What Trump meant at Davos: “America first does not mean America alone.”

President Donald Trump veered away from his typical protectionist rhetoric at the World Economic Forum in his remarks on the benefits of global cooperation.


President Donald Trump walked a fine line between globalization and his trademark protectionism on Friday while addressing global political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

His main selling point: American is back in business.

“There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest, and to grow in the United States,” he said during his 15-minute speech. “America is open for business, and we are competitive once again.”

Elsewhere in the speech, Trump touted himself as the first true businessman president, extolled recent Republican tax cuts, said he favored free trade but warned the U.S. would no longer “turn a blind eye” toward unfair trade practices, and argued for a merit-based immigration system.


Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/Getty

But the most notable part of Trump’s address came when he veered away from his typical hardline protectionist rhetoric, saying “America first does not mean America alone.”  

“When the United States grows, so does the world,” he said.

The message more or less fit the general tone of the forum, which has traditionally hosted speakers who promote globalization, praise diversity, and decry climate change — issues with which Trump has sometimes been at odds, as the New York Times notes.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the forum that “protectionism is not the proper answer.” Other world leaders echoed the sentiment.

Trump has repeatedly criticized multilateral trade agreements and argued for more isolationism in the past. In early 2017, he withdrew the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, originally a 12-nation agreement among the U.S. and Pacific rim countries that was designed partially to temper China’s rising dominance in the region, because he thought it would encourage domestic companies to ship jobs overseas.

But in January 2018, the president said he would consider rejoining the agreement if the U.S. got a “substantially better” deal. It’s likely too late, considering the 11 remaining TPP countries have already moved forward in the agreement without the U.S.

Trump’s change of tone in Switzerland comes in the wake of slowed economic growth back home. The annualized GDP growth rate dropped to 2.6 percent in the last quarter of 2017 — up from the year before, but still below the 3 percent mark the Trump administration had repeatedly predicted

But that could change if global business leaders believe what Trump said in Davos:

“Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs and your investments to the United States.”

--

Why women make businesses more profitable

When it comes to the workplace, more diversity means more money.

Shutterstock
Culture & Religion
  • While the workplace is slowly diversifying, some industries have been slow to change.
  • A growing body of research is uncovering that workplaces with greater diversity actual perform better. One of the clearest examples of this effect is in venture capitalism, where nearly all venture capitalists are white, male, Harvard graduates.
  • When VC firms hire more women, their effectiveness and profitability explodes.
Keep reading Show less

An end to suffering: 10 quotes on Buddhist philosophy

It's not what you have, it's what you do with it.

Personal Growth
  • Buddhism has been applied differently across the planet as it enters new cultures.
  • The underlying philosophical foundation is applicable to diverse situations, whether religious or secular.
  • But it is a practice, not a belief, and must be treated as a discipline for retraining consciousness.
Keep reading Show less

The Geminid meteor peaks Thursday night. Here’s how to view it best.

The Geminid meteor shower grows more intense with every year, and it's expected to be particularly bright in 2018.

Google
Surprising Science
  • Look up at the skies from 2 to 7:30 a.m. on December 14 to see the most meteors.
  • To get the best view, travel away from city lights, avoid looking at your phone and let your eyes adjust to the dark.
  • Stargazers might also be able to catch a glimpse of a comet making a rare appearance, NASA astronomers say.
Keep reading Show less