A Donald Trump presidency wouldn’t be the blow to U.S. business that some fear, Warren Buffett, chairman and chief executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway, said at the company’s annual shareholders meeting Saturday.
“If either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president, and one of them is very likely to be, I think Berkshire will continue to do fine,” Buffett said.
The outcome of November’s presidential election is unlikely to change the fact that the United States is a “remarkably attractive place in which to conduct a business,” he said. U.S. companies have enjoyed “terrific” returns on equity despite a sustained period of ultra-low interest rates, he said.
Trump and Clinton are their parties’ respective front-runners in a campaign that has exposed discontent with Washington insiders, anger over global trade deals, frustration with Wall Street and furor over the growing gap between rich and poor.
Buffett, who endorsed Democrat Clinton in December, looked past the current voter angst for a longer view of American economic prospects.
“Twenty years from now, there’ll be far more output per capita in the United States in real terms than there is now. In 50 years, it’ll be far more,” Buffett said. “No presidential candidate or president is going to end that. They can shape it in ways that are good or bad, but they can’t end it.”
Asked how a Trump presidency might affect Berkshire’s business, Buffett said, “That won’t be the main problem.” He didn’t elaborate.