Berkshire's Warren Buffett: Trade tariffs will 'aggravate' rising costs across businesses

  • The billionaire investor says he's "definitely" seeing some impact from the ongoing tariffs and highlighted rising prices in raw materials like steel.
  • Though Buffett did note that while he saw inflation before the Trump administration imposed tariffs on foreign goods, he said, "The tariff situation will aggravate it significantly."

Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett told CNBC on Thursday that he's starting to see rising costs across his businesses and believes the Trump administration's tariffs could spur expenses even higher.

The billionaire investor said he's "definitely" seeing some impact from the ongoing tariffs and highlighted rising prices in raw materials like steel.

"We are seeing some effects from that and we're seeing some effects from inflation. We've seen more in the way of cost increases in the last year if you go across all of our businesses," Buffett said in an interview with CNBC's Becky Quick.

"We sell paint; the can it comes in, that's a lot more expensive than it was a year ago," he added.

The Benjamin Moore paint company is a subsidiary of Berkshire.

Though the so-called Oracle of Omaha did note that while he saw inflation before the Trump administration imposed tariffs on foreign goods, he said, "The tariff situation will aggravate it significantly."

Watch the full Buffett interview here.

President Donald Trump, citing national security concerns, placed tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum imports in March.

The tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico took effect in June, while an ongoing tit-for-tat dispute between the U.S. and China remains unresolved.

A new round of U.S. tariffs on $16 billion worth of Chinese imports took effect last week and drew a retaliatory response from Beijing. China is targeting U.S. fuel, steel, autos and medical equipment.

Buffett joined CNBC ahead of his lunch at the Smith & Wollensky steakhouse in New York with the winning bidder of the annual Glide auction. Buffett also turned 88 on Thursday.

The proceeds of the auction raise money for the San Francisco charity by offering a lunch with the billionaire investor.

This year's winning bidder paid more than $3.3 million.