Leading an advance party to the Swiss ski resort, USA treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin insisted his country was “open for business” and “absolutely” believed in free and fair trade.
There is broad concern in European capitals that 2018 could be the year Trump’s bark on trade turns into bite, as he considers punitive measures on steel and threatens to end the 90s-era North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.
Earlier, Trump has faced criticism over his policies on anti-immigration in his country.
The remarks by Mnuchin and Ross were the first by members of Trump’s delegation at Davos and could foreshadow what Trump will say in his much-anticipated speech.
PM Modi tweeted, “The existing and emerging challenges to the contemporary worldwide system and global governance architecture deserve serious attention of leaders, governments, policy makers, corporates and civil societies around the world”.
“We are committed to economic growth of 3 percent or higher GDP”.
“This is about an America First agenda, but America First does mean America working with the rest of the world”, Mr Mnuchin said.
“There is no question in terms of the vote from the market”, he said. His message contrasted sharply with what will likely be Trump’s. Mr. Trump was due to hold meetings later Thursday with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and he is due to give a speech on Friday. Protesters are also attempting to get into the heavily guarded conference in Davos.
Never mind that there have been a series of rifts between Trump and British leaders.
“The forces of protectionism are raising their heads against globalization”, Modi said Tuesday.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau went even further.
The future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, meanwhile, may be less cloudy that NAFTA. South Africa has deep connections with America, he said, including a history of sending students to colleges there and a close trade relationship. He said the two leaders “liked each other a lot” and the United States and the United Kingdom are “joined at the hip” on mutual military defense.
There is a sense of expectation in Davos as participants wait to hear the USA president who roiled the gathering earlier in the week when his government announced controversial import tariff on solar panels and washing machines.
When May first announced she had invited the President on a state visit, protests broke out and more than one million people signed a petition against Trump visiting.
Trump planned to take his “America First” message to the gathering of global political and business elites that is rarely attended by sitting presidents.
The founder of the World Economic Forum says he hopes President Donald Trump’s planned visit to Davos this week will “provide him even better with a global perspective”, and says critics of the USA leader should hear him out.
Bloomberg also noted that Trump asked for a guarantee from May that he would be warmly received in a state visit.