Economy

Trump urges countries to put own citizens first as he touts economic wins


President Donald Trump delivers a speech during a special address on the opening day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

President Donald Trump took an opportunity to address world leaders on Tuesday to trumpet his “America First” agenda and encourage other nations to adopt a similar nation-focused approach to economics and political relations around the world.

“America’s newfound prosperity is undeniable, unprecedented and unmatched anywhere in the world,” Trump said from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “America achieved this stunning turnaround not by making minor changes to a handful of policies, but by adopting a whole new approach centered entirely on the wellbeing of the American worker.”

“Every decision we make on taxes, trade, regulation, energy, immigration, education and more is focused on improving the lives of everyday Americans,” he added. “Only when governments put their own citizens first will people be fully invested in their national futures.”

Much of his speech centered around the success the administration has seen while pursuing an “America First” policy, a set of guidelines that tries to benefit average Americans through economic policies such as trade protections or tax cuts. The multiday forum in Davos is an annual event where the globe’s most powerful political leaders and corporate executives share ideas in the Swiss Alps.

The policy, which has led to fierce trade battles with longtime economic partners like China, the EU and Mexico, has accompanied better-than-expected GDP growth in the U.S. as well as an unemployment rate under 4% and consistent records in the stock market.

Though bilateral trade deliberations have roiled financial markets for the better part of two years, the White House inked two key deals last week that officials say will boost the economy and sent the S&P 500 above 3,300 for the first time ever.

The U.S. and China signed on Wednesday a “phase one” trade deal that officials say will lead to an increase in sales of American goods and services to Beijing and ease the two-year dispute between the globe’s two largest economies.

Meanwhile, the Senate passed a new North American trade deal on Thursday that grants U.S. producers greater access to Canadian dairy markets and creates stricter rules for auto parts rules of origin.

The president also noted in his speech on Tuesday the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, one of the administration’s biggest legislative wins to date that lowered the corporate tax rate to 21% and buoyed business profits for much of Trump’s presidency.

The administration argues that the promise of lower tax rates entices global businesses to shift more production to the U.S. and employ more Americans.

“Today I urge other nations to follow our example and liberate your citizens from the crushing weight of bureaucracy,” Trump added on Tuesday. “With that, you have to run your own countries the way you want.”

Trump’s speech came a day after the president’s legal team implored the U.S. Senate to reject the House of Representative’s two articles of impeachment against him. The third presidential impeachment trial in U.S. history will begin later Tuesday.