Trump takes his 'America First' policies to Davos facing global criticism

It's not just because he is the first sitting USA president to go to the forum since Bill Clinton in 2000.

"We're on the same wavelength in, I think, every respect", Trump said during a meeting in neutral Switzerland, waxing lyrical about trans-Atlantic ties and complimenting May in effusive terms.

"Yes, of course Brexit is important and Britain is very much open for business. but there are other big issues too".

President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May are meeting during a summit in Switzerland.

The president took off from Andrews Air Force base outside of Washington, D.C. on Wednesday evening local time, unaccompanied by First Lady Melania Trump. He is due to address the forum on its closing day Friday at the end of a week that saw his administration announce a new package of trade tariffs and spark turmoil on the currency markets.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that "when we see that things aren't equitable, we look for multilateral solutions rather than unilateral ones that simply promote isolation and protectionism".

Traders and USA partners already got one surprise in Davos this week when Trump's treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, appeared to back away from decades of support by his predecessors for a "strong dollar" policy by declaring "a weaker dollar is good for us", flouting USA commitments in worldwide fora such as the G20.

Mnuchin insisted Thursday that his comment on the dollar was "balanced and consistent".


A weak dollar would potentially boost USA exporters but cause headaches for all other trading nations.

He told reporters on his way between meetings that "we are seeing tremendous investment and today has been a very exciting day, a very great day and great for our country". While the relationship between the two initially seemed promising, British domestic actors including the Labour mayor of London Sadiq Khan have piled on pressure to prevent the visit of President Trump, with relations further souring over May's criticism of President Trump's use of Twitter. "For those who don't want to listen to him, they can leave", US Transport Secretary Elaine Chao said ahead of the president's arrival. The declaration delighted Netanyahu and outraged Palestinians, who declared a new USA -led peace push dead and refused to meet with Vice President Mike Pence during his recent visit to the Mideast.

But he drew enthusiastic praise for his tax-cut law at a dinner that he hosted Thursday for more than a dozen business executives from Nokia, Adidas, SAP and other companies, with the business leaders praising his tax plan and pledging to invest more in the United States before their tucked into their beef tenderloin.

Trump denied any fissures in his relationship with May during remarks at the conclusion of their meeting on Thursday.

The Davos elite are keen now to see which version of Trump will show up - the business-friendly tycoon or the leader who berated the rest of the world at the UN General Assembly last September.

I feel that having Russian Federation in a friendly posture, as opposed to always fighting with them, is an asset to the world and an asset to our country, not a liability. He is expected to showcase the booming US economy and measures like his recent tax overhaul, claiming that a thriving America benefits the world.

Swiss Federal President Alain Berset, right, and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, left, shake hands before a bilateral meeting at the 48th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos, Switzerland, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018.


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