Trump’s first day in Davos consists of bilateral talks with UK and Israel political leader and reminders of “America First” foreign policy.
President Trump landed in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday morning, Jan 25, for the World Economic Forum. The first sitting American president to attend the events in almost 20 years, since Bill Clinton in 2000, Trump stated that he is bringing a message of ‘peace and prosperity’ to the world leaders, and business executives attending the forum.
Before taking off, President Trump tweeted:
“Will soon be heading to Davos, Switzerland, to tell the world how great America is and is doing. Our economy is now booming and with all I am doing, will only get better…Our country is finally WINNING again!”
Trump’s Unwavering ‘America First’
At the conferences, Trump will remain firm on his administration’s position towards trade and is expected to “tell the world that America is open for business,” according to a statement by White House economic adviser Gary Cohn earlier this week.
“When the United States grows, so does the world,” Cohn said. “The president will continue to promote fair economic competition and will make it clear that there cannot be free and open trade if countries are not held accountable to the rules. As the president has said repeatedly, America and his administration support free and open trade but it needs to be fair and reciprocal.”
“America first is not America alone,” Cohn continued.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed on Wednesday that President Trump’s ‘America First’ economic agenda does not clash with economic global cooperation. “This is about an America First agenda,” Mnuchin stated, “but America First does mean working with the rest of the world.”
“It just means that President Trump is looking out for American workers and American interests, no different than he expects other leaders would look out for their own,” Mnuchin continued.
President Donald Trump meets with Prime Minister Theresa May of the UK
In remarks after a bilateral meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister May, the two leaders shook hands and reaffirmed the ‘special relationship’ that existed between the US and UK.
Trump claimed that he and the Prime Minister were “on the same wavelength” in every respect.
“The Prime Minister and myself have had a really great relationship, although some people don’t necessarily believe that,” Trump stated. “But I can tell you it’s true. I have tremendous respect for the Prime Minister and the job she’s doing,”
Prime Minister May stated that the US and UK stand “shoulder-to-shoulder” because the two nations face the same challenges across the world.
“We’re working together to defeat those challenges and to meet them,” May stated.
In response to a question about the possibility of a state visit to the UK, both Trump and May said that they would discuss the topic and later on in the day, Downing Street stated that the US and UK are “finalizing the details” of a Trump trip to the UK later on in the year.
Trump canceled his planned trip to the UK earlier this month, claiming dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s decision to move the US embassy in London to an “off location” in a “bad deal.”
“Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for “peanuts,” only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!”
President Donald Trump meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel at the World Economic Forum
Before a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Trump stated that their discussions would focus on trade and the US’ recent decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Netanyahu took the opportunity to thank President Trump in person for his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“I want to say that this is a historic decision that will be forever etched in the hearts of our people for generations to come,” Netanyahu stated. “People say that this pushes peace backward. I say it pushes peace forward because it recognizes history, it recognizes the present reality, and peace can only be built on the basis of truth. And by recognizing this history, you’ve made history. And we will always remember that.”
Netanyahu also thanked the US for its recent support for Israel at the UN. “This is a place — it’s a house of slander against Israel and against the United States,” Netanyahu said. “And by word and deed, you have told them enough is enough.”
Trump responded to Netanyahu’s comments about the UN by voicing his disappointment in the countries at the vote who refused to support the US’ decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“We give billions of dollars away every year to countries, and in many cases, those countries don’t even support us,” Trump said. “They don’t support the United States.”
Trump then went on to say that the aforementioned countries should respect the fact that the U.S. has given tremendous support to them over the years, in terms of monetary support and other support.
“So we’ll see what happens with the peace process, but respect has to be shown to the U.S. or we’re just not going any further,” Trump stated.
According to Trump, US funding and aid to the Palestinians is still ‘on the table,’ but only accessible if the country returns to peace talks with Israel.
Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum, President Trump will meet Rwandan President and African Union Chairman Paul Kagame “to reaffirm the U.S.-Africa relationship,” which has come under heavy strain since reports of Trump calling certain parts of Africa ‘shit-hole countries’ surfaced earlier this month.