year, Buffett also seemed to support President Trump’s Section 232 steel tariffs.
The markets, which rose partly due to optimism about US-China trade talks, have pared some of their gains. However, the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) has risen 11.0% for the year. Apple (AAPL), Boeing (BA), General Electric (GE), Caterpillar (CAT), and Microsoft (MSFT) have risen 11.1%, 32.3%, 25.2%, 6.8%, and 10.5%, respectively, based on their closing prices on March 6.
Next, we’ll discuss Buffett’s views on the cannabis sector.