TRUMP Davos 700x420 1
TRUMP Davos 700x420 1

By Emel Akan

DAVOS, Switzerland—President Donald Trump hailed his economic and trade records in his opening remarks on the first day of the economic summit in Davos on Tuesday, saying that America is “winning again like never before.”

“Today I am proud to declare that the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” he said.

Trump delivered his speech a few hours before his impeachment trial, which is scheduled to begin in the Senate on Jan. 21.

In a campaign-style speech, Trump said: “America is thriving. America is flourishing and yes, America is winning again like never before.”

The economic summit in the Swiss Alpine town runs through to Jan. 24. The high-profile forum brings together world leaders, business elites, economists, and celebrities from around the globe.

In his opening remarks, Trump spent most of the time listing his achievements, including tax reform, regulatory rollback, trade deals, and record unemployment rate.

“This is a blue-collar boom,” he said, adding that factories and companies were flowing back to the country.

‘We Love Each Other’

At this year’s event, Trump took a softer tone on trade and protectionism compared to his 2018 speech in Davos.

He mentioned the signing of a “phase one” trade deal with China and the Senate’s passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement last week, calling them “21st-century agreements that are fair and reciprocal.”

“Our relationship with China, right now, has probably never been better. We went through a very rough patch,” he said, calling his relationship with Chinese leader Xi Jinping “an extraordinary one.”

“He is for China. I am for the United States. But other than that we love each other,” he said.

Trump also defended his trade policy, noting that his trade achievements would not be possible without tariffs.

This is Trump’s second visit to the annual gathering. He attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2018 but had to cancel his trip last year due to a U.S. government shutdown caused by disagreements over border wall funding.

Trump will be in Davos from Jan. 21 to 22 and is expected to hold bilateral meetings with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, and President of Kurdistan Regional Government Nechirvan Barzani.

Trump will also hold bilateral meetings with Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab.

The WEF, founded in 1971 by Schwab, a German engineer and economist, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. As in previous years, the WEF is expected to focus on current economic and social issues to help shape global, regional, and industry agendas.

Key Focus: Climate Change

The theme at this year’s summit is “stakeholders for a sustainable and cohesive world.” Global elites will tackle climate and environmental threats during the summit. As in 2019, Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old Swedish climate activist, is ramping up pressure on businesses and governments.

During his speech, Trump said that the United States would join the economic forum’s initiative to plant a trillion trees across the globe.

However, he criticized climate pessimism and reports on global warming.

“This is not a time for pessimism. This is a time for optimism. Fear and doubt is not a good thought process. Because this is a time for tremendous hope and joy and optimism and action. But to embrace the possibilities of tomorrow we must reject the perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse,” he said.

“These alarmists always demand the same thing: absolute power to dominate, transform, and control every aspect of our lives. We will never let radical socialists destroy our economy, wreck our country, or eradicate our liberty,” he added.

Other pressing issues that will be addressed in Davos this year are global growth, income inequality, long-term debt burden, technology war, rising geopolitical conflicts, and workforce development.

Before heading to Davos, Trump wrote on Twitter on Jan. 20: “Heading to Davos, Switzerland, to meet with World and Business Leaders and bring Good Policy and additional Hundreds of Billions of Dollars back to the United States of America! We are now NUMBER ONE in the Universe, by FAR!!”

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