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Last updated: 13 Feb, 2018  

USA.Thmb.jpg Trump's 'America First' policy worries Bill, Melinda Gates

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IANS | 13 Feb, 2018
Microsoft Corporation co-founder Bill Gates and his wife Melinda on Tuesday expressed their concern over US President Donald Trump's "America First" philosophy in their annual letter to the world.

"More broadly, the America First worldview concerns me. It's not that the US shouldn't look out for its people. The question is how best to do that," said Bill Gates.

He said that engaging with the world instead of withdrawing from it has proven over time to benefit everyone, including Americans, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Even if we measured everything the government did only by how much it helped American citizens, global engagement would still be a smart investment," he said.

Gates also said the Trump administration's policies affect the foundation's work in various areas, with "the most concrete example" of foreign aid, which can create jobs at home, prevent disease outbreaks from becoming epidemics, as well as make Americans more secure and poor countries more stable.

Although the Bill and Melinda Foundation disagrees with the Trump administration "more than the others we've met with", Gates said, he and his wife still believed that "it's still important to work together whenever possible".

"We keep talking to them because if the US cuts back on its investments abroad, people in other countries will die and Americans will be worse off," Gates added.

Melinda Gates, co-chair of the foundation, said one of the duties of the US President is to champion American values on the world stage.

The President has a responsibility to "set a good example and empower all Americans through his statements and his policies", she said.

The Gates' made the statement in their annual letter answering the "10 toughest questions" they had received. Since 2009, the couple has published such correspondence with the world about their philanthropic work and lessons learned each year.

 
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