US President Donald Trump flew out on Thursday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, aiming to convince global leaders his "America First" agenda does not signal a withdrawal from the world stage.
While this year, the official theme for the meeting is "Creating a shared future in a fractured world", each year discussions revolve around recurrent themes such as inequality, poverty, innovation, technological change, the environment, and corporate social responsibility.
Mnuchin praised the recently signed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, saying that corporate tax cuts will allow large American companies to compete fairly, and said the weakening of the US dollar will be good for global trade.
"I don't think Macron will be able to resist being the counter-Trump", said Robin Niblett, director of the Chatham House think tank in London.
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Earlier, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US was ready to negotiate an "attractive" trade deal with Britain once the country had left the European Union.
Macron, switching between English and French, took several tongue-in-cheek swipes at Trump, with whom he's formed an odd bond since the two engaged in a bone-crushing macho handshake in their first meeting back in May. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't mention the United States by name, but his lengthy defense of globalization was widely seen as a message directed at Trump.
The forum will open on Tuesday with a speech by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and end on Friday, when Trump is due to address the massive auditorium where Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke past year, offering to fill the global leadership void created by an inward-looking Washington.
"Will soon be heading to Davos, Switzerland, to tell the world how great America is and is doing".
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The White House has said Trump plans to detail his "America First" policy in Davos.
I spoke to Edwin Moser, a representative from Fossil-Free Switzerland, who said: "About a week ago we heard that Trump is coming to Davos". They recalled how world leaders had pledged "to realize the human rights of all" and "to leave no one behind" as core aspirations of United Nation Sustainable Development Goals to be achieved by 2030, and called on business leaders to support this pledge.
More than 60 heads of state and government, plus hundreds of business leaders, academics, policy advocates and celebrities are expected for the Tuesday-Friday meeting. "The South African government will continue to act decisively to address challenges at its key state-owned enterprises to restore public and investor confidence and to ensure that they fulfil their economic and developmental mandates". Even some of the "globalists" in the USA would agree with that, and the Washington Post's Anne Gearan writes that Trump will emphasize that nuance at Davos.
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