President Trump will be speaking of U.S. economic success and national security interests in Davos, amidst anti-Trump protests across Switzerland.
The World Economic Forum, hosted annually in Davos, Switzerland, is meant to be a gathering for world leaders to share and collaborate on their domestic and international economic and foreign policies. President Trump is to leave tomorrow and to arrive in Switzerland Thursday. In anticipation of Trump’s arrival, thousands of people have gathered to protest in several cities across Switzerland, particularly Zurich.
The protests, according to officials were around a couple thousand people; however, those on the ground pitch the number higher than that – around 3000. Although an impassioned protest with many yelling “Trump not Welcome” and “Smash the WEF”, the protests were mostly peaceful. According to local sources, the only exception to this was the ultra-left wing group, which smashed windows, sprayed graffiti, and lighted fireworks.
The White House Press Briefing on January 23rd focused on the upcoming trip to Davos but did not mention or address the protests in Switzerland, while also steering clear of the recent heated immigration debate. Instead, the briefing emphasized the economic growth that has been benefiting America since Trump’s presidency.
Before NEC Director Gary Cohn and General McMaster had even taken the podium to discuss the President’s upcoming trip, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was praising recent “economic successes” by the government. She spoke of the recent announcements by large corporations, including Verizon and Disney, stating that they would be increasing employee wages and providing more benefits, which Sanders said was in thanks to Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Plan. The highly controversial tax reform bill, which offers tax cuts to very large and wealthy corporations, with the idea being that they will be more encouraged to invest in domestic employment and development, will also certainly be a hot topic for the President during his trip to Davos.
NEC Director Cohn said that the President “will reiterate that a prosperous America benefits the world”, in Davos. Considering the U.S. and Trump administration have been under much criticism for taking on increasingly isolationist economic policies, especially after continuously threatening to withdraw from the NAFTA trade, such rhetoric can be expected to be met with scrutiny from the other world leaders at the forum.
On Thursday, President Trump will be meeting with various world leaders, including Prime Minister May of England, primarily to discuss issues of international security. Recurring topics of conversation will be denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the war on terrorism, as well as issues of stability in the Middle East. Trump will also be meeting with the Prime Minister of Israel, the President of Rwanda, as well as the President of Switzerland.
As well, the President will be hosting a dinner with some European companies who regularly invest in and conduct business with the U.S. The aim of this dinner is “to share our economic success and encourage them to continue to invest in America”, said Cohen. Trump is expected to engage in discourse with the CEOs of these companies to hear about “how his administration can help them continue to grow their businesses in the United States.