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Bill Gates to meet with Trump at the White House

President Donald Trump will sit down with billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday....

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 1:36 AM
Updated: Mar 16, 2018 1:36 AM

President Donald Trump will sit down with billionaire Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates on Thursday.

The two are scheduled to meet this afternoon inside the Oval Office, according to Trump's public schedule released by the White House. The meeting is closed to press.

A spokesperson for Gates did not immediately respond to a request for comment about what will be discussed.

A source familiar with the agenda told CNN that foreign aid will likely be a topic of discussion. Gates and his wife Melinda spoke out against Trump's proposed cuts to foreign aid in the 2018 annual letter for their philanthropic foundation, saying US efforts to combat disease and poverty abroad "saves lives," "creates US jobs," and "make Americans more secure."

Related: Trump to meet with Bill Gates, harsh critic of plan to slash foreign aid

Trump and Gates will also likely talk about funding for scientific research, according to CNN's source. Gates has emphasized the importance of these investments in prior meetings with Trump and encouraged the president to back an innovation agenda supporting research in health, education and energy.

Gates previously met with Trump in December 2016 at Trump Tower and again last March.

Trump is also reportedly looking to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports, which would have major implications for US technology and telecommunications sectors -- another topic that could be discussed.

One more potential topic: Larry Kudlow's economic policy, the source said. Kudlow, a former CNBC commentator who was recently appointed as the director of the National Economic Council, appears to support a tough trade position toward China.

Related: Bill Gates invests $80 million to build Arizona smart city

Gates has also spoken out about concerns related to the administration's "America First" worldview.

"My view is that engaging with the world has proven over time to benefit everyone, including Americans, more than withdrawing does," the 2018 annual letter said. "Even if we measured everything the government did only by how much it helped American citizens, global engagement would still be a smart investment."

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