BREAKING NEWS: Trump at Davos: ‘America First Does Not Mean America Alone’
President Donald J. Trump, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, struck a tone similar to a governor, mayor, or president of a chamber of commerce, praising the accomplishments and attributes of the United States economy, and delivering a message to the gathered titans of industry that America is open for business.
He also warned the audience that the US was setting tougher terms for international trade, saying the US “will no longer turn a blind eye” to “predatory trade.”
“I am here to represent the interests of the American people, and to affirm America’s friendship and partnership in building a better world,” Trump said. “America is open for business and we are competing once again.
“I will always put America first,” Trump continued. “But America first does not mean America alone. When the United States grows, so does the world.”
Missing from Trump’s speech was a vision for US leadership in the world, the cornerstone of US policy since the end of World War II. Instead, he made the case only for foreign investment in the US and pushed the notion that the more US citizens prosper, the better they are able to buy goods from abroad.
At other points during the Davos conference, Trump suggested that the US might be willing to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership if it were “substantially better,” a departure from his usual stated preference for bilateral trade relationships.
He also referenced India’s gross domestic product growth of around seven percent, suggested that was a goal the US should emulate. In fact, US economic growth moved in the wrong direction, according to numbers released by the US Department of Commerce while Trump was delivering his Davos keynote. In the fourth quarter, the US economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent, breaking a two-quarter streak of three percent growth. According to those same numbers, US economic growth for 2017, the first year of the Trump presidency, ended at 2.3 percent.