​Nvidia responds to Trump's looming trade war with calls for collaboration instead

Jensen Huang responded to the looming trade war between the United States and China, saying it's impossible for any product today to be created in just one country.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

United States President Donald Trump last month initiated the process of installing tariffs on a number of Chinese products, restricting Chinese investment in "industries and technology deemed important" to US interests, and taking China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) for discriminatory technology licensing practices.

Addressing the looming trade war between Washington and Beijing at the conclusion of Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference in San Jose last week, Nvidia CEO and founder Jensen Huang simply said "there cannot be a war".

"It is definitely better, it is actually vitally important, that the world continues to have a collaborative trading and open business relationship," Huang told media.

"If you just think about Nvidia, we sell to China and China is call it one-third of Nvidia's business -- however, remember everything we sell to China goes through our distribution partners and gets integrated into computers, it gets integrated into datacentres and clouds, the impact to them, to their local market, the impact to the local market of the local companies is also significant."

Although headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Huang said Nvidia boasts "a few thousand" employees in China, as well as many partners covering the company's supply chain.

"We sell to China, we have partners in China, China's ecosystem and economy depends on our technology, we have a lot of great employees in China that contribute to the creation of products [in the US], and I use China, but it's true with India, it's true with the United Kingdom -- it's true everywhere -- so the question is for companies that are global, how should we think through that and I think the answer is the best way is to work with our nations to figure out a way to collaborate," he explained.

"I don't like wars of any kind."

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is due to publish a list of products to have tariffs imposed upon them by the end of this week, said previously that the US has 44 million workers involved in "high-technology areas", and that technology would be "the backbone of the future" for the American economy.

But Huang highlighted a potential roadblock to such a plan, noting the dependence the world has on other countries, particularly where technology is concerned.

"I think the United States depends on China, the United States depends on Taiwan because of Taiwan's very important TSMC, which provides semiconductors for almost everybody in the world," Huang said.

"So we all have great interdependence with each other, so we have to find a way to be fair with each other and to live together -- there cannot be a war, because I know that they know this as well, whoever they are, I believe they know this as well, they will work it out."

According to the US president, intellectual property theft is costing America in the order of hundreds of billions of dollars each year, and the tariffs could hit $60 billion worth of Chinese imports to America.

"We are doing things for this country that should have been done for many, many years -- we've had this abuse by many other countries and groups of countries that were put together in order to take advantage of the United States, and we don't want that to happen, we're not going to let that happen," Trump said previously.

He also believes such action is going to make the US a "much stronger, much richer nation".

"Almost everything is made everywhere in the world, as you know, an iPhone is made in Taiwan, Korea, China, United States, all at the same time," Huang continued.

"It is impossible for any product today to be created in just one country, we're so interdependent -- it's a statement of fact, it's not a political statement, it's not a policy statement, it's just a statement of fact."

To Huang, the best way forward is for nations to work together as a group of people and help everybody succeed alongside one another.

Disclaimer: Asha Barbaschow travelled to GTC as a guest of Nvidia


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