DAVOS — “America is roaring back and now is the time to invest in the future of America,” preached President Donald Trump at a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. “I’m inviting you to be part of the future we are building together.”
In a measured, 20-minute speech that was pointed towards Europe and the rest of the world rather than the U.S., the president extolled the virtues of America and spoke of U.S. engagement with the global community.
In highlighting the economic prowess of the U.S., Trump was essentially selling America and his policies. The theme of the speech said one White House official, was ‘America is open for business again,’ a line
The president also reiterated his vision and openness to trade and engagement, but only if nations “played by the rules.”
“We can’t have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others,” he said.
Trump also spoke to global security issues such as multilateral cooperation in the fight against ISIS and working to rid the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. “We are investing in the military and weak, other nations need to contribute their fair share.”
And sounding very much like a populist or even a left-wing politician, he talked about how important working men and women are and he thanked them.
Though there was talk of a walkout during Trump’s speech, and while the response was generally tepid — far from a rousing MAGA speech in the red-state America — the audience seemed content to sit back and hear Trump out. The only time when there were audible boos was when Trump called the media fake news.
He did have a few zingers. Trump noted that the stock market is up 50% since he became president, but that had Hillary Clinton won, “it would have been down 50%.” He also said that at dinner the night before, one CEO pledged to invest $2 billion in the U.S. And Trump said, “I said to myself he’s the cheap one.”
Trump’s visit was without incident. The president seemed to enjoy walking around the Congress Center, the main hall here at WEF, where he received the rock star treatment as hundreds tracked his every move, taking pictures and videos. If there was any anti-Trump sentiment in the mostly European crowd, it wasn’t apparent. An administration official said that Trump was “happy with the reception he’s had here.”
Trump’s meeting and press briefing with British Prime Minister Theresa May went off relatively well, and it was suggested that the two mended their relationship after a tiff where Trump retweeted some of the UK far right leader’s anti-Muslim videos. Trump and Israeli