TRUMP TO DAVOS: 'America is open for business'

US President Donald Trump waves upon his arrival with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (2ndL) for the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, eastern Switzerland. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images.
  • President Donald Trump gave his big speech Friday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
  • There he brought an “America First”-themed message to the world elites.
  • He told the crowd that the US was “open for business.”

President Donald Trump on Friday took his “America First” speech to the crowd of global elites at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where he proclaimed a newly reinvigorated US while taking veiled shots at China.

As expected, Trump touted strong US economic growth, highlighted by 2.4 million new jobs and $US7 trillion in new wealth in the stock market during the first year of his presidency. He credited his tax cuts as being the “most significant and historic tax reform in history” while pitching the US as the ideal place for business and investment.

“Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the US,” Trump said.

But Trump also took aim at globalization and free trade, favoured by the ultra-wealthy Davos crowd but a frequent target of Trump’s domestically.

“I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also,” Trump said. “We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others.”

Trump cited “intellectual property theft,” which his administration and many others have accused China of, as a barrier to fair trade.

Trump also called on all countries to shut out North Korea for its nuclear ambitions and Iran for its support of terrorist groups abroad. Trump touted “historic” military spending and the need for the US’s allies to meet their defence-spending obligations, a reference to the NATO military alliance whose members are expected to spend at least 2% of gross domestic product on defence – only five of 29 countries now meet that standard.

Trump brought up the almost-complete takeover of the Islamic State terrorist group’s territory in Iraq and Syria but stressed the need for the US to “consolidate our gains.”

In the end, Trump called on the attendees of Davos to “use our power, our resources, our voices not just for ourselves but for our people,” and he invited the crowd to bring business to the US and “to become part of this future we’re building together.”

“America,” he said, “is open for business.”

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