Trump plans to tout his record at Davos gathering of global elite
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — President Trump plans to make the case for his “America First” agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this week, taking his sales pitch on the U.S. economy to the alpine ski village that annually hosts the glitzy gathering of the global business and political elite he repeatedly criticized in his campaign for the White House.
“I’m going to Davos right now to get people to invest into the United States,” Trump said Wednesday in an address to mayors gathered at the White House. “I’m going to say, ‘Come into the United States, you have plenty of money,’” he said.
“It’s going to be an interesting time,” he added.
The theme of this year’s summit is “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World,” an acknowledgement of some of the nationalist and populist forces Trump has channeled in the United States and their impact on globalization.
Trump’s presence also loomed large over the gathering ahead of the event: The World Economic Forum’s annual Global Risk Report analyzing long-term worldwide risk warned that “charismatic strongman politics is on the rise across the world,” citing Trump’s “America First” platform.
The report also argued that Trump’s fulfillment of unilateralist campaign promises to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Paris climate agreement contributed to the “erosion of institutions of multilateral dialogue and decision-making.”
On the heels of the passage of the GOP tax overhaul in Congress and a banner year for stock markets, Trump, who will be the first sitting president to attend the event since Bill Clinton, plans to “sell his accomplishments” and “remind that world that we are open to business,” Gary Cohn, Trump’s top economic advisor told reporters at the White House Tuesday.
Trump arrives in Switzerland on Thursday, will have dinner with European business leaders, and meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On Friday, Trump will address the forum, and also hold bilateral meetings with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Swiss President Alain Berset, before returning to Washington.
In his meetings with world leaders, Trump plans to discuss the future of the Iran nuclear deal, North Korea and the anti-ISIS campaign, national security advisor H.R. McMaster told reporters at the White House earlier this week.
Trump’s meetings with May and Kagame, who is the new chairman of the African Union, follow Trump’s abrupt cancellation of a planned trip to the United Kingdom over the cost of the new U.S. embassy in London –coming via Twitter. Trump criticized former President Obama for the cost of the embassy and its location, though the embassy’s planned move began under former President Bush.
The meeting with Kagame comes after Trump was criticized across the African continent for reportedly referring to African countries as “s***hole countries” in an immigration meeting with senators. Following reports of the comments, the African Union’s mission in Washington called on Trump to apologize “to all people of African descent around the globe.”
While First Lady Melania Trump has cancelled plans to accompany the president over “scheduling and logistical issues,” according to a spokesperson, Trump will be joined in Davos by several members of his Cabinet, senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and several members of Congress.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made waves among the global elite on Wednesday when he told forum attendees that a weak dollar is good for American trade, comments that broke with traditional U.S. monetary policy and reportedly led the dollar to plummet to a three-year low.
Trump’s trip also follows his decision to impose tariffs on imports of solar panels and washing machines – a move quickly criticized by China. Earlier this week in Davos, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a revised trade agreement with eleven Pacific nations remaining in the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the United States’ departure.
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