Trump at Davos: Trade, taxes and what America First means for the world

'America First does not mean America alone.' Image: World Economic Forum

Ross Chainey
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This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

"America First does not mean America alone," President Donald Trump said in his speech at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Here are some other key quotes from the 45th US President's address.

On why he came to Davos

"I am here today to represent the interests of the American People, and to affirm America’s friendship and partnership in building a better world. Like all nations represented at this forum, America hopes for a future in which everyone can prosper, and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty, and fear.

"Over the past year, we have made extraordinary strides in the United States. We are lifting up forgotten communities, creating exciting new opportunities, and helping every American find their path to the American Dream—the dream of a great job, a safe home, and a better life for their children."

On the US economy

"After years of stagnation, the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth. The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election.

"Consumer confidence, business confidence, and manufacturing confidence are the highest they have been in decades.


"Since my election, we’ve created 2.4 million jobs. Small business optimism is at an all-time high. New unemployment claims are near the lowest we’ve seen in almost half a century. African American unemployment has reached the lowest rate EVER RECORDED in the United States. So has unemployment among Hispanic Americans.

"The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America... America is open for business."

On tax reform

"We lowered our corporate tax rate from 35%, all the way down to 21%. As a result, millions of workers have received tax cut bonuses from their employers in amounts as large as three thousand dollars. The tax cut bill is expected to raise the average American’s household income by more than four thousand dollars.

"And the world’s largest company, Apple, announced it will bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to America. Their total investment into the United States economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years.

"Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the United States of America.

"This is especially true because we have undertaken the most extensive regulatory reduction ever conceived. Regulation is stealth taxation. In the United States, like in many countries, unelected bureaucrats have imposed crushing anti-business and anti-worker regulations on our citizens with no vote, no legislative debate, and no real accountability.

"In America, those days are over."

On 'America First'

"As President of the United States, I will always put America First. Just like the leaders of other countries should put their countries first.

"But America First does not mean America alone.

"When the United States grows, so does the world. American prosperity has created countless jobs around the globe and the drive for excellence, creativity and innovation in the United States has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and healthier lives."

On global trade

"As the United States pursues domestic reforms to unleash jobs and growth, we are also working to reform the international trading system so that it promotes broadly-shared prosperity and rewards those who play by the rules.

"We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others. We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and reciprocal.

"Because in the end, unfair trade undermines us all... Just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests, as President of the United States, I will always protect the interests of our country, our companies, and our workers.

"The United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial bilateral trade agreements with all countries. This includes the countries in TPP11, which are very important. We have agreements with several of them already. We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in all of our interests."

On security

"To make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism, and revisionist powers, we are asking our friends and allies to invest in their own defenses and to meet their financial obligations. Our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share.

"My administration is proud to have led historic efforts, at the United Nations Security Council and around the world, to unite all civilized nations in our campaign of maximum pressure to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.

"And we continue to call on partners to confront Iran’s support for terrorists and to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. We are also working with allies and partners to destroy jihadist terrorist organizations such as ISIS."

On immigration

"America is a cutting-edge economy, but our immigration system is stuck in the past.

"We must replace our current system of extended-family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially, and to strengthen our country."

On jobs

"In rebuilding America, we are also fully committed to developing our workforce. We are lifting people from dependence to independence – because we know the single best anti-poverty program is a paycheck.

"To be successful, it is not enough to invest in our economy – we must invest in our people. When people are forgotten, the world becomes fractured. Only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten can we create a bright future that is truly shared by all."

Here's the full text of Donald Trump's speech to Davos.

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