Warren Buffett downplayed the risks of the recent spat of trade tensions between the US and China during Saturday's Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting.
Buffett said the US and China are the two dominant economic players in the world, which inevitably leads to conflict.
"Like any two big economic entities, there will be times when there are tensions," Buffett said.
But, the legendary investor thinks both countries will recognize the long-term benefits of free trade and it's unlikely that trade between the two will grind to a halt.
"It's just too big and too obvious that the benefits are huge and the world is dependent on it in many ways for its progress," Buffett said.
The comments come after President Donald Trump's recent trade attacks on China including proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods and tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum. A delegation made up of representatives from the Trump administration spent Thursday and Friday in China negotiating possible changes to the US-China trade relationship.
The tariffs and demands made by the US delegation - most notably a 60% reduction in the US-China trade deficit - worried economists and raised the possibility of a trade war between the two nations.
Buffett hinted at the idea that these crackdowns might be a temporary hiccup in the trading relationship.
"We both may do things that are mildly foolish from time to time," the Berkshire Hathaway CEO said.
Buffett also insisted the trade deficit, which Trump has consistently bemoaned, is not really a problem for the US.
"When you think about it, it's really not the worst thing in the world for someone to send you things you want and you hand them a piece of paper," Buffett said.
( Business insider )