Trump Speaks of Spectacular US Economy 01/21 06:05
President Donald Trump sought Tuesday to sell the United States to the
global business community, telling an economic conference in the Swiss Alps
that America's economic turnaround has been "nothing short of spectacular."
DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- President Donald Trump sought Tuesday to sell the
United States to the global business community, telling an economic conference
in the Swiss Alps that America's economic turnaround has been "nothing short of
Trump addressed the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, hours
before his historic impeachment trial was to reconvene in the U.S. Senate in
Trump reminded the audience that when he spoke here two years ago, early in
his presidency, "I told you that we had launched the great American comeback."
"Today I'm proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic
boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before," the president said.
Trump's participation in the annual gathering of political and business
elites in the Alpine ski resort will provide a conspicuous split-screen moment
in a presidency familiar with them. The two-day Swiss visit will test Trump's
ability to balance his anger over being impeached with a desire to project
leadership on the world stage.
Speculation had mounted that Trump would cancel the trip due to the Senate
trial, but aides said he remains focused on producing results for the American
Climate issues were to be a main theme at the forum and "Act on Climate" was
written in the snow at the landing zone where Trump's Marine One helicopter set
down in Davos. Trump, however, said he was attending the forum to encourage
businesses to invest in the U.S.
"America is thriving. America is flourishing and yes, America is winning
again like never before," Trump said before talking about a newly signed trade
deal with China and a pending trade agreement with Mexico and Canada.
Trump also spoke of record low unemployment, stock market gains and millions
removed from unemployment.
Trump planned to meet with world leaders and business executives after the
Swooping in for his second appearance at the conference, Trump was set to
depart on Wednesday, jetting back to Washington, which is consumed by the
The Democratic-controlled House impeached the Republican president last
month for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after it was revealed that
he had pressed Ukraine's president to announce investigations into former Vice
President Joe Biden, a Democrat and a Trump political rival. Trump withheld
foreign aid that Congress had approved for the Eastern European nation and
dangled the prospect of an Oval Office meeting as leverage.
Trump denies any wrongdoing and argues that Democrats want to remove him
from office because they know they can't deny him reelection in November. Trump
would be forced to leave office if convicted, but the Republican-controlled
Senate is expected to acquit him.
Trump said he would attend the Davos forum despite the awkward timing
because he wants to encourage businesses to come back to the U.S.
"Our country is the hottest country anywhere in the world," he said at the
White House last week. "There's nothing even close. I'll be meeting the biggest
business leaders in the world, getting them to come here."
The White House has not named any of the business leaders Trump is set to
meet with. But he is scheduled to hold talks Tuesday and Wednesday with the
leaders of Iraq, Pakistan, Switzerland and Iraq's self-governing Kurdish
region, as well as the forum's founder, the White House said.
Trump also will have his first meeting with the new European Commission
president, Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to hold the position.
That meeting could be the most significant, said analyst Matt Goodman, given
Trump's many disagreements with Europe over tax and trade policy, like a new
digital levy by the French that will force American tech giants such as Amazon
and Google to pay up.
"She's new and she's formidable," said Goodman, who studies international
economic policy as a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies in Washington.
He predicted a difficult year ahead for U.S.-EU relations.
Trump has smarted over the French tax, and his administration has announced
plans to impose retaliatory tariffs of up to 100% on cheese, wine, lipstick and
other French imports. France has threatened to fight back.
But after speaking to Trump on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron
tweeted that they had a "great discussion" about the digital tax and "will work
together on a good agreement to avoid tariff escalation." Trump later retweeted
Macron, adding the word: "Excellent!"
The U.S. has also threatened to impose retaliatory duties on $7.5 billion
worth of European airplanes, cheese, wine and other goods in a separate dispute
over subsidies for Airbus, a competitor to Chicago-based Boeing Co.
Trump has sought to wring trade concessions from the EU by threatening
tariffs on German autos, including BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Trump is just the third American president, after Andrew Johnson and Bill
Clinton, to face a Senate impeachment trial. Johnson and Clinton were acquitted
by the Senate.
There is precedent for international travel by an impeached U.S. leader.
During his impeachment over an affair with a White House intern, Clinton
visited Japan, South Korea, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He traveled
to Jordan for King Hussein's funeral in February 1999, just a few days before
he was acquitted.
Two days after acquittal, Clinton went to Mexico on a state visit.
Trump is planning to make his first visit to India at the end of February,
probably after the conclusion of his impeachment trial. He also has talked
about traveling soon to Beijing, although he has given no dates, to open a new
round of trade talks with China.