Trump takes 'America First' mantra to skeptical Davos elite

Posted January 26, 2018

While within the European Union, the United Kingdom can not negotiate separate trade deals with other countries.

At a news conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mnuchin played down his comments on Wednesday that a weaker dollar was "good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities", saying they had been "balanced and consistent".

In an open letter to Davos attendees ahead of Trump's speech on Friday, the CEO of a South African business group urged participants to boycott the president's address over his recent vulgar comments about Haiti and some African nations. "When we grow, the world grows".

"I hope not. But history tells us that if there is a move which impacts trade towards more protectionism in one country then the temptation for the other partner to do the same or to retaliate is very high and increases, so things may get out of hand", he told Reuters in an interview. He is expected to showcase the booming US economy and measures like his recent tax overhaul, claiming that a thriving America benefits the world.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross argued that new U.S. tariffs on imported solar-energy components and large washing machines are meant to deal with "inappropriate behavior" by other countries and are not protectionist.

Trump says USA aid to the Palestinians is "on the table" but they won't get it "unless they sit down and negotiate peace". It's a pitch he's preparing to make at the World Economic Forum when he arrives Thursday in Davos, Switzerland.

The President's own trip to Davos was also in flux until several hours ago, due to the government shutdown, which has been now been resolved. "What may happen in Davos we have no clear idea".

Trump will join a large US delegation already making waves.

Trump is the first sitting president to attend Davos since Bill Clinton in 2000.

The Swiss mountainside gathering of bankers, corporate chiefs and academics isn't exactly Trump's scene, and his administration deliberately spurned the conference prior to his inauguration previous year. But National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Trump is prioritizing the meeting with May. "Walking into the lion's den is an apt metaphor". Elton John, whose song title "Rocket Man" Trump used to deride North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, will be in Davos, as will actress Cate Blanchett, who shaped chewing gum into a phallus on late-night TV to mock Trump just days after he took office.

Picking up the threads of arguments outlined by the Indian, Canadian and German premiers, French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday acknowledged that globalist policies need to adapt to help those left behind.

At a press briefing at the World Economic Forum on Thursday, Mnuchin said the short-term value of the dollar is dependent on many factors in what is a very liquid market.

The Davos elite are keen now to see which version of Trump will show up - the business-friendly tycoon or the leader who berated the rest of the world at the UN General Assembly last September.

"It is hard to predict whether the president will seek to reassure or provoke his audience in Davos", said former treasury secretary Larry Summers, a Democrat.