Feature: Defending "America First," Trump makes his Davos debut into marketing event

Source: Xinhua| 2018-01-27 12:01:48|Editor: Mengjie
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by Zhai Wei, Tian Dongdong, Shen Zhonghao

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- The "America First" mindset, defended by U.S. President Donald Trump in Davos, penetrated the whole process of his closing speech at the World Economic Forum on Friday.

For the first time in Davos this year, one had to wait in line up to two hours to get a seat before the speech started. After entering the speech room, a second security check would be awaiting despite a previous one at the gate of Congress Center, unprecedented in previous speeches.

And, before the president finally took the floor, one needed to listen to a 10-minute performance of "The Landwehr of Fribourg," a historic marching band. The Trump-eted preparation, a first in this year's Davos, has never had resemblances of other speakers at the global economic gatherings this week.

In a nutshell, America First was everywhere in the speech room.

During his roughly 15-minute speech, Trump spent about 12 minutes picturing a prosperous and lucrative U.S. economy that flourishes in his America First policy.

Packed with a "very much America First" agenda, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier this month that Trump would be "100 percent focused" on and committed to promoting policies that "promote strength for American businesses and the American worker."

In the eyes of some U.S. allies in Europe sitting in the speech room, Trump's America First policy is steadily drawing Uncle Sam back to the stronghold of protectionism, populism and nationalism.

Defending America First, Trump said "I will always put America First ... and will always protect the interests of our country, our companies, and our workers."

A lackluster applause in the room laid bare the fact that the audience was not willing to buy his story. Disappointed by an increasingly inward-looking and self-centered Washington, Europeans are now more interested in making their own continent stronger.

Meanwhile, calling himself a "cheer leader" of the United States, Trump told the world that "America is the place to do business" and "now is the time to invest in the future of America."

However, Trump's boast of a "cheer leader" sounded more like a seasoned salesman.

"The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America ... I am here to deliver a simple message: America is open for business and we are competitive once again," said Trump.

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

Commenting on Trump's speech, Randall Lane, an editor of Forbes Magazine, told Xinhua "He (Trump) is good at selling. He is a deal maker. He knows how to sell and is selling investment into America."

Trump toned down his rhetoric of "America First" at the end of his speech, when he came to topics of his country's global leadership.

"America first does not mean America alone," he said.

Kevin Sneader, chairman of global management consulting firm McKinsey's Asian offices, told Xinhua after the speech "Trump's commitment that America still intends to be a part of the global trading frameworks is important," as "there is clearly a concern that trading relationships that contribute to the world's prosperity are under threat."

Nevertheless, others were less optimistic.

Guillermo Romo, president of the Grupo Mega, a Mexican company offering financial solutions for business sectors, said "I think Trump prepared the speech for these crowds of people ... He talked about regulation and cutting tax ... The real question is if it was fake statement. Let's see if he will continue on that."

"If the U.S. really opens for business, it should be fair, not just putting borders," he added.