Trump in Davos ′to tell world how great America is′ | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.01.2018
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Trump in Davos 'to tell world how great America is'

The US president will on Friday address the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, where he's rubbing shoulders with the globalists his 'America First' rhetoric has long since railed against.

US President Donald Trump will give a speech at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday, having arrived at the Swiss ski resort on Thursday.

Trump is scheduled to address the Davos forum on Friday afternoon around 2pm local time (8am EST).

Before leaving Washington for Davos on Wednesday evening, Trump tweeted to his 47 million followers that he was going to Davos "to tell the world how great America is and is doing."

Trump's appearance at the World Economic Forum has been much anticipated, given how starkly at odds his protectionist 'America First' rhetoric is with the globalist, pro-free trade vibes of the annual gathering of the world's economic and political elite on the slopes of Davos.

Read more: Davos: New momentum for Europe?

Trump has spoken repeatedly of his eagerness to redraw the United States' trading relationship with several countries, particularly China. He has already pulled America from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and has threatened to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the USA, Canada and Mexico.

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Earlier this week, Trump announced tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, a move that sparked the ire of South Korea and China.

Calling Europe

Trump's vow to wow Europe appeared, at first glance, to be relatively successful.

On Thursday evening, he had dinner with more than a dozen senior European business executives like Joe Kaeser (Siemens), Kasper Rorsted (Adidas) and Patrick Pouyanne (Total).

Several of those who dined with Trump thanked him afterwards on social media and praised his economic policies, particularly the recent tax cuts.

Trump also met with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, taking part in a bilateral session in which he lavishly showered praise on both May and the UK as a whole.

"One thing that will be taking place over a number of years will be trade. Trade is going to increase many times," he said of the US-UK relationship.

"I look forward to... the discussions... that will be taking place are going to lead to tremendous increases in trade between our two countries which is great for both in terms of jobs. We look forward to that and we are starting that process, pretty much as we speak."

Trump also denied that there was any discord between himself and the British prime minister, saying: "We love your country."

Strength in numbers?

Trump traveled to Davos with a large team of senior economic personnel, an indication of the seriousness with which the Trump administration is treating the gathering.

Among those with Trump in Davos are Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as a host of other senior cabinet figures. Although not part of the official US delegation, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Advisor H.R McMaster are also in Davos.

Ahead of the visit, Gary Cohn, the White House senior economic advisor, said Trump would be holding firm to his 'America First' principles while also making it clear that America was "open for business."

"The President will continue to promote fair economic competition and will make it clear that there cannot be free and open trade if countries are not held accountable to the rules," he said.

On Thursday in Davos, Mnuchin prompted a fall in the value of the US dollar by stressing the importance of a "weaker dollar."

"Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us. It's good because it has to do with trade and opportunities," he said, suggesting the White House's eagerness for the value of the currency to fall in the hope that it will boost US exports.

Trump's visit to the Davos event is the first by a US president since Bill Clinton visited in 2000.

aos/kd (Reuters, AFP)

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