EXCLUSIVE: Bill Gates Talks Immigration, Microsoft

Bill Gates, the Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) co-founder and philanthropist, discussed the software giant’s future and U.S. immigration policies in an exclusive interview with the FOX Business Network.

Speaking in Davos, Switzerland, at the World Economic Forum, Gates told FBN’s Maria Bartiromo that the U.S. still holds a “phenomenal” amount of the world’s innovation despite questions over immigration laws.

But lawmakers need to fix the nation’s immigration system in order to keep talent in America and create jobs around those individuals, he added.

“It is kind of perverse to provide the education and then, even somebody who’s being offered a very high-paying job, they’ve got to go to Canada or back to India,” Gates said Friday on “Opening Bell with Maria Bartiromo.”

As for education, Gates argued that Common Core, a national set of standards for kindergarten through high school, isn’t a curriculum and “doesn’t constrain how teachers do things.” He likened Common Core to an electrical plug, saying it creates uniformity for how much students need to know.

Gates also said the U.S. needs to have education standards “that are high enough that we are competitive with other countries.”

With tax reform also waiting in the wings on Capitol Hill, Gates believes medical costs present the biggest challenge for the U.S. budget.

“I’m afraid that we’ve been distracted from the issue of why we spend so much more than others,” he explained. “This should be a technocratic thing, not a partisan thing, why this system is not working as efficiently as it could.”

Gates and his wife, Melinda, released their annual letter this week. In it, they project the mortality rate of children worldwide will be cut in half by 2030, and mobile banking will help 2.5 billion people who currently don’t have access to inexpensive financial services.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation remains focused on fighting polio as well. Gates predicated that in a couple years, polio will become the second disease to be eradicated.

Gates also remarked on the future of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), where he now serves as a technology advisor. Earlier this week, the software giant unveiled its next operating system, Windows 10, along with new innovations in virtual reality.

According to Gates, Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella is driving the company to lead in areas “where we hadn’t been the leader before,” such as mobile and cloud computing.

“It’s a very competitive business,” Gates said. “There’s a certain energy about the company. [Nadella] gets advice from me on some particular areas. I’m glad to help.”

2015 Gates Annual Letter