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Protests In Switzerland

Zurich, Switzerland, Webpublicapress photo 2017 (By Erol Avdovic)

Anti-Trump protestors Davos January 2018 (Courtesy photo for education only)

 

Zurich, Switzerland, Webpublicapress photo 2017 (By Erol Avdovic)

Zurich, Switzerland, Webpublicapress photo 2017 (By Erol Avdovic)

(WEBPUBLICAPRESS) New York - Ahead of his speech at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland US President Donald Trump was set to bring his “America First” message to a skeptical – and partly hostile – gathering of global political and business leaders American TV networks reported.

Just before leaving Washington for Davos on Wednesday evening, Trump tweeted to his 47 million followers that he was going to Davos “to tell the world how great America is and is doing.”

Trump’s forthcoming appearance at the World Economic Forum is much anticipated, given how starkly at odds his protectionist “America First” rhetoric is with the globalist, pro-free trade vibes of the annual gathering of the world’s economic and political elite on the slopes of Davos, as RDW reports quoting other news agencies.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her address Wednesday, warned of the dangers of protectionism, and her French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, spoke of a “shared framework” and shared responsibilities among nations, US FOX TV reported.

“We are seeing nationalism, populism and in a lot of countries a polarized atmosphere,” Merkel said Wednesday, in a speech at Davos. “We believe that isolation won’t help us. We believe we need to cooperate, that protectionism is not the answer, according to the media news.

Read more DW stories: Davos is looking for jobs

Trump has spoken repeatedly of his eagerness to redraw the United States’ trading relationship with several countries, particularly China. He has already pulled the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and has threatened to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between the USA, Canada and Mexico.

Earlier this week, Trump announced tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels, a move that sparked the ire of South Korea and China.

Strength in numbers?

Trump has travelled to Davos with a large team of senior economic personnel, an indication of the seriousness with which the Trump administration is treating the gathering.

Among those travelling with Trump are treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, as well as a host of other senior cabinet figures. Although not part of the official US delegation, White House chief of staff John Kelly, secretary of state Rex Tillerson and national security advisor H.R McMaster will also be in Davos.

Ahead of the visit, Gary Cohn, the White House senior economic advisor, said Trump would be holding firm to his ‘America First’ principles whilst also making it clear that America was “open for business”.

“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,” he said.

Earlier in Davos, Mnuchin prompted a fall in the value of the US dollar by stressing the importance of a “weaker dollar”.

“Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us, it’s good because it has to do with trade and opportunities,” he said, suggesting the White House’s eagerness for the value of the currency to fall in the hope that it will boost US exports.

Trump has a series of meetings scheduled for Thursday, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Prime Minister Theresa May among those he will meet on the sidelines of the gathering.

Trump’s visit to the Davos event is the first by a US President since Bill Clinton visited in 2000.

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