By Ross Kohan
September 12, 2016

Alex Molinaroli doesn’t buy into the populist notion that globalization is bad, despite what presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have been saying. The CEO of Johnson Controls tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib, “You’re not going to stop globalization.”

His $40 billion building-products company has operations all around the world, so it’s not surprising that he’s a big believer in global trade. “Over a period of time we’ll get past the rhetoric,” he says. “We’ll get to reality and what’s best for everyone. And I think over some period of time we’ll come to the acknowledgement that you can’t stop globalization, so we might as well embrace it and win that game vs. fight that game.”

As for the current state of the global economy, Molinaroli says it’s “moving sideways.” Still, he believes the outlook is not as grim as some believe. “I think we have an economy that’s looking for something bad to happen,” he says, “but the reality is, it’s not so bad. It could be better, but it’s not so bad.”

Molinaroli recently merged Johnson Controls with Tyco International in a so-called “tax inversion.” The newly merged company has switched its corporate address from Milwaukee to Ireland where Tyco is based, allowing it to drastically lower its tax bill. Molinaroli stuck to that theme when asked to give advice to Trump and Clinton on how to boost American business: “If we had a rational tax system, that not only was focused on the global tax system, but also just to help small businesses, I think that would be the most important thing that anyone can do.”


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