“America is open for business,” United States President Donald Trump said during his first address to the World Economic Forum at Davos on Friday. On the last day of the summit, Trump not only pitched America as a great place for investors, but also pushed his controversial “America First” policy.
“I believe in America,” Trump said. “I will put it first, just as other world leaders should put their countries first.”
The United States is committed to “help build a world where everyone can prosper, and every child can grow up free from poverty and fear”, Trump said. He spoke of how his government’s recent tax cuts plan was helping the US economy by “giving workers higher pay” and promoting investment.
“We are lifting people from dependence to independence,” Trump said, “because we know the single best anti-poverty programme is a very simple and very beautiful paycheque”.
The US president said the “world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America”. Trump said he was at the summit to deliver a “simple message”. “We are competitive once again.”
On free trade and intellectual property
Free and open trade will not be possible if some countries “exploit the system at the expense of others”, Trump said. “We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal,” he said.
The United States will not “turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices”, Trump said, referring to “intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies and pervasive state-led economic planning”.
On terror and security
We cannot have prosperity without security, Trump said, while talking about America’s “historic investments” in its military.
Trump said his government is asking its “friends and allies” to invest more in their defense systems to “make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism, and revisionist powers”.
Earlier in the day, Trump met British Prime Minister Theresa May. Later, in an interview to CNBC, he said he had decided to go to Davos to encourage companies to invest in the United States.
Soon after he arrived in Davos, Trump dismissed as “fake news” reports that he had tried to stop Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller last year from looking into Russia’s alleged meddling in the US presidential elections.