Donald Trump is the first sitting U.S. President in 18 years to address the World Economic Forum. In his closing keynote speech, Trump defended his ‘America First’ stance, walking a fine-line between populism and globalization. He also called out ‘unfair’ trade practices.
CGTN’s Jack Barton reports from the forum.
U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly scorned multilateral trade deals, international institutions and the World Economic Forum, making him the odd man out in Davos.
On Friday his fundamental message was that following big tax cuts the U.S. is great destination for foreign investment and that putting America first was a not a call for isolationism.
“America first does not mean America alone. When the United States grows, so does the world,” said Trump. “American prosperity has created countless jobs all around the globe and the drive for excellence, creativity and innovation in the U.S. has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and far healthier lives.”
Trump said the U.S. might even consider re-entering talks with what are now 11 other countries in an expanded and re-named Trans-Pacific Trade partnership if he considered the deal fair.
“We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others,” said Trump. “We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal. Because in the end, unfair trade undermines us all.”
Despite threats of a walkout, Trump was only booed once, when he referred to the mainstream media as fake news.
Before his speech Trump said in an interview that he regretted re-posting anti-Muslim videos put online by a British ultra-nationalist group, saying he would not have done so if he’d known they were posted by ‘horrible, racist people.’
But there was no apology to African delegates for the obscene and derogatory remark he recently made about their countries.
And most of the facts and figures Trump used in the address were also criticized.
“He claimed there were more creation,” said Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize recipient in economics. “In fact, in the last couple of years of the Obama administration, there were much more job creation than Trump. Trump is actually 20-percent below Obama, but he would hate that. But those are the facts.”
The president departed almost as soon as his speech concluded, heading home to deal with a myriad of issues from immigration reform to damaging reports on his election campaign’s alleged links to the Russian government.
How was Trump’s keynote speech at Davos received? Harlan Ullman discusses
For more on Trump’s keynote speech at Davos, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Harlan Ullman, the Senior Advisor at the Atlantic Council.
Afshin Molavi on the highlights of Trump’s speech in Davos
For more on U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, CGTN’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Afshin Molavi, a Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Institute at Johns Hopkins University.